Antebellum Plantation amid Manicured Grounds
In 1834, Colonel Thomas Sully snatched up a 24-acre property north of Lake Pontchartrain and erected a West Indian–style plantation, which he dubbed Monrepos. Although the estate has changed hands several times—including serving as the New Orleans mayor’s summer home—the antebellum mansion still retains many of its original elements as Annadele’s Plantation Bed and Breakfast. The original cypress floor covers the upstairs hallway, grandiose 15-foot ceilings help to control temperatures, and an artesian well dug in 1827 still retrieves much of the inn's water. After 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 decor and amenities. In the Enchanted Oak suite, there’s a private bath with a jacuzzi and a California king bed. French doors open onto a spacious balcony in both the Cypress Grove and the Pear Blossom suites, from which guests can spray passing newlyweds with a complimentary bottle of house champagne.
With the second option, you’ll get a $35 credit for dinner at Annadele’s Plantation Restaurant. Under the tutelage of executive chef Ronald Bonnette, the eatery serves classic Creole and French fare, with dishes ranging from sautéed chicken lafayette ($18) to seafood au gratin ($28). Annadele’s boast six distinct dining rooms—the first-floor Garden Room overlooks the estate's manicured grounds, while the Tea Room is an intimate place to enjoy a soothing cup of tea.
Covington, Louisiana: Quaint Town Just North of New Orleans
The massive Lake Pontchartrain separates 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 found at its twice-weekly farmers' market, where vendors sell fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and breads amid live music. You might also find prepared Italian, Greek, Mediterranean, and Mexican fare.
Abita Brewing Company, which crafts nationally known crafts beers such as the Turbodog english brown ale and the fruity 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. An adjacent brewpub restaurant serves Southern comfort fare and Abita beers that are only available at the brewery, such as chocolate stout and cask-conditioned brown ale.