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Recommended Tent Camping Locations - LA
Louisiana Tent Camping Trip
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Take heaping portions of gumbo, plantations, pelicans, bayous, assorted cultures, Zydeco tunes, dirty rice, and hot pepper sauce. Combine, stir, and simmer for a few hundred years. The spicy end result is the great state of Louisiana.
Northern Louisiana is often called a “Sportsman’s Paradise,” but it’s also an oasis of flowers, food, and riverside fun. At the sweet-scented American Rose Center Gardens in Shreveport, you’ll see (and smell) the largest rose-only garden in the country. The grounds feature more than 20,000 splendid roses, including colorful hybrids, delicate miniatures, exotics, and thornless varieties. The American Rose Society, founded more than a century ago in 1892, hosts the center. If you’d like to sample the Pelican State’s famous cuisine, Don’s Seafood Restaurant, in Shreveport since 1934, is a good place to start. And while you’re in northern Louisiana, take a stroll through the historic steamboat town of Columbia. Founded in the 1830’s, it now has a thriving Main Street community centered on the Ouachita River, said to be Louisiana’s most scenic waterway.
Next comes central Louisiana, “The Crossroads” of the state. Cultural influences blend the old with the new. Off U.S. Highway 84, Natchitoches was founded in 1714, and you can recognize the town’s Creole, Victorian, and Georgian influences on its streets and iron-railed balconies and in specialty shops. Be sure to tour the circa 1796 Melrose Plantation, also in Natchitoches. Charming Melrose was once owned by Marie-Therese “Coin-Coin” Metoyer, a former slave who became a successful entrepreneur. Next, take a drive over to Frogmore Cotton Plantation and Gin where you’ll learn about plantation life from the 1700’s through modern times at a genuine, 1,800-acre working cotton farm.
The southern section of Louisiana, rising from the border of the Gulf of Mexico, is known as “Cajun Country,” and you’re more likely to find the spice of life here than anyplace else in the country. The Liberty Theater in Eunice is so well-known for its Zydeco music that many folks call it the “Cajun Grand Ole Opry.” The Liberty’s musical entertainment is live, the dancing is lively, and Saturday nights feature in-house performances of the popular Rendez-Vous des Cajuns radio show.
South of Interstate 10, Lafayette is the unofficial capital of Cajun Country. Louisiana tent camping is also great here. That’s where you step back into Louisiana’s past at the Acadian Village. And at Café Vermilionville, you can feast on succulent Cajun/Creole dishes at a restored 1800’s-era inn. There are also one or two great Louisiana tent campgrounds to check out in the area.
In New Iberia, the Conrad Rice Mill and KONRICO Company Store offer tours, regional crafts, and packaged Cajun foods. And on Avery Island at the TABASCO Hot Sauce Factory on State Road 329, be sure to stock up on the famous pepper sauce that delivers the fire to zesty Cajun dishes.
South central Louisiana is “Plantation Country” and home of the Louisiana state capital in Baton Rouge. The art deco-style Capitol building has 34 floors, making it the tallest state capitol in the country. In the vicinity of St. Francisville’s historic Main Street district, Grandmother’s Buttons is an unusual shop and antique button museum based in a restored turn-of-the-century bank building. Since the proprietor discovered her own grandmother’s 1800’s button collection, the shop has sold its signature line of handcrafted button jewelry in the heart of St. Francisville.
The southeast corner of Louisiana is the Greater New Orleans area, known for paddlewheel steamboats, crawfish, jazz and pralines and a little Louisiana tent camping. Off Interstate 10, New Orleans’ Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral are at the center of town. Be sure to explore the French Market and browse through galleries in the Arts/Warehouse District and the jumble of shops on Magazine Street. To listen to some great jazz, Preservation Hall, in the French Quarter, is New Orleans’ “Best of the City” pick. It can get crowded before the first notes hit the air, but there are so many outstanding venues for music, and great food, you won’t have any trouble satisfying your “fix”. Don't forget to check out the Louisiana tent campgrounds in the area.
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