In this episode of “Eat Play Stay,” we’re traveling to Natchitoches. Located about four hours from New Orleans, Natchitoches, Louisiana, is the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory where you will find history, culture, and adventure. This beautiful city is most famous for its Christmas festival which runs from the weekend before Thanksgiving to after New Year’s.
EAT – NATCHITOCHES RESTAURANTS
Girline’s Kitchen on Wheels
Owner Reath Blake serves up home-cooked soul food from a food truck named after her mother. At Girline’s Kitchen on Wheels, you’ll enjoy smothered pork chops, fried shrimp, cornbread, black-eyed peas, and much more..
Cane River Commissary
Located ten minutes south of Natchitoches, Cane River Commissary is a restaurant and bar located in an old schoolhouse on Cane River. Owners Ricky and Sylvia LaCour serve up homemade Cane River Creole meat pies, bacon-wrapped pork medallions, and an array of po’boys.
Magee’s Patio Cafe
Magee’s Patio Café is rumored to have the best ice cream in Natchitoches. However, if you’re in the mood for more of a meal, Magee’s has a menu that includes breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, and more.
Located on Sibley Lake, Mariner’s Restaurant was given a second life when owners Ben and Keri Fidelak bought it in 2020. Chef Ben serves up a menu of tasty goodness that includes house-made pasta, steak, and his famous boudin wontons with cracklins and a Steen’s demi-glaze. Mariner’s also has an extensive wine list, whiskey, and other specialty drinks perfect for lakeside sips
PLAY – THINGS TO DO IN NATCHITOCHES
Steel Magnolias House
Much of the movie Steel Magnolias, which was set in a town based on Natchitoches, was filmed at what is now the Steel Magnolia House. This cozy bed and breakfast features rooms named after the movie’s characters.
Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historical Site
Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site, or Fort des Natchitoches, is a replica of an early French fort based upon the original blueprints of 1716 by Sieur Charles Claude Dutisné and company. The original fort served as a trading post for furs between the locals and Native Americans.
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
Whether you’re a Saints fan or you prefer to cheer for a player raised in Louisiana, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame is a place that you shouldn’t miss. A regional history museum is also located here, so you can celebrate accomplishments by Louisiana athletes, coaches, and sports stars while learning about the region’s culture and history.
Gator Country Louisiana
Gator Country Louisiana is the largest alligator park in the state and houses 250 gators. Here you will get an education about gators and their habitat and will be able to interact with these creatures one-on-one.
Cane River Candy Co
Cane River Candy Co. serves up sweet nostalgia in this Natchitoches candy shop. Barrels of taffy, homemade chocolate, and roasted pecans are just a few of the delicious treats you’ll find here.
STAY – PLACES TO STAY IN NATCHITOCHES
Samuel Guy House
Built in 1850, Samuel Guy House is a Greek Revival home that features a stunning porch and offers seven unique guest rooms. Oliver’s Garden, named after a beloved local arts patron, features hundreds of hydrangeas, sweet olives and sago palms.
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