Art Decor

Houmas House & Garden Tour in LA: Part 2 The House

Tour Houmas House and Gardens, one of the many sugar cane plantations that dot the Mississippi River in Louisiana. It’s like stepping back in time to antebellum times. Today we will visit the inside of the house, which is filled with period antiques and memorabilia. 

Sitting on a curve of the Mississippi River, the Houmas House and Gardens dates back 240 years. This iconic sugar cane plantation has seen a lot of history over the years, so join me on this tour of this stunning Classical Revival house that is still there on the grounds. The plantation is left with 38 acres, down from the hundreds of acres that it started with. The Sugar Cane barons of the 18th century lived along the river and there were hundreds of plantations. The Houmas House is named after the Houmas indians who were natives of the area back in the 1700’s, when this land was settled. You can read all about the history of Houmas House on the History page of their website.

If you missed Part 1 of the Houmas House & Gardens, be sure and click over to tour the garden tour of this magnificent plantation home.

About the Houmas House

As I mentioned last week, the well-known movie, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, had many scenes filmed at the house. I had never seen the movie, so we watched it that night when we got back to my sister’s house. It was scary and we all enjoyed it and seeing the exterior of the plantation in the movie. We also watched Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and Strait Jacket while we were visiting and they were all good. I had never seen any of those. The knew how to use a scare factor in those old movies! You can see all the movies & TV shows filmed here which is really interesting.

About the house, from the website, the original French cottage was built in the 1700’s and later on a new center hall cottage was built in front of the 1700’s house, which was then the original Donaldson Cottage was renovated and turned into the Classical Revival Mansion that stands today. There’s a lot of history on these grounds. I also shared the slavery story on Part 1 of the home and garden tour, so be sure and read that and follow the links for the story on that subject.

From the website: It was during the 1890’s that the Miles Family enlarged the mansion by connecting the 1829 mansion to the French House, to the rear. The carriageway was created between the two buildings and two additional bedrooms and a center hall were added to the 2nd floor of the mansion. 


Houmas House has an Inn on the grounds, as well as 3 restaurants you can choose from. I read that events and weddings are held here and I can see why. The beauty of the grounds is remarkable.

Current Look at Houmas House

The house has been through many renovations over it’s 250 year history on this property and the inside has been meticulously perfected with beautiful antiques and artifacts of the age. The house definitely looks the part of a Southern plantation.

As I mentioned in Part 1, the current owner is New Orleans businessman, Kevin Kelly, who purchased and did an extensive renovation to the home and gardens in 2003, when it was then opened again to the public for tours. The home owner still lives here, but allows tours of the home.

Stepping inside the entry hall, you get a good look at the expansiveness of this beautiful plantation home.

The walls have a hand painted mural depicting sugar cane fields, appropriate for this home of a Sugar Baron.

Look at this stunning ceiling mural.

This old map was found in the house and framed for display.

Our tour guide was very informative, sharing life on the plantation in the house, sharing stories of many of the things seen around the home. We really enjoyed this one hour tour of the house.

Notice the piano music sitting on the piano.

Billiard room

I do not recall all the things we heard on the tour about the inside of the house, but you can enjoy all the beautiful pics and read more on the website I’ve linked above. The pictures are very enjoyable to look at.

Upstairs hallway

A unique book table.

Bette Davis memorabilia is in this room, where she is said to have stayed during the filming of Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.

Upstairs wrap around porch of the estate home. You can see the oak alley from here.

The house houses a lot of old and interesting antique pieces, like this old horse tricycle.

An early baby walker, so pretty.

And an antique high chair.

Photo of the original oak alley at Houmas House. Back then it went almost to the river and there was no levee of course.

Map of the plantation houses along the river.

Beautiful old shutters on the upstairs porch.

It was a beautiful day to tour.

What is left of the oak alley, it’s still beautiful.

This part of the tour was the original 1700’s French house that was later connected to the big house.

Restaurants at Houmas House

This is the Latil’s Landing Restaurant (dinner only, fine dining), which is one of 3 restaurants on the grounds. This one is a really upscale fine dining experience, which would be really fun. The other 2 restaurants are the Dixie Cafe (Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, buffet available) and The Carriage House Restaurant, open for Lunch and Dinner.. It’s a wonderful place for a day outing or overnight experience at the Inn.

You can see the carriageway here added on in the 1890’s to connect the original French cottage to the main house. It’s so picturesque and pretty. Just look at those huge green arched doors. Horses and carriages were brought in here to deliver guests.

This part of the original 1700’s home and just off the carriageway, housed a lot of historic kitchen memorabilia.

The grounds have been updated and really make a gorgeous backdrop to this magnificent house.

The buildings all have functions in running this huge estate as event and wedding venues, as well as the restaurants.

We had lunch at the Dixie Cafe and enjoyed it. It’s in the building where the museum is located.

Turkey panini with sweet potato fries.

There’s a multi-level pedestrian bridge (which I didn’t get a pic of) that brings you up and over the road so that guests can see the Mississippi River over the levee. This is looking back at the house through the trees.

And on top of the levee looking at the grand old Mississippi River.

What a lot of history housed in this beautiful historic plantation home. We sure did enjoy our visit and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys historic homes, architecture and gardens. This was a beautiful piece of history to take in! I hope you enjoyed going on the tour with us.

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