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As I was researching my first visit to Louisiana I stumbled across the website for New Orleans Plantation Country and it was love at first sight. I knew that I would have to spend some time in Plantation Country during my 2-week Louisiana tour. Fortunately, I was able to spend two fabulous nights and three days exploring Plantation Country. My first night in the area was spent at beautiful Oak Alley Plantation.
Oak Alley Plantation is named from the gorgeous Oak trees that gracefully form an alley from the Mississippi River to the back of the plantation home. The trees at the front of the property are well over 300 years old, while the trees on the back side of the home are approximately 150 years old. I completely fell in love with these majestic trees during my visit. I love how some of the branches swoop towards the ground while others are reaching for the stars. When you visit Oak Alley be sure to buy a mint julep from the cart on the back porch, find a bench under a tree and just sit a while to absorb all the history that surrounds you.
Of course, Oak Alley has so much more to offer than stunning oak trees. There is a newly established slave quarters exhibit that explains slavery in Louisiana. The exhibit has replica living quarters and furniture. You are able to walk into a few of the quarters to get an up close look at other exhibits. Each of the quarters has a story associated with it that is worth stopping to read.
After touring the slavery exhibit make your way to the home to take a look at how the other half lived. This stately plantation home has a few original pieces still in the home and the other furnishing were added later. At one time this home was in terrible disrepair and had actually been taken over by a small herd of cows. You can imagine the work that went into updating and fixing the home back to it’s original state. There is a lot of history within these walls. From the height of prosperity to war and abandonment, back to being a home for a family. If only these walls could talk I can imagine the stories they would tell.
There are a few kodak moments while touring the home, but the most stunning of these moments occur when the double doors on the second floor galley are thrown open to reveal the Oak alley at the front of the home. It was an awe-inspiring moment and I fell a little more in love with this plantation.
Oak Alley has a restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch, and a nice gift shop to purchase a trinket from your visit. There are also stories of ghosts haunting the land and home (I was very disappointed not to have seen anything) and stories of Hollywood movies that have been filmed here. Ghost Hunters filmed an episode here, but probably the most well-known movie to be filmed here is Interview with a Vampire.
You could spend the better part of the day touring Oak Alley, but to really treat yourself you should make plans to spend the night. Oak Alley offers a variety of different overnight lodging options. Sadly, none of them are actually in the plantation home, however, they are located on the property. Staying overnight gives you access to the grounds after it is closed to the general public. That provides a great opportunity to take photos of the home and landscaping without having strangers in your images.
My accommodations at Oak Alley were in the Rene house, a small home with 3 bedrooms. There was a fully stocked kitchen, a lovely dinning area and sitting room with cable tv. Each of the rooms lock so the home can be shared by different travelers. The home and room was very comfortable and was a great place to spend the evening. Oak Alley is located in a rather isolated area so arrangements can be made for dinner to be left in the fridge. I found a very hearty chicken & sausage gumbo, salad, cheesecake and ice tea for dinner. It was an absolutely perfect way to end my evening.
On your next visit to Louisiana be sure to add New Orleans Plantation Country to your itinerary.
disclaimer: Tour and accommodations provided by New Orleans Plantation Country.