• New Orleans to Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Road Trip Along the Mississippi River

      110 miles - About 4 hours

      Starting at the obelisk marking the southern end of historic Jefferson Highway, in New Orleans, this route follows the twisty curves of the mighty Mississippi River, pausing at some historic plantations, churches and cemeteries along the way. Swinging north on US-Highway 61, the road tripper will pass through the 'Jambalaya Capital of the World' before reaching Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana.

      Here are just a few of the highlights on this route:

      New Orleans, Louisiana (Starting point)
      New Orleans, sometimes known as NOLA, is full of adventure and surprises, here's a couple of the things I like to do when I visit. Roam Bourbon Street at night, drink Hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's, ride the Algiers Ferry across the Mississippi River, relax in Jackson Square, eat at Deanie's, go inside the St. Louis Cathedral, enjoy coffee and donuts at Cafe du Monde, ride a streetcar, visit the New Orleans Mint, visit Lafayette Square and the Robert E. Lee Circle, go on a cemetery tour and… that’s just the first day.

      Destrehan Plantation (mile 24)
      Destrehan Plantation, which is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River on LA Highway 48 (The Great River Road), was constructed 1787-1790. Period-costumed docents lead tours of this historic property daily. This is thought to be the oldest plantation house in this part of Louisiana. Destrehan Plantation is owned by the River Road Historical Society.

      St. John the Baptist Church and Cemetery (mile 42)
      St. John the Baptist Church and Cemetery is located near the town of Edgard along the west bank of the Mississippi River on LA Highway 18. The cemetery was established in 1772. Edgard is the parish seat of St. John the Baptist Parish.

      Evergreen Plantation (mile 42)
      Evergreen Plantation is located near the town of Wallace. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and it's a National Historic Landmark and its part of the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail. What sets this attraction apart from other such plantations is that it is still a working sugar cane plantation. There are twenty-two slave cabins and most of the most of the original buildings are still intact.

      St. Philip Church & Cemetery (mile 54)
      St. Philip Church, which is located in Vacherie, was established in 1873 and has some interesting graves. Louisiana's tallest structure, the WCKW/KSTE-tower, is located just out of town -- it's 1999 feet tall.

      Oak Alley Plantation (mile 59)
      Oak Alley Plantation is located near Vacherie on LA Highway 18. This is a must-stop, especially in late afternoon with soft raking light. The avenue leading up to the classic Greek-revival style antebellum house is lined with a canopy of giant live oak trees, many are believed to be nearly 300 years old. The tree limbs form a quarter mile long 'tunnel' that frames the house in a spectacular way. Oak Alley Plantation is adjacent to the St. Joseph plantation and both plantations are on the National Register of Historic Places. Oak Alley is also a National Historic Landmark. Tours are available for a small fee.

      St. James Church & Cemetery (mile 64)
      A historical marker at the St. James Cemetery says that the cemetery was the site of the first Acadian settlers in Louisiana. Prior to reaching St. James, there is a big bend in the river and at the start of the bend is a community named Moonshine.

      Gonzales, (mile 88)
      Gonzales is the 'Jambalaya capital of the world' and since 1967 the town has held the Jambalaya Festival on Memorial Day weekends. US Highway 61, which is known as the Airline Highway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, passes through Gonzales.

      Baton Rouge, (mile 110)
      Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and capitol building is pretty amazing in an austere kind of way! Be sure to visit the old capitol building - quite a contrast in style! The city's motto is 'Authentic Louisiana at every turn.' Baton Rouge is a major port city and is home to Louisiana State University. The USS KIDD & Veterans Memorial is located in downtown Baton Rouge. This route ends at the Baton Rouge Veterans Memorial Cemetery located along US Highway 61. You can get back to NOLA in 1-1/2 hours by driving 90 miles east on I-10.

      The 'Louisiana Castle' is the former
      state capitol building in Baton Rouge