Houmas House Plantation and Gardens: Take the Tour

One of my most favorite things about blogging is meeting dear-hearts who share similar interests, like an interest in beautiful old homes.  Recently, I was chatting (via email) with Linda.  Linda has visited Louisiana bunches of times to tour the beautiful plantation homes along the Mississippi River.  She shared some photos she’s taken of several of the homes, including Houmas House Plantation and Gardens.  Have you ever been there?  After seeing Linda’s photos and those posted at the Houmas House website, I would love to see it in person.

Some of the pictures in this post were taken by Linda and some are from Houmas House online.  The ones from HH online are noted in a caption below the picture and I’ve linked to their site at the end of this post.

Houmas House Plantation where Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte was Filmed

Many of the well-known plantation homes are located along the Mississippi River.  In this map I found on Google, Houmas is located where you see the letter, F.  The other homes below are A: Laura Plantation, B: Destrehan Plantation, C: Oak Alley Plantation, D: Poche Plantation, E: Ormond Plantation, G: San Francisco Plantation and H: St. Joseph Plantation.  You can see in this map where they are located in relation to New Orleans.  New Orleans is shown at the far right.

Plantation Homes along Mississippi River in Louisiana

Houmas House  has an amazing history, transforming itself  throughout the years.  At one point it was a modest West Indies Style Cottage.  Between 1877 and 1826, John Burnside made improvements and renovated it to the “Revival Mansion” it is today.  Houmas House has been used in many movies, including Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte.  It has also appeared in a number of TV shows, too many to list here.

Houmas House Plantation

Here’s an aerial view showing the home in relation to the surrounding gardens.

Houmas House Plantation Aerial View

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website

Love this photo of the porch…

Porch at Houmas House Plantation

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website

Over the years, Humas House has seen a lot of renovations.  the current owner, Kevin Kelly has restored it to it’s 1840 decor.  I was distressed to read a prior owner, Dr. George Crozat “Federalized” the home when it was around 100 years old, removing ornate features like cornices, crown molding and ceiling medallions.  He also painted the whole structure white, inside and out.  Can you imagine ripping out all the beautiful moldings like that? 🙁  Thank goodness for Mr. Kelly!

Linda took this photo inside the grand entry hall.  Notice the gorgeous murals depicting fields of sugar cane.  Back in the day, Houmas House was a thriving Sugar Cane Plantation and was given the name The Sugar Palace.

Houmas House Plantation Entry Hall

Another view of one of the murals and a little preview of the gentleman’s parlor.

Mural in Entry of Houmas Plantation Home

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website

Linda took this close-up of one section of the mural.  Isn’t it wonderful!  I believe that’s a yellow lab and of course, he’s sitting in a field of sugar cane.  I see a red wing blackbird, a nuthatch and something else very small and red off to the right.  Can’t quite tell what it is, though.

Houmas Plantation Mural in Entry Hall

A close up of a polished brass chandelier in the entry.  Beautiful!  I wonder if they are using silk-wrapped bulbs?   Love the cloud-filled sky ceiling.  No matter the weather, it’s always a gorgeous day inside Houmas House!

Houmas Plantation Entry with Painted Ceiling and Walls

Beautiful dining room in Houmas House Plantation…so glad Mr. Kelly put the ceiling medallions back.

Dining Room in Houmas Plantation House

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website

Linda captured this picture inside the dining room.  Stunning chandelier!

Houmas House Plantation Dining Room

The gentleman’s parlor:  Notice the black trim and doors.  Isn’t it interesting that black doors are in style now, too.  Wonder if they were popular back in 1840?  I guess they were since the home has been restored to that time period.   Guess there really isn’t anything new under the sun. 😉

Men's Palor Houmas House Planation

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website

A bedroom in Houmas House Plantation…

Houmas House Plantation House Bedroom

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website

Linda took a picture of the huge canopy bed…

Houmas House Plantation Bedroom

I found this pic on the Houmas website and it took my breath away.  It feels like it’s from a fairytale.  Can you just imagine dining here surrounded by all this beauty!  I would never want to go inside!  Notice the unique centerpiece on the table.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it.  I’m wondering if there are little glass vases on the ends of the metal arms to hold the flowers.

