If you’ve ever enjoyed a nip of Southern Comfort bourbon, you’ll have already had a view of Woodland Plantation, in the Deep Mississipi Delta. A drawing of the 1830s plantation house, in West Pointe a La Hache, Louisiana, has graced the Southern Comfort label since 1934.
Today, the storied sugar-cane plantation—owned by the Creppel family, who restored it in the late 1990s—is not only an elegant inn and host to a raft of weddings, conferences, and other celebratory occasions, it is also a center for great fishing. At Woodland, just 40 minutes’ drive from New Orleans, you can spin cast, fly fish, or even bow fish (as some chef-fisherfolk are known to do) for redfish, speckled trout, black drum, sheephead, flounder, crappie, and bass. The Woodland team also arranges deep-sea fishing trips.
Birdwatchers also flock to Woodland’s 50 acres and the surrounding marshland to observe frigatebirds, pelicans, herons, egrets, gulls, ibis, and roseate spoonbills, among many other species.
Woodland was built by river pilot (and sometime pirate) Captain William Johnson, who had more than a passing association with pirate Jean Lafitte, a fixture in the slave trade. To bring a healing effect to the property, the Creppels moved a former 19th-century church to the site where the slave quarters had once been, made it into a dining hall and gathering place, and dubbed it Spirits Hall.