Let's Go, Louisiana

Where Writers Lived in Louisiana

So many of the nation’s finest writers have called Louisiana home, and I love visiting the places where they wrote, lived and placed their characters. Take James Lee Burke, who grew up in New Iberia and sets his award-winning mystery…

Eunice Celebrates 125 Years

  This month the City of Eunice will celebrate its founding 125 years ago with the help of an adorable crawfish. The fun beings at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, with a parade beginning at Picous Drugstore on North Second Street…

A Capital Idea!

  Louisiana’s capital city offers lots of free things to do, from walking the levee parks to view the country’s largest river to learning about history at not one, but two unique state capitols. Here are five to get you…

Head Where Catfish Is King

  Interstate 10 can clog up around Baton Rouge at certain times of the day, so sometimes we opt to travel Highway 90 when heading to New Orleans, a more relaxing drive through the wetlands of South Louisiana. On one…

The Livonia Mounds

There are hundreds of Native American earthen mounds scattered throughout Louisiana and you may be surprised to learn that some are older than the Great Pyramids. Poverty Point may be the best-known archaeological site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and…

Cooling Off Along I-49

  I travel the state constantly and for years would pass a state-run rest area between Lafayette and Alexandria that accompanied a large lake surrounded by bald cypress, tupelo trees and a small hardwood forest. It’s a lovely area despite…

Iberia Film Festival

On the night of Sept. 8, 1935, Dr. Carl Weiss approached former Louisiana governor and then U.S. Sen. Huey P. Long in the Louisiana State Capitol and words were exchanged. When armed guards suspected Weiss of pulling a gun on…

Folk Fest Fun

  Louisianans have been fiddling around Natchitoches for years at the annual Natchitoches-Northwestern State University Folk Festival. This year’s event, slated for July 26-27 inside Prather Coliseum on the NSU…

When Nature Doesn’t Cooperate With Vacations

  I was enjoying the delicious sunshine while overlooking the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico when news of Barry surfaced. Early last week, with a sky devoid of clouds, you’d have never known a storm was brewing. It…

Slow down in Maurice

  You must slow down when you travel through Maurice, a small town boasting of great Cajun food. For one, it’s a speed zone and you’ll get a ticket faster than you can say “Turducken.” Second, life’s less hectic here,…

Lake Fausse Pointe State Park

  The morning brought a symphony of bird calls outside our quaint cabin at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, located on the west side of the Atchafalaya Basin levee near St. Martinville. Two beady alligator eyes watched us from the…

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…

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…

Let's Go Louisiana

What to do, see, listen to, eat and enjoy in the Pelican State.

about

Cheré Dastugue Coen is a veteran food and travel writer who combs Louisiana searching for hidden gems. A native of New Orleans and current resident of Lafayette, she celebrates her home state in her writing, which includes award-winning plays and books. Her non-fiction books include “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History;” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana;” “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags & Sachets” with Jude Bradley; “Cooking in Cajun Country” with Carl Breaux; and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Tour of Acadiana.”

She is also the author of several romance novels and the Viola Valentine Mystery Series, all involving Louisiana characters or settings, under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Visit her blogs LouisianaBookNews.blogspot.com and
WeirdSouth.blogspot.com or her websites, cherecoen.wix.com/cherecoen and
cherieclaire.net.