Discover Louisiana’s Spring Festivals

Spring Festivals are some of the most highlighted times of the year in Louisiana.  There are hundreds of festivals across the state of all types. Some honor the local produce like the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival or the Franklin Parish Catfish festival.  Some are odes to certain music genres like the Baton Rouge Blues Festival.  Others are nods to history and culture like Lafayette’s Festival International.  All of them are tons of fun for everyone and offer lots to do, great food to eat, and exciting activities.  Here are some of our favorites based on the festival guide published by

1.    French Quarter Festival

Spring Festivals

While most people know about the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, it seems that this festival is smaller, less well-known, and the locals like it that way.  They are able to see some of their favorite acts without all the hullabaloo. As stated on their website, their mission is to “promote the Vieux Carré and the City of New Orleans through high quality special events and activities that showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city, contribute to the economic well-being of the community, and instill increased pride in the people of New Orleans.”  2019 brings the 36th Anniversary of the festival and locals will tell you that it gets better with time.

2.    Louisiana Pirate Festival

The Louisiana Pirate Festival is a wonderful chance to experience Southwest Louisiana’s joie de vivre or “Joy of Life.”  Celebrating the legendary life of pirate Jean Lafitte, it is held on the grounds of the Lake Charles Civic Center and Seawall.  There will be great live entertainment showcasing Louisiana musicians and great Louisiana cuisine, a Pirate Ball and parade, Fireworks Display and much more. The story goes that pirate Jean Lafitte docked his boat right on the shore and buried his treasure somewhere along the bank. Witness the cannon fire as the citizens of Lake Charles defend the seawall against the pirates!

3.    Festival International de Louisiane

Lafayette hosts this festival all over its downtown area every April.  It’s one of the few free festivals of its size. It brings in over 300k people and acts from all over the world including many bands that don’t speak English and who carry hand-made instruments.  Festival International is known for exciting discoveries and culture sharing. There are plenty of food trucks offering local fare from all over Louisiana, arts and crafts, shopping, and activities.  The official lineup has been released and the festival also offers a free app to help you organize your favorite shows and create a schedule for yourself.  

4.    Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival

May brings this fun festival to one of the oldest settled towns in Louisiana.  It has hosted legendary artists such as .38 Special, Trombone Shorty, Edgar Winter, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Family Stone, Grand Funk Railroad and many, many more. The main stage is located on the banks of the Cane River in the historic downtown area. There will be music for all tastes; not just Jazz and R&B but also country, rock, zydeco, and much more. With food trucks and booths lining the riverbank, the gorgeous setting and festive music makes for an incredibly unique experience for all ages.

For more Louisiana news and information, click here.

Praxair Building a New Hydrogen Plant in Louisiana

The Daily Advertiser released this article stating that Praxair recently announced that they will be building a New Hydrogen Plant in Louisiana where it will be integrated with the firm’s “already extensive Louisiana production network via its Mississippi River Corridor hydrogen pipeline system.”

The exact location has not been decided yet but has plans to start up in 2021 and be among the largest hydrogen producing plants in America.  Praxair is a subsidiary of the Irish-based chemical giant Linde plc.  Once the state-of-the-art design is complete, this project will increase the U.S. Gulf Coast hydrogen capacity to more than 1.7 billion standard cubic feet per day.

Praxair, Inc. is a leading industrial gas company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. Praxair produces, sells and distributes gases and high-performance surface coatings. Their services are making our planet more clean and productive by bringing environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries.

Why do we need hydrogen plants?  What exactly will the plant be used to do?  

Hydrogen production has three basic industrial benefits that makes sense for companies to take advantage of.

1.    The use of hydrogen greatly reduces pollution.

When hydrogen is combined with oxygen in a fuel cell, energy in the form of electricity is produced and the only by-products are water and heat. No other pollution or greenhouse gases are produced.  This electricity can be used for anything, including powering vehicles or as a heat source.

2.    Hydrogen can be produced locally from various sources.

Companies don’t have to outsource for hydrogen.  Hydrogen gas can be produced locally from methane, gas, coal or water.

3.    If hydrogen is produced from water we have a sustainable production system.

Using renewable energy provides a sustainable system that is nonpolluting. Some of the renewable sources used are wind, hydro, and solar energy. The by products of the process are water and heat so the system can be set up as a co-generator, with the waste energy used for heating.

