Lonely Planet review
Start your day at the oldest plantation home remaining in the lower Mississippi Valley, Destrehan Plantation , only 12 miles from New Orleans International Airport. Indigo was the principal crop in 1787 when Antoine Robert Robin DeLongy commissioned the original French colonial–style mansion, using bousillage (mud- and straw-filled) walls supported by cypress timbers. The house features a distinctive African-style hipped roof, no doubt a tip of the hat to the builder’s ancestry. When DeLongy’s daughter, Celeste, married Jean Noel Destrehan, they added the present Greek-revival facade. Costumed docents lead tours through the graceful home where the pirate Jean Lafitte was once a guest (no treasure found so far). On alternating days you can learn about making bousillage, cooking in a hearth and African American herbal remedies, but a highlight is seeing the historical-documents room that contains original Louisiana Purchase–era artifacts.