Jazzy Jambalaya Adventure
Tune into the rhythm of the American South and you’ll find yourself at an intersection of cultures, cuisines, music, and history. The roots run deep here, and in one short trip, you’ll dive to the depths on an adventure through some of the region’s most vibrant cities where history speaks, food is a way of life, and there’s always a reason to “Laissez les bons temps rouler,” or “Let the good times roll.”
Booze + Tunes in the Big Easy
Your adventure begins in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, where the sounds of street performers and music venues give the city an audible heartbeat. In the “Big Easy,” culture is fuelled by the enjoyment of life and its most delicious aspects – food, drink, and friends to share it with – which makes New Orleans one of America’s most vibrant food and nightlife scenes.
To get a taste, head to Restaurant R’evolution in the French Quarter for a modern take on Cajun-Creole cuisine and a famous New Orleans cocktail, the Sazerac.
Under the Oaks at Nottoway Plantation
From New Orleans, you’ll head farther south and step back in time at the historic Nottoway Plantation, the largest antebellum mansion in the South. Built in the 1850s, Nottoway Plantation was formerly a sugarcane plantation. Today, its spectacular white columns welcome guests who want to learn about the plantation’s rich history or stay overnight on the stunning period property.
Trailing History in Natchez
Next, you’ll cruise down the picturesque Natchez Trace Parkway, a historic travel corridor originally formed by Native Americans and later used by pioneers and soldiers. Make a quick stop in St. Francisville to peruse the windows of quaint antique shops and historic homes.
Then it’s back on the road to Natchez, the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River, where you’ll find the highest number of antebellum homes in the country. Head to Longwood, the largest octagonal house in the U.S., for a fascinating tour about the history of the home, the inhabitants, and the Civil War that halted its completion.
Victory in Vicksburg
Your Southern history lesson continues in the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, where the Siege of Vicksburg – a key Civil War battle – took place. Head to the Vicksburg National Military Park, located at the site of the battle, to see over 1,400 historic fortifications and monuments, including the U.S.S. Cairo, an ironclad warship that was raised from its watery grave in the Mississippi River, restored, and made available to the public.
French Flair in Natchitoches
Then it’s onto Natchitoches, Louisiana’s first French Colony, where history is alive and well. Walk through the National Historic Landmark District on brick-laden Front Street to see spectacular French-Creole buildings, now home to quaint shops and restaurants overlooking the Cane River.
Visit the Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile – established in 1863 – the oldest general store in the city. Then cruise down the Cane River National Heritage Area Trail Scenic Byway to explore picturesque plantations and historic homes.
Live it up in Lafayette
From Natchitoches, you head into the heart of Cajun and Creole Country – Lafayette, Louisiana. This city on the bayou was ranked as the “Happiest City in America” and it’s easy to see why. With a rich cultural history, thriving culinary scene, and a “joie de vivre” way of life, Lafayette dances to the sound of its own fiddle – a fiddle that’s probably playing Cajun and Zydeco music.
Tour the Vermilionville Historic Village, a living history museum, where you can explore restored homes from early Acadian settlements, learn about traditional crafts from local artisans, and hear the sounds of local music.
The Final Course
For the final course of your jazzy jambalaya adventure, head back to New Orleans where you have time for one more cocktail. Sazerac, anyone?
8 nights' accommodation, welcome kit including driving instructions + sightseeing ideas.
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