Natchitoches, Louisiana

Before You Go

Coordinates | 31.7607 ° N, 93.0863 ° W
Baton Rouge to Natchitoches | 181.5 miles
Driving Time | 2 hours, 56 minutes

Why Natchitoches?

When you step into the quaint town of Natchitoches with its brick walkways and wrought iron accents, you take a step back in time. Not only are you likely to receive a friendly smile from passersby, but you can expect to be immersed in history at every turn. Just outside of the beautiful town lies a national forest with nature trails for hiking and horseback riding so you can add outdoor excursions to your weekend. With bed and breakfasts galore and delicious food wafting through the streets, Natchitoches is the perfect quiet couple or family getaway.

Where to Eat

Merci Beaucoup Restaurant
127 Church Street | Natchitoches, LA 71547
Located in the heart of the historic district in downtown Natchitoches, Merci Beaucoup has been a local hot spot for lunch since opening in 1991. This town favorite is open seven days a week for lunch, so you can taste a variety of Cajun and American food and quench your thirst with their lemonade-flavored tea. Dessert is a must at this beloved spot, so try the sin bar or the bread pudding. ■

Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant
622 Second Street | Natchitoches, LA 71457
You can’t leave Natchitoches without tasting a famous meat pie, and Lasyone’s has been serving them up for over 45 years. You’ll feel right at home in the cozy and welcoming atmosphere enjoying old family recipes like red beans and rice, made with lots of love by chefs Angela Lasyone and Tina Lasyone Smith. Stop in for breakfast for chicken fried steak or a warm buttery biscuit. ■

Maglieaux’s Riverfront Restaurant
805 Washington Street | Natchitoches, LA 71457
For a more upscale experience, feast on a number of Italian and Creole dishes as you overlook the Cane River from the outdoor deck. Local musicians often provide a festive atmosphere, and you will always leave full. Try a seafood poboy and crawfish monica at lunch or a number of delicious pasta dishes at dinner. ■

What to Do

The oldest business in Natchitoches, Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile Store, was built in 1863 and remains a community landmark with items for all ages. You can browse home and garden items while your children choose their favorite classic toys like porcelain tea sets and old-fashioned pedal cars. ■

For the outdoor adventurer, Kisatchie National Forest is Louisiana’s only national forest and offers everything from hiking and biking to horse riding and kayaking. Natchitoches is also home to the Cane River Lake and Red River, so you can take advantage of the beautiful outdoors. ■ 

Take a cooking class or watch a demonstration at Cane River Kitchenware downtown. This homey and unique establishment was opened in 2006 as the spot to find special kitchen items or gourmet foods in town. Stop in on Saturdays for tastings! ■

While you’re surrounded with so much rich history, take a free guided walking tour downtown. You will discover why Natchitoches is so special while hearing about the Cane River, colonial periods, and the plantations. For the movie buffs, there is a Steel Magnolias Tour of Filming Sites which includes 17 filming locations to explore from the 1989 hit film. ■

Louisiana has produced many sports legends, and you can learn about them all at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Tours are crafted to meet the needs of your group with scavenger hunts for kids and interactive media to introduce you to people like Pete Maravich and Audrey “Mickey” Patterson. ■

Be sure to stroll along the Downtown River Bank, admiring the breathtaking beauty between unique shops and restaurants. You won’t want to pass up the Cane River Candy Company while you’re in the area. From art and books to souvenirs and snacks, downtown is the place to be. ■

Watch exciting reenactments of military life in the 1700s at Fort St. Jean Baptiste, a replica on Cane River Lake of the original fort, which was a few hundred yards away. Participate in activities as a family and learn all about the French and Indian War and Louisiana before it was part of the United States. ■

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01 Jan 2018

By BRPM Staff

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