Coming to Louisiana Make a Stop in Mandeville
Mandeville is a small town in southeast Louisiana's St. Tammany Parish. The area is known as Louisiana's Northshore because it is on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. It is also just across the lake from New Orleans. While most tourists come to the area for the sites of the big city, those looking for more laid-back attractions may consider the Mandeville area. It has southern charm, small-town character and some unique things to see and do.
Being on Lake Pontchartrain provides great opportunity for water activities such as boating, swimming and fishing. Other area waterways are great for more unique activities such as swamp tours by Cajun Encounters. Located in neighboring Slidell, the company takes up to 24 passengers on a boat ride through the Honey Island Swamp for a chