Natchitoches, Louisiana...A "Gem" Of A Destination

Natchitoches is the oldest city in Louisiana with this year being the celebration of its 300th year in existence.  And what a city filled with history.  Nestled along the banks of the Cane River Lake it is  quaint in every way and contains quite a few "hidden gems" that would have anyone planning a day or weekend trip there.  Known for its festivals, there are many opportunities to explore this great little "Hometown USA".

All of the festivals are held on Front Street,  which houses many delicious restaurants.  One must definitely not leave there without eating a meat pie, famous to the town.  While in Natchitoches,  Lasyone's is the perfect place to do so.  A little "hole in the wall", this restaurant boasts of some delicious southern style cooking, while the walls are filled with memorabilia from the filming days of "Steel Magnolias". If you ever saw the movie, "Steel Magnolias" then you know a little bit about Natchitoches already because that is where it was filmed.  The Steel Magnolia House is still on Front Street and on the historic tour of homes.  There are quite a few city and country plantation homes that can be toured and having been on many of those myself, I can say that is a lovely way to spend an afternoon in this lazy little town.  Unique gift boutiques line the brick streets as well,  with the Cane River as a backdrop.  Another little "gem" that must not be overlooked while visiting Natchitoches is  Kaffie Frederick General Mercantile it is the "Oldest Hardware Store" in the state of Louisiana!
Kaffie's has everything from hardware supplies to cooking utensils, local art and toys.  Walking into this old store is like taking a step back in time.  I love it so much that I have to stop in every time I'm in town.  And whether one has children or not, a trip just down the street to the Rocking Horse Toy Store is something that has to be experienced.  This cute store with old wooden floors and huge, enticing display windows wooing even the oldest child into its doors,  has the most unique collection of books and imaginative play toys.  They also have creative workshops for parents and children at various times throughout the year and,  of course, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus make their annual visits!

Any time is a good time to visit Natchitoches but festival time is my favorite!  Every spring  "Bloomin' on the Bricks" showcases the entrance of spring with live flowers placed throughout the town and vendors selling their homemade wares...

                             Or how about exploring the town on these vintage looking bicycles...
                                               Or perhaps a horse drawn carriage ride.

The largest, most popular and my personal favorite festival that draws people from all over the country is the Christmas Festival of Lights.  Although the town is lit up throughout the entire month of December, an outstanding fireworks display, complete with the relighting of the the town, artificial snow falling on the brick streets and Christmas music  playing over loudspeakers in the background can be seen each Saturday evening of the month until New Year's Eve.  The town turns into a "Southern Winter Wonderland".  People decorate their homes in preparation for all of the activity that is sure to come to their lazy little town during this time...

And people gather by the thousands for the annual parades held on the first weekend of the month...

Yes, whether one is looking for a festival...



Fireworks (Fourth of July and Christmas)...
Or simply a relaxing weekend to unwind...

Natchitoches could be just the place you are looking for...


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