During our most recent visit to New Orleans, Marty and I decided to get out of the city and see some new sights.  Since we are huge history lovers, we were amazed that we have yet to visit any of the plantations around this great city.  After some research, we decided that our first tour would be Evergreen Plantation, part of the River Road Plantation network.

Check out our New Orleans posts as well!  Three Days in New Orleans and 7 Things You Have to do in New Orleans

*This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you.

*That Texas Couple is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Why Did We Choose Evergreen Plantation?

There are so many gorgeous plantations on River Road that made choosing just one a difficult decision.  While researching, Evergreen intrigued me since it is the only plantation on the National Registry of Historic Places.  Evergreen is also the most intact plantation in the South with 22 of its original slave cabins still in place on the land.  All of this coupled with the beautiful Greek Revival style plantation house convinced Marty and me that Evergreen Plantation would be a great “first plantation” visit.

Getting to Evergreen Plantation

Evergreen Plantation is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, making it an easy day trip from either city.  Since we had driven to New Orleans, we just hopped in our car and headed out on the quick journey toward River Road.  If you don’t have your personal car, you can, of course, rent a car and head out on your own like we did, or you can book a tour and allow the experts to do all the work for you.  If driving yourself, be sure and check out Evergreen’s website to plan your day.  When we visited they were only offering two tours a day,  Monday-Saturday at 11:30 or 2:00.

Arriving at Evergreen Plantation

Our GPS took us right to Evergreen Plantation without any issues.  Do take note, that you drive past the beautiful plantation home and enter a couple of driveways away.  Look for the signs marked “tours” on the fence.  Once you enter the driveway, you will see an old house on the right-hand side with a small parking lot beside it.  Park here and then head inside to pay and sign up for your tour.

While waiting, check out the little museum inside the visitor center, taking special note of the original drawing of the house as it has changed dramatically since its inception.  Also interesting is the list of “belongings” listing the slaves as possessions of the owners.  If you have time, pop outside and look at the small garden as well.

Old wooden building with a small porch

Garden

Close up of 2 lemons growing on a lemon tree

Evergreen Plantation Tour

Once your tour time arrives, you will hop back into your car and follow your guide up the gorgeous tree lined road toward the main house.  We found out during the tour that this beautiful tree-lined drive leads back to the plantation’s land that is still used to raise sugar cane.  These trees do not date back to the inception of the plantation.  They were planted when this new road was built.  You see, the original road cut right down the middle of the original slave cabins, and the owner did not want these historic landmarks damaged by the passing farmers.

road intersecting 2 rows of beautiful old oak trees

After parking, you will convene with your group by the small orchard behind the plantation house. Take a moment to look around at the beautiful scenery surrounding you.

Rusted piece of farm equipment

Oak trees

On the walk up to the back of the house, you will see some slave cabins directly behind the plantation home.  Now, don’t be deceived, these are not the original slave cabins.  The cabins located right behind the home were movie props left behind after they were used to film the remake of the movie Roots.

field with 4 old wooden cabins

Evergreen’s Buildings

Our tour began at the back of the house.  Here we were able to see many of the original buildings of the plantation including the two pigeonniers (structures used to house the pigeons), two garconieries (houses for the family’s boys), the kitchen, guesthouse, and the upscale (of the time) privy.  Now you might be wondering why I said their privy (outhouse) was considered upscale.  Well, because it was built for two.  There are two separate sides so if someone is using one side, there is another side free.  Pretty fancy for the time!

twp story white house

small one story white building with 3 columns

interior of an old kitchen with a table and an old chandellier

Evergreen Plantation’s Main House

The beautiful main house did not always look like it does today.  Originally built in 1790 as a raised Creole farmhouse, it was later remodeled into the current Greek Revival style.   See, this is why I told you to take note of the original plans in the visitor center.

I have to admit that I had a Scarlet O’Hara moment viewing those stairs.  I could just see myself in this HUGE hoop skirt at the top of the stairs making my grand entrance to receive my guests.  LOL!

