Central region attracts gardeners, fishermen and history-lovers

Remember the movie, “Steel Magnolias”? Then you have a frame of reference for Natchitoches, where it was filmed. Antebellum homes, plantations, creeks and swamps, great seafood and lots of mint juleps abound in this region. However, Natchitoches is also a college town, hosting Northwestern State University. It also features a 33-block historic district, reminiscent of the French Quarter. If you are a birdwatcher, gardener, fisherman, hunter, lover of history or fine cuisine, Natchitoches should be on your radar screen.

Alexandria (pop. about 50,000) is another historically significant area that features a riverfront park, a magnificent 1896 cathedral, a 22-acre zoological park, museums, plantations and antebellum homes. Both of these towns’ central business districts are engaging and historic.