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Kayaking in Northshore, Louisiana

Louisiana

Northshore, Louisiana: Natural Charm and Culinary Adventures

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Meeting the residents of the Global Wildlife Center in Louisiana

Louisiana

Northshore, Louisiana: Natural Charm and Culinary Adventures

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Up close with a zebra at the Global Wildlife Center in Louisiana

Louisiana

Northshore, Louisiana: Natural Charm and Culinary Adventures

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Yacht Club in Mandeville, Louisiana

Louisiana

Northshore, Louisiana: Natural Charm and Culinary Adventures

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Views of the bayou in Northshore, Louisiana

Louisiana

Northshore, Louisiana: Natural Charm and Culinary Adventures

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Farmers’ Market in Northshore, Louisiana

Louisiana

Northshore, Louisiana: Natural Charm and Culinary Adventures

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English Tea Room and Eatery in Covington, Louisiana

Louisiana

Northshore, Louisiana: Natural Charm and Culinary Adventures

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Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall in Mandeville, Louisiana

Louisiana

Northshore, Louisiana: Natural Charm and Culinary Adventures

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Grand oak tree by the water in Northshore, Louisiana

Louisiana

Northshore, Louisiana: Natural Charm and Culinary Adventures

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Fine dining in Zachary, Louisiana

Louisiana

Northshore, Louisiana: Natural Charm and Culinary Adventures

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    Louisiana

One of Louisiana’s hidden treasures can be found on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain.

In St. Tammany Parish, this beautiful stretch of five adjacent communities on the waterfront offers to travelers an amazing adventure in nature, flavor and history.

Tammany Trace Trail

Although driving is a great way to explore the parish, an even better way is along the Tammany Trace, a former railroad track converted to a 50-kilometer trail connecting five of the Tammany Parish’s communities from Slidell to Covington. You can jog it, bike it or rollerblade the trail. It’s a wonderful way to get a true sense of the area while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Quality bikes can be rented at Bayou Adventure in Lacombe, a popular outfitter that also rents out kayaks and fishing supplies. You can use them to explore the many bayous – waterways like Cane Bayou or Bayou Lacombe – near Tammany Trace.

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Wildlife Encounters

Learn everything you wanted to know about alligators and much more on an eco-tour with Cajun Encounters, one of the tour providers covering Honey Island Swamp in Slidell. During a three-hour boat ride through the untouched wetlands, the skilled tour team points out elusive wildlife, including alligators, and relays astonishing facts on the flora and fauna of the swamp.

Another fantastic stop for nature and animal lovers is the Global Wildlife Center, a 364-hectare property where about 4,000 deer, giraffes, zebras, camels and other animals co-exist. For a moment, you might wonder if you are in Louisiana or Africa. You can take a ride on the center’s “Safari Wagon” and meet the animals up close.

Great Local Dining

A great start to any day is brunch at Palmettos on the Bayou, a local restaurant right on Bayou Bonfouca. Sample local seafood and Cajun delicacies, such as catfish fingerlings, grits and grillades, and bananas Foster. Not only is the food phenomenal, but you can often hear live music during Sunday brunch.

For dinner, try a visit to La Provence, owned by celebrity Chef John Besh. This Lacombe restaurant is in a charming and cozy French farmhouse. Out back, they grow vegetables, herbs and even raise pigs and chickens. Most of the restaurant’s ingredients are taken directly from the property or from a farm just 20 minutes away. This is true farm-to-plate dining; it’s no wonder patrons rave about the wonderful and fresh flavors.

Treasures of Abita

Should you get thirsty for some local refreshments, there’s no better remedy than a visit to the Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs. The Brewery uses the pure water of the deep local springs to brew its famous beverages. Take the free one-hour tour of the brew house and, afterward, enjoy sampling classic and seasonal brews in the tasting room.

Don’t miss the nearby Abita Mystery House. With an original mix of folk art and eclectic displays of found objects, it definitely is a fun place for children and their parents to explore.

Jazz History in Mandeville

Toward Lake Pontchartrain is the city of Mandeville, which historically was one of the few places where jazz was heard outside New Orleans. Bands would play music on the steamboats going across the lake and at pavilions and dance halls. There is still a historic jazz hall in operatio. More than 100 years ago, jazz pioneers like Louis Armstrong and Buddy Petit performed this “new music” in front of enthusiastic local crowds at the  Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall. Today, musicians from around the world make pilgrimages to play at the Dew Drop, which still has no electricity and has been kept in its original, rustic state.

After visiting this local landmark, go for a stroll along the lake to enjoy incredible views.

Covington: Shopping, Restaurants and a Market

Nestled among three rivers, the city of Covington has maintained its historic homes and buildings and kept its Southern charm by ensuring an eclectic mix of art galleries, specialty shops and restaurants remained along its downtown streets. The Covington Farmers’ Market opens on Saturday mornings and is a great place to purchase locally grown foods from hard-working farmers; you'll find no crafts or commercial items here.

If you’re ready to see where the best of Louisiana’s nature, food and music merges together, explore Louisiana’s Northshore.

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