Rip Van Winkle Gardens located on Jefferson Island is filled with history and culture. The gardens and nearby Avery Island are a must see for all travelers and visitors to Louisiana.
Now this is a must visit any time I’m in the area. The entrance itself is amazing with enormous oak tree’s lining the drive in. As you travel toward the main building, you will see several beautiful cottages that can be rented overnight. After passing the cottages, you can park and go in the main shop to pay for a tour of the facility. Be sure to get a map and check out the Joseph Jefferson Mansion. If weather permits, walk the grounds to see the previous fireplace before the tragedy occurred. The grounds are maintained extremely well and to get a real idea of what’s involved with that, visit the greenhouses.
The Joseph Jefferson Mansion, built in 1870 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a charming twenty-two room Southern mansion, with a fourth-story cupola. Jefferson sited it among 350-year-old-oak trees high atop the salt dome, at an elevation of 75 feet above sea level – almost unheard of in the coastal areas of south Louisiana.
The home is an architectural treasure reflecting Moorish, Steamboat Gothic, French and Southern Plantation styles, harking to the Victorian age of elegance and grandeur. It stands as the centerpiece of the Gardens, and its richly appointed with heirlooms, period paintings, rare Louisiana pieces and fine examples of American and French Empire furniture. Tours of the gardens and mansion begin on the hour from 9 a.m to 4 p.m seven days a week.
Now I can’t show you every site, some are better seen in person. Be sure to visit the greenhouses before leaving.
If you are looking for a romantic getaway, book an overnight stay in the Rip Van Winkle’s Bed and Breakfast.