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Side Trips from New Orleans Sights

Rip Van Winkle Gardens

  • 5505 Rip Van Winkle Rd. Map It
  • Jefferson Island
  • Garden/Arboretum

Fodor's Review

The highlight of a visit here is the magnificent 20-acre garden filled with semitropical vegetation and the sort of vistas that only a salt dome can offer in southern Louisiana. A café looks over Lake Peigneur and provides a restful and picturesque spot for refreshments after exploring the gardens. Be on the lookout for the peacocks—if you're lucky, one of the males will open his feathers for you. Also on the grounds is the Joseph Jefferson Home, a highly idiosyncratic mansion that combines Steamboat Gothic, Moorish, and French-plantation styles. It was built as a country home for stage actor Joseph Jefferson in the mid-19th century and is open for 40-minute tours. There is also a bed-and-breakfast on the grounds, should you like it so much you want to stay.

Sight Information


5505 Rip Van Winkle Rd., Jefferson Island, Louisiana, 70560, USA

Map It



Sight Details:

  • House tour and garden $10
  • Daily 9–5


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