Dining in the Garden at Houmas House Plantation

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website


Garden Statue of Little Girl

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website

Houmas House has wonderful gardens including a pretty pond.  I bet the wildlife must be amazing in this area.  Can you imagine all the beautiful birds they must have!  See those big round things in the pond.  Those are a rare kind of Japanese lily pad!  Have you ever seen lily pads that big?  Wowza!  The frogs in that pond have it good!

Houmas House Plantation Gardens with Pond

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website

I’ll leave you with a few magical views of this stunning plantation home.  I love this photo taken in the evening with Houmas House all lit up from within.

Houmas House Plantation House Lit up at Night

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website

Here’s a wonderfully spooky view of Houmas House surrounded in mist.  Speaking of spooky, did you know Houmas House has a few ghosts?  Every respectable historic home  has to have a ghost or two.  You can learn more about Houmas House Plantation at their website here:  Houmas House Plantation and Gardens.

Thanks so much to Linda for sharing her pictures!

Have you ever seen this beautiful plantation home in person?  I would love to take a full week and tour all the homes in this area.  That’s my idea of the perfect vacation!

Houmas House Plantation House in Mist

Photo from Houmas House Plantation and Garden Website

Enjoy historic home tours? You’ll find lots more under the Home Tour heading at the top of BNOTP or click here: Historic Home Tours

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  1. Lovely! We live in Baton Rouge and are very familiar with this and many other beautiful plantation homes. We have friends who live on the River Road in a lovely home from the 1700s that has been in their family for years. The chandelier in their dining room actually has the brass pots for gas! You should come soon and take a tour!

  2. This was fun. I love the canopy bed, the water garden, well, I just love it all. Wouldn’t it be fun to have lunch there?

  3. I visited many of them with my husband when we were first married (about 28 years ago). I was too young to appreciate every detail but it was certainly very memorable and beautiful. I cannot remember if we toured this particular one. I’ll have to look through our photographs. Simply lovely.

  4. Entertaining Women says

    I love historic homes! Thanks for the lovely tour. Cherry Kay

  5. Sandi Lee says

    Loved the tour-I would love to go on the Natchez tour before I leave this earth! It’s around this time of the year annually. Thank you for sharing this with everyone. What a fabulous home.

  6. Linda Page says

    Thank you, Susan! I never thought my pics would turn out looking so beautiful. Combining the Houmas site pictures with mine made this a really wonderful tour. I am complimented that you wanted to share my pictures. I never tire of touring these lovely plantation homes on the “River Road”. I always see something new and learn new history. I hope you get to see these lovely homes soon.

  7. Susan, thanks for another lovely post. My husband and I toured Houmas House in 2005. It is truly lovely and I hope you get to see it in person, too. We tried to get a few pictures with the ghosts but I guess they weren’t up for company that day. We also visted Oak Alley and Destrehan, which are also worth visiting.

  8. Like you, I love old houses too but haven’t gone on many tours. The furnishings in the photos of this beautiful plantation home looks a lot better and more elegant than the Vandebuilt Manion in Hyde Park, NY. We’ve been to the Breakers in Newport, RI and the Biltmore Mansion in Ashville and I still like the Breakers better and was so disappointed in the one at Hyde Park, NY. I’ve heard the Historic homes in Nachez are great too. Savannah has to have some beautiful homes too. One of my favorite vacations was in Savannah, even in Dec. Look at some of the details in those photographs at the fine antiques and the colors of the rooms and accessories make those rooms.. Thanks to you and Linda for sharing and the internet pictures.

  9. Mary from Virginia says

    What a beautiful home. Thank you for the tour!

