"Oldest Settlement in the Lousiana Purchase" Top 5 Page for this destination Natchitoches by atufft
Natchitoches Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 160 photos
The City of Natchitoches was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, making it the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory. The French settlement had two purposes; to establish trade with the Spanish in Texas, and at the same time, to deter Spanish advances into Louisiana. Natchitoches soon became a flourishing river port and crossroads, giving rise to vast cotton kingdoms along the river. Planters built magnificent plantations down river and built fine homes in town for social events. The nearby newer Natchitoches isn't much of a gem for tourists, but the old town is worth a day or two, and the lake area recreation could be worth much longer. We boarded up in a Super 8 Motel, but there are many fine old houses that serve as bed and breakfast retreats for those wanting romatic luxury. The shops and waterfront area are a pleasant stroll for half a day.
From Christmas to New Year the Cane River waterfront is lit up with many local contributions. Unfortunately, we found a lot of businesses closed for the holiday. But, there is a concession down at the waterfront with long hours that sells a power sugar covered confection known as a waffle cone. It's actually flat and very warm and nice to eat for dessert. The concession also sells local Louisiana dishes to-go. Rental of paddle boats during the day may be a pleasant way to tour the river, although the city also has horse carriage rides that tour the old town.
An original Louisiana creole style home was moved to the water front, providing a glimpse in the early period of the city's settlement, and nearby is a reconstructed fort. The home used in the film Steel Magnolias is also here.
- Pros:Pleasant northern Louisiana town to stay in
- Cons:Businesses close on Holidays when tourists are in town
- In a nutshell:Has a rich history and provides a good base for further exploration
The photos of the maps are probably hard to read, but it gives an idea of the size of the historic quarter and lay-out... more travel advice
This is a reconstructed stockade style fort, built in the methods believed to have been used in the original, but the... more travel advice
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