Famed for the 300-year-old allée of live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss that flank its main entrance, Oak Alley Plantation has more to offer visitors than a quintessential view of a Southern plantation. Oak Alley also boasts numerous exhibitions exploring the complexities of Southern and Louisiana history, 1,300 acres (526 hectares) of grounds, and the historic house itself—all within easy driving distance of New Orleans.
No trip to New Orleans is complete without seeing one of the numerous plantations surrounding the city. Oak Alley Plantation is one of the more popular options, both for its exceptional exhibitions regarding slavery and the Civil War, its performances at the Sugarcane Theater, and its exceptional Greek Revival architecture. See the Big House and the well-curated grounds on the banks of the Mississippi River on a guided tour, many of which include round-trip transportation from New Orleans’ French Quarter. For a full-day trip from the Big Easy, combine a tour of Oak Alley with a Cajun swamp tour or a trip to some of the other surrounding plantations off the Great Mississippi River Road, including Laura Plantation and San Francisco Plantation.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Oak Alley Plantation is located in the town of Vacherie, about 54 miles (87 kilometers) west of New Orleans.
- Summertime visitors should dress in light clothing with plenty of sun protection for the strong heat.
- Tours can run anywhere from four to nine hours long, depending on whether you combine Oak Alley with other nearby attractions in Cajun Country.
How to Get There
Because there is no public transportation to Oak Alley Plantation, the best way to get there is by car. Those with their own vehicles or rental cars will find the hour-long drive smooth and easy. Otherwise, the best way to visit is on a guided tour that includes transportation. You can also book a private transportation service in advance.
When to Get There
New Orleans and Cajun Country are famously hot and humid in the summertime; visit during the fall or spring for the best weather for walking around outdoors. Morning tours will have the coolest weather; tours after 3pm can expect the most intense heat.
Filming at Oak Alley Plantation
In addition to boasting the status as one of the most photographed plantations in the South, Oak Alley gained fame as a filming location for Interview with a Vampire, Primary Colors, and 1978’s Nightrider.