Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Day In St. Francisville, Louisiana

Melissa, Chris, Mom, and I spent the afternoon in quaint St. Francisville, Louisiana yesterday.  We hopped in the car around 10:30 am and took the quick trip from Zachary and had a lovely afternoon touring two plantations and a great lunch at the Magnolia Cafe.  I have always loved learning about the rich history of the antebellum period in Louisiana, and there are so many beautiful things to see in those houses.  I think Melissa and Chris also really enjoyed the day despite the gloomy weather we experienced.

Our first stop was Rosedown Plantation.  It's one of the most beautiful in my opinion.  It was a shame that we visited in winter because the amazing English gardens are really the height of the experience.  Still, you can get a feel for how lovely they are even without things in bloom.  Our tour guide turned out to be the curator of the plantation and gave us quite a factual tour that dispelled many of the myths of life in the antebellum time.  We gawked at all of the beautiful furnishings of the house and managed to wander the grounds a bit before the bottom really fell out of the sky.

Lunch at the Magnolia Cafe gave us a lovely break after our first tour of the afternoon.  It feels like a roadhouse of sorts with a huge screened-in porch that has a big stage and dance floor.  I can imagine how rowdy things must get on a Friday night.  We loved eating our lunch on the porch and hearing the Louisiana rain falling.  I had a delicious spicy shrimp po-boy and we munched on some alligator nuggets for our appetizer served with honey mustard.  Mom loved their shrimp and okra gumbo and Chris and I both had Abita Amber Beers, a local favorite.

The second plantation of the day was the Myrtles.  They are famous for the hauntings of ghosts that lived on the plantation.  Chloé is their most famous, a former "head slave" and mistress to the owner of the plantation who killed two children in her care.  She was punished by having her ear cut off and was later hung by her fellow slaves.  The bloody history of the Myrtles is the focus of the tour and if you like a good scare, it's a fun one to visit.  Our tour guide was very personable and she added some nice personal touches that made us laugh.

We missed out on our tour of Oakley plantation by one minute!  We were disappointed that they wouldn't let us join the tour and we decided not to wait around until the next one started an hour later.  With the rain falling, touring the grounds for an hour would have been really uncomfortable, so we decided to call it a day instead.  It's too bad because Oakley was the home of John James Audubon for a few years when he did some of his most famous work.  I toured it many years ago, but it would have been a nice way to end our day.  Instead, we piled back into the car and headed back to Zachary after a lovely afternoon.  All in all, it was a nice day spent in St. Francisville despite the weather and a little disappointment, and I managed to learn a lot as well as being entertained.


  1. Thank you so much for taking time to visit The Myrtles Plantation. We are happy that you enjoyed your tour and the hospitality of our historic town. -Myrtles Staff

  2. wow! thanks for reading! we had a great time touring the myrtles. hope to be back for an overnight stay sometime soon!