Don't Miss in Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, Louisiana
Houmas House: While you won't make use of the luxurious overnight accommodations, do visit the large gift shop, wine cellar and three restaurants, including the upscale Latil's Landing, which draws diners from New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Meals here are a treat: There's a fabulous brunch on Sundays at Latil's Landing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Cafe Burnside is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You can't visit Houmas House without strolling through the beautiful, four-season garden that includes both indigenous and exotic plants tucked amid ponds, and an alley of majestic live oaks. Gardener Craig Black has tended to the lush gardens here for nearly 40 years.
Tanger Outlet Mall: Shoppers can find bargains at the Tanger Outlet Mall Gonzales, which is seven miles from Houmas House. (2410 Tanger Boulevard; 225-647-9383)
Cajun Food: Family-owned since 1973, The Cabin Restaurant is popular with locals and tourists, who stop here for seafood, po'boys, red beans and rice, salads, and Cajun and Creole dishes. It's about 2 miles from Houmas House. (5405 Louisiana 44, Gonzales; 225-473-3007; thecabinrestaurant.com; open Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.)