In all of Louisiana, no other place is as unique as the Cane River Country. Located in Central Louisiana on Interstate 49, you will find the original French Colony in Louisiana. Established in 1714, Natchitoches (Nack-a-tish) retains its European flavor through its architecture, heritage and lifestyle. At the heart of this National Historic District lies Front Street, a brick thoroughfare where wrought iron balconies, restaurants and shops face the beautiful Cane River Lake. There are guided tours available through the National Landmark Historic District.
Fort St. Jean Baptiste, a replica of the 1732 French colonial fort is open Wednesday – Sunday with an interpretation of how the French marines lived in colonial days. The historic district hosts several art galleries, a museum and more.
Chances are, the thing you’ll love most about Natchitoches (aside from the famous meat pies) is the charming 33-block Landmark district-a shopper’s paradise and a bed & breakfast lover’s dream.
Natchitoches is the Bed & Breakfast Capital of Louisiana with over 25+ inns offering 100+ rooms that
range from rustic to elegant town homes, many within walking distance of the historic district. Natchitoches hosts nine nationally recognized hotel chains with 800+ rooms plus two locally owned inns.
Natchitoches, well known for the filming of Steel Magnolias, is also known as the “City of Lights”. The world-famous Natchitoches Christmas Festival is always held on the first Saturday in December.
Events throughout the year fill out the festival calendar for a great time any time of year.
The Cane River National Heritage Area Trail includes several plantations open along the Cane River Scenic Byway. The complex at Magnolia Plantation and Oakland Plantation sites are referred to as the Cane River Creole National Historical Park. The African House and the Clementine Hunter murals at Melrose Plantation are designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Clementine Hunter, a prolific folk artist with exhibits recently at the Louvre in Paris and currently at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., lived, worked and painted at Melrose Plantation. Her home can also be toured on the plantation grounds.
Westward along the El Camino Real, lies Los Adaes. The site was the symbol of New Spain in Louisiana, was once the capital of Texas and the scene of a unique cooperation among the French, the Spanish and the indigenous Native Americans.
The Natchitoches Events Center, opened in 2005, is a 39,000-square-foot event center in the National Historic District within walking distance of shops, restaurants, attractions and accommodations.
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, a Louisiana State Museum, sits proudly at the edge of Front Street, honoring more than 300 legendary Louisiana athletes, coaches and other sports figures, such as Shaquille O’Neal, Terry Bradshaw, and Tom Benson among others in its latest class of inductees. Other sports-themed exhibits and interactive media trace the history and importance of sports to life in Louisiana.
Come visit the oldest permanent settlement in the entire Louisiana Purchase Territory and discover why the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Natchitoches as one of the Dozen Distinctive Destinations and gave it a Great American Main Street Award®.
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.