The Garden District / Uptown
Take a morning to drive around. If you don't have a car, the trolley will take you up and down St. Charles Street.
I am a historic house aficionado, and the Garden District has some of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen. At a few million dollars a pop, you can see how the "Old Money" folks live. The Audubon Zoo and Park are up here too. There is a gigantic tree covered with moss that will provoke thoughts of lemonade on screened in porches.
While up there eat at The Trolley Stop on St. Charles. Great biscuits and gravy and general breakfast. Cheap.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
I saw a skeleton here once.
Try not to miss the graveyards. I particularily like the one all the way down Esplanade – From Bourbon and Esplanade (leaving the Quarter), turn left on Esplanade, pass Hwy 10 about three miles or so. Great houses to look at on the way and the graveyard is on the right.
WARNING: Go with a group if you can. I know a few who have got mugged when they went alone, or strayed off the beaten path.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
There is a Caddoan legend, which states that Caddo Lake was formed by an earthquake. The legend says that a Caddo Indian Chief was cautioned by the Great Spirit to shift his village from the low lands. The Chief decided to ignore the warning and one day while he and his men were out hunting the ground shook and the village disappeared beneath the water of the newly formed Caddo Lake.
I was on a bike tour south of Shreveport when I came across Keachi, a surreal village that seemed to consist totally of abandoned buildings. I had just been dropped from the main peloton (too much back and forth in the paceline, and I couldn't re-catch the draft), so I was able to peddle through leisurely. Now I'm wishing I had stopped completely.
I've seen the town spelled "Keatchi" and "Keachi," and to make things more confusing, there seems to be a town closeby with the name of "Keatchie," but if I can find this place again, I'm going back for a closer look at the confederate cemetary, female college, and other old buildings that caught my interest.
Next time I'm taking my camera and posting a picture here. But until then, check out the Web site below for someone else's photos of the place.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
growing from trees as silvery-gray threadlike masses to 25 ft. long, densely covered by the gray scales which are a means of receiving and holding atmospheric moisture, and which help to enable the plant to dispense with roots; small axial flowers with petals 3/8 in. (1 cm) long, in changing colors yellowish-green to blue."
One of the confederate states
On Locust Grove cemetary we found this grave of Jefferson Davis Stirling II. The grave stone is full of pictures remembering the civil war. The confederate flag is big on his stone. This Jefferson Davis Stirling II was born in 1919 and died in 1982. He didn´t live in the time of the war, and we wondered why his tombstone was covered with all this signs.
Could not find it on the internet, if somebody knows, please tell us.
We know Jefferson Davis was the only president of the confederate states, but this is only a name choosen by his parents. Judging on the II the father must have been a Jefferson Davis Stirling too. Maybe the entire family still feels strongly about being confederates.
Locust Grove State Historic Site
Locust Grove, with only 27 plots, is all that remains of what was once Locust Grove Plantation, owned by the family of Jefferson Davis' sister, Mrs. Anna E. Davis Smith. In the summer of 1835, the future Confederate president brought Sarah Knox Taylor Davis, his wife of 3 months, to the plantation for a visit. Both contracted malaria, and Mrs. Davis, died at the age of 21. Her grave is situated among those of the other Davis family members.
The cemetary is not much to look at, but it has this historic significancy.
Address: P.O. Box 546, St. Francisville, LA 70775
Cypremort Point State Park
Cypremort Point State Park is a small park about an hour or so south of Lafayette. The park is just a public beach with a couple of restrooms and picnic pavillons. Cypremort Point is actually in Vermilion Bay, but Vermilion Bay connects to the Gulf of Mexico.
As a beach goes, Cypremort Point's is not that exciting. There is no surf there, but the water isn't too bad. It's a nice place for people who want to "go to the beach" but don't want to drive hours to reach the better beaches. The park includes a few fishing areas, and they are working on a sailboat launch. I launched my kayak from the beach for a little paddling.
