Houmas House offers a relaxing getaway for tourists in South Louisiana. “Many people come here from different countries to see the plantation because the gardens are absolutely so beautiful and the house is immaculate,” said Houmas House representative, Sandy Reed, “Oh my God, this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. That’s usually their reaction.”
Houmas House was once the largest sugar plantation in the country, but now the property is full of restaurants, gardens, antiques, and cottages for overnight stays. The plantation embraces the history of the property but doesn’t focus on it. “I understand slavery is a bad thing, but you know it’s something that happened in our past and we should embrace it, instead of trying to cover it up,” Reed said. Houmas House representatives said they recommend the Whitney plantation and the LSU history museum if people are interested in learning about slavery.
The river road museum will be added on the property by early next year, to educate visitors on the history of the Mississippi River. The massive museum and outdoor amphitheater will have ship displays and exhibits about transport and agriculture along the Mississippi.
There are three restaurants, a gift shop and a bar on site. Reed said she recommends the waygu steak from carriage house, “They put it on a bed of the best mashed potatoes you’ve ever put in your mouth and the meat is just so tender it melts in your mouth, you don’t have to chew it up, it just melts, and the asparagus is to die for.” The turtle bar offers unique homemade cocktails and cigars. John Burnside, who owned the property in the 1960’s created the mint julip, which consists of rum, crushed ice, sugar, and spearmint. According to Reed, the rum was made from the sugar cane grown on site, and it’s still their specialty today.
There are 21 unique cottages for visitors looking for an overnight stay. “Peace and quiet, that’s what they want,” Reed said. Each cottage is decorated differently and there are a variety of arrangements available.
Reed said the brick walkway leading to the house is her favorite part of the property, “It’s absolutely beautiful, it’s like you’re walking down a lane of history, and it’s just so beautiful.”