St. James Parish — Take a Plantation Vacation on the Mississippi
Follow the great River Road along the mighty Mississippi River, a picturesque journey of discovery. Along the way you will find hidden jewels with delicious, mouth-watering cuisine, authentic Cajun music and views of the bayous and swamplands that have made south Louisiana famous. You’ll step back in time as you camp on the grounds of a beautiful, historic 1870’s Victorian plantation.
A Poche Plantation Vacation
Judge Felix Poche Plantation is nestled among the cane fields, centered between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, right in the heart of Cajun Plantation Country, where majestic old homes and plantations tell the tales of days gone by, from opulence to misfortune, from the landing of the Acadians, to the rise and fall of the antebellum era. From history to mystery, fresh seafood to homemade gumbo, and museums to unique festivals and fairs, this is a place to find great adventure!
Poche Plantation, the last to be built in St. James Parish, was built after the Civil War, at a time when the South was in disarray. Nationally recognized and listed on the Historic Register are not just the home, but neighboring Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, it’s Grotto, pipe organ and graveyard, all of which beckon you to visit. An evening stroll atop the levee, provides a breathtaking view of the roaring Mississippi River.
Superb Southern Hospitality
Some guests choose to stay and enjoy the laid-back comfort they find here, a sort of southern hospitality. With full hook ups, showers, a pool, hot tub, laundry, a recreation house with library and tv room, our very own restaurant and guided tours of the mansion, this really is a vacation on its own.
Here in St. James Parish, there is plenty to do and see. Start off with a visit to our welcome center where you can learn about our history and culture. Discover the grand structures, called bonfires, which are built on the levee during December and how we light them on Christmas Eve to shine the way to midnight mass and for Papa Noel! Join visitors from all over the world who come to be a part of this unique tradition.
Here, you’ll see sugar cane fields and crawfish ponds and you may even see our elusive Perique tobacco being grown…a tobacco grown no where else in the world but here. Listen for the sounds of the calliope, like in days of old, a tune carried by the wind to announce the arrival of the grand river boat, as it docks at Oak Alley, just across the river from Poche Plantation. The 300 year old live oaks of this famous plantation keep the secrets of the past but you can learn about the romance, wealth and greed that sets this plantation apart.
While on the west bank, you’ll want to check out the colorful French and German rooted Laura Plantation and stop in to B&C seafood, DJ’s Grille or Spuddys and meet the locals.
Quaint Towns and More
Back on the east bank, you’ll discover the quaint towns of Gramercy and Lutcher, shops and eateries, parks and churches. Old mixed with new and a people who always ready to share their stories and their heritage. Right at your back door, on the grounds of the plantation, is the Crevasse Restaurant, your best bet at eating like the locals. Or head up the road to Hymel’s Seafood Restaurant, especially on a Thursday night, when the sounds of Cajun music fill the air.
Want to see more? Thirty minutes away, you will find a variety of historic sites including plantations and villages of the past and you can even take a boat ride through the swamp and discover a town that disappeared due to a voodoo curse! A little further, but less than an hour away, in New Orleans, you can visit the World War II Museum which has quickly become one of the top five museums in the nation. Of course while in the “Big Easy”, you’ll have to visit the famous French Quarter and Kern’s Mardi Gras Museum. Or head the other direction when you leave Poche Plantation, and head to Baton Rouge, and tour the old State Capital, the USS Kidd and more.
Here in plantation country locals have a culture all their own. The sounds, tastes and scenery envelope you and bid you to join in. From the thick soupy gumbos to the rich sweet pralines, there is something for everyone here. Down home Creole cooking to jambalaya at our festivals, we will awaken your taste buds! Swamp pop, Zydeco and Jazz fill the atmosphere with melodies that soothe the soul while a leisurely drive down “River Road” reveal a history unique to this area. Whether you choose to stay at the charming Poche Planation RV Park, or her sister park down the road, Sugar Hill RV Park, you are sure to find yourself enjoying some south Louisiana hospitality!
For More Information
New Orleans Plantation Country
Louisiana Office of Tourism