Author: Cheré Coen

Beachy Keen

Gulf Coast Tourism reinvented itself since the pandemic began, luring visitors to its emerald waters and white sandy beaches while promoting strict safety measures. New hotels and restaurants continue to spring up, attractions such as the new Mississippi Aquarium and…

Florida Bound

Until the end of March, things slow down significantly at Blue Spring State Park outside DeLand, Fla. Water activities such as paddling and swimming cease in this central Florida park, but visitors don’t seem to mind. Most come for the…

Beach Please

Hurricane Sally did a number on Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, flooding properties and halting businesses already…

History Lessons

Montgomery is a city of dichotomies. A telegram by Jefferson Davis to order the bombing of Fort Sumter that began the Civil War was sent from the Winters Building on one side of the Montgomery’s Court Square. On the other…

Travel: Geaux Skiing

Travelers this time of year are usually looking to escape Carnival. While there’s not much to escape from this year, there’s still the invigorating slopes for those looking to getaway. Many New Orleanians head west to the Rockies, but great…

Travel Resolutions

Forget those diet resolutions.  When do those 10 pounds ever come off? Especially with Carnival following the holidays. Instead, resolve to visit cities and towns in one of America’s most fascinating states — Louisiana! Here are suggestions to put on…

Floating Along

My mother always sewed my Mardi Gras costumes growing up, leaving room for turtlenecks and T-shirts should the weather turn cold. One never knows what Louisiana winters will bring. The weekend could prove warm and mild, our faces basking in…

Farther Flung: The Path of History

There’s so much on the horizon for Natchez this year.  Dunleith, the historic plantation with its sprawling estate and cozy fine dining restaurant, opens this spring after a long renovation. The historic home built in 1885 was acquired by the…

Travel: Coastal Holiday

The weather outside on the Gulf Coast this time of years sits on the good side of frightful. For the most part, the rain and bitter cold have yet to rear their ugly heads. This month on the Mississippi Gulf…

Socially Distant

As we head into fall, and the heat abates, thoughts turn to the outdoors. What better place to enjoy the cool, refreshing weather than Louisiana’s…

Travel: Park Place

With its endless strip shopping centers, freeways and urban sprawl, Houston may appear to most as just another concrete jungle. What may surprise many is that the nation’s fourth largest city is home to 580 parks, including two of the…

Travel: Lookout Mountain

If you plant a finger on a map of the U.S., aiming for the heart of the South, you’ll likely hit Lookout Mountain. Rising up from the Cumberland Plateau in Georgia and Alabama and stretching into Tennessee where it overlooks…

In Play

When casinos reopened in May, they followed many other Louisiana businesses by limiting their offerings — in this case gaming positions — and decreasing the facility’s capacity to allow for social distancing. Safety precautions were put in place, including requiring…

Hike and Bike Y'all

Tammany Trace Abandoned train corridors can be reincarnated into excellent biking and hiking paths, and such was the case in St. Tammany Parish. The parish government purchased land once owned by the Illinois Central Railroad and created the Tammany Trace,…

Best $3 Ever Spent

  You would think that an introvert who works at home would perform ok in this pandemic. At first, I did fine, although having family members constantly at home proved challenging at times. But last week hit me hard. I…

The Great Lakes of Acadiana

Thank goodness for the endless outdoor opportunities located throughout South Louisiana. Take lakes, for instance, great bodies of water that provide excellent fishing, boating, swimming and birding. Not to mention they’re cool and refreshing should you wish to dive in.…

Grace Episcopal Church and Cemetery, St. Francisville

  We all know that war is hell but sometimes there’s a brief pause in the suffering when the light shines through and we remember our humanity. U.S. Lt. Cmdr. John Elliott Hart happened to be commanding the Union gunboat…

A Trip to Natchitoches and a Few Historic State Parks

  Folks travel to Louisiana from around the world hoping to find French culture and language. After all, Louisiana as a European settlement was founded by the French. What tourists discover is that Louisiana’s unique heritage expands beyond its French…

Fishing is Hot at Cool Toledo Bend

  I’m not into fishing, although I won’t pass up a chance to get out on a lake, especially during the Dog Days of summer. So, when tourism officials invited me out on a guided fishing excursion on Toledo Bend,…

Bayou Teche Museum Celebrates Milestone

  The first time I discovered the unique Bayou Teche Museum in New Iberia was in advance of the inaugural El Festival Espanol de Nueva Iberia or Spanish Festival in 2012. I was so impressed with this small museum and…

Lorrain Bridge and Park

  It’s a lovely, although circuitous drive to Lorrain Parish Park, heading south from Welch and Interstate 10 and then west on rural West Niblett Road. You’ll pass bayous, cows and rows of ancient live oak trees until you reach…

Beach Vibes

Summer’s here and the beaches are calling. Coastal Alabama is not only open for business but offers plenty of ways to get outside and stay at least six feet away from others. There are 60 miles of Gulf beaches and…

Nature Heals

Mark Elliott had spent 70 straight days working in his kayak outfitter warehouse after having to send five of his employees home due to COVID-19. Spring was usually a time when interest in paddling surged, but the phones weren’t ringing…

Staycationing in the Atchafalaya

Summer adventure awaits in one of Louisiana’s most impressive and diverse outdoor spaces Chalk it up to the impressive statistics, the 200 species of birds and incredible sports fishing and hunting. The massive Atchafalaya River Basin tops all U.S. wetlands,…

A Monroe Getaway

  I’m still skittish about moving into society — and with good reason, of course. But, a recent getaway to Monroe-West Monroe for rest and relaxation, plus a little antique shopping and good eating, allowed me a road trip fix without…

Historic Fiske Was First

  For those of you who grew up attending movie theaters that projected one film, sold popcorn so fresh you shoveled it into your mouth before the film began and lounged in chairs plush and soft, you’ll love the Fiske…

Look to the Skies

  This month, Louisiana skies will be ablaze with energy. The fifth annual CenterPoint Energy Red River Balloon Rally, presented by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, will take place June 12-14, sending local and regional balloons over various neighborhoods in…

A Historic Walk Through Lafayette

  Normally this time of year, downtown Lafayette is bursting with live music and the Downtown Alive concert series, in addition to festivals, Second Saturday ArtWalk and incredible scents of cuisine emanating from popular eateries. Galleries and restaurants are beginning…

On The Trail Of Our Elders

  Dr. Edwin Lewis Stephens, the first president of the University of Southwestern Louisiana Institute, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, was inspired by a Walt Whitman poem and started possibly the first organization for live oak trees. As…