3 Popular Plantations Near New Orleans

With SO many plantations near New Orleans (seriously...like 20 choices within 1.5 hours from NOLA), it's hard to decide which one to pick. After some serious deliberation and plenty reviews from friends and colleagues, I decided on three plantations to visit: Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, Nottoway Plantation House, and Oak Alley Plantation. These seemed like real winners, and spoiler alert... they were pretty dang awesome! 

A little FYI on this one: If you're feeling ambitious, it's totally possible to hit all three of these plantations in one day since they are all very close to one another. Think of it as wine tasting in Napa Valley, but instead of wine, you're trying different flavors of the antebellum era. Suggested Route: Start with Nottoway Plantation (furthest from New Orleans) and work your way back to Oak Alley (closest to New Orleans). 

Featured Plantations:     

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

Oak Alley Plantation

Nottoway Plantation and Resort

HOumas House Plantation and Gardens

I'll just start off by saying I enjoyed Houmas House most out of the three plantations I visited. This sugarcane plantation really nailed it on a variety of levels with in-character tour guides (not over-the-top though), picturesque antebellum home (spiral staircase and all), and absolutely beautiful grounds and gardens. I would 100% recommend this place to anyone who is more interested in the grounds than the mansion itself.

Here's my suggestion when visiting: grab a drink at the Turtle Bar (quaint spot located on plantation) and slowly sip your way around the fountains, trees, shrubs, and ponds that make these grounds so lively. Also, if the supernatural and ghost stories excite you, make sure to ask your guide about Houmas House's haunted past.

Ticket Prices (without transportation from New Orleans): $24 (ages 13+), $10 (ages 6-12), Free (ages 5 and under) 

Ticket Prices (with transportation from New Orleans): $59 (ages 13+), $40 (ages 6-12), Free (ages 5 and under). Check ticket availability here.

Plantation Highlight: The Grounds and Gardens

Distance from New Orleans: 1 Hour Drive (40136 Louisiana 942, Darrow, LA 70725)

Hours: Daily: 9AM - 8PM

Oak Alley Plantation

You know that iconic plantation image of a mansion entry way lined by giant and spectacular live oak trees, creating a tunnel-like illusion? If you don't know, maybe this picture of Oak Alley Plantation will jog your memory.

Oak Alley Plantation (Getty Images)

Oak Alley Plantation (Getty Images)

Oak Alley is the classic antebellum plantation you probably imagined before coming to Southern Louisiana. The estate is complete with a large mansion, reconstructed slave quarters, 25 acres of grounds, the plantation's blacksmith shop, Civil War encampment, and, of course, the breath-taking alley of 300 year old live oak trees. The Reconstructed Slave Quarters and Civil War Encampment were particularly interesting, as neither Houmas House nor Nottoway had these types of interactive exhibits.

To sum it up, I'd say if you're looking for the overall antebellum experience, you really can't go wrong with Oak Alley. 

Ticket Prices: $22 (ages 19+), $8 (ages 13-18), $5 (ages 6-12), Free (ages 5 and under) 

Tour Prices (with Transportation from New Orleans): $67 (ages 13+), $33 (ages 6-12), Free (ages 5 and under). Check ticket availability here.

Plantation Highlight: The Slavery Exhibit

Distance from New Orleans: 1 Hour Drive (3645 Highway 18, Vacherie, La 70090)

Hours: Daily: 9AM - 5PM

Preserved Historical Oak Alley Slave Cabins (Getty Images)

Preserved Historical Oak Alley Slave Cabins (Getty Images)

Nottoway Plantation and Resort

Nottoway Plantation and Resort hosts a massive 53,000 square foot mansion on its property, making it the largest surviving antebellum home in the Southern United States! Your mansion tour guide is in character, making the experience pretty engaging and comical. Although both Houmas House and Oak Alley also allow guests to stay the night on the plantation grounds, I thought it was cool that guests can actually stay in the mansion, even in some of the most historic rooms. So if you're a history enthusiast, that alone might make a stay at Nottoway worth it. Outside the house, the grounds are vast and open with enormous live oak trees scattered throughout. In my opinion, the grounds aren't quite as impressive as Houmas House or Oak Alley, but it's nice that you can actually walk through them for free (unlike the other two).

Ticket Prices: $20 (ages 13+), $6 (ages 6-12), Free (ages 5 and under) 

Plantation Highlight: The Largest Antebellum Home in the Southern United States

Distance from New Orleans: 1.5 Hours Drive (31025 Hwy.1, White Castle, LA 70788)

Hours: Daily: 9AM - 4PM

 

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