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HomeI-10 AttractionsHoumas House Estate and Gardens - Darrow, LA

Houmas House Estate and Gardens – Darrow, LA

Experience the magic of the Old South in a modern-day setting

Louisiana’s plantations draw visitors from all over the south, and one of the gems lies just off Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans: The Houmas House Estate. Here, visitors get a taste of life on a sugarcane plantation back in the 1800s. Restored to its former glory, the mansion reflects the lavish lifestyle and prosperity of the sugarcane farm during the 1880s. Guided tours of the mansion delve into its 250-year history, tracing its architectural evolution into the grand estate it is today. The tour showcases rare artwork and artifacts, providing insights into plantation life during that era.

A Brief History

Origins of Houmas House

The story of Houmas House dates back to the early 19th century when it was originally established as a sugarcane plantation. Built in 1775 by Alexander Latil, the estate underwent several transformations before reaching its current grandeur. In 1811, John Burnside purchased the property, expanding it into one of the largest and most prosperous plantations in the region.

Antebellum Splendor

During the antebellum period, Houmas House thrived under the ownership of John Burnside and later, Gen. Wade Hampton. The estate became a symbol of wealth and prestige, with its elegant mansion serving as a social hub for lavish gatherings and extravagant events.

Post-Civil War Era

Following the Civil War, Houmas House faced significant challenges, yet managed to endure through various owners and economic fluctuations. In 1963, the estate underwent extensive restoration efforts under the guidance of Dr. George Crozat, reclaiming its former glory and historical significance.

The Mansion: A Glimpse into the Past

Architectural Marvel

The centerpiece of Houmas House Estate is its majestic mansion, a stunning example of Greek Revival architecture. Adorned with towering columns, intricate moldings, and sweeping verandas, the mansion exudes timeless elegance and charm. Step inside, and you’ll be transported to a bygone era of Southern sophistication and refinement.

Exquisite Interiors

As you wander through the halls of the mansion, you’ll be mesmerized by its opulent interiors and meticulously preserved furnishings. From the grand parlor to the stately dining room, each room tells a story of wealth and privilege, offering a glimpse into the lives of the plantation’s elite inhabitants.

The Gardens: A Botanical Paradise

Houmas House Estate and Gardens - Photo Credit: Explore Louisiana
Houmas House Estate and Gardens – Photo Credit: Explore Louisiana

Spectacular Landscapes

Beyond the mansion lies a sprawling oasis of beauty and tranquility—the gardens of Houmas House. Spanning 38 acres, the meticulously landscaped grounds feature lush greenery, vibrant blooms, and serene water features, creating a picture-perfect setting for leisurely strolls and peaceful contemplation.

Horticultural Marvels

The gardens boast a diverse array of plant species, including azaleas, magnolias, and camellias, each meticulously cultivated to perfection. From the vibrant colors of the flower beds to the soothing sounds of cascading fountains, every corner of the garden beckons with natural splendor and botanical wonder.

Visitor Experience: What to Expect

Guided Tours

Visitors to Houmas House can embark on guided tours of the estate, led by knowledgeable docents who bring its rich history to life. Explore the mansion’s lavish interiors, stroll through the enchanting gardens, and gain insight into the lives of those who once called Houmas House home.

Dining and Hospitality

After exploring the estate, guests can indulge in a culinary journey at one of Houmas House’s renowned restaurants. From fine dining to casual fare, the culinary offerings showcase the flavors of Louisiana cuisine, paired with impeccable service and Southern hospitality.

Special Events and Celebrations

Houmas House also serves as a premier venue for weddings, corporate events, and private celebrations. With its picturesque surroundings and elegant ambiance, the estate provides a memorable backdrop for gatherings large and small, ensuring every occasion is truly unforgettable.

The Details

Houmas House Estate and Gardens
40136 Highway 942
Darrow, Louisiana 70725
Telephone: 225-473-9380

Hours of Operation
Monday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Closed: Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Houmas House Mansion and Gardens Tour
Adults (18+): $35.00
Teens (13-17): $25.00
Children (6-12): $15.00
Young Children (5 and under): Free
Self-Guided Garden Tour
Adults (18+): $20.00
Teens (13-17): $10.00
Children (6-12): $5.00
Young Children (5 and under): Free

Additional tours available. Visit their website for specific information.

From I-10 West: Take I-10 East to Gonzales. Take Exit 179 (Hwy 44). Turn right off the exit onto Hwy 44 and proceed past Pelican Point Homes and Golf Club, across the intersection with LA Hwy 22. After you cross HWY 22, go about a half mile and turn right at the levee onto River Road. Houmas House is on your right in less than a half mile. Enter the parking area on the far side of the property just past the white fence along the front of the property.
From I-10 East: Take I-10 West across the Bonnet Carre Spillway, past LaPlace and Gramercy to Exit 182 (Hwy 22). At the bottom of the exit ramp, turn left on LA Hwy 22. Passing under I-10, you will proceed straight ahead on Hwy 22, past the turnoff to Donaldsonville, the Cajun Village and in front of the Ascension Parish Visitor’s Center. Hwy 22 bends to the right in a long arc before you come to the light at LA HWY 44. Turn left on Hwy 44 and proceed less than half a mile to the River Road. Turn right at the levee and look for the entrance to Houmas House Plantation and Gardens about half a mile down the road, just at the end of the white fence that spans the front of the property.

Preserving History, Embracing Beauty

In conclusion, Houmas House Estate and Gardens is a cherished landmark and cultural treasure, celebrating the rich heritage and natural splendor of Louisiana. From its storied past to its timeless elegance, the estate continues to captivate visitors with its unparalleled beauty and charm, inviting all who enter to experience the magic of the Old South in a modern-day setting. Plan your visit today and embark on a journey through history and horticulture unlike any other.

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