Oak Alley Plantation: Antebellum Mansion
A photographer friend of mine from up North stopped down for a visit and he wanted to explore some Southern plantation homes…so we hopped in the car, hugged the Mississippi River, and made the short drive over to the Oak Alley Plantation (about an hour’s drive from Baton Rouge).
It was well worth the trip. As we approached we were greeted with a view of a quarter-mile avenue of gigantic 300-year-old live oak trees that lead down to the classic Greek revival antebellum plantation home.
We opted for the house tour (about $20 bucks for 30 minutes). The tour guide was fantastic, dressed in period costume and full of energy, enthusiasm, and quite witty. The subject matter was focused mainly on the families who lived there rather than the general plantation-area history itself (e.g. the slave workers that made it successful), but it was still quite informative and very enjoyable. The view from the balcony overlooking the live oaks was breathtaking, and that in of itself was worth the price of admission.
After the tour you are welcome to tour the grounds for as long as you like. The property is meticulously cared for and is very serene and peaceful…I could have stayed for hours. You really can’t appreciate how magnificent those giant oaks are until you are completely surrounded by them. I’ve never felt so small! And BTW, they start serving mint juleps at 10am.
POP Culture Alert: I’m a fan of Ann Rice’s book “Interview with a Vampire” and it turns out that the film (starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt ) featured Oak Alley as Louis’ home. That’s kinda cool, eh?
Oak Alley Plantation
3645 Highway 18 (Great River Road)
Vacherie, Louisiana 70090
Phone: (225) 265-2151
Note: Special thanks to T.C. Pellet for the great photos.