In order to comply with increasingly strict environmental regulations, the demand for clean fuels is growing astronomically.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from power plants across the country.  The proposal is called the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule.  It has established guidelines for states to use when developing plans to limit GHGs at their power plants.

“The ACE Rule would restore the rule of law and empower states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide modern, reliable and affordable energy for all Americans,” said Andrew Wheeler, EPA acting administrator.

“EPA has an important role when it comes to addressing the CO2 from our nation’s power plants,” said Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “The ACE rule would fulfill this role in a manner consistent with the structure of the Clean Air Act while being equally respectful of its bounds.”

According to the EPA, the proposal will work to reduce GHG emissions through four main missions:

1.    ACE will define the “best system of emission reduction” for existing power plants

2.    ACE provides states with a list of “candidate technologies” to utilize

3.    ACE continues to research and provide updates to further encourage efficiency improvements

4.    ACE will give states adequate time and flexibility to develop their plans.

For more Louisiana-related news, click here.

Top Louisiana Bed and Breakfasts

Louisiana is a place that knows no strangers so it’s no wonder that it’s home of the world’s best Bed and Breakfasts.  From quaint Cajun Cottages to exemplary 5 star inns, Louisiana boasts some of the most historic and architecturally complex places to bunk, a real treat for the traveler wishing to relive history, add the highest quality of customer service as well as an eclectic array of food, and you have yourself a relaxing vacay blending the perfect amount of relaxation and excursion. Depending on what you have in mind as far as experience, food, and geographical location, there is something for everyone.  Destination 360 has compiled a list of the best and we have narrowed it down to the top 4.  Click here for the full list.

1.    Melrose Mansion

The Melrose Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Louisiana has been voted one of the most romantic Louisiana bed and breakfast Inns in the country. A Victorian treasure, you can live in luxury and enjoy the history in one of the 21 rooms filled with period antiques. You will be sure to experience the comforts of home, and then some, with their southern hospitality. Enjoy breakfast in their quaint courtyard alongside the swimming pool, perfect for cooling off in the summer heat. This ideal location on the edge of the French Quarter provides convenient access to everything New Orleans! By day, stroll a few blocks down the avenue in the direction of the Mississippi River to check out the French Market, Café du Monde, and Jackson Square. Or pedicab your way through Royal Street’s endless unique shops and fabulous New Orleans dining offerings.

2.    Stockade Bed & Breakfast

The Stockade Bed and Breakfast has hosted guests from all over the world.  People come from all over to experience all they have to offer. It is named after the Civil War stockade that occupied the grounds and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The large, Hacienda-style house offers five main-house accommodation options: four spacious guest rooms and one two-bedroom suite, each with a private bath and original artwork adorning the walls. Included with your stay is a homemade gourmet breakfast which people rave about.
Nature lovers delight in walks along the backyard trail of The Stockade Bed and Breakfast to explore the wilderness of native foliage and wildlife.

3.    Nottoway Plantation

Nottoway Plantation & Resort is a 1850’s sugarcane estate, a AAA Four-Diamond property, and a member of Historic Hotels of America, and is the home of the South’s largest existing antebellum mansion, now stunningly restored to its original architectural design.  It is an architectural masterpiece, with the massive white columns and grand balconies standing guard over the Mississippi River. On the other side the spectacular three-story Rotunda overlooks majestic, towering oaks.  Various daily tours quench the history fanatic’s thirst for knowledge and the deluxe rooms, rich dining, and luxury amenities go hand in hand with their gracious southern hospitality and service.

4.    HH Whitney House

Even before you walk through the front door of this bed and breakfast, your hosts make you feel right at home. Whether you’re looking for a quiet weekend getaway or an action-packed visit to New Orleans, your hosts make it their business to pamper you.  Elegance is the hallmark of this beautiful Italianate-style home. The dining room features an 11-foot oak table which provides a casually elegant setting for breakfast. Eleven fireplaces grace the home, including two in the double-parlor, which features Italian marble mantelpieces. Most bathrooms feature vintage clawfoot tubs and showers.  The lush tropical garden of this B & B has been transformed since Hurricane Katrina to include a new in-ground swimming pool and hot tub. The area still provides a great setting for sipping your morning coffee, reading your favorite novel, or sharing a late-night talk with your sweetie after a long day in New Orleans.

Click here for more Louisiana news and information.

