Imagine yourself walking through a picture-perfect landscape, the sun peeking through the magnificent oaks, and a spectacular mansion beckoning for you to pay a visit. This is the feeling you get when you first see Louisiana’s River Road’s jewel, the 1840 Houmas House Plantation.
Caught between a historic past and bright future, this attraction and estate are well worth a visit to step back in time, imagine the grandeur it held and still has 250 years later. Houmas House is still one of Louisiana’s leading historic sugarcane plantations.
Houmas House Plantation has impeccable grounds—not even a blade of grass out of place. It is expansive and has little nooks and crannies filled with treasures, from sculptures to exotic plants, a Japanese footbridge to fountains. You’ll clock miles of steps as you wander the property that offers a dose of tranquility and breath of fresh air.
I loved seeing so many different types of blooming flowers and trees. there are too many to even imagine! You can get a magnificent horticulture lesson from the Houmas House. Then there is the house, a gorgeous antebellum symmetric house with wrap around decks on two floors, Federal arched dormers, stately columns around the house, and a decorative widow’s walk or belvedere; I’m not sure what the proper term is. You immediately want to go inside or grab your camera to capture its beauty.
A Private Party
During the Travel South Conference in Baton Rouge, I attended a private party at Houmas House Plantation. We drove 30 minutes from Baton Rouge to Darrow, Louisiana, where Houmas House more rolled out the red carpet and, to no surprise, was the quintessential Southern host.
For more about things to do in Baton Rouge, read this post.
Several different groups of musicians were scattered around the 38-acre property, from zydeco music to big band, and they were fabulous! Food tables were also a big draw, with charcuterie spreads you wouldn’t believe and plenty of Cajun/creole favorites. We were even given light-up lanyards that gave the event a great festive feel.
One of my favorite parts of the party was hearing Louisiana’s little darling and fantastic fiddle player, Amanda Shaw, perform.
Museum and House
Houmas House Plantation is more than just grounds and a pretty landscape. The museum is a big draw, with historic artifacts, period artwork, and beautiful murals, and had recently opened right before our party. We were thrilled to be some of the first to see the exhibits. Louisiana’s Great River Road painting was incredible—be on the lookout for that one.
Then there is the house, mansion, estate, whatever you want to call it, packed full of impressive furnishings and rare items. Priceless works of art hung on the walls, and one-of-a-kind antiques made up much of the charming decor. I was in awe of the oil paintings, which depicted many intriguing scenes, especially the dog portraits in the billiards room. And the chandeliers. Oh, my! They are incredible.
Houmas House Plantation has a few onsite places to grab a drink and bite on the property. Latil’s Landing Restaurant offers fine-dining, the Turtle Bar for light bites, The Carriage House Restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, also kid-friendly, and The Wine Cellars of Houmas House, offering an amazing selection of estate wines.
I could wander a beautiful garden for hours and never get bored. Houmas House Plantation has some of the best gardens I’ve ever seen at any attraction. Hats off to the landscaper. The lily pads, ponds, giant lotus flowers, and exotic blooms were an overload of magnificence.
The lighted archways, wood carved sculptures, and graceful water fountains were all dazzling additions to the vast number of plants and flowers. For optimum colors, visit in April or November.
A visit to Houmas House Plantation is a real treat and a place I’m glad to have checked off my bucket list. One hour tours of the house and gardens are $24, or you can stay in one of the luxury cottages for an overnight experience. Hours of operation are daily from 9 AM to 7 PM.
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