The Best Places in Louisiana

Summer might be coming to an end but Louisiana is still full of places to explore. Due to Louisiana’s history the cities are often filled with places to discover; you just have to know where to look. Both tourists and locals can benefit from taking time to explore this beautiful state. Trips to Discovery gives us a list of 9 of the Best Places to Visit in Louisiana; we are sharing four of them!

Breaux Bridge

Known as the “Crawfish Capital of the World”, Breaux Bridge is located near Lafayette, Louisiana. Lying along the Bayou Teche, this city is filled with history. Even better though, downtown is filled with boutiques and antique stores. They even have their own festival dedicated to Crawfish, but it is the Crawfish Capital, right?

Check out Cafe des Amis for a zydeco breakfast that will make you come back for more. Want to enjoy the wildlife? Lake Martin gives visitors the option to kayak through the swamp and you could even get the chance to see some gators.

Grand Isle

Grand Isle is Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island, but what makes it even better is the white beaches that go on for 7 miles. The Grand Isle Birding/Nature Trail offers five different bird watching locations; the birding trail itself is about 2 miles. Click here for more information.

Another unique thing about Grand Isle is that the island, Queen Bess, houses thousands of brown pelicans (Louisiana’s state bird). These birds were on the verge of extinction in the 1960s, so the state planned to bring them back on this very island. The island also houses roseate spoonbills. Visitors can see the island by private boats or by charters!

Grand Isle also offers the annual Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration during the month of April. Songbirds stop to rest on the island during their migration across the Gulf of Mexico.

St. Martinville

During the early 18th century, St. Martinville was founded by French explorers which is why the city is said to be the place where cajun culture was born. The settlers were not just French, many also came from Quebec. Even the trees show the history and age of the city; large oak trees lining the streets.

Picnics at the park are always an option when passing through. Or even check out the African-American Museum which displays the story of the journey Africans made through Southwest Louisiana.

St. Francisville

St. Francisville is not only beautiful but it has a tv and film career as well. Often used as a setting, this small town has more than enough to keep you busy. If the paranormal is your thing, this is the perfect place. Myrtles Plantation is known as one of the most haunted hotels in the country.

The plantation offers multiple opportunities for visitors. Private tours and guided day tours are offered every day that the plantation is open. Self-guided tours are even available! Friday and Saturday nights open up the opportunity of evening mystery tours. It truly is a sight to see.

For more Louisiana related articles, click here.

 

Camping Through the US

Looking for another adventure? What about one that explores the Best Place to Camp in Each of the 50 States. You do not need to leave the country to have places to explore. Travel + Leisure expands on the 50 places and we are here to give you the first 16 of them!

Alabama

Outpost at Gulf State Park

This is the perfect spot if you are looking for some privacy. Each outpost has a fire pit, port-a-potty, and even an outdoor sink.

Alaska

Bartlett Cove Campground at Glacier Bay National Park

This campground is a free walk-in campground, which means you should always call before arriving to make sure there is space available.

Arizona

Havasupai Campground at Havasupai Reservation

This is not the easiest place to camp, permits are often picked up quickly so it can be hard to visit, however, waterfalls and natural pools make it all worth it.

Arkansas

Buffalo National River

This is America’s first national river; over 130 miles flows through the Ozark Mountains. Take hikes or even plan a float trip.

California

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Getting multiple views from one campsite is the perfect way to go. McWay Falls will take your breath away.

Colorado

Piñon Flats Campground at the Great Sand Dunes National Park

Sand mountains in Colorado, what an ironic thought. This campground gives its visitors options with multiple different camping sights. Explore the 700ft tall sand dunes and sleep under the stars.

Connecticut

White Memorial Conservation Center

A non-profit wildlife refuge that has 10 ponds and an onsite museum, sounds too good to be true. White Memorial Conservation Center has 40 miles for its visitors to explore.

Delaware

Cape Henlopen State Park

This state park was one of the first “public lands” and has been that way since the late 1600s. There are campsites, however, there are also cabins available if the tent is getting a little tight.

