Soul & Spirituality
On Sacred Ground
Historic churches and cemeteries contribute to the richness of the architecture in Louisiana’s River Parishes. The region presents uniquely designed churches dating back to the 1700’s. The majority of the churches have adjacent cemeteries that showcase beautiful ancient tombs and grave-sites.
Your spiritual exploration begins with a light breakfast at PJ’s Coffee in Destrehan. Along with your favorite blend of coffee, have a baked croissant breakfast sandwich or an Easy Cream Cheese Danish.
Tour the Charles Borromeo Church and Cemetery. The church, once known as the Little Red Church, began as a small log chapel in 1740 on the east bank of the Mississippi River. The cemetery, originally known as the Little Red Church Cemetery, is the grave-site for many deceased local politicians.
Explore the grounds of the Kulgar and Kenner cemeteries in the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco. The graveyards were originally established for slaves in the 1800’s, and later, became the burial grounds for African American Civil War Union Army veterans. In 1929, the cemeteries were plowed over to make way for the construction of the Spillway.
Travel to LaPlace to have lunch at Mabile’s Restaurant. For starters, try half of a muffaletta or some onion rings, followed with an old fashioned roast beef sandwich or a catfish, shrimp and oyster platter. For dessert, have a piece of key lime pie.
Learn how religion played a role in the lives of African Americans during segregation at Historic Riverlands Our Lady of Grace Church in Reserve. Built in 1936, the sanctuary presents an exhibit of what life was like for black people living under Jim Crow laws and emphasizes the different music genres created by African American musicians throughout segregation.
Travel to Wallace to visit the Antioch Baptist Church. Located on the grounds of Whitney Plantation, the church was built after the Civil War and was the only church where former slaves attended service. The church is the introduction to Whitney Plantation and statues of young slaves are exhibited throughout the sanctuary.
For dinner, stop by Sam’s Southern Eatery in LaPlace and have a southern-style catfish poboy or a fried fish basket served with hush puppies. Finish dinner with a vanilla or strawberry shake.
Your spiritual exploration continues with breakfast at Cafe Perique in Gramercy. Have a good old-fashioned southern breakfast with coffee and orange juice.
Investigate the history of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Vacherie. Built by African Americans in the late 1800’s, the priests were persistent with allowing black Catholics to attend worship services at the church. Walk the grounds to see where the church bathroom stands as a monument to the segregated past.
Visit the 190-year old St. Michael Church in Convent. Inside the church is the Lourdes Grotto, built from shells collected from the Mississippi River and Bagasse rocks, which are formed from making sugar. The Henry Erben Pipe Organ, one of the oldest working organs of its kind in Louisiana, is in the church, and a Lamb of God portrait is on top of the altar. The cemetery is dedicated to the memory of Acadian ancestors who settled in the area in the 1700’s.
Pass by and take a look at the Bruslie Plantation Cemetery in Convent. The cemetery is an unmarked burial ground designated for deceased slaves in the 1830’s. The grave-site was a part of the Monroe and Bruslie Plantations, two of he numerous sugar plantations that once were among the cluster of the Mississippi River Road plantations.
Sail on the Blind River to see its hidden gem, Our Lady of the Blind River Chapel in Gramercy. Built from cypress trees by hand as a prayer sanctuary, the altar has a brightly painted Virgin Mary statue, a lacquered cypress stump, and a collage of religious photos at the entrance of the chapel.
Stop by Clay’s Cafe in LaPlace for a dinner. Fried ribs or hot wings are good starters, followed with a grilled chicken breast sandwich or grilled shrimp sandwich. For dessert, have a piece of pecan pie or a bowl of ice cream.
Discover Exciting Ways to Explore
Make planning your next vacation to Louisiana's River Parishes easy. Use one of our trip itineraries to get started.
Explore the 10 historic estates in the River Parishes of Louisiana and discover the stories rooted in their past.
Create memories learning the folklore of our swamps and viewing gators in their natural habitat.
Andouille was created here, so get out and try the local smokehouses that each have their own version of the "best".
The region out here is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and find adventure.
Famous for catfish, Lac Des Allemands is a haven for outdoor sportsmen.
Enjoyed around the world, Perique can only be grown and processed out here.
Cajun and Creole cuisine are as necessary to our culture as the people who make it.
Tour buses, shuttles and local airports are all transportation options for the River Parishes.
Louisiana's River Parishes offers a wide range of lodging options from rustic and quaint to upscale and luxurious.