If you have a car and a day to spare, you can visit the plantation houses between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The standard drill is to get a tour of the house from a guide dressed in period costume, who explains all of the furnishings and family history in great detail. The experience is a little hokey and may not be for everyone, but the houses and grounds themselves are very pretty regardless.
I am NOT a tour kind of person, but I really enjoyed the plantation tour we took down River Road.
The Laura Plantation was extremely interesting, and the guide full of information on the history on the home and the four generations of women who ran it. I was very impressed and appreciated how unrushed and 'unherded' I felt on the tour of the house. Another, Oak Alley, showed quite a contrast between plantations. Oak Alley is quite famous, seen in many movies(Primary Colors, Interview with a Vampire), and exactly what you would expect a southern plantation to be. Big white pillars and huge oak trees make this plantation specactular.
A Plantation Home. These elegant homes stand along the banks of the river. Some examples of various Plantation homes are the Nottoway and Rosedown Plantations, and the Houmas House.
These homes are all amazing. The history within the walls of each home is remarkable. You can't miss out.
The décor is French. Dark wood furniture, intricate drapes and lace, greenish wallpapers and chandeliered lights.
The entrance to the Mansion is lined by 250 years old oak trees at both sides of the driveway. I can imagine horse buggies trampling down the dusty road to the door step of the big house.
The home of the Creole and his French bride who lived and raised their family here in the 19th century. This big house with 10 rooms was built on the cotton plantation they owned.
Visited Laura Plantation after visiting Oak Alley. You can still see some of the old slave cabins in the back.