Today we are sharing our recent tour experience at Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. As media, my family & I obtained complimentary admission to the tour. Opinions are always my own.
Twenty four years in the New Orleans area and I have yet to see it all!
For me traveling throughout the New Orleans area and Louisiana as a whole is a personal mission of mine. So it is no surprise that my family and I enjoy touring the area on our available weekends. Recently we visited Oak Alley Plantation which was constructed in 1837 and took 3 years to complete. During our tour we learned so much about the home, the property and the families that lived on the plantation. The surroundings are spectacular and a perfect way to spend the day outside this summer.
#BayouTravel Tip: Visiting historic homes is a great way to incorporate education into your travels.
Oak Alley was built for the prominent New Orleans businessman Jacques Roman. The home itself (and sugar cane plantation) was built in the fashionable Greek Revival style. Bricks were made on-site, and all but the slate for the roof, glass for the windows, and marble for the dining room floor had to be shipped in by steamboat.
One thing we learned during our tour is one of Oak Alley’s mysteries, who planted the magnificent Live Oaks at Oak Alley plantation? While it is unknown who or why they were planted, we know the live oaks dated back to approximately, 1725-1750.
It is truly a spectacular sight!
As with many plantation homes, the Roman family lived at Oak Alley for several generations. In December of 1866 the Roman family lost Oak Alley and went through multiple owners until 1925 when the home was purchased by Andrew Stewart as a gift to his wife. It was the Stewart Family that created the Oak alley Foundation after the Mr. Stewart’s death. In 1966 Oak Alley Foundation, a private non-profit trust. The trust is used for charitable, literary and educational purposes. It is through the trust that the maintaining and preserving the mansion (Big House) and twenty-five acre is used as a National Historic landmark site.
Tours begin every half hour and are guided inside the mansion. The outdoor tour is done at your leisure. We spent 2-3 hours during our time at Oak Alley. Aside from the guided indoor tour, you can also enjoy various outdoor exhibits.
• Witness the Slavery at Oak Alley exhibit’s reconstructed slave quarters and learn about those who made plantation luxuries possible
• Explore 25 historic acres using an interpretive map (self guided) and see the legacies left by those who once resided here
• See newly planted pecan trees commemorating Antoine, an enslaved gardener who grafted the first paper shell pecan
• Visit the blacksmith shop which houses the plantation’s original forge
• Stroll the magnificent alley of 300 year old live oak trees leading a quarter mile to the Mississippi River
• Dine on Cajun/Creole Cuisine in the restaurant or enjoy a quick snack or ice cream in the Plantation Cafe
• Discover keepsakes and unique gifts in the Gift Shop
• Stay the night in one of the overnight cottages located on the grounds of the plantation
The completion of the Slavery at Oak Alley Exhibit is a reminder and legacy of those who built the plantation on the back of men, women and children. Visitors can learn not only about slavery in New Orleans as a whole, but also specific slave families that were instrumental in making Oak Alley the historic landmark that it is today.
Indoor tours last about 35 to 40 minutes and can be interpreted in various languages via booklet. Also an Ipad tour and is for those unable to walk to the 2nd floor of the mansion. With delight, photography is welcomed on the tour but no video is allowed during your “big house” tour.
If you are planning an upcoming historic tour in the New Orleans area, but sure to include Oak Alley into your travel itinerary. The tour is informative and our tour guide was very interesting and funny. Get outdoors with the family and learn about New Orleans history while traveling.
1. Backpacks are allowed so be sure to bring a few bottles of water with you. New Orleans heat is hard for some to handle. Drink plenty of water!
2. Oak Alley has a restaurant, gift shop and ice cream parlor but they also have a dozen or more picnic tables as well. You can utilize them and drink a picnic lunch for your family to cut down on costs. Picnic tables are located in a beautiful shaded area for your convenience.
3. While you are in the area, be sure to visit Laura Plantation located 5 miles away from Oak Alley. Various companies offer New Orleans tours with transportation that include combo pricing.
The Ticket Booth is available upon arrival. The first guided tour of the “Big House” begins at 9:30 a.m. and offered on the hour & 1/2 hours until closing. All exhibits open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m. Your ticket purchase includes a guided tour of the Big House, and self-guided tours of the Historic Grounds, “Slavery at Oak Alley” Exhibit, Civil War Encampment, Blacksmith Shop and several other exhibits.
9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily
Restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m and the gift shop and café are open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Adults (19 yrs & older) $20.00
Youth (13 to 18 yrs old) $7.50
Children (6 to 12 yrs old) $4.50
Oak Alley Plantation
3645 Louisiana 18
Vacherie, LA 70090