Updated: May 9, 2020
You have driven through it, you couldn't pronounce it and you looked right past it. Natchitoches, Louisiana is on the way down south towards the Big Easy. One weekend stop that any Dallasite should have on their radar.
The WKNDR Snapshot
Everything closes at 10… if late, meat and cheese plate from Buc-ee's Saturday
Lasyones - World Famous Meat Pies
Shopping Main Street.
OAKLAND plantation at Cane River National Heritage park
Drinks after - Cane River Commissary
Cane River Brewing Company
Lounging near the cane river.
Dinner and Drinks
Mayeaux's Steak & Seafood
The Landing Restaurant & Bar
As a child my parents and I (Brian speaking) would make the trek back and forth from New Orleans, LA to Midland, TX to visit family during the holidays. We got in the habit of stopping at the Texaco gas station/meat market/fried catfish shack in a hard pronounce town named Natchitoches, Louisiana. Never paying any attention to the town that was a quarter of a mile away from the highway, we came and went, came and went, and never gave the seemingly sleepy town a second glance.
After getting curious during some downtime at work, I gave the small town a quick look on google maps; 5 - 10 nice restaurants, fun looking shops, bars and bed and breakfasts on a river!?! We had to check it out.
Leaving after work on a Friday, excited about spending our first Valentine's day together, we stumbled upon our first very fortunate mistake of the trip. We stopped at Buc-ee's and picked up a boat load of snacks to eat later that night after of spending the evening out on the town in ole Natchitoches. Well, as we found as soon as we checked into the amazing 'Jefferson House Bed and Breakfast' that very few paces in Natchitoches stay open, much less serve food past 10 PM. Glad we got those snacks!
After cracking open a bottle of wine and gathering our meats and cheeses, we walked down to the gorgeous banks of the Cane River to feast at our impromptu Valentine's Day waterfront picnic. Unexpected, but refreshingly different and relaxing.
Waking early on Saturday, I went out in search of some coffee and breakfast. Without doing much research it was pretty obvious that Lasyone's was the place to check out.
Inside the walls were covered with article after article, review after review, from foodies and chefs raving of the 'world famous meet pies'. I was all over this and ordered up some crawfish and mince pies and happily took the sack pack to the B&B to meet a very groggy Michal.
After we ate, we headed out walking right passed the Steel Magnolia house (yep, the one from the movie) and down to Front Street. Along side a beautiful river front park, we perused the boutiques, picking up some bath bombs and lotions and then landing at the Pioneer Pub for a drink and to plan the rest of the day. We talked to the waitress for a bit and decided to check out the Oakland Plantation at The Cane River National Heritage Park.
Skeptical at first, we were pleasantly surprised by the experience. The plantation grounds were absolutely gorgeous. With plenty of hundred year old oak trees, a unique creole style architecture and a fascinating history, the Oakland Plantation was a great way to spend the day.
The inside of the house was full of artifacts from decades past and a detailed picture of people's past lives along the Cane River. We cannot recommend the tour enough.
If you find yourself at the Oakland Plantation, you better get yourself a cocktail at the Cane River Commissary after. What a cool place! Great looking food, a fun staff and another fantastic surprise. Before we ditched the car back at the room, we stopped at the Cane River Brewing Company. Beautiful location, great beer (and root beer!) and a great staff.
We dropped the car off and set out to explore the nightlife. The Landing Restaurant and Bar was a fantastic place to grab a few drinks and Mayeaux's Steak & Seafood Restaurant was flipping awesome for dinner. The Red Fish reminded me of my childhood, no joke; go and grab some.
Our time on the Cane River was a very welcomed change of pace and really surpassed our expectations. If you find yourself looking to get out of town and want a little bit of that Louisiana culture and hospitality, look no further than that town with a funky name on the Cane River in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Bonus Tip: Sunday morning - Stop at Superior Grill in Shreveport for the best Mexican food in Louisiana!