Established in 1809, St. Francisville is the oldest town in the Florida Parishes. Below where St. Francisville is located currently, was a settlement called Bayou Sara in the 1790s. When this settlement was destroyed by flooding and fires, many of the structures and artifacts were hauled up the bluff into St. Francisville where they still stand. With over 140 buildings on the National Register, beautiful homes nestled in the rolling countryside, and bustling Main Street shops, this quaint town situated on the bluffs of the Mississippi River has a style all its own.
Hop-On Hop-Off Included Excursions:
Today, you’ll get your first taste of AQSC’s included Hop-On Hop-Off excursions that begin right from the dock and take you around town to all the main points of interest. We encourage you to hop off the motorcoach whenever the urge catches you, because another one is on its way to pick you up, typically stopping every 15 to 20 minutes.
Guests can hop off here and walk over to The Republic of West Florida Historical Site. Or choose to stroll into Grandmother’s Buttons, a very unique southern boutique that offers jewelry made out of 100-year-old buttons. Inside the store, you can visit the button museum to learn the history of the business and the inspirations of the art. The store is located inside a former historic bank lobby with 16-foot ceilings and a bank vault. Even if jewelry isn’t in your plans, the architecture is beautiful.
Old Market Hall
Become steeped in southern charm and local artistry. Stop at Harrington Gallery to experience one-of-a-kind paintings and beautiful pieces by local artists. Visit the Shanty Too, a quaint boutique featuring artisan jewelry and gifts. The structure was built in 1819 and has a beautiful open layout. Now, the building is used as a market center for the town to host their small businesses.
West Feliciana Historical Society Museum
Learn about St. Francisville and Louisiana’s history and culture. Also, feel free to stop at the West Feliciana Parish Library and relax with a good book or newspaper. This museum is dedicated to the history, people, and architectures of West Feliciana Parish. Built inside a former hardware store built in 1896, the Historical Society Museum displays many artifacts, photos, costumes, and articles all portraying the history of St. Francisville. Just across the street, you can stop in any of the fine boutiques and shops.
Grace Episcopal Church
Originally built in 1827, this restored Gothic structure is one of the oldest Protestant churches in Louisiana. Learn about its significance during the Civil War and its historical Civil War cemetery. Built in 1860 and rebuilt in 1893 after the Union Army caused heavy damage in 1863, Grace Episcopal Church stands tall in St. Francisville. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the church and the grounds and make sure to check out the organ located inside – it dates all the way back to 1860.
Bicycles for Leisurely Use While in Port
The ship offers 10 complimentary bicycles and helmets at each port on your river cruise. Simply sign up at the front desk. With so many picturesque towns along the rivers, cycling is a great way to explore the shops and sites while getting in your daily dose of cardio. Our onboard staff will also provide you with local attraction maps and guides so that you can explore each port as you wish along your river journey.
Redemption & Rehabilitation at Angola Penitentiary
Angola Prison is known today as a model facility and takes great pride in the faith-based rehabilitation of its inmates. Your perception of prison will be changed today. As we wind through Angola’s vast, rich farmland where over five million pounds of produce are harvested by inmates each year, gaze upon the fields that seem to expand forever. Our ride will wind along as we pass inmates harvesting crops, cattle herds, the K-9 training facility, and the Rodeo arena. We will stop in front of the prison’s first and most famous Red Hat Cell Block. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the penitentiary’s first cell block was home to the escape artist Charlie Frazer. At the chapel you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear the enlightening stories from current inmates and the journey of their transformation into the inspiration and well-rounded people they are today. While here, learn more about the ongoing effort to change prisons in America. Film buffs will recognize Angola Prison from the Oscar-winning film Dead Man Walking, with Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.
Independent Lunch Recommendations (not included):
The Francis Southern Table & Bar: If you’re too enthralled in St. Francisville to make it back to the ship for lunch, consider partaking in local Cajun & Creole delights. Whether you choose Gumbo, a shrimp po’ boy (that’s a sandwich, y’all), frog legs, or a corn grit cake topped with the best shrimp & sauce ever, you’ll savor every bite of your own plate and the person’s next to you! Vegetarian and vegan friendly as well! Website: https://www.thefrancissoutherntable.com/Home#!
The Francis Southern Table & Bar: Established in November of 2019, The Saint Restaurant & Bar has quickly achieved respect and success within the region, rising to one of the top ten restaurants on OpenTable among all metropolitan Baton Rouge restaurants. Chef Michael Dardenne and his team have found an ideal balance between Cajun culture, European tradition, and cutting-edge flavors that the public can’t get enough of. Website: https://stfrancisvilleinn.com/about-our-restaurant/