  10. Vicki in Ky says

    We lived in New Orleans as newlyweds (40 years ago) and visited the plantations often. As new college graduates, we had very little money, but on a trip to one of the plantations, hubby took my picture in front of it…. glorious…. then made copies and sent them to family and friends saying this was the house we had just purchased! (A few folks even believed him!!) Great memories.

  11. Susan, you are exactly the type of person who would absolutely love to tour the lovely homes on River Rd.
    which winds from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, LA. We live about 45 minutes from New Orleans and have
    toured most of the homes along the river several times. You would then want to go on to Natchez, MS and tour
    those. Of course this trip would not be complete without staying at the homes or one of the many lovely bed
    and breakfasts along the way. We will be going to Nottoway Plantation on River Road in about a month and
    staying in the house itself. We do love to do b&b’s also and try to stay in the ones that have period decor.
    It will be wonderful to stay Nottoway itself. I can hardly wait!

  12. Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for the tour of that outstanding home! I am crazy about the Gentlemen’s Parlor with those black doors and trim. So lush and masculine.

  13. Thank you for the tour. I have never been to this plantation but I do LOVE plantations. One year I talked my husband into driving to FL instead of flying. We took about a week to get there and I had him stop in almost every plantation that was on the way! It was a great trip. I am so sorry I never took many photographs back then. I do have some of Shirley Plantation in VA. These rooms at Houmas are spectacular!!

  14. I have also been on that tour and Oak Alley. I love all those old plantations and try to see as many as I can when I’m in the South. I travel a lot with my job so I did get to see many in the New Orleans area but have forgotten their names

  15. I’ve enjoyed your blog a great deal. I work many long hours, but enjoy taking a “nap on the porch” for a few minutes each day to rejuvenate my spirits through your site! I think we must be kindred spirits. This spring break we were fortunate to have stayed at Nottoway Plantation in White Castle, La. for one night. If you watch travelzoo, you may find some online specials that are worth taking advantage of for a night at this resort. (Included a voucher for dinner, breakfast, and a tour for two of the mansion.)

    Just wanted to add that the Natchez Pilgramage Tour will continue until April 9, 2013 this year. We stayed at The Grand Hotel which was a few dollars less than Hampton Inn and were thrilled with the location. It is literally across the street from the Mississippi River and there are so many things to do within walking distance. There are tour packages for the Antebellum Homes that are affordable and well worth anyone’s time! I hope you get to take advantage of this tour soon. YOU will LOVE IT. I did think of your tablescapes at Stanton Hall and The Towers as we were told that the tables were always left set because they wanted to be prepared to entertain guests who came to call. How Hospitable that was. 🙂 No photography was allowed or I would have sent you some lovely pics!

  16. How cool is that 2-story gazabo? I love it.

  17. Thanks for sharing this historic plantation home. I have been to most of these homes and love each. Natchez is another place to tour especially during the Pilgrimage.

  18. What a beautiful home! I would love to spend time there exploring the house and the grounds and sit in a chair on that wonderful porch drinking a nice cold lemonade on a warm day! I love the picture of the house surrounded in a mist. This Plantation home is truly spectacular and although I have never visited a southern home, I certainly hope to one day! Thanks for sharing this amazing home with us!!!

  19. Ann Haller says

    Loved the tour. I had visited many of the homes on the River Road many years ago. I, too was fascinated with the Garconniere. Our tour guide told us that years ago, when the homeowner had large parties (dances) for their daughters, visiting gentlemen were housed in the Garconniere. They are now built on your lot, as out buildings such as a shed, but are in the shape of the classic Garconniere.

  20. Oh my goodness, Susan, I would love a vacation like that too.

    This place is magnificent! WOW!!!!

  21. Oh my what beautiful homes. So historic and beautiful. Wow they really give you a great feeling just looking at the beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing this on your blog. Gorgeous. Loved looking at all the plantation homes.

