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Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie

New Orleans
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Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, New Orleans LA

Description

Oak Alley Plantation is a 19th century sugar plantation on the Mississippi River an hour from New Orleans. The stunning house is connected to the river road by a long, narrow path of giant oak trees draped in Spanish moss. This canopied path is truly remarkable and has been the site of many advertisements and movies. To visit is a treat.

It's fascinating to take the guided tour and learn about the families that lived here, and the different time periods in history that the house has lived through. The tour guide dresses in fancy 19th century clothing. Our guide was pretty in her hooped dress and spoke very well. Unlike other mansions that are too fancy, this house has a lovely interior.
You get to enjoy the view of the canopied path from the balcony and can also walk along the path and take photos. You can't get to the river as there is a gate and street, and you can't see the river because of the grassy levee. If you park further down, you can walk along the levee after your visit, and there is a bench where you can watch the boats go by.
There are pretty gardens with flowers on the property. The gift shop has some interesting books, and the restaurant is convenient though I didn't like the food or the decor.
In the slave houses is an exhibit on slavery and it's very sad to read about what took place in the 19th century- truly tragic for those who were abused in this way. The slaves planted peas, leafy greens, and papaya, and kept chickens or pigs by their houses because they could not survive on rations from the plantation owner alone. They tended their gardens and grew corn after 12-14 hour days of slave labor, and then sold the corn to the plantation owner (to feed his horses) in order to have money to buy chickens or pigs from traveling peddlers. Most of the slaves were field workers, enduring dangerous and arduous work with the sugar cane. They endured the heat of long days which would make them ill, dangerous and ill-designed tools, and dangerous procedures like boiling the sugar. One of the slaves, Antoine, grafted the first ever Pecan tree with a thin shell that could easily be cracked open and used commercially.
This is a wonderful way to spend a day away from the city- the drive offers beautiful scenery of strange forests and the winding Great River Road, home to many plantations.
Another escape from the city is City Park with its fairytale land, Storyland

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Photo Gallery

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Flowers and canopy of trees behind the house.
Flowers and canopy of trees behind the house.
Row of slave quarters amongst trees.
Row of slave quarters amongst trees.
Trees roots, and tree trunk covered in vines.
Trees roots, and tree trunk covered in vines.
Checker board by a beautiful window.
Checker board by a beautiful window.
Our tour guide tells us about the interesting rules of etiquette observed on the plantation in the 19th century.
Our tour guide tells us about the interesting rules of etiquette observed on the plantation in the 19th century.
Incredible view from upstairs balcony.
Incredible view from upstairs balcony.
I wouldn't mind sitting out on this balcony every day!
I wouldn't mind sitting out on this balcony every day!
Elegant staircase, and doorway to the upstairs balcony.
Elegant staircase, and doorway to the upstairs balcony.
Doorway to the upstairs balcony and view of the canopy of trees.
Doorway to the upstairs balcony and view of the canopy of trees.
Looking through the canopy of oaks toward the river.
Looking through the canopy of oaks toward the river.
View of garden from the balcony.
View of garden from the balcony.
The charming garden.
The charming garden.
Flowering trees in the garden.
Flowering trees in the garden.
Knobby tree roots- lovely!
Knobby tree roots- lovely!
What a sweet house!
What a sweet house!
Lady sitting on top of the levee.
Lady sitting on top of the levee.
A couple sits atop the levee as a boat goes by, as seen from Oak Alley Plantation.
A couple sits atop the levee as a boat goes by, as seen from Oak Alley Plantation.
The slaves planted peas, leafy greens, and papaya, and kept chickens or pigs by their houses because they could not survive on rations alone.
The slaves planted peas, leafy greens, and papaya, and kept chickens or pigs by their houses because they could not survive on rations alone.
Slave quarters- sad to read the stories.
Slave quarters- sad to read the stories.
Scythes, used to maintain the levee, and hoes, accompanied by back-breaking labor.
Scythes, used to maintain the levee, and hoes, accompanied by back-breaking labor.
Flowers along the path.
Flowers along the path.
A perfect bench in a perfect spot.
A perfect bench in a perfect spot.
   

Directions

Oak Alley Plantation is located at 3645 Hwy 18, Vacherie LA 70090, call (225) 265-2151.

Open 9-5 daily. Closed Jan 1, Mardi Gras Tuesday, Thanksgiving (fourth Sunday in Nov), and Dec 25. Weekdays Nov-Feb it closes a half hour early.
Tours are every half hour starting at 9:30.
Cost is adults $20, teens (aged 13-18) $7.50, and children (aged 6-12) $4.50.





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Last Updated Fri, 09 Aug 2013 02:11:24 GMT