Florida

Cayo Costa State Park

Only accessible by boat, this barrier island is exactly what some people need. There are 30 primitive campsites that you can use to possibly see dolphins and manatees.

Georgia

Cloudland State Park

Mountain biking is only one activity that is available at Cloudland State Park. If hiking and biking is not your thing, check out the 18-hole disc golf course.There are multiple overnight options, click here for more information.

Hawaii

Malaekahana Beach Campground

Looking for an option with a beach? Malaekahana Beach Campground’s cabins and tent spaces could possibly be better than that beachfront house that cost way too much. You will not need a noise machine when falling asleep next to the water.

Idaho

Point Campground

The perfect “typical” campground. Point Campground has miles of trails waiting to be explored. The  lake is the best backdrop for pitching a tent right along the shore.

Illinois

Starved Rock State Park Campground

Spring is the best time to visit Starved Rock State Park Campground. This lush park will pull you away into another world. This campground even offers electric hookups! Not even two hours away from Chicago, this is the perfect escape from the city.

Indiana

 Brown County State Park

The singletrack for mountain biking is 30 miles long and is sometimes named the best within the state of Indiana. There are over 400 posts for camping, so need to worry about not finding a spot.

Iowa

Maquoketa Caves State Park

Looking for more than just a campsite? Maquoketa Caves State Park gives its visitors a completely different experience. Underground enclosures that need headlamps to explore and a small campground, this is the perfect getaway for those looking for a bigger adventure.

Kansas

Wilson State Park

A reservoir that is 9,000 acres means there is a lot of room to kayak. Not only does Wilson State Park have water activities but its visitors can check out the 25-mile bike trail.

For more travel related news and information, click here.

 

Nicholls Alumni Scholarships are Growing

Nicholls State University, founded in 1948, has always looked out for its students. However, their Alumni Federation has gone even further by supporting Nicholls students with multiple scholarships. The newest scholarship, which was awarded for the first time in the Fall of 2017 is, The J. Nannie Endowed Alumni Scholarship. The student receiving this scholarship has to be at the sophomore level, have at least a 3.2 GPA, and must be involved in a minimum of one university organization. Of course, they must be a full time student as well. The scholarship is only awarded for one year but the student will receive $250 for one fall and one spring semester.

Each year two upperclassmen are awarded the Alumni Federation Upperclassman Scholarships. The recipients must have a 3.0 GPA and at least 60 hours of credit, semester credit. $800 is given to each student for the fall and spring semesters. In addition so Upperclassman scholarships, Nicholls Alumni Federation also offers two freshman the Alumni Federation Freshman Leader Scholarship. This scholarship is for incoming freshman and they must have at least a 3.25 GPA. They also have to score a minimum of a 20 on the ACT.

Established in 2015, theNicholls Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a scholarship that helps encourage those to follow in their parent’s educational footsteps. In order to receive this award, the recipient must have one parent that finished a program of study at Nicholls State University. It has to be verified. The recipient must be in good academic standing and they have to be a full-time undergraduate student. $500 will be given during the fall and spring semester of the year the student received the scholarship.

In addition to the Nicholls Alumni Legacy Scholarship, the Federation also offers the Peltier Foundation Nicholls Alumni Legacy Scholarship. The Peltier Foundation has supported Nicholls for the past two decades with monetary donations and by supporting programs and projects within the school. A Peltier Foundation Board Member, Stepehn Peltier, explains how the purpose of the scholarship is to help “increase the value of being a Nicholls alum”. $75,000 has been given to the scholarship fund from the Peltier Foundation since it was founded in 2016.

In order to receive the award, the student must be in good academic standing and they must also be full-time undergraduate. One parent must be an alumni of Nicholls State University; the student must also type a 250 word essay explaining, in detail, why they deserve the scholarship.

