Curious about life way back when in the Antebellum south? Many Louisiana plantations have been historically preserved to offer a glimpse into the past for visitors and history buffs.

Plus, many are just a short day trip away from the Crescent City. So you can tour these stately mansions and hear stories from all perspectives, from the famous families that first built and owned them to the viewpoint of the slaves who worked there.

Here’s some of the fascinating architectural marvels you can visit around New Orleans.

Oak Alley Plantation, a beautiful historic site close by New Orleans

Photo courtesy of @oakalleyplantation via Instagram

Oak Alley Plantation

One of the most picturesque landmarks in the state, Oak Alley Plantation (3645 Highway 18, Vacherie, LA 70090; 225-265-2151) is open daily for tours except New Year’s Day, Mardi Gras Tuesday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Exhibits give visitors perspective on the history of slavery and sugarcane farming at the plantation, as well as a glimpse into a 19th century blacksmith shop and a Civil War military tent.

Visit Destrehan Plantation, a great historic day trip from New Orleans.

Photo courtesy of @nolahistoryguy via Instagram

Destrehan Plantation

After the discovery of an inexpensive method of granulating sugar, Destrehan Plantation (13034 River Road, Destrehan, LA 70047; 985-764-9315) began producing America’s “White Gold.” The plantation flourished, and the Destrehan family grew along with it. One of the oldest Louisiana plantations, Destrehan is also one of the closest – just a half hour drive from New Orleans.

Explore Greenwood Plantation, just a short drive from New Orleans and a historic site.

Photo courtesy of @explorewestfeliciana via Instagram

Greenwood Plantation

Built in 1830, Greenwood Plantation (6838 Highland Road, St. Francisville, LA 70775; 225-655-4475) is the largest plantation house in the Feliciana Parishes. The plantation is the work of William Ruffin Barrow, whose family may have built more plantations in Louisiana than any other single family. Greenwood Plantation is open daily for tours from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, and closed on major holidays.

Houmas House is a stately historic plantation and just a day trip away from New Orleans' French Quarter

Photo courtesy of @houmashouse via Instagram

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

This land was first the hunting ground of the Houma Indians, who sold the land to French settlers in the mid 1700s. The Houmas House Plantation (40136 Highway 942, Darrow, LA 70725; 225-473-9380) eventually encompassed a vast 300,000 acres, and by the late 1800s it was producing 20 million pounds of sugar per year, making it the largest source of sugar in Louisiana. In 1963, the classic film Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte featuring Bette Davis was shot on the property.

An educational day awaits at Laura Plantation, a perfect day trip from New Orleans

Photo courtesy of @lauraplantation via Instagram

Laura Plantation

Laura Plantation (2247 Highway 18, Vacherie, LA 70090; 225-265-7690) offers daily guided tours that take you through the experiences of four generations of both free and enslaved people who lived here. Based on more than 1,000 pages of documents, the tour explore the lives of the plantation owners, slaves and emancipated men and women of this sugarcane plantation.

Nottoway Plantation is a stunning and historic site in Louisiana

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Nottoway Plantation Restaurant and Inn

Nottoway (31025 Hwy.1, White Castle, LA 70788; 225-545-2730 or toll free, 866-527-6884) is the largest remaining antebellum mansion in the South. It features daily guided mansion tours and is located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge alongside Louisiana’s famed River Road. Nottoway Plantation frequently hosts festivals and events and also offers bike rentals.

A preserved plantation experience unlike any other, Whitney Plantation is an important and educational historic site.

Whitney Plantation

Located less than an hour from New Orleans, Whitney Plantation (5099 Highway 18, Wallace, LA 70049; 225-265-3300) opened its doors to the public in 2014 as the first plantation museum in Louisiana to focus specifically on slavery. Visitors gain a unique perspective on the lives of Louisiana’s enslaved people via first-person slave narratives, exhibits, memorial artwork and restored buildings. The Whitney Plantation may only be viewed by guided tour. Tours sell out on busy days, and reserving tickets online in advance of your visit is highly recommended.

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