Grand plantations stretch along River Road Drive, following the Mississippi River for about 45 miles from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. High levees continue to protect the properties from the Mississippi River. The area was nicknamed “The Sugar Coast” because of the extensive sugar cane fields found here, many of which are still attached to old plantations. Once, more than 2,000 plantations lined the Mississippi River along this winding road. Today, most are gone. Only about 100 remain, and of those only 20 are open to the public. Each tells a unique story and offers guided tours, and some have restaurants and/or overnight lodging.
|Houmas House Plantation in Louisiana|
As you travel through the parishes of St. James, St. John the Baptist, and St. Charles, in addition to majestic plantation homes you’ll find mysterious swamps and some excellent Cajun/Creole cuisine.
Organized tours that visit plantations vary. An option is spending half a day touring two plantations and the other half exploring Cajun Country and the swamps. Some will pick you up by van from your hotel, others have a central meeting point. Some are by bus, and some are by boat. And, of course, you can drive it yourself.
|costumed docent at Destrehan Plantation in Louisiana|
|oak alley at Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana|
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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers