Houmas House Plantation Tickets, Tours and Reviews
This post is a review of Houmas Plantation with info on tickets, tours and an online review analysis. Considered the “Crown Jewel” of Louisiana’s River Road, Houmas House features 8 buildings and one main structure across 38 acres of land. The plantation was first established in the 1700’s just outside Burnside Louisiana. Notably referred to as “The Sugar Palace”, at its peak the plantation produced a monumental 20 million pounds of sugar each year. There is even a tour that starts from New Orleans.
Located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Houmas is located at 40136 Louisiana Highway 942, Darrow, Louisiana. If you are unable to provide your own transportation the Houmas House staff offers the tour with round-trip transit from New Orleans. Be prepared to spend between $40 – $60 for this service (with the cost of your tour ticket).
Guided Tour from New Orleans
If you’re not interested in driving out to Houmas House on your own, this option will definitely make it easier to visit one of the most beautiful plantations in the United States. In addition to offering hotel pick-up, this company provides comfortable transportation to and from the grounds. Once you arrive, you’ll have the opportunity to take a tour of the mansion or explore the gardens on your own. This day trip will give you approximately 3 ½ hours to discover the area.
- Ticket Prices: $59 for Adults | $40 for Children
- Duration: 2 hours travel time; 3 ½ hours of touring
- Availability: Daily at 10:30 AM
- Click here to purchase tickets
Reviews for this tour are excellent on both TripAdvisor and Viator (read the reviews here). Most guests have given Old South Tours a 5 star rating, often taking the time to show some love for their tour guides. Believe it or not, one of the most popular features of this outing is simply the transportation to and from Houmas House. Several visitors felt that the bus ride was relaxing and made the experience more enjoyable. Couples were by far the most likely to appreciate this opportunity.
Tours of Houmas House run daily on the hour and ½ hour mark.
Sunday – Monday: 9 am – 8 pm (first tour at 9:30 am, last tour at 7:00 pm)
Tickets can be purchased through the Houmas House Plantation website, https://houmashouse.com/
- $24 – Adults (18 & older)
- $15 – Teens (13 – 17)
- $10 – Children (6 – 12) (children under 6 are free)
- $15 – Adults (18 +) (Garden Tour only)
- $10 – Children (6 – 17) (Garden Tour only)
Houmas House Plantation sports a Certificate of Excellence via TripAdvisor and 4 ½ stars out of 5 via Yelp. Of the just over 1,000 reviews more than 950 of them are extremely positive. As with many of the plantation tours, couples are most commonly taking these tours. It is noteworthy that the owner of the property still occasionally sleeps in the mansion. Guest report the house features glorious artworks and furnishings that truly allow the history of the house to shine through. The gardens are consistently reported to be well up-kept and a relaxing stroll. Many users suggest visiting the restaurant on site for a mint julep. The room where Bette Davis slept during the film Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte is made available for viewing and users seem much pleased with this. The few complaints seem to center around the lack of history about the slave workers. If you’re interested in a plantation that focuses on the slaves it is recommended to consider Whitney Plantation.
The land that would eventually be the grounds of one of the most successful sugarcane plantations of its time was originally inhabited by indigenous Houmas Indians. In the mid- 1700’s it was sold off to Maurice Conway and Alexander Latil who would erect the lands original home, a French Colonial style plantation that would later become known as The Sugar Palace. By 1803 the active sugarcane plantation was purchased by the United States government through the Louisiana Purchase.
Between 1807 and 1825 the land would shift ownership from Daniel Clark to American Revolutionary War general Wade Hampton. Soon after, John Smith Preston, Hampton’s son-in-law, would inherit the property. During this period of ownership Houmas House would truly take form. Preston built a 2 ½ stories high, Greek Revival style house in front of the old one. This home is characterized by its hipped roof complete with a belvedere and its 14 Doric columns that line three sides of the house.
The property was sold off to John Burnside in 1857. Burnside expanded the property, adding another 2,000 acres and 4 sugar mills. The site would become home to the largest slave-holding in Louisiana with approximately 750 slaves. Following his death in 1881, Burnside, who had never taken a wife, left the property to friend Oliver Beirne. Soon after the estate would face severely devastating circumstances; The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 and The Great Depression in the 1930’s.
By 1940 the property began restoration under new owner, Dr. George B. Crozat. The main house underwent major design alterations on the interior and exterior. The Crozat family held ownership until 2003 when the property was sold off to current owner, Kevin Kelly. The Houmas House has been used for countless movies, television series and commercials since as early as 1964 when Bette Davis’s hit, “Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte was filmed. Since then, Top Chef, Midnight Bayou and plenty more have used the location as a backdrop.
Movies, TV Shows, and Commercials Filmed Here
- Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, 1964 [
- Longstreet, 1971-72
- Moon of the Wolf, 1972
- Mandingo, 1975
- A Closer Walk, 1976
- Big Bob Johnson and His Fantastic Speed Circus, 1978
- A Woman Called Moses, 1979
- All My Children, 1981
- Fletch Lives, 1988
- Snow Wonder (Hallmark Hall of Fame), 2006
- K’ville, 2007
- Top Chef, 2009 [
- Revenge of the Bridesmaids, 2010
- Love, Marriage, Wedding, 2010
- Wheel of Fortune, 2011
- Budweiser, Virginia Slims, Best Buy, Hibernia Bank commercials
The Gardens- Houmas House features 5 courtyards over a span of 38 acres that feature varying, stunning plant life all year round. While the fall is widely considered the best time to visit due to its ideal temperature, each season has something special to offer. Decorations can be seen throughout during holidays like Christmas and Halloween. There are plenty of sitting areas to allow visitors to relax and take in the natural beauty of this Louisiana experience.
The House/Architecture- Tour the inside of the main house and marvel in the glory of its 16 rooms. There are antique furnishings and artwork throughout that give perspective to the history of the home. Your guide will then lead you outside to the many other structures that grace the land. Here you’ll gain real perspective of the different architectural styles that the plantation has undergone based on its varying owners.
Café Burnside- One of the “Top 20 Restaurants in America”, Café Burnside features a laidback, southern menu. This optional on site stop is considered a must-do while visiting the plantation.
The Legend of the Gentlemen- Following the Great Flood of 1927 and The Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was erected. Workmen marched up the bank towards the Houmas House where higher levees were meant to be constructed. The highly-dangerous work ensued cutting down the staple Oak Trees that lined the pathway to the main house, aptly named “The Gentlemen” by previous land owner John Burnside. Hoping to make a profit, 16 workmen began cutting down the trees with the intention to float the carcasses back to New Orleans to be milled. All 16 men perished and their bodies were never recovered. Days after, the only inhabitants of the home at that time, Mr. and Mrs. Green noticed the 8 remaining oak trees which had maintained their stately symmetry through hurricanes and floods had a disfigured look. The “Gentlemen” had reshaped themselves, heads bowed and branches drooping resembling grief and agony. The old timers in the Parish insist that they are inhabited by the spirits of the men who lost their lives attempting to profit from cutting them down.
La Petite Fille (The Little Girl)- While undergoing a tremendous makeover after its purchase by Kevin Kelly in 2003, reports from workmen of a little girl (aged 7-10) were made. The little girl was said to be seen on the grand staircase and in the central hall. Nothing ever came of these reports and construction continued until its gran re-opening to the public. Since then, tour guides and guest have made reports of a little girl in a blue dress with dark eyes and brown hair. However whenever she is approached, she disappears. It is speculated that the little girl was the daughter of Col. William Porcher Miles and his wife, Harriet who lost their daughter to illness at age 7 in 1900. Since the Mississippi River Flood many of the bodies that were buried on the plantation have long been washed away. Many speculate their spirits still haunt the house.