The 2017 Corporate Mark of Honor was awarded to the Peltier Foundation by the Nicholls Alumni Federation because of how generous the Peltier Foundation has been. Jeremy Becker, the executive director of the Nicholls Foundation stated, “The Peltier Foundation has made a tremendous impact across the Nicholls Campus, and we’re proud to continue working with them. Scholarships like this one help open the door for more students to experience what Nicholls State University has to offer and to shape the future of Louisiana”.

For more information about the Alumni Foundation, click here.

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Grilled Summer Salmon Recipe

Summer is coming to an end, but that does not mean your taste buds should suffer! Salmon is the perfect solution. It is a perfect source of protein and if you’re lacking in vitamin B this might be the perfect recipe for you. Check out this Grilled Crispy-Skinned Salmon with Whole Lemon-Sesame Sauce posted by bon appetit. It gives the chef the best excuse to use the grill one last time before summer ends and it has to be put away. Not only is this recipe refreshing but it is also filling and a great way to show off your grilling skills.

INSTRUCTIONS

UTENSILS/TOOLS FOR SUMMER SALMON

  • A grill
  •  A small mixing bowl
  • Plates

DIRECTIONS

The first step before preparing the food is to prepare the grill. In order to cook the perfect grilled crispy-skinned salmon, the grill needs to be on medium heat. Depending on your grill this can mean a few different things. Make sure to check out the settings or pick up a bag of charcoal before setting up the prepping station. The salmon fillets will also need to be prepared before cooking. Take 2 of the 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and rub the oil into the salmon. Season each side of all the fillets with kosher salt.

Take the small lemon and cut each of the ends off. Place the lemon on one of the flat sides; cut the lemon in four sections. The core should be left in the middle in the shape of a square. Chop up the four sections, chopping up even the skin, making sure it is finely chopped. Pace this into the small mixing bowl. Add the honey, shallot, ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil, sesame seeds, and sesame oil into the bowl as well. Season the mixture with kosher salt and a decent amount of freshly ground black pepper. Make sure it is mixed together well, you do not want any clumps of seasoning.

The grate on the grill needs to be cleaned before use. Once you clean the grate, oil it. The most important part is that you place the salmon on the grill with the skin side down right after oiling it. Cover the grill once the salmon is placed on it and do not flip the fillets. They should cook for about 6 to 8 minutes; making sure the skin is slightly charred. Always check that the fish is opaque before taking it off of the grill.

Place the salmon fillets on a plate and let them cool a little. Plate the fillets individually and spoon the lemon-sesame sauce over each one. Serve on a bed of brown rice or even quinoa for a protein packed meal.

For more delicious recipes, click here.

 

Louisiana Swamp Tours To Consider Taking

Louisiana has a lot to offer, but the most amazing thing is the wildlife and scenery. Swamp tours are the best way to see both. However, with the large amount of swamp enclosed in Louisiana, this means there are multiple swamp tour options. Thankfully, The Crazy Tourist has done some work for us to find the 15 Best Louisiana Swamp Tours. We are here to give you five of them. Remember, Louisiana weather can be unpredictable, so check with each tour and make sure there are options in case the weather does not work out.

New Orleans Airboat Tour

Have you ever heard of an airboat? A boat that is powered by huge engines that use propellers to push the boat through the water, and sometimes mud, without using a motor that has to be placed in the water. Airboats give a more unique experience because they can get int places regular boats cannot. Only an hour away from New Orleans this tour is only a few hours long, meaning you will have time to explore the rest of the city after being able to explore the bayou.

Expect to see snakes, turtles, birds, and even gators on this amazing tour.

Swamp AND Plantation Tour

Looking for a full day filled with history and legends that fill Louisiana’s swamps? The Destrehan Plantation makes its visitors feel as if they are walking into a different century. This plantation is the oldest documented plantation that is located in the Mississippi Valley  Five hours long and you will not only see the plantation but you will visit Manchac Swamp. The Cajun werewolf is said to lurk in these swamps and has been for centuries. Watch out, he might be just around that cypress tree.

There is also a tour available that not only has the plantation tour, but there is also a 6 to 9 person Airboat swamp tour included in the package. This more personalized tour will help you appreciate the true beauty of the Louisiana swamps. The Destrehan Plantation also offers a Museum that helps display the Slave Revolt that happened in 1811.

