New Orleans to Cajun Country: about 180 miles
Why go: The Great River Road runs through 10 states, and the stretch from New Orleans up to Baton Rouge offers a spectacular glimpse of plantation-era estates. Among the grandest are the San Francisco Plantation House and Houmas House. Traveling further west cuts deep through Cajun country and shady bayous.
Where to stay: On the Mississippi River in Vacherie, LA, Oak Alley Plantation recalls Gone with the Wind, with a quarter-mile canopy of 300-year-old oak trees leading to an antebellum house (doubles from $130).
What to eat along the way: Café Des Amis in Breaux Bridge, LA, fries airy beignets and prepares couche-couche, a hot cereal made with fried cornmeal; Poche's Market and Restaurant, also in Breaux Bridge, sells wonderful boudin (a pork and rice sausage that's a Cajun staple).SEE MORE