Top Louisiana Cities to Live In

The 31st-largest state, you’ll find counties here in Louisiana. Instead, the state is the only place in the country to divide its areas into parishes. That’s not the only thing Louisiana does differently; the legal system is unlike in other states too.  Louisiana is also home to the world’s longest water-spanning bridge and the USA’s tallest state capitol. The laid-back lifestyle and rich diversity of the state make Louisiana a great place to live. Below are some of the best places to live in Louisiana and you can click here to read about more.

1. New Orleans
The largest city in Louisiana, New Orleans comes in at top place for its wide variety of amenities and opportunities. With a population of around 400k, there is a lot of diversity from all walks of life.  Don’t be surprised if you hear people describe New Orleans as a “Northern Caribbean city” because the inherent culture has its earliest roots in French culture. The city was founded in 1718 by explorers Iberville and Bienville then modified by infusions of residents from the Caribbean Isles, all before the Americans took over in 1803. And it’s why many say New Orleans feels more like Europe than the USA.  Known as “The Crescent City,” and, of course, “TheBig Easy,” New Orleans offers a lifestyle that is worlds apart from the hustle and bustle of most metropolitan areas. Situated amidst LakePontchartrain on the north, the Mississippi River on the south, and wetlands all around, the city is a bit of an island itself, a factor that has allowed local traditions to grow and develop during the past centuries so that NewOrleans has a quirky character all its own.  The culture is reflected in the food, known around the world for its interesting spices and seafood base. From the haute cuisine of the fine French restaurants to earthy fried oyster Po’-boys at neighborhood restaurants, the cuisine reflects the diversity and eccentricities of this port city. There’s definitely no time to feel bored.

2. Inniswold
Coming in at number two, Inniswold is part of East Baton Rouge Parish. With a population of around 5,000, the area is especially known for its lower-than-average crime rate. Residents generally enjoy a good quality of life and there are many local amenities. The city’s top-notch restaurants especially are raved about.  Try Stabb’s while you are there and opt for Hawaiian fare and go grab a bite at The Cove.  There is a great public school system there and parents rave about the low teacher/student ratio.  Some Louisiana residents choose to commute to Inniswold for the higher paying wages. With relatively short commuting times more and more arechoosing to drive to Inniswold! Interstate 10 runs to the south of the parish and the Jefferson Highway is also easy to access.  Housing prices are fairly high, at $210,600 on average. The median monthly rental costs for a two-bedroom property are $1,192. Living costs are higher than the state and national averages, but remember the old saying, “you get what you pay for”, and this is especially true living in Inniswold.

3. Brusly
The town of Brusly is located within West Baton Rouge Parish. While you may need to travel a little way to reach your favorite restaurants and shops, Brusly offers plenty right there.  Try out Louisiana BayouBistro or Athenos Cafe for a nice, tasty dinner. Grab your dog or your workout buddy and get some fresh air at one of the two local parks.  Warm weather, high income levels, low unemployment figures, and low crime rates more than make up for a few extra minutes to reach certain leisure facilities and stores, though!  Parents rave about the higher than average high school pass rate and Brusly turns out many college-bound students who often return and build up the community which is very tight-knit.  The monthly rental price comes in under the national average at $765, although there are more privately owned homes in than rented properties.

4. Scott
Lafayette Parish’s Scott has a fairly large population, of around 10,000. The median age is 31, helping to create a place to live that has high energy and a mature outlook.  Quality of life is great here despite the median income being under $49,000. Grab a bite at Fezzo’s Seafood, Steak & Oyster House that will knock your socks off or opt for more local fare at Billy’s Boudin.  There is plenty to do including tons of free events and entertainment like festivals with food and entertainment, including the world renowned Festival International, one of the largest free festivals of its kind that brings in acts from all over the world.  The area has some of the lowest living costs when compared to other popular places to live in Louisianaas well as some of the highest employment rates, with just 4.7% of thecommunity out of work. Scott’s a healthy place to live too; the air qualityscore is a low 33 helping it to earn the Clean City contest.

5. Baton Rouge
The state capital and second-largest city of Louisiana, the city is a major hubfor the medical, industrial, shipping, research, and petrochemical industries,and the technology industry is seeing rapid growth. Of course, there are manyother job opportunities as well.  The economy is booming in Baton Rouge.Not only has the city been placed in the top ten destinations around the US tostart a new business, but it has also been named as one of the top ten placesoverall for young adults. Home of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge residents can take advantage of numeroussporting events and campus activities, many of which are free.  BatonRouge has also been listed as one of North America’s top twenty cities when itcomes to economic strength. Entrepreneurs, investors, and young professionalsshould definitely keep their eyes on Baton Rouge. Try out Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant and bring your credit card to Perkins Rowe so you can shop til you drop.