Once inside (sorry picture were not allowed inside the main house) you will be treated to viewing beautiful antique furniture while touring a true Creole style house.

two story white house with large columns and a double sided staircase

white gazebo with greenery growing over it and a white statue in the middle

Evergreen’s Oak Alley and Slave Quarters

After touring the main house, we made our way down the gorgeous oak alley toward the original double row of slave cabins.  The 22 slave cabins are what makes this plantation unique.  These cabins still sit in the original area where they were located.  Two rows with 11 cabins on each side intersected by a road lined with 220-year-old Spanish moss covered oak trees.

two old wooden cabins surrounded by oak trees

 

a side view of an old wooden cabin

2 slave cabins on the right with a row of old oak trees to the left

Although the slave cabins have had to undergo maintenance and repair, the owners have tried to maintain their original appearance as much as possible.  There is really very little documentation regarding daily life for the slaves of Evergreen Plantation, so the tour guide was not able to answer many questions related to this.  Despite that, the area is beautiful yet somber and was truly like walking through a history book.

I couldn’t help but feel humbled just being present in this historic place.  My heart broke for the people that suffered through slavery.  I found myself walking away from the group just to have a moment to absorb all of the feelings and energy that was being evoked in me from my surroundings.  It was as if absorbing the silence helped me to understand better.

Summing Up Evergreen Plantation

Marty and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Evergreen Plantation and felt honored to have walked through this amazing piece of American history.  At the time of our visit, the plantation tour was $20 a person, and we felt our 90-minute tour was worth every penny of that.  Taking time to read some of the historical documents in the visitor center definitely helped to enhance the tour.  We felt as though touring Evergreen Plantation allowed us to see a nice representation of what Louisiana plantation life entailed.

Like this post?  Be sure and share it on your social media.  Sharing is caring!

Evergreen Plantation is a beautiful Greek Revival plantation located on the historic River Road in Louisiana. We tell you all you need to know to visit this historic plantation, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, in this comprehensive blog post. #evergreenplantation #riverroad #plantations #neworleans #riverroadplantations

We would love to hear from you.  What are your thoughts about Evergreen Plantation?  What other plantation homes should we tour?  Please comment below and let us know.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe.  Not only will you get our awesome travel freebies, but you will also ensure you don’t miss a minute of the activity on our blog!

10 Comments

  1. This is so southern it almost looks like a movie set (I was thinking Forest Gump, not roots). I did get chills at the pics of the slave quarters. But how can we really understand the past unless we can SEE it!

    • It really was a gorgeous place. Yes, seeing the slave quarters was so hard, but I feel it is so important to preserve history so we can learn from it.

  2. This seems like a great tour, rich with history. The trees are just stunning. I agree with Harmony from Momma to Go: it looks like a movie set.

  3. Those trees are so beautiful!!! And the plantation’s exterior is exactly what I picture when I hear the word “plantation.” Why didn’t they want pictures taken inside the plantation?

    • I know, Tara, it really is. The owners still live there at times, so they didn’t want pictures taken of the interior :).

  4. I love the plantations in the south! This one sounds lovely. Not a lot of them in that area have the original slave cabins, so I bet that was pretty cool to see.

    • Yes, it was truly a great experience. This was only our second plantation to visit, but we will definitely be visiting more just to experience the history. 🙂

  5. That was fascinating. I’ve only ever been to one plantation – the Shack Up Inn at the Hopson Plantation in Clarksdale Mississippi – and that didn’t have the plantation house. But it did, like this have the old machinery. And this one’s so green! There wasn’t a tour at the Hopson Plantation, so we just wandered round looking at the old signage, machinery, railroad tracks and the sharecropper cabins. I’d definitely like to learn more and visit more of the plantations.

  6. I have visited one plantation near New Orleans and it left me feeling sad. It was difficult to walk through the tour as I thought of what the slaves who lived there may have suffered. Slavery was a very bad chapter in the history of this country and to read how ,lovely the grounds looked and how wonderful the main house had been restored is pretty sad for me. I am glad The Whitney Plantation exist and tells the real story. These plantations are still making money off of slavery.

    • Hi Dorothy. Thank you for your insightful comment. We are not in any means condoning slavery or agreeing with it. It is a terrible piece of American history that should never have happened. However, it did happen. I think that allowing the future generations to see all facets of history (American, world, etc) allows them to learn and hopefully not repeat the negative items associated with the events.