Picturesque Antebellum Plantation amid Manicured Grounds
In 1834, Colonel Thomas Sully snatched up a 24-acre parcel of land north of Lake Pontchartrain and promptly erected a West Indian–style plantation, which he dubbed Monrepos. Although estate ownership has changed hands several times, the antebellum home has retained its original cypress floor in the upstairs hallway, its grandiose 15-foot ceilings, and an artesian well dug in 1827, which still retrieves much of the inn's water today. Having endured nearly two centuries of history and a round of recent renovations, Annadele's Plantation Bed and Breakfast's white clapboard exterior and navy-blue awnings still exude the old-fashioned, stately sensibility of a Louisianan plantation.
The plantation's four B & B suites each don individual décor and amenities. In the Enchanted Oak suite, a private bath with a jacuzzi tub relaxes lodgers before they slip into slumber on the california-king bed. A pair of french doors opens onto a spacious balcony in both the Cypress Grove and the Pear Blossom suites, where overnighters can spray passing newlyweds with the complimentary bottle of house champagne.
Under the tutelage of executive chef Ronald Bonnette, Annadele's Plantation Restaurant whips up classic Creole and French fare. At dinner, dishes such as sautéed chicken lafayette ($18) and seafood au gratin ($28) populate the menu. Diners can choose from six distinct dining rooms; the first-floor Garden Room overlooks the estate's manicured grounds.
Covington, Louisiana: Quaint Town Less Than an Hour North of New Orleans
The massive Lake Pontchartrain separates the metropolis of New Orleans to the south from the quaint residential community of Covington, nestled on the lake's northern shores. Covington's small-town charm is put on display at its twice-weekly farmers' market, where live music emanates as vendors sell fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and breads, in addition to prepared Italian, Greek, Mediterranean, and Mexican fare.
Abita Brewing Company, which crafts popular beers such as Turbodog and Purple Haze, is based out of nearby Abita Springs. On guided one-hour tours, visitors pass through a gas-lit courtyard to the tasting room, where they can sample several types of suds and make snow angels in piles of yeast on a tour of the brewing facility. An adjacent restaurant brewpub serves southern comfort fare and Abita beers that are only available at the brewery, such as chocolate stout and cask-conditioned brown ale.