Tag archives for louisiana

Louisiana, Three Ways: Atchafalaya Swamp

I’m in Killer Poboys to meet with Charles Chamberlain, a Ph.D. in American history and local History Man. Ten years a historian at the Louisiana State Museum before setting up his own company, Historia, to provide outsiders with insights into the Pelican State, Chamberlain knows Louisiana. He’s just the guy, I figure, to explain why Louisiana is so different, even a…

Louisiana, Three Ways: Creole Country

The river town of Natchitoches dates back to 1714, when French traders paddling up the Red River from the Mississippi put down roots here, making it the oldest permanent settlement in the entire 828,000-square-mile Louisiana Purchase. It immediately impresses me as a downsize version of New Orleans’ Royal Street, with its filigreed iron balconies, antiques stores, and art galleries.

Louisiana, Three Ways: NOLA

Homegrown, unique, and thoroughly wonderful, Louisiana has a character all its own. “[It] is another country,” local historian Charles Chamberlain says. “But you better see it soon; who knows how long it’s going to last.” By the time Thomas Jefferson bought the land from Napoleon in that 1803 geopolitical fire sale, he explains, this French colony was well populated with French and Spanish immigrants, refugees from Haiti, and Congolese slaves, all of whom had seeded the land with their cultures, foods, and traditions. Here’s a look at New Orleans.

Looks can be deceiving. Take the case of dirty rice, the lumpy, scruffy one-pot dish eaten throughout Cajun country–and beyond–as a side or, occasionally, a main course.

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There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in April.

For New Orleans natives, it’s a hard-won honor to ride in a Carnival parade. So when I was offered the chance to ride with the Krewe of Orpheus this year, it was kind of like a childhood dream coming true. Especially because Orpheus is a super krewe.

When it comes to Mardis Gras, tourists are usually surprised to find that traditions dictate when to party, what to wear, and how to behave. From crowded parties to wild costumes, the revelry may appear chaotic, but locals know there’s a method to the madness.

Cajun or Creole?

A brief primer on the difference between the two terms from National Geographic Young Explorer Caroline Gerdes, a New Orleans native.

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“Get back in here!” Miriam stood in doorway watching an embarrassed man in his mid-30s shouting at a woman who was running down the street screaming. “What is going on with that girl?” she laughed. “Oh she… she just gets scared easily,” he said. Miriam shut the door and turned to me. “Some people these days, they’ve just gone crazy.” She smiled, but you could tell that her feelings were a little bit hurt. And you could tell that it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. But, then again, when you run one of the most famous Voodoo temples in the U.S., you have to expect a few faint-of-hearts to cross your path.

I’ve been going about this all wrong, this looking for good in every city I visit. See, there was an assumption that if someone was doing some real good, then they’d have an office with a big sign, or a business card…something to suggest or confirm the goodness. But that’s not always true. When I jumped in a cab a few days ago in New Orleans, I met someone who was doing good without even knowing it.

“No.” I’m confused. Two days earlier, I had met filmmaker Brian Paul in New Orleans while he was promoting his documentary, Cure For the Crash, a fascinating look inside the minds of “train hoppers.” I told him I wanted to learn about the “art” of hopping, and he agreed to meet me across the river.

“What do you mean ‘No?,’” I ask, not even trying to hide my annoyance.

The Pit Bull “Problem”

Dr. Seuss had one. Helen Keller claims they’re one of the best therapy dogs. Jon Stewart has two – and they watch over his young children. But these aren’t the stories you hear when you hear about pit bulls.

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The Radar: Top travel news, stories, trends, and ideas from across the Web. Got Radar? Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTraveler and tag your favorite travel stories from the Web #ngtradar. Check back the next day for our daily roundup.

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Our Digital Nomad, Andrew Evans just got back from Louisiana where he spent four weeks fishing, chasing alligators, exploring spooky cemeteries, hanging out with vampires, and of course, eating amazing  food. He made us insanely jealous throughout this trip, tweeting photos of tasty crawfish, sugary beignets, and the world’s best jambalaya. Want to relive Andrew’s…

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For this week’s #FriFotos* theme, “Trick or Treat,” we selected this photo of brooding skeletons on Bourbon Street. The photo was taken by our Digital Nomad, Andrew Evans who was in New Orleans for Halloween. Check out more photos of the spooky costumes and cemeteries Andrew encountered in Louisiana, and for more New Orleans dispatches…

Our Digital Nomad, Andrew Evans, is in New Orleans learning about voodoo, making beignets at Café du Monde, and listening to local musicians. Catch up with his travels by browsing 10 of his most popular Twitter photos in the gallery above. Don’t miss another minute! Discover New Orleans with Andrew in real time by following…

What’s more fun than seeing a baby alligator? Getting to hold one! At least, that’s what our Digital Nomad Andrew Evans thought when he visited the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast recently.

By: Lisa A. Walker “Actually, it’s a potential life-changing experience,” replied Danny Clinch, when asked what someone can expect when visiting the legendary jazz venue, Preservation Hall in New Orleans for the very first time. And honestly, I couldn’t agree more. Clinch, a photographer, filmmaker, and musician, recently finished filming a documentary about the Preservation Hall Jazz…

Parading Up to the Big Day

Associate Photo Editor Krista Rossow knows a thing or two about Mardi Gras. She sends us this colorful photo essay on the eve of the grand event. Tomorrow is not Tuesday in New Orleans. It’s Mardi Gras. Although Fat Tuesday may be the climax of Carnival season, that doesn’t mean the city has been idling…

Louisiana’s Outback

Frank DiCesare reports from one of the country’s most scenic byways: The Creole Nature Trail. Though Louisiana is synonymous with smooth jazz, sultry nights, and a certain streetcar named Desire, travel to the Bayou State extends far beyond Bourbon Street. In fact, a three and a half hour drive west of New Orleans will bring…

Gulf Coast: Thoughts From Home

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This summer, writer Aimee Brown and photographer Justin Bailie traveled to the Gulf Coast to document how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was impacting the lives of its residents. Now that the well has been capped, the long-term effects of the spill on the environment are still unknown, and the same uncertainty faces the people…

Writer Aimee Brown is traveling along the Gulf Coast and reporting on the effects of the oil spill and its recovery. Last week she shared her love affair with gumbo. Today she sees how the delicious dish is made. This is her seventh post in the series; read her other posts here. Debbie Duplantis stands over…

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Writer Aimee Brown is traveling along the Gulf Coast and reporting on the effects of the oil spill and its recovery. Today she shares her love affair with a local specialty. This is her sixth post in the series; read her other posts here. Memorandum From: Aimee Brown To: Southern Louisiana Gumbo Subject: A follow-up from…

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A Greenpeace marine biologist’s hands are covered in oil after surveying the mouth of the Mississippi River last week. According to an article this morning in USA Today, TripAdvisor has recently analyzed its search data for activities, restaurants, and accommodations in the Gulf Coast area and found that they have been searched significantly less in…

Fans of the new HBO series, Treme, which takes place in New Orleans during the aftermath of Katrina, can now learn more about the historic neighborhood with a new interactive map created by National Geographic. In it, G.K. Darby, a local blogger who wrote for us here on Intelligent Travel about places to watch the…