Oak Alley Plantation
Private cottages pamper guests at this historic plantation on the Mississippi River.
The oak-lined lane that leads to this plantation is hardly an alley, despite the property's name. It is a majestic passageway that transports visitors back in time. Beautifully restored in 1925, with the addition of modern plumbing and a kitchen, the original antebellum mansion now anchors a nonprofit foundation that features a collection of century-old and newly constructed deluxe cottages. All come with kitchen basics and hotel extras like cable TV, but chances are you won't be staying in.
Guests can stroll down to the Mississippi River and watch the boats glide by, or book a table at Oak Alley Restaurant, serving classic Creole and Cajun cuisine. Breakfast too is a draw here, featuring regional specialties like grits and beignets. Locally distilled spirits are showcased at Spirits Bar, while a variety of exhibits explore the plantation's history. Visitors can learn about the Civil War, blacksmithing and the sugar cane industry, but the most sobering exhibit is "Slavery at Oak Valley" presented by the Oak Alley Foundation's Research and Collections Department. Guided tours are offered, and a self-guided interpretive map is available for discovering the plantation's 25 acres.