The best place to stay when fishing the marsh is a historic, antebellum mansion converted into a lively bed and breakfast called The Woodland Plantation. Originally established as a working plantation in the 1834, the Woodland is now a family owned and operated hotel with over twenty bedrooms each with private baths. In addition to the “Big House”, the Plantation also has five other buildings on the property for smaller groups to enjoy a private house or condo-style accommodation.
The Woodland is located right along the west bank the Mississippi River forty-five minutes from New Orleans and ten minutes from the usual boat launch. It is everything you would expect in a 180 year-old southern mansion including quiet bedrooms, rocking chairs on the porch, and a swamp with alligators out back. Note a rendering of the Woodland Plantation “Big House” is actually represented on the label of the Southern Comfort Whiskey bottle.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Woodland Plantation is their “Spirits Hall” dining room and bar. Once a Catholic church located downriver, Foster moved, refurbished, and converted it into the charming social gather spot for guests. Ironically, the modified pulpit is now a well stocked bar. The ball game is always on the television, and someone is always available to share a drink or memories from your fishing day on the marsh.
Foster and his staff kick out incredible food you would expect from a proper fishing lodge. Oysters on the half shell, fried shrimp, gumbo, blackened redfish or “puppy drum”, beef, pulled pork and every other Cajun masterpiece imaginable. Homemade desserts range from pecan pie to bread pudding or ice cream. Boat lunches are usually sandwiches or creatively presented leftovers, however make sure to request Foster’s muffaletta sandwiches.
The Ritz Carlton (504) 524-1331, Riverside Hilton (504) 561-0500, and Hotel Mazarin (504) 581-7300 are three great hotel options. If you choose to stay in the city we ask you make necessary arrangements to get to Penny’s Cafe on the days you fish. Renting a car is a cheap option to explore the city and make your way to and from Penny’s. There are also cabs that will bring you to and from Penny’s.
We recommend staying at Best Western Plus in Chalmette, La (504) 309-6360.