  22. Bonjour,
    J’ai vraiment apprécié ce délicieux moment passé en votre compagnie à vous lire et à admirer ces merveilleuses photos d’une maison très élégante.
    J’ai deux bibliothèques similaires à celle que j’ai pu remarquer et j’ai aussi été très enjouée par la fresque murale…
    Les jardins sont également magnifiques. Un très bel hommage à Demoiselle Printemps ! Il ne reste plus pour elle qu’à nous montrer le bout de son nez !…
    Gros bisous à vous.

  23. Susan we did the tour of homes when at a convention in New Orleans more than 20 years ago. Houmas House was not that great inside at that time and we never saw the back gardens. My husband and I were blown away by Nottaway Plantation; it was given this name as there were no knots in the wood as the owner made sure of that himself. They had hotwater to use in baths, etc. The owner kept such good records that everything about the building and use of the home was kept so we know the costs, etc of this dear old home and it had a cannon shot in the wall. They do bed and breakfast as one of the ladies mentioned. We had lunch with our group while there. Loved the blessed day and all the homes we viewed. I always view historic homes whenever/whereever I have a chance. My sister and I visited a rice plantation in Georgia and my daughter-in-law and I did the James River Plantations, Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s home and James Monroe’s home. We also were in Appomattax where the end of the Civil war was signed. Such sadness still touches my heart in these occasions. My brother went to VMI and did you know that Washington and Lee campus butts up against it? My sister and I viewed many other homes on our trip to Florida one year and most were in Georgia. I did truly enjoy Builtmore and we did several of the tours. My sister had told us to make sure we did the downstairs tour. We ate lunch at one of the resturants, visited the grounds (some), went through their winery and purchased a bottle to bring back…they sell out every year! We finished the day with dinner there. I loved the apple orchards and it must be exquisite in the spring with all the blooms on the trees and wonderful to see all the fruit in the fall.
    Susan I love all the home tours you do, c’est manifique!
    Thanks a bushel!

  24. My eyes widened when I read hush hush sweet Charlotte was filmed here! As a young girl, I went to see that movie with a couple of friends. Our house was furthest from the theatre, and our backyard butted up against a school yard. I remember being scared stiff walking home alone through the field at dusk. You may find this hard to believe, but for an entire year I was scared of the dark and could hardly go to sleep. I would get into bed, put the covers to my eyes and barely breath. That movie made such an impact on me! I’m sure if I saw it today I would have a very different reaction, but I was quite impressionable back then and I’ve never quite gotten over that feeling.

    Enough about me…that mural with the dog is lovely! So detailed and lifelike! Love the chandelier too! Thanks for yet another awesome tour. Who needs vacations when we have Naps on the Porch?? 😉

    • Wow, sounds like it was a very scary movie. I do NOT like scary movies, so glad I missed that one! I’m sure I would have been the same way! I love that sweet doggie mural, too. Did you notice the red wing black bird and the nuthatch? Love those cute details. 🙂
      Thanks Doreen…you are a sweetie!

  25. Thanks, I enjoyed the tour very much and it was very funny for me to find out that there’s lake called Maurepas in the United States as it’s also the name of a town not far from where I grew up in France. I did a quick research and the lake was named this way for a count of Maurepas who was an adviser of Louis XVI.

  26. Thanks for sharing. This is gorgeous! Ona smaller scale it reminds me of The Biltmore House in Asheville, NC.

  27. Hi Susan,
    Happy SPRING!
    I just finished a very long and tedious shift at work and popped by to rest my eyes, my heart, my soul , and my mind by checking out your webstie…..which I do several times a week. Always something lovely and so interesting and educational.
    What a lovely home tour….Thank you and Linda for your lovely pictures and are we not so blessed to have the owner of this lovely mansion in possession of this Grand Lady. Wow! Every picture just has so much to see. I adore the crown moldings and wall treatments. My Dear Mother was an Artist and painted wall murals in her home so it was so interesting to see the Sugar Cane paintings. Loved those Giant Waterlillies in the pond. I first saw them at the St Louis Botanical Gardens where they have several ponds just full o them 6-8 feet across so sturdy a man can stand on them…they also have beautiful flowers. My trips to that Garden were so relaxing for me so now seeing them in the home tour………It took me back and relaxed me just remembering. Thank you for that.
    Take care and have a lovely day. Blessed Be Carole M.

