Note de l’editeur

Finding great happy hours is a bit of a hobby for me. Perhaps owing to a combination of the thrill of the hunt and the thrill of a deal or maybe I inherited the love of the game from my grandparents, who were ardent happy hour devotees. At first — and I’m sure many young cocktail enthusiasts can relate — it was born of the strict budget I was on in college and later, as a professional just starting out in my journalism career.

Along with friends and colleagues, it became a contest to see who could find the best prices or the most upscale locale with too-good-to-be-true specials. Everyone was keen to play along, because everyone came out a winner. While I’m still a sucker for a great happy hour and am always on the hunt for new haunts, as my career progressed, I was of course able to enjoy cocktails that weren’t on special and added finding fabulous places to have a drink (happy hour or not) into my hobby repertoire. Which is why when we landed on the possibility of bars as our recreation feature this year, I enthusiastically (and perhaps selfishly) voted yes.

For our Best Bars feature, writer Cheré Coen did the tough job of scouring the region to discover the best bars in Acadiana. Whether you prefer kicking back with a cold beer, sipping wine or live for the sound of a cocktail shaker, there is a watering hole for you. We also took into consideration breweries, patios and those other little details that can determine where drinks will be had at any given moment.

Tipplers rejoice, because not only do we have the comprehensive bar feature, but  also our Voyages travel feature for this issue is about imbibing. Join us for a trip to the wineries of the Texas Hill Country. If you’ve never visited, I recommend a trip to Fredericksburg in particular as soon as you are able to get it on your schedule. Any time of year, this charming town is a favorite destination to eat, shop, check out a festival or art show and — it is surrounded by wineries.

Not to make light of health issues, but in this issue we also have our annual Hospitals of Acadiana feature, which this time includes profiles of doctors who are working with new, life-saving tools, techniques and innovations. We are fortunate to have top-notch medical care in the region and look forward each year to learning about how the professionals in this sector are saving lives.

As always, we hope you enjoy this issue as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. Have a great time checking out the bars in the region, but be sure to drink responsibly.

Cheers to your health!