Oak Alley Plantation
Oak Alley Plantation is one of the most sought-after plantation tours in the South. For the true Antebellum plantation experience, you simply can’t miss out on the mansion that has been dubbed the “Crown Jewel” of the River Road Plantations.
Thanks to its pristine setting and photogenic line of live Oaks leading to the entrance, Oak Alley plantation is frequently featured in movies and TV series. From the moment you set foot on the grounds, you’ll see why: the home itself has been beautifully renovated, and furnished with period furniture and decorations. The original trees, older even than the structure itself, still grace the property. And recreated slave cabins house photographs, informational guides, and memorials to the many slaves who worked the plantation. When you experience the house, slave cabin exhibits, and grounds, you’ll get a firsthand experience of a traditional Antebellum plantation.
History of Oak Alley
The home that is now sought out by tourists from all over the world was once a fully operating sugarcane plantation. After years as a profitable business and family home, the grounds were abandoned and left to the elements. The enormous mansion deteriorated, taken over by the Louisiana wildlife.
Fortunately, this wasn’t the demise of Oak Alley. It was purchased and lovingly restored by the Stewart family in 1925. While they did introduce modern plumbing, they were determined to incorporate modern conveniences while staying true to the plantation’s history: they did a remarkable job of restoring the building, while still maintaining the feel of the Antebellum era.
After the long process of restoring Oak Alley, the Stewarts knew they couldn’t keep this breathtaking property to themselves forever. They decided to open the plantation to the public as not only a tourist attraction, but an educational experience and example of Southern life in the Antebellum era. For those who want the complete Oak Alley experience, cabins on the property can be reserved for overnight stays. They also went on to found the Oak Alley Foundation, a non-profit that helps educate visitors about the history of the plantation and the region.
Visiting the Plantation
While visiting Oak Alley, be sure to enjoy the cafe and restaurant, which offer refreshing drinks, made to order meals, and traditional Southern fare like pralines and gumbo. Oak Alley tour guides will be dressed in traditional period garb to complete the immersive experience. And after you tour the house and snap shots of the famous Oak trees, take a walk through the many exhibits and slave cabins surrounding the house, which offer a more in-depth look at plantation life and the Antebellum era.
Before you leave, pick up a cookbook or souvenir from the expansive gift shop.
You can easily spend a few hours or a full day exploring one of Louisiana’s most sought-out attractions.