6. Youngsville
The small city of Youngsville can be found in Lafayette Parish not too far from Scott. The population of over 10,000 enjoys a suburban vibe coupled with the facilities and amenities of city life. It’s the best of both worlds.  The average age is 32, making it neither old nor young, despite the city’s youthful name. Nightlife may be somewhat lacking when compared to other cities around the state, but the opportunities for a happy family life attract a generally more settled crowd.  85% of Youngsville’s residents are property owners with higher than average household incomes and it’s considered a great place to buy a property. Locals are warm, welcoming, and friendly, and people take pride in keeping the city looking clean and tidy. Grab lunch at Zeus, a local chain serving Greek and Lebanese dishes.

7. Westminster
Not as highly ranking as Inniswold but still a great place to live, Westminster is another highly sought after area in East Baton Rouge Parish. In close proximity of the state capitol, you can benefit from easy access to the city and myriad opportunities while still maintaining a peaceful suburban home life.  Schools boast high graduation rates and with two universities close by, many students become educated and remain in their communities which strengthens the areas commerce and morale. Those seeking further education opportunities have good options. The total number of crimes is significantly lower that the rest of the state – a whopping 81% lower.  Although the high living costs may deter some people (15% higher than the state’s average figures), the median household income is significantly higher (87%) than the state average making Westminster a great choice for most. Try Albasha, a small local chain of Middle Eastern fare in a stylish setting.

8. Mandeville
Part of the greater New Orleans metropolitan area, Mandeville sits on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain in the parish of St. Tammany.  The population is a little over 12,100. Low rates of crime, high graduation rates, pleasant weather, and good household income levels combine to keep locals smiling. You won’t have to look far to find a decent selection of restaurants and shops, and you can work off all the delicious local food in one of the fitness centers. Try Nuvolari’s or Pat Gallagher’s for a delicious, upscale meal.  Plus, the vibrant city of New Orleans is within close proximity.  

9. Belle Chasse
Sitting on the edges of the Mississippi River, Belle Chasse is the biggest town in Plaquemines Parish.  With some of the state’s highest property prices for both ownership and renting, it’s not a place for a typical first home. The prices do, however, reflect how sought-after the area is, making it a terrific choice for people looking to make an upgrade to existing living arrangements.  Median rents are $1,130 per month in Belle Chasse, while the average home costs in the region of $227,200. The affluence of the area can be seen in the median annual income for a household: $66,730. When it comes to cutting loose and having some fun, Belles Chasse has great fishing spots, a shooting range, various sports facilities, a dirt-bike track, and restaurants that dish up some of the best Cajun food you’ll ever taste.  And let’s not forget the great lineup of annual celebrations too. Belle Chasse hosts Crawfish Fest, Orange Fest, Gamers Fest, and more.  Make rezzies at Zydeco’s Cajun Restaurant for dinner.  You won’t regret it!

10. Metairie
Sandwiched between New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain, Metairie’s farming heritage set the stage for the gorgeous local parks that sit there now.  The greenery is a nice aesthetic and helps to break up the cement and tall buildings. Metairie has a sporty vibe; it’s home to the New Orleans Baby Cakes baseball team and the NFL team the New Orleans Saints train in there. There are many sports facilities to encourage a fit and healthy community. The area also has more ethnic and racial diversity than many other parts of the state and the crime rate is lower than the state average by an impressive 47%. Home prices are fairly high, at $210,900.

For more on Louisiana’s top places to live, click here. For more articles similar to this one, click here.

New Digital Version of Louisiana Driver’s License recently released an article announcing, “A new smartphone app offers a digital version of the Louisiana driver’s license, allowing motorists and others an option aside from carrying a physical license”.

This is great news for those of you who happen to be in a position where you misplace your wallet, and/or ID, and possibly get pulled over, or need it for any other reason. The article states, “The digital license will be accepted by state police, but official acceptance at restaurants, bars and by the Transportation Security Administration is pending approval, according to the online portal for LA Wallet. The portal did not indicate whether local police agencies, such as the NOPD, would accept the digital licenses.”

For more information on the new app, click here.