Since the first passenger-bearing steamboat departed New Orleans for the shores of Mandeville in 1821, city dwellers seeking respite from the blistering summer heat have crossed Lake Pontchartrain to enjoy pine-scented air and clean recreational waterways. I am no exception. I have a thing for tubing. A simple creature, plopping my butt in an inner tube then floating down a Northshore-area river with a group of friends while alternating between eating fried chicken and drinking beer (this is the only time I drink beer), staring at the sky, and disentangling myself and my tube from whatever vines, brush, boulders, and whatnot, is my idea of a very fine day. I like kayaking and canoeing, too, but I am known for being the uncoordinated one most likely to flip the vessel, so I am not a Top Tier Pick for these activities. I have never tried skydiving, but it is not out of the question.
Fortuitous for me, in these Times of the Withering Wallet, starting August 1, the Tammany Taste of Summer Savings Pass will make those outdoor activities more accessible than ever. Now through September 15 visitors to the area will enjoy discounts courtesy of the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission and the many businesses participating in the program, which include Honey Island Swamp tours, Louisiana Tours and Adventures Pontoon Boat Tours, Global Wildlife Center, Children’s Museum of St. Tammany, Canoe and Trail Adventures, Wild Bush Farm & Vineyard and many more.
Those more inclined toward adventures in dining can enjoy offers like prix fixe, BOGO and family meals and appetizer, drink, and dessert specials at many restaurants including Palmettos on the Bayou (Slidell,) The English Tea Room & Eatery (Covington,) Tchefuncte’s Restaurant (Madisonville,) Avila Grill (Mandeville,) Big Mama’s Country Kitchen (Slidell,) Cure on Columbia (Covington) Gallagher’s Grill (Covington) and Gallagher’s on Front Street (Slidell).
At the end of the day check into a Northshore hotel or bed and breakfast and continue the adventure the next day. Rooms should be booked directly from the TammanyTaste.com website to receive discounts off Blue Heron B&B, Annadele’s Restaurant & B&B, De La Bleau B&B, Courtyard by Marriott, Homewood Suites Slidell, Little River Bluffs, Residence Inn by Marriott and other accommodations. More accommodations are being added daily.
Tammany Taste of Summer Passes are available at TammanyTaste.com. As participants redeem offers, pass holders can enter to encouraging patrons to visit multiple businesses and take advantage of the offers. The pass holder with the most Tammany Taste redemptions will receive their choice of a dinner for four or a chartered boat tour.
I don’t know about you, but I am ready for a break from my own neighborhood. A day in the sun, an evening at a cool restaurant and a good night’s sleep in an interesting place sounds appealing. All the better if I can do it on the cheap. The Taste of Summer Pass is valid through September 15, 2022. The first 150 people to obtain stamps on their Summer Pass will receive two original art coasters from Northshore artist Christina Pappion.
Once a user signs up, a link to the Tammany Taste of Summer Savings Pass will be emailed and texted to them and they can then save it to the home screen on their mobile phone. Like using an app, pass users can easily scroll through prix fixe menus, special room rates and attraction offerings to plan their Northshore experiences. They will also be able to check-in at the business when they redeem an offer.
Can’t get away, you say?
Consider a trip downtown. Observatory 11, the newish, craft cocktail bar atop the West Canal Place with sweeping rooftop views of the Mississippi River, recently introduced Oliver Sovol as a hot new bartender and launched Sips on Eleven, a Happy Hour Monday Friday from 4-6 p.m. and live entertainment every Thursday through Sunday. Currently on offer is a wide selection of draft beers for $6; house white, red, rose, and sparkling wines for $7; and a selection of classic craft cocktails for $8. Three dollars are knocked off of crawfish bites, boudin wontons and oyster toast during Sips on Eleven.
Have a great weekend wherever you choose to spend it.