A River Runs Through It
Ascension Parish has fertile soil for growing crops and culture on both sides of the Mississippi River. This mighty waterway has shaped the people living along its banks, and it plays a large role in its development even today.
Ascension Parish towns sprang up along the twists and turns of the current, including Louisiana’s first state capital in Donaldsonville, and the economic forces, from exploration to expansion and plantations to industry made use of its vast resources. Several attractions showcase its importance.
Great River Road Museum
One of our newest attractions seeks to provide a sense of place for the waterway. The Great River Road Museum, located on the property of Houmas House and Gardens in Darrow, is a 35,000-square-foot museum that features artwork and exhibits exploring the culture, commerce, folklore and music as it was in the 19th century in the lower Mississippi River Region between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
From standing at the helm of a great paddlewheeler and reminiscing with Mark Twain to taking in the battle scenes fought over control of the river, the exhibit will give you a greater understanding of the river its historic mark on our culture.
When you’ve completed reviewing the extensive exhibits inside the museum, make sure you traverse the Mississippi Riverwalk bridge, which leads to Sweet Spot Landing where you can soak up panoramic views of the mighty Mississippi itself. Houmas House and Gardens, of course, is also a worthy of a complete visit. The gardens are spectacular and the home is breathtaking, immaculately restored, with a magnificent tour.
Take the Sunshine Bridge to head over to the city that was once Louisiana’s capital, Donaldsonville. Crescent Park faces the Mississippi River with its beautiful outdoor park space surrounded by oak trees and wrought-iron fencing. This was once the main entry way into town, and portal panels at the park entrance allow visitors to learn more about Crescent Park and the history of Donaldsonville.
For a closer view, enjoy a relaxing stroll on a brick-paved path lined with benches and lights overlooking the Mississippi River. Explore two of the seven Historic Portals to the Past that are located along the levee top at the Riverwalk, as well as the Portal maps that will help guide you to the other five panels.
Come and explore river life on the east and west banks of the Mississippi in Ascension Parish, Louisiana’s Sweet Spot.