10 Best Southern Mansions

Experience southern history on a visit to one of the 10 best southern mansions. The stories of plantation owners, wealthy merchants, politicians and African-American slaves are all heard on a visit to these southern mansions.

  1. The Hermitage. Andrew Jackson's Nashville homestead, the Hermitage, features a southern mansion from 1821.  See the slave quarters and hear stories about Jackson and the slaves who lived there. The lush gardens have been restored and in the garden are the tombs of Andrew Jackson and his wife under a Greek-style cupola.
  2. Rosedown Estate. This Greek Revival southern mansion sits on 371 acres in Louisiana. Formerly a cotton plantation, the mansion was built in 1834. The mansion sits at the end of a long drive covered with a canopy of oaks. The plantation originally covered 3455 acres and had dozens of acres of gardens with hundreds of slaves who worked the cotton fields and maintained dozens of acres of gardens. The impressive drive up to the mansion, its interior decoration and the gardens are all reasons that this is one of the best southern mansions to visit.
  3. Shadows-on-the-Teche. Also in the heart of Louisiana is the white columned southern mansion on the banks of the Bayou Teche. This antebellum home is known to be one of the best southern mansions because of the extensive family documents that aided in restoration and the preservation of the family’s possessions.
  4. Dinglewood House. This "Italianate" house was built for colonel Joel Early Hurt in 1858. Unusual at the time, it actually had private water and gas systems installed at the time of construction.  Frescoes and finish work in the southern mansion were done by Italian craftsmen. On the National Register of Historic Places, this remarkable home is located the Dinglewood Historic District in Columbus Georgia.
  5. Drayton Hall. This red-bricked home has withstood the American Revolution, the Civil War, earthquakes, and hurricanes. This southern mansion in Charleston, South Carolina, is one of best examples of Georgian-Palladian architecture in the country. Visitors can see the mansion, the grounds, and the slave cemetery. The grounds can be explored on a guided marsh or river tour.
  6. Magnolia Plantation. Also in South Carolina is the Magnolia Plantation. This southern mansion was begun before the American Revolution by Thomas Drayton. Family owned for 300 years, 10 rooms in the mansion can be seen by visitors. Tour one of the best public gardens in the United States. Take a boat tour along the flooded rice fields and the Ashley River or see 600 acres of wildlife in the marshes, forests and wetlands on the nature train.
  7. Dunleith. This stately home, completely encircled by columns was built in 1856 in Natchez, Mississippi. On the estate visitors can see the southern mansion, the poultry house, carriage house and stable, and a greenhouse. Tours are given in the mornings.
  8. Longwood. The construction of this unique octagonal house was interrupted by the onset of the Civil War. So the rooms on the basement floor are the only ones that were ever finished. This 30,000 square-foot, six-story home, is topped by a Byzantine dome. On the lower floor you can see the original family furnishings. Surrounding the house are the rose scented gardens.
  9. Biltmore House. Near Asheville North Carolina, this is the largest house in America. This southern mansion is a French Chateau with 250 rooms and gardens designed by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. On the tour visitors can see Renoir paintings, 16th century tapestries, and the 10,000 books in the library. The home also boasts an indoor pool, bowling alley and 65 fireplaces.  Visitors learn about the Biltmore family and their legendary hospitality.
  10. Mount Vernon. The jewel of the best southern mansions is Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, on the Potomac River.  Visitors are invited to see the mansion, gardens, slave quarters, kitchen, stables and greenhouse. Don’t miss the Pioneer Farmer site, a recreation of George Washington’s working farm. Witness the ceremony to lay wreaths at the tombs of George and Martha Washington every day. Historically interesting is the nearby Slave Memorial and Burial Grounds.
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