Whether visitors come to explore Louisiana’s deep-fried history, looking for a restful weekend getaway, or wanting to listen to some great music, the sleepy town of St. Francisville in Louisiana is worth a visit. The town is only thirty miles from Baton Rouge, but feels like worlds away from the bustling capital city. St. Francisville is said to be the state’s second oldest town and boasts a relaxed, slow-paced atmosphere, making it a perfect place to escape for a weekend of relaxation, but a place that still offers numerous things to do. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.The Myrtles Plantation
© The Myrtles Plantation
Often referred to as the “most haunted plantation in America,” The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville is a popular destination for both history enthusiasts and ghost hunters alike. Visitors can join either a guided private tour or a public group tour of the large house, or choose to do a self-guided tour throughout the grounds of the plantation. Evening mystery tours take place during the weekend and advance reservations are highly recommended for these popular tours. Guests wanting to remain at The Myrtles Plantation overnight can stay at the on-site bed-and-breakfast, surrounded by the garden’s elegant surroundings.
7747 U.S. Highway 61, St. Francisville, LA 70775, Phone: 225-635-6277
2.Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site
© Visit St. Francisville
The Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site provides an opportunity to get a personal and up-close look at the lives of the wealthy planters of Louisiana around the year 1834. The Rosedown Plantation was constructed by Daniel Turnbull, one of the country’s wealthiest men during his time. Today, visitors can still see a large number of the original artifacts and furnishings collected by the Turnbull family during their European travels, in addition to exploring the twenty-eight acres of beautiful formal gardens. Guided tours of the Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site are offered and there is a gift store selling a variety of Louisiana souvenirs.
12501 LA-10, St Francisville, LA 70775, Phone: 225-635-3332
© Visit St. Francisville
The Oakley Plantation is located at the Audubon State Historic Site between the towns of Jackson and St. Francisville. The site is where John James Audubon, noted artist and ornithologist, spent a summer in 1821 and the Oakley Plantation is where he lived during that time. The plantation house itself was built back in 1806 and is a great example of the early Anglo-American architectural style of Louisiana. The lush natural setting of the Oakley Plantation, along with the array of birds that can be heard singing within the one-hundred-acre forest, still continue to inspire people today.
11788 LA-965, St Francisville, LA 70775, Phone: 225-635-3739
4.Grace Church of West Feliciana Parish
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The Grace Church of West Feliciana Parish in the charming Historic District of St. Francisville, Louisiana is a beautiful brick building and the state’s second oldest Episcopal church. The historic Grace Church is situated within the state’s West Feliciana Parish, with the first congregation of the church organizing back1827. The present Grace Church of West Feliciana Parish was completed in the year 1860, however, the building was heavily damaged in 1863 during America’s Civil War by Union gunboats. The appearance of the Grace Church today dates its rebuilding and repairs to 1893, with its organ still dating back to 1860.
11621 Ferdinand St, St Francisville, LA 70775, Phone: 225-635-4065
5.Audubon State Historic Site
© Audubon State Historic Site
The Audubon State Historic Site is named after John James Audubon, one of the most revered naturalists of the United States, who was made famous during the early 1800’s for his wildlife paintings. Audubon arrived at the Oakley House in 1821, and the home still stands today at the state historic site, open to visitors to see how it appeared during the time period and walk the very same grounds that Audubon one did when he worked on his thirty-two painting of the birds throughout the area. The guided tours take guests through the seventeen rooms of the Oakley House.
11788 LA-965, St Francisville, LA 70775, Phone: 225-635-3739
6.Afton Villa Gardens
The Afton Villa Gardens in the laid-back town of St. Francisville, Louisiana is one of the state’s more unique plantations. Named after a gothic antebellum mansions that was destroyed in 1963 by a fire, the gardens span across the more than 20-acre grounds around and on the ruins of multiple historic buildings. This dramatic scenery is often referred to as “the ruins gardens,” and is only one of the Afton Villa’s features. Other parts of the Afton Villa Gardens worth visiting are the family cemetery, the daffodil valley, the oak tree-lined and azalea-filled entrance, and the formal English garden.
9347 Highway 61, St. Francisville, LA 70775, Phone: 225-721-2269
7.Butler Greenwood Plantation
© Butler Greenwood Plantation
The Butler Greenwood Plantation is one of the most historic antebellum plantation homes in the region and is still owned by its original family. The history plantation still features many original furnishings, portraits, porcelains, silver, clothing, and other objects of the time period. Guided tours of the Butler Greenwood Plantation are conducted by members of the family the same family that originally owned the home. Guests can also stay overnight in of the bed-and-breakfast cottages situated throughout the plantation grounds. Each of these cottages include a deck or porch, a kitchen, a whirlpool, and a private bath.
8345 US-61, St Francisville, LA 70775, Phone: 225-635-6312
8.West Feliciana Historical Society Museum
© West Feliciana Historical Society Museum
The West Feliciana Historical Society Museum is operated by the West Feliciana Historical Society, which boasts a mission of preserving and promoting the West Feliciana area of Louisiana architecturally, culturally, and historically through stewardship and education. The museum displays numerous exhibits that interpret the history of the local area. It also provides tourist information, guidebooks, and brochures for visitors. The West Feliciana Historical Society in St. Francisville has been housed within a classic gable-front former hardware store, built back in 1895, since 1970. The museum is open to the public daily from 9:00am until 5:00pm at no cost.
11757 Ferdinand St, St. Francisville, LA 70775, Phone: 225-635-6330
Hemingbough iis a center for spiritual awareness and awakening in St. Francisville, as well as a destination for the arts, opera, symphony, and education. The arts facility also hosts a variety of prominent cinematographers, authors, and lecturers throughout the year, in addition to theater other popular entertainment, and private events. The intriguing and spacious grounds are also home to a Greek amphitheater that overlooks Lake Audubon, Greek Revival architecture, fountains, and statuary. The property is designed to provide visitors with a “sense of peace,” and guests may hear or even spot several peacocks on the grounds.
10101 LA-965, St Francisville, LA 70775, Phone: 225-635-6617
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10.Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge
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Established in 2000, the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge is part of the country’s National Wildlife Refuge System, located just outside of town, about thirty miles away from the city of Baton Rouge. The refuge was created in an effort to “conserve, restore, and manage” the area’s native forest wetland habitats for threatened and endangered animals and plants, aquatic resources, and migratory birds. Recreation activities possible within the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge include hiking, wildlife viewing, photography, paddling, interpretive programs, and fishing. The Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge was also established to encourage partnerships with conservation organizations and local communities.
St Francisville, LA 70775
10 Best Things to Do in St. Francisville, LA
- The Myrtles Plantation, Photo: The Myrtles Plantation
- Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, Photo: Visit St. Francisville
- Oakley Plantation, Photo: Visit St. Francisville
- Grace Church of West Feliciana Parish, Photo: Sevenstock Studio/stock.adobe.com
- Audubon State Historic Site, Photo: Audubon State Historic Site
- Afton Villa Gardens, Photo: Martin/stock.adobe.com
- Butler Greenwood Plantation, Photo: Butler Greenwood Plantation
- West Feliciana Historical Society Museum, Photo: West Feliciana Historical Society Museum
- Hemingbough, Photo: Hemingbough
- Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge, Photo: Niks Ads/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: IVÁN VIEITO GARCÍA/stock.adobe.com