Historic Plantation Country
Follow the Great River Road along the mighty Mississippi River, a picturesque journey of discovery. Along the way, you’ll find hidden jewels with delicious, mouthwatering 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 1870s Victorian plantation.
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. Here, 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!
Last of a Kind
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. The home is nationally recognized and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as is neighboring St. Michael’s Church Historic District with its grotto, pipe organ and graveyard, all of which beckon you to visit. An evening stroll atop the levee provides a breathtaking view of the massive Mississippi River as it rolls past.
Stay a While
Some guests choose to stay and enjoy the laid-back comfort they find at the Poche Plantation RV Park, a wonderful example of Southern hospitality. With full hookups, showers, a pool, hot tub, laundry, a recreation house with library and TV room, a restaurant and guided tours of the mansion, this really is a vacation on its own.
Lighting the Way to Fun
In St. James Parish, there is plenty to see and do. Start off with a visit to the welcome center, where you can learn about local history and culture. Discover the grand bonfires that are built on the levee during December and learn how locals 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 and longstanding tradition.
Secrets of the Past
Here, you’ll see sugar cane fields and crawfish ponds, and you may even see the area’s elusive perique tobacco being grown; it’s a crop that’s grown nowhere else in the world but here. Listen for the sounds of the calliope, like in the days of old, as the instrument plays a tune carried by the wind to announce the arrival of the grand riverboat 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 set this plantation apart.
While on the Mississippi’s west bank, you’ll want to check out the colorful French- and German-rooted Laura Plantation and stop into B & C Seafood, DJ’s Grille or Spuddy’s Cajun Foods and meet the locals.
Quaint Towns and Eateries
Back on the east bank, you’ll discover the quaint towns of Gramercy and Lutcher, shops and eateries, parks and churches. You’ll see old mixed with new and a people who are ready to share their stories and their heritage. Right in your backyard, on the grounds of the Poche Plantation, is the Crevasse Restaurant (opening early 2020), your best bet for eating like the locals.
Vexing Mysteries and the Big Easy
Want to see more? Thirty minutes east, you’ll find a variety of historic sites, including plantations and villages of the past. You can even take a boat ride through Manchac Swamp and discover a small town that disappeared as the result of a purported voodoo curse. In 1915, a hurricane destroyed the community of Frenier, and legend says that a priestess named Julia Brown summoned the storm in an act of vengeance. Judge for yourself on a kayak tour through this compelling ecosystem.
World War II Legacy
A little further, but less than an hour away, in New Orleans, you can visit the National WWII 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 Mardi Gras Museum. Or head the other direction when you leave Poche Plantation to Baton Rouge, and tour the Old State Capitol, the USS Kidd and more.
Spectacular Plantation Country
Plantation Country has a culture all its own. The sounds, tastes and scenery envelope you and bid you to join in. From the thick, soupy gumbos to the rich, sweet pralines, the region has something for everyone. From 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 reveals 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