Lets Go, Louisiana

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Cinema on the Bayou

  I used to beg festival organizers to place one in January, something festive to enjoy inside away from the wet, chilly weather. Then came Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival in Lafayette, a multi-day event that showcases numerous independent,…

Chasing Eagles

  Years ago, on a visit to Toledo Bend I spotted a bald eagle’s nest in a remote spot of South Toledo Bend State Park. When January rolled around this year and I was in bad need of a nature…

Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel Celebrates 25th Anniversary

  Like many Louisiana organizations, the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana looked to raise money and started small, opening the Chitimacha Bayouland Bingo. In December 1993, the tribe took things up a notch, transforming the bingo establishment into Cypress Bayou Casino,…

Bienvenue, Papa Noel

While most of the United States anxiously awaits the arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, in Louisiana children look for Papa Noel. To help the French Santa find their stockings hanging by the chimney with care, we light bonfires…

If Our Ancestors Decorated For The Holidays

  I’m a history nerd, so I must admit that part of me balks at the sight of holiday lights and laughing Santa Claus decorating a historic village. But only for a millisecond. As quickly as that idea floats through…

Breakaway largest ship to sail from New Orleans

This past week Norwegian Cruise Line brought its Norwegian Breakaway ship to the New Orleans port and now offers five- to 11-days cruises to the Caribbean. The Breakaway, named Best Cruise Ship for Families by USA Today, is now the…

2018 Louisiana Book Festival

It’s been 15 years since the inauguration of the Louisiana Book Festival and I have attended all but two events and can honestly say I’ve loved every minute. The annual fall festival gathers together dozens and dozens of authors celebrating…