Louisiana is a southeastern U.S. state on the Gulf of Mexico. Its history as a melting pot of different cultures is reflected in its Creole and Cajun influences. The largest city, New Orleans, is known for its colonial-era French Quarter, raucous Mardi Gras festival, jazz music, Renaissance-style St. Louis Cathedral and wartime exhibits at the huge National WWII Museum.
Anyone who has ever visited “The Bayou State” will tell you it often feels more like a foreign country. With all the different cultural influences found in Louisiana, it’s like stepping into a whole new world when you cross state lines. In many places, you hear as much French as you do English. And every culture from Spanish to African to Native American to French can be seen, tasted and experienced in the day-to-day happenings around the state. Louisiana has such a unique culture, it’s no surprise that our clients around the state have some interesting bragging rights. In honor of Louisiana Day tomorrow (November 9), we’re sharing a few activities and attractions that are unique to coastal Louisiana. You are invited to come visit these parts of Louisiana so you can experience all this and more:
If you’re anything like us here at MBPR and you eat to live AND live to eat, then you’ll certainly be interested in following the Cajun Bayou Food Trail through Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. The Food Trail is a series of unique dining experiences up and down Bayou Lafourche. With 16 different stops, the Trail ensures that you’ll experience every flavor and food this special Cajun community offers. Armed with a Trail map and passport, follow your growling stomach and eager taste buds along the Trail, taking in every sight, sound, smell and taste of the Bayou before turning in your passport (with five or more stamps) for a free T-shirt. (Tip: Whatever your shirt size was when you embarked on this adventure, you’ll want to ask for one size bigger by the time you’re done.)
Geocachers unite! Houma is home to one of just 50 GeoTours in the world. Simply download their free app to start exploring the 2,200 square miles of Terrebonne Parish and begin this outdoor treasure hunt. With more than 50 locations on the GeoTour, you’ll be able to discover scenic spots, popular attractions, and hidden gems throughout Louisiana’s Bayou Country. If your sharp eyes and navigational skills (aided by the geocaching app’s GPS, of course) can find all the caches on one or both of the tours, you can trade in your game sheet for a hard-earned Houma Travel geocoin at the end of your adventure.
This 180-mile scenic byway in southwestern Louisiana offers activities for everybody. Whether you enjoy fishing, photography, boating, birdwatching or are just hoping for a true taste of Cajun culture, the Creole Nature Trail is sure to satisfy. The Trail is one of just 43 All-American Roads in the United States, and it takes visitors on a journey through the part of the state affectionately dubbed “Louisiana’s Outback.” Here the alligators outnumber the people, but the birds really rule the roost – with more than 400 species making their home in the region. There are also 26 miles of Gulf of Mexico beaches, where you can while away hours looking for unique seashells. The Mississippi River carries a huge array of shells into this area, including whelks, cockles and coquinas. (And you can keep what you find. Mother Nature will replenish the shell stock as soon as you leave.) Start your tour by downloading the free app and then travel at whatever pace you like as you explore one of the country’s last great wildernesses.
Birdwatching in Louisiana Northshore
If birdwatching is your thing, you might want to plan a visit to St. Tammany Parish, a haven for migrating and year-round birds alike. A lot of these birds make Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Center Refuge their permanent or temporary home, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The males of this small black-and-white species have a tiny red streak, called a “cockade,” on each side of their black caps. This must-see for birdwatchers from around the world can be spotted at Big Branch by looking for telltale white painted rings on the trunk of a tree; the rangers put them there to indicate a tree with a nesting site. Big Branch is navigable by both foot and car. If you prefer to step it up a notch, you can use kayaks, paddleboards and other available rental equipment to explore some of the wetter parts of Big Branch, all while looking up and trying to catch a glimpse of the somewhat elusive woodpecker. Here’s a hint: The birds are right at home in the park’s abundant pine trees. They bore out cavities in older trees, where the wood is softer.