With just a few short months left in the South, I knew I had to start getting to many of the southern destinations on my list. As you know from my travel schedule, next up was my road trip down to New Orleans, and Oak Alley Plantation just outside the city. These two destinations were high on my list of must-sees, and they did not disappoint!
Oak Alley Plantation is in a perfect location for a day trip when visiting New Orleans. The plantation sits an hour out of the city, and is located directly on the Mississippi River in the South East of Louisiana.
Oak Alley, famous for the oak trees which line the path up to the house were planted by an unknown person in the 1700's, before any house was built on the land. The place was left untouched for years as the oak trees grew, and after the land was used to grow sugarcane. In the 1830's the famous plantation house was built, situated behind the row of, then, well grown oak trees, looking out onto the Mississippi River.
While on the tour of the Big House there is a lot covered on the original family, the struggles during the Civil War, and the following owners, though little is mentioned on the slaves. In order to hear about life of the many slaves which made plantation life a possibility, you'll want to visit the Slavery At Oak Alley Exhibit (also included in your admission).
Tips For Travel
The southern states are known for many wonderful things, unfortunately, public transportation is not one of them. You'll want to drive yourself, or head to the plantation with a tour group that provides a bus from New Orleans. A list of tour providers that visit Oak Alley may be found here.
Time of Day
Oak Alley is without a doubt the most famous plantation homes in the area, and as such, the crowds flock there. Like any major tourist destination, going early in the day is the safest bet if you can roll yourself out of bed before most.
If early morning calls are out of the question, and you want some tourist-free photos, stand in front of the house just before a tour begins, (they run on the hour and half hour). When the tour starts, the front door opens, welcoming tourists inside, and you'll have just a few minutes with no one in front of the house to get a clear shot before people begin to hang around the front door again for the next tour.
What To Eat
The plantation home offers a refreshment area at the end of the tour, complete with super-southern Mint Juleps which cannot be missed. Though, the area around Oak Alley is so beautiful, I personally would suggest to pack a picnic to enjoy on the grounds.
In The Area
Conveniently, both for the plantation owners years ago, and for sight-seers now, the Mississippi river was/is the place to be. Plantations line the river, and as such there's many other plantation homes in the area, if one just isn't enough! Visit www.neworleansplantationcountry.com to find another to visit on your trip!
↠ Time To Allot: 2 - 3 hours
Are there any destinations in the southern states currently on your must-see list?