Travel Back in Time with a Plantation Tour!
See Not 1 But 2 Historic Sites: Oak Alley & Laura Plantations
Spend the day along the old Mississippi River Road, visiting Louisiana’s most famous plantations. With Cajun Encounters you will journey down the historic River Road Region as you make your way to these historic landmarks. On this tour, you will see the grandeur and diversity of New Orleans by visiting Oak Alley and Laura Plantations.
Laura Plantation, a Creole Plantation, has a rich and unique history, from the home itself to the stories of the four women that ran it, one of which it was named for. Tour this 200+ year old sugarcane plantation. Tour includes a walk through of the “Big House” as well as slave quarters. Much of the plantation was destroyed in 2003, but has since been rebuilt and restored to it’s original glory, going as far as to repurpose materials from.
Oak Alley Plantation gets its name from the spectacular quarter mile tunnel of 28 oak trees that frame the plantation as you approach. Built in 1839 and facing the Mississippi River, Oak Alley’s magnificent appearance makes it a MUST SEE destination on everyone’s list of historic Louisiana sites.
More on the Laura and Oak Alley Plantations
The Laura Plantation was built in 1805 and was run as a sugarcane plantation for around 180 years. The history of this plantation reflects the mix of cultures prevalent in this area after the Louisiana Purchase. Initially the Plantation was built and run by a French Creole family, the DuParcs, and later turned over to a German family, the Waguespacks, who ran it for nearly 95 years. The West African influences however highlight the history of this plantation. The “Tales of Br’er Rabbit” were based on stories told by the West African freedmen working on the Laura Plantation around 1870, to Alcée Fortier, a friend and neighbor of the family. These stories were variations of traditional stories told in their homeland, Senegal, and interpreted by the African slaves and freedmen of the Laura Plantation to their children.
The namesake for the Laura Plantation is the great-granddaughter of the original owner of the plantation, Guillaume DuParc. Laura was born on the plantation in 1861 and her memoirs provide the majority of the known history of this plantation in the 1800s. The Laura Plantation was restored and then opened for tours in 1994.
Just up the river from Laura Plantation is the so-called “Grande Dame” of the Louisiana river road plantations, The Oak Alley Plantation. This plantation was originally named Bon Séjour (pleasant sojourn), but became known as Oak Alley when riverboat passengers floating by marveled at the double row of giant live oak trees leading to the plantation. The plantation is a Greek revival style mansion with the striking feature of free standing Doric columns surrounding the entire mansion.
The magnificent view of the alley of giant oak trees leading up to the Greek revival mansion encircled with columns is well captured in pictures, and has been featured in a number of movies and television shows. It offers a fairy tale setting for modern day weddings, and a wonderful backdrop for photos of any sort, wedding, family, graduation, or any occasion.
Both the Laura and Oak Alley plantations have standing slave quarters you can tour to get a glimpse of what life was like for the slaves during that era. On your Plantation Tours New Orleans, you will see these two restored plantations that reflect both the grandeur and diversity that was prevalent in New Orleans during that time.