They are building some cabins for overnight guests and hope to have the cabins open in the summer of 2004. One of the two men's rooms was pretty dirty when I was there, but they did have a shower outside the bathroom for people to wash sand off themselves before changing. The picnic pavilions looked pretty nice.
To reach the park, take Hwy 90 south from Lafayette to Hwy 83. Take Hwy 83 to 319.Related to:
Tickfaw State Park
Tickfaw State Park is located near a little town called Springfield, Louisana and features access to the Tickfaw River, a few walking trails, a water playground, and the usual state park stuff.
I was kayaking there, and most of my time was spent on the Tickfaw River. They have a canoe launch near the entrance to the park, and a small canal maybe half to three-quarters of a mile long leads to the river. The river has a slow enough current that one can paddle upriver easily and return the same way. I saw several prothonotary warblers along the river and a kingfisher along the canal. I didn't see any alligators, but I'd guess that some live in the area.
The state park rents canoes, and anyone interested in paddling the river can rent canoes at the park.
The water playground was neat. It's a small concrete pad with various water toys. Some of them are sprinklers that throw water in various directions. Others are buckets that slowly fill and then dump water on the kids below. A couple are like little fire water monitors, but these weren't running when I was there.
I'd guess that the trails are not particularly exciting but they might be fun for someone who wants to experience walking in the Louisiana woods along a slow river.
I didn't see the campgrounds or cabins, but I'd guess that they are pretty average for this type of accomodation. The visitors' center looked nice, but I didn't explore it in any detail.Related to:
- National/State Park
The Angola Prision Rodeo
Proclaimed the "Wildest Show in the South", the Angola Prision Rodeo got it's start in 1965. It is held in October and April and draws a good crowd from Louisiana. All of the cowboy stunts are performed by real prisioners, who appear to be having a good time. One event has a poker chip attached to a mean bull's forehead. Whoever snatches the chip, wins (after inevitably being flung up into the air.) Food, art, and crafts are for sale outside of the ring. Prepare to be entertained... and slightly disturbed at the same time. Located at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, end of HWY 66Related to:
Louisiana Scenic Byways
Louisiana has off-the-beaten-path roads statewide, including The Creole Nature Trail, an All-American Road in Cajun Country. These rural roads lead you through some of the most remarkable natural beauty and picturesque historic towns.
Spanish Moss is a beautiful symbol of the South. It grows in humid coastal areas and is usually seen along rivers and bayous.
It is neither a moss nor a parasite; it is a tropical air plant which grows on another plant upon which it depends for mechanical support but not for nutrients. It has no roots.Related to:
- Road Trip
Cross Bayou is one of Shreveport's most historic waterways. On the south bank of Cross Bayou, near its mouth, was the Confederate Navy Yard during the Civil War. Cross Lake is not as big as Caddo Lake but still a very interesting sight. I just loved these swamp areas, I couldn't get enough of seeing these trees with their autumn colours.
The lake is generally northwest and upstream of most of Shreveport.
Not really 'off the beaten path...
Not really 'off the beaten path' but try this very scenic freeway drive: from New Orleans to Lafayette you will pass the Bonne Carre Spillway on I-10 which has some very scenic views of Lakes Ponchartrain and Maurepaus. The Mississippi River Bridge on I-10 offers nice views of the River and Baton Rouge (and my Alma Mater, LSU). From there, the elevated portion of I-10 over the Atchafalaya Basin offers beautiful views of the region. At 18.5 miles, its one of the longest 'bridges' in the world (check your fuel).Related to:
- Road Trip
If you want to really see Louisiana....
If you want to really see Louisiana, get off of the interstates and take the back-roads. Taking US highways, state and parish routes bring you to the beautiful towns that the interstates bypass. You'll see magnificent churches, courthouses, parks, town squares, antique shops, etc. and all the countryside you can stand.
Also, stay away from fast-food chains and check out the local restaurants. They are often decorated with local flavor in mind and the food is almost always better than what you'll get elsewhere.Related to:
- Road Trip
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