Staycation – Grant, Natchitoches, Red River

There’s a chocolate cake you buy at the store … and then there’s a chocolate cake you make during Hurricane Issac with Hershey’s Especially Dark Chocolate and a poured icing with pecans, granulated sugar (because you don’t have confectioners sugar in the house) and coconut.

There’s a vacation full of technology and thrill rides … and then there’s a staycation immersed in reality and history and especially dark chocolate memories – in Louisiana.

Traveling with your group in one of Riverside Limousines’ professionally chauffeured mini buses allows you to sit back and enjoy your trip. You can listen to music, view videos, visit intensely and enjoy refreshments. At each stop the chauffeur will help you with packages, luggage and exiting the vehicle. The chauffeur will keep the vehicle fueled, refreshments on ice and the trash picked up. All you need to do is enjoy and explore.

Natchitoches, Grant, Red River Parishes are all part of the older, historic, deep south. Established in 1714, Natchitoches is the oldest town in the Louisiana Purchase. Los Adeas, thirty miles east of the Sabine River was the official capital of the Spanish province of Tejas (Texas.) Events in these parishes were pivotal in ending reconstruction efforts following the Civil War. This is all part of Louisiana I never knew.

Natchitoches Parish

Known as the bed & breakfast capital of Louisiana, this town is also known for Christmas lights, meat pies, Northwestern Lousisana University and festivals. It’s the home of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Folk Life Festival. We’ll stay in Natchitoches and venture out into Red River and Grant Parishes. Your group can split up and stay in several of the numberous bed and breakfast homes.

LaSportsHallofFameTimothyHursley2014 is it’s tri centenial. Created April 10, 1804, Natchitoches Parish is one of the original 12 parishes. It is one of two Preserve America communities in the state. There are so many things to see and do in this area your group will need a special strategy of sampling many sites and choosing where to spend significant time; like shopping. In our Sprinter or Mini-Bus the group has a lot of schedule flexibility.

Once your group has checked in we’ll stroll downtown and then gather for a guided tour or boat tour of the Cane River followed by supper at Merci Beaucoup on Church Street. It serves Cajun Food and the famous food of Natchitoches – meat pies. Afterward we’ll visit the Pioneer Pub to sample their beer selection.

Grant Parish

After breakfast at our seperate B&Bs the second morning we’ll get onboard and travel to Colfax, the site of the Colfax Riot or the Colfax Massacre depending on your source of history. Reconstruction was a turbulent time while the south struggled to recover and political conflicts were constant. Parishes were realigned by the Union protected Republicans and Carpetbaggers to strengthen their voting bloc. Elections were contested and both sides vied for control. In Colfax both sides gathered supporters; both sides were led by veterans of the Civil War. In the insuing melee an estimated 100 blacks, and 3 whites were killed. There are only a few reminders of this pivitol event remaining.

Colfax is the home of Fairmont Plantation a working cotton plantation and the home of Plantation Pride Pecans. It was in built 1869 and is also a bed and breakfast. Your group can shop the store for pecan products and treats. 

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We’ll return to Natchitoches and get cleaned up for another night on the town. There many restaurants to choose from. We’ll try Mama’s Oyster House/Papa’s Bar & Grill.

Red River Parish

The third day we”ll start out in Coushatta, the parish seat of Red River Parish. This parish was one created after the Civil War to support the Union’s effort at “reconstruction.” As an unintended consequence, it was also the birth place of The White League; formed to protect white interests. One famous carpetbagger, Marshall H. Twitchell from Vermont spent 11 turbulent years as Provost General for the Freemen’s Bureau, State Senator, plantation owner and businessman. After an attempt on his life that resulted in the amputation of both arms, he left the state.

Staycation Ed Lester Farm

Agri-business is still the backbone of the area. We can  visit Ed Lester Farms and enjoy fresh seasonal produce and fruit from historic Cabin Point Plantation.

To end the day we’ll drive to Kisatchie National Forest to see it’s unique terrain and if you still have enough energy stay to stargaze. Kisatchie is noted as “the best place for stargazing in Louisiana,” due to the altitude and absence of artifical lighting.

Return to Baton Rouge

After a good nights sleep and breakfast your group can decide what they want to see before we return to the Capital City.

Remember, with Riverside, “we drive … you have fun!”


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