  28. I knew I should have clicked on your post since I really need to get going on doing some errands. I loved the tour! Beautiful pictures. Makes me miss the south, my home; no I lived in the suburbs. I don’t get to many grand houses these days but do love to visit to see he beauty and to learn about the history of the home, the area and era. Knowing all of that makes it more enjoyable for me. Thanks again for sharing the tour!! Have a great day.

  29. Oooh, that would be a perfect vacation. Love this beautiful house. Maybe someday I will get to take a trip to a place like that.

  30. You have to see this home in person. I still dream about it from memories of the tour.

  31. Gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  32. I am sure that I will have a Garconniere someday! 🙂

    I love the South! Thanks for sharing about these homes!

  33. Loved your tour of Houmas. Last time our travels took us through that area we missed it! Happened to be in Vicksburg for their annual tours and loved touring the many there!.
    Your blog is beautiful – love the tablescapes. Mr Bunny is adorable.

  34. Simply magical! What a lovely way to present the house, with the lighted at dusk photos, and then with the misty, foggy look. I would love to have a plantation-touring vacation too. I imagine it would be vastly different from any
    thing we have up here in Maine!
    Just sign me:

  35. The mural in the first floor hallway was painted by the long time groundskeeper Craig Black. The dogs in the mural are the owners, Kevin Kelly, beloved dogs Sam and Grace. Sadly Sam passed a couple of years ago, but you can view a moemorial on the website here, http://houmashouse.com/videosam.htm

    • Bill, thanks for that info about the mural. So sorry to hear about Sam. I had a sweet Golden Retriever for 13 1/2 years and I still miss him terribly. What a lovely memorial video. I’m sure a lot of tears were shed during the making of the video. I hope to see Houmas House Plantation in person one day.

  36. Yay! A website after my own heart! I love touring old houses and am curious about the movie homes. I just found your website today. Already subscribed! I’ve been to Houmas House although it was many years ago!
    Nearby used to be a restaurant made from old slaves’ quarters.

    • Hi Sandra, Welcome…so glad you found BNOTP! 🙂 So awesome that you’ve seen Houmas House in person. I’m hoping to get there next spring and tour some of those fabulous LA plantation homes.

  37. Dear Mrs. Susan,
    I have a passionate hobby of storytelling. But I don’t always write my stories out. I enjoy story telling by acting, photography, making videos, writing, etc. From a rather recent inspiration, I have come up with a story and am itching to write it down! But I do not often have much time to spare. My days are usually constantly busy, therefore, most of my passion for my hobby is replaced with stress. Anyway, the reason why I’m informing you of such business is because I am in need of a main scene for my latest story. It has to be a plantation in Louisiana. I need to obtain more information as possible from you about Houmas House. It has truly captured my eye with its beauty and seems to be exactly what I’m looking for. If you get the chance to contact me, that would be very appreciated. I will further inform you of my story and be sure to list you in the acknowledgments if it is to ever be published. Thank you for your website. It is very informational and helpful. 😉
    –Lacey Cole

    • Hi Lacey,
      I’ve never been to Houmas House so don’t know a lot about it other than the info shared here in the post. Houmas House has a great website though that explains all about their history, gardens, architecture, etc…
      Here’s their website: http://www.houmashouse.com/
      You may want to call them, I bet they would be able to answer any questions you might have. You may even want to visit Houmas House. It’s a beautiful place!

  38. I visited Houmas House many years ago and although I am pleased it is being cared for, am not a fan of the style.

    The colors on the outside make it look more Creole than American.

    The gardens are lovely.

    When I visited, I believe there was some sort of wall paper in the main hallway or area where the beautiful stairway is.

    The wallpaper was a sort of printed mural style.

    Don’t mean to knock the current mural, but in my opinion it just does not go with the home.

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