Houmas House Plantation
When I came across old plantation houses, all standing within a reasonably close distance on River Road in Lousiana, I knew I had to go. I love history and the hospitality the south brings. To think that Lousiana has 12 beautiful plantation homes left in reasonably close proximity is amazing. They have stood the test of time.
I want to tell you about Houmas House today. I felt that this plantation was the one that made everyone feel like they were home. They wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable and enjoying their stay. This is the one plantation you will see the owner riding his golf cart around with his Labrador making sure everything is running smoothly. Houmas House still has a heart.
Our room at Houmas House Inn was perfect. Our room had a fireplace and a luxurious bathroom; there was a rain head faucet in the shower, along with a separate tub. There was also a sit-down vanity for all the ladies :). This room met all of my expectations.
Now onto the grounds at Houmas House….they are fantastic. They have put so much time and thought into the layout along with intertwining some unique pieces.
You can buy tour tickets just for the garden area if you do not want to tour the mansion as well. My advice would be to visit both. I found that each mansion had its own story, which made each of them very unique.
The gardens are full of color and fragrance. They create a natural display of plant life and blooms along side the more formal presentation of selected exotics that add to the overall experience. Each courtyard also displays a dramatic water feature. These water features bring a sense of peace and calmness to the property. It will not matter what season it is the gardens will be alive with new planting, and growth even in winter.
They have many great pieces woven throughout the landscape outside. It’s fun to see how many you can find. I love the birdhouse in the picture above.
The pineapple is a sign of hospitality in the south, but if you were out your welcome, then you may find a whole pineapple on your nightstand the next morning.
After walking the grounds, we went and got ready for dinner. I have to say that dinner was delicious! It was some of the best food I had on our trip. There are two restaurants you can choose from for dinner. We picked the Carriage House. Everything that we ordered was excellent. We also had a complimentary breakfast that is included when you stay at the Houmas House Inn. It was also amazing. I had Crawfish Benedict. Where other than Lousiana can you have crawfish for breakfast.
After dinner, we had a cocktail at the Turtle Bar. The bartenders are very friendly and know how to make a great drink. Bloody Mary’s in Louisiana are the best! Also, try their French Martini.
The next morning we toured the Houmas House Plantation. The grounds of the plantation was initially selected by the Houmas Indians. The fertile land next to the Mississippi was a great place to raise the White Gold known as Sugar Cane. For over 240 years, the Houmas Mansion has evolved and grew with the times and with the owners of the grand mansion. The current owner felt it was impossible to restore the house to a definite period without sacrificing elements from other significant periods, so the choice was made to showcase a legacy of each family in the mansion. The tour of the estate was very informative; their were many owners of the mansion and many stories. The three-story staircase is also a show stopper. The guides were very informative and answered any questions. Men make sure you go first up the stairs. Women do not show your ankles.
Now I have to tell you one of my favorites things about Houmas House. Houmas House is not only enjoyed by tourists, but it is also a place that the locals go and enjoy. This set a different tone for the plantation. It brought a welcoming gift of hospitality, and if you sit down long enough with one of them, you will learn something.
I had the pleasure of being there on one extraordinary evening. One of the locals raises Monarch Butterfly. We happened to be there when she was releasing 80 of them. I have to say it was a magical experience, one someone will never forget. She also took the time to teach me and share her experience with them. This is something that I took to heart and truly appreciated.
When thinking about visiting River Road Plantations make sure you make Houmas House a top priority, you will not be disappointed.