Laura Plantation 2247 River Rd./Hwy. 18, in VACHERIE, (888) 799-7690, (225) 265-7690. Guided tours daily 10am-4pm; $20. No lodging. Based on 5,000 pages of documents from the French National Archives that are related to both the free and enslaved families who lived on this centuries-old sugar cane farm, and also incorporating original resident Laura’s own book “Memories of the Old Plantation Home,” the tour here features professional guides who share compelling, real-life accounts of seven generations of Creole inhabitants. This plantation has the largest collection of family artifacts original to a Louisiana plantation. Life here wasn’t all hoopskirts and mint juleps or convoluted relationships and intrigue. Here it was Creole-style austere. For instance, by tradition marriage was proposed with a fan, not a diamond ring. Twelve buildings are on the National Register, and many are 19th-century Creole-style that are raised off the ground on square brick pillars while others are 210-year-old West African bricks-between-posts construction. Built in 1805 and situated on a fault line with a natural ridge high point, this site never flooded. The property has a tropical feel, with palm trees and a banana forest that is sometimes shriveled and dry from cold winter weather. The west-African stories that inspired “Tales of Brer Rabbit” were originally recorded in this region and are thought to have been originated in cabins here.
|Laura Plantation store in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|cat's-eye view from plantation house at Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|dry banana forest at Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|19th-century Creole-style out building that is raised off the ground on square brick pillars, at Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|out building at Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|portraits of former residents at Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|portrait of former resident at Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|crawfish mound at Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana|
B&C Seafood 2155 River Rd./Hwy. 18, (225) 265-8356, in VACHERIE. M-Sat 11am-4:30pm. Located right next door to Laura Plantation, so close that you can easily walk on over, B&C provides some of the area's best Cajun and Creole seafood. According to one regular, it is “the only restaurant in the state of Louisiana that serves Alka-Seltzer for dessert.” Diners pass through the fish market in front to reach the large dining room in back. Fried plate lunches are primo and include combos—I had catfish, prawns, and particularly delicious hushpuppies—and the menu also offers fried alligator, boudin balls, stuffed potatoes, gumbo, po-boys, and plenty more.
|exterior of B&C Seafood in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|fish market at B&C Seafood in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|fresh crawfish at B&C Seafood in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|dining room at B&C Seafood in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|owner of B&C Seafood in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|Abita root beer at B&C Seafood in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|salad at B&C Seafood in Vacherie, Louisiana|
|fried combo at B&C Seafood in Vacherie, Louisiana|
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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers