Natchitoches has been a destination for travelers since 1714. Located in Central Louisiana on Interstate 49, you will find the original French Colony in Louisiana. For more than 300 years, tourists have come to Natchitoches from across the country and the globe . Today’s travelers learn of Natchitoches’ evolution through tremendous changes–from the course of a river to the traditions on Southern plantations and more. While paying homage to the past, the vibrancy of this city with longest name and region attracts many to explore both the stories of yesterday and the treasures of today.
In the heart of Natchitoches lies the “National Historic Landmark District,” which is home to the famous Front Street, a brick thorough fare where wrought-iron balconies, restaurants, and shops face the beautiful Cane River Lake. In this area, you can also find Lasyone’s, the home of the legendary Natchitoches Meat Pie. Made of 80% beef and 20% pork, this local delicacy is fried golden brown and served with a choice of creamed potatoes or fries, a choice of vegetable, and salad.
Another must-stop while in Natchitoches can be found right around the corner: Merci Beaucoup Restaurant. It is located in a building that was once an old gas station. Now, you can find the delicious Cajun Potato here. It is a stuffed potato topped with crawfish étouffée and jumbo fried shrimp.
A short walk down Front Street might lead you to the Pioneer Pub. It is located in what was known as the Sompayrac Building, built in 1840 and was used as a bank for many years. The building was renovated to the style you see now just before World War II and is now home to the Pioneer Pub. It is a wonderful place to hang out and grab a nice cold beer. You can also order the mouth-watering appetizer called “The Wookie.” It is amazing homemade fries topped with brisket and melted cheese. This is something you will definitely be craving after the fact.
One of the most known restaurants in Natchitoches is The Mariner’s. It is located right off Sibley Lake and is known to have the best sunsets in town. They have also received a Wine Spectator’s Award in less than one year of being open with new owners. Mariner’s is also home to what they call “Chef’s Island.” It is an island located a few hundred feet from the main restaurant that houses a chef’s table and is only accessible by boat. Here you can enjoy a wonderful glass of wine with a sunset you won’t forget.
An additional must-stop is Flying Heart Brewing & Pub. It is housed in a refurbished cotton gin building that is nearly a century old. Whether you want to unwind after work or catchup with friends, Flying Heart Brewing & Pub is the perfect place to be. Here you can find mouthwatering food, signature cocktails, and unique craft beers that are a must-try. The overlap between this historic space and the birth of a new business is a perfect representation of what Natchitoches is all about: rooted in history but constantly evolving.
On your way out of Natchitoches, don’t forget to stop at the French Market. It is located right off I-49. What looks like an average convenience store from the outside, you’ll realize it is much more once you go inside. Here you can find a Cajun restaurant and bakery. The bakery is known for their delicious yam cakes and beignets. But that’s not all they offer. You can also find fine wines and souvenirs, making it the perfect stop for all ages.
If you’re looking for a quiet weekend with the family or a romantic weekend with a loved one, historic Natchitoches offers a dynamic atmosphere for everyone.
Visit Natchitoches.com or call (800) 259-1714 to plan your trip today.