Eco Swamp Tour

This tour is one for those who prefer a small setting. Focusing mainly on Pearl River  and theHoney Island area, this tour really focuses on the fauna and flora that takes up Louisiana’s swamps. Two hours and a six person limit, this is perfect for those who want a quick glimpse into what the swamp has to offer.

Honey Island

The Southeast’s largest lakes, Lake Pontchartrain is the perfect place to discover the legends that go along with Louisiana’s swamps. Legends that include the spirits of pirates that have been long gone and ghosts that lurk in the swamps. Honey Island has been known as one of the least altered swamps in the United States. It is a protected wildlife area, but watch out for the Honey Island Swamp Monster. The array of wildlife that takes up the Louisiana swamp is almost unbelievable. Take this tour and get a chance to see otters. How could they possibly live there with all of the gators?

For more Louisiana related articles, click here.

 

 

 

Brothy Seafood Chowder Recipe

This is the perfect recipe for someone who is feeling extra adventurous! Brothy Seafood Chowder posted by Bon Appetit requires fish bones to make the stock. All of the fishing trips you took this summer means there are probably a lot of bones left. Or this recipe gives you the perfect reason to take one last trip before summer ends. This way you get to use almost every single piece of the fish! To make this great seafood chowder you’ll need…

INGREDIENTS

For the Stock of your Seafood Chowder

2 pounds of fish bones, rinsed off

2 stalks of celery, chopped up

1 leek-The dark green parts should be chopped and rinsed. The white part should be cut into ¼” rounds, also rinsed. Set these aside for the actual stew

1 small onion, quarted and unpeeled

1 garlic clove, smashed up

½ cup of sake or dry white wine

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon ofcrushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

6 thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves (these are optional)

For the Stew

1 and ½ pounds of boneless, skinless white fish (like cod).  It needs to be cut into 1” pieces

Freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt

1 pound of small Yukon Gold potatoes, these should be quartered

2 cups of Sun Gold tomatoes

1 fennel bulb, half it lengthwise, then thinly slice it crosswise

Extra virgin olive oil , this will be used for drizzling

UTENSILS

A large pot

A fine-mesh sieve

DIRECTIONS TO MAKE SEAFOOD CHOWDER

For the stock:

The first step for cooking the stock is to cook the fish bones. Heat up the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the fish bones into the pot, stir the bones occasionally but be careful. You do not want to break down the bones. This should take 6 to 8 minutes, continue to cook until there are light, brown spots forming on the bones. The next step is to add the crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, dark green leek pieces, onion, celery, bay leaves, and thyme.

Continue to stir occasionally, scrape the bottom of the pot when stirring. This will help make sure that the stock base isn’t sticking to the pot. Once the onions are golden brown add the sake or wine and cook for about a minute. The base will be reduced by half and that’s when it is ready for the next step.

Add 12 cups of cold water and fennel seeds to the pot; bring this to a boil. Once the stock begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium/low heat. Bring the stock to a simmer and continue to cook; when the foam rises make sure to skim it off. Cook for about 40 to 50 minutes. Once the stock is fully cooked let it cool for about 30 minutes. Strain the stock using a fine-mesh sieve, throw out all of the solids.

Helpful tip! You can cook the stock up to 3 days in advance and just chill it for later.

For the Stew:

Place the stock and the potatoes in a large pot and bring it to a boil, make sure to season it with salt. Once the stock and potatoes begin to boil, set the heat to medium and let it simmer. Cook for about 10 to 14 minutes, making sure that the potatoes are tender. Once the potatoes soften, add the white leek parts and fennel. This should only take about 4 to 6 minutes to cook.

The next step is to add the fish, cook for about 4 more minutes. Make sure the fish is opaque, that’s how you will know it is done. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the tomatoes. Serve in a nice deep bowl. Stop by your local grocery store and pick up some fresh bread to serve. Or even make it yourself!

For more delicious recipes, click here.