Author: Cheré Coen

Getting on the water in Monroe and West Monroe

  Nothing screams relief on a hot summer day than water. And in Monroe and West Monroe, there are plenty of options to cool off and refresh. For those who love to be outdoors, rent a canoe or kayak from…

Flying Over Gators

  Last week I wrote about great places to view alligators, but for those more adventurous here’s a spot where you can zip line over dozens of the scary reptiles. There’s so much to see and do at Gators and…

In Search of Gators

  One of the first things visitors ask me when they land in Louisiana is where to find gators — well, second to the nearest drive-through daiquiri. Then they go all freaky like when I tell them we get up…

Big Creek Trade Days

  Big Creek Trade Days may be hard to find through the backroads outside Ruston, but even if you get lost and stop several times to check your GPS – like we did – the stress is worth the final…

Honeymoon: Deep in the Heart

Planning and executing a wedding and reception is a monumental undertaking, no matter the size. And while the honeymoon exists at the wedding’s conclusion for romance and relaxation, leaving the party to fly to a far destination may be just…

The Odd Bayou Art of Kenny Hill

  I recently traveled “down the bayou” with a group of out-of-state travel writers, heading south on La. Hwy. 56 out of Houma, then Montegut. As we made our way toward the Gulf and land became increasingly aqueous, the writers…

SOLO Fest

  Last year, Lafayette debuted a musical event that matched local songwriters with national and international professionals in a collaborative workshop. Titled South Louisiana Songwriters Festival and Workshop (SOLO), this four-day event partnered with the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation to…

French Heritage Festival at Kent House Plantation

Settled by the French in the 1700s, Natchitoches Poste became the oldest town in Louisiana. It was here that Pierre Baillio served as an officer at Fort St. Jean Baptiste, marrying Marie Catherine Poissot and raising a family. His eldest…

Stuffed Shrimp in Shreveport

I must admit, I dearly love a food festival, and after sampling Eddie Hughes’ famous stuffed shrimp recipe at the restaurant named for the former chef, I’m thrilled to discover that the Eddie E. Hughes Foundation and Budweiser will be…

Big Fun in Little Rock

The first time I visited Little Rock, the hotel desk clerk — an evacuee from Hurricane Katrina who landed in Arkansas’ capital when he headed north and finally found a place to stay — enthusiastically greeted me. After we exchanged…

Jefferson Highway

Before his company created Better Homes & Gardens and other memorable magazines, Edwin T. Meredith covered America’s farms. Almost exactly 100 years ago he was reporting on transportation trends, noting the rise of the automobile and the completion of the…

Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

Stroll through the historic downtown of New Iberia and you’ll find gracious live oak trees, beautiful historic homes and the Shadows-on-the-Teche plantation, spots where James Lee Burke used in his best-selling novels and the cement Grotto of Our Lady of…

Sale on the Trail

If you love a treasure hunt, be it a garage sale, estate sale or searching through thrift and antique shops, you’ll not want to miss the 11th annual El Camino Real Sale on the Trail. This highway-long shopping extravaganza May…

Coca-Cola And Joseph A. Biedenharn

  Atlanta claims Coca-Cola but Joseph A. Biedenharn was the first bottler of the soda pop sensation and he built his home in Monroe. Visitors can tour the elegant home and gardens built in 1914, plus view the neighboring Coke…

Boating the Basin

If you’ve traveled along Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and Lafayette, you’ll have ridden across one of the world’s longest bridges. The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge — actually a pair of parallel bridges —  stretches more than 18 miles and is…

Be A Doll

I’m not a doll fan, had a few small ones as a child but most dolls with their vacant stares or beady eyes appeared a bit freaky to me. Call me a geek, but I veered toward rock collecting and…

Voyages: Wild at Heart

Visitors come to Grosse Savanne Lodge for the excellent hunting and fishing but on this crisp spring morning we came to shoot birds. Our weapons of choice, however, were cameras. Louisiana is known as Sportman’s Paradise — and with good…

Trailblazers

Acadiana is a region steeped in history, culture and tradition and its people are known for their irrepressible and entrepreneurial spirit. It is with this idea in mind that we created the Acadiana Profile’s Trailblazers. Some of the honorees are…

Relive the siege at Port Hudson

  My first battlefield experience was Bull Run in northern Virginia, the first full skirmish of the Civil War and one that would repeat itself years later. Listening to the park ranger talk of flanks and advances while staring at…

Eating Our Way Through Shreveport

  Go ahead, twist our arm! The 318 Restaurant Week, a citywide promotion of local restaurants organized by the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau and its partners, returns March 18 through 23 at more than 50 participating restaurants. Lunch and…

The Hunt For Beignets In Acadiana

  When fellow travel writers come to town, it’s on me to make sure they experience the best of Louisiana. Such was the case when Pamela Wattenbarger of Georgia arrived in Lafayette for Mardi Gras. Acadiana tourism folks planned to…

Resorting to Fun: New and Renewed Gulf Coast Resorts

  FLORIDA   SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Navarre Beach   Navarre Beach, Florida, rests between busy Pensacola and Destin and offers a peaceful alternative to Gulf Coast vacations. Maybe it’s the proximity to the Gulf Islands National Seashore or because…

Louisiana's Best Retirement Cities

Moderate climate, great food, the great outdoors, Mardi Gras — Louisiana has a lot to offer. With seniors about to become the largest demographics in the nation, Louisiana is primed to attract those who want to spend their glory years in…

Farther Flung: Southern Hospitality

Atlanta may be the most-visited but rarely-seen city in America — its international airport calls itself the world’s busiest in terms of passenger traffic. But if you’re like many travelers and only visit Atlanta to change planes, it’s time to…

A Royal Affair

Lake Charles flaunts Carnival royalty at the Mardi Gras Royal Gala

The Krewe of Highland

  Mardi Gras weather can turn on a dime, one reason my mother used to create costumes that could easily be worn as is or slipped over long sleeves and long johns. That was the case in Shreveport last year…

Louisiana Winter Beer Festival

  More than 40 breweries will be on tap at the Louisiana Winter Beer Festival from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 9, in the 1000 block of Ryan Street overlooking the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse and 1911 Historic City…

No Man’s Land

  When the United State purchased Louisiana from France, practically doubling the size of the country, their next-door neighbor had a few issues with the deal. Spain, which owned the territory that’s now Texas, disputed the boundary lines on its…

New Llano Colony

Chalk this under who knew, Louisiana? Labor lawyer and socialist Job Harriman was popular with the voters at the turn of the 20th century, but never enough to get elected. He ran for U.S. vice president with Eugene Debs in…