Said to be “the only company to use when touring plantations” by the Travel Channel, the Old River Road Plantation Adventure has four tours that visit antebellum mansions and plantations located about an hour outside of New Orleans. Each tour includes a visit to the Oak Valley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. Called “the showplace of the South,” it’s a 25-acre property with a lengthy driveway, which is lined with about two dozen towering oak trees.
Tales of Old River Road — St. Joseph and Oak Alley Plantation Tour
The Tales of Old River Road tour visits the St. Joseph Plantation, which was a privately owned Creole sugar plantation. This property recently opened its doors for the first time in over two centuries and began began providing public tours. Tourists will visit the large mansion on the grounds, as well as its authentic slave quarters that are hidden throughout the property. From Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, the plantation holds a tour where guests experience 19th century Creole customs and the generations-old mourning process for their dearly departed. During this time of year, the plantation’s main doors are adorned in black crepe drapes and wreaths, all mirrors are covered and pianos and organs remain closed. A black, draped coffin sits in the main hallway and white flowers and candles are placed throughout the mansion. The plantation family members and friends dress in black garments and incorporate a description of mourning customs into the regular tour.
Shadow of the Slave Master — Evergreen and Oak Alley Plantation Tour
At the Evergreen Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana, tour guests witness one of the most intact plantation properties still in existence. It has 37 buildings that are registered with the National Register of Historic Places; 22 of them are slave cabins. It is still a privately owned and fully operational sugarcane plantation sitting on the west banks of the Mississippi River. During this tour, your professional guide will share the history of daily life on a plantation, as well as information about slave customs and their rebellions, and tales of voodoo rituals that are said to have taken place on the property.
Memoirs of a Creole — Laura Plantation and Oak Alley Plantation Tour
The Laura Plantation tour centers around the memoirs of a young Creole girl named Laura Lacoul who grew up on the sugar plantation. Laura’s memoirs date back to the early 1800s and tell her story of living alongside other women, slaves and children of the plantation. This tour’s gripping narration and plantation attractions — including the manor house, gardens and slave quarters — earn it the title of one of “Louisiana’s top travel attractions” by the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association.
Path of the Slave Revolt — San Francisco and Oak Alley Plantation Tour
The San Francisco and Oak Alley Plantation Tour follows the path of the 1811 slave revolt — the largest of its kind in American history — and ends up at the San Francisco plantation and mansion. The property showcases the rich Bavarian colors and 19th century tastes and trends of its former Creole mistress. The tour of the mansion highlights its elegant architecture and antiques, and guests view the authentically restored slave quarters. This tour is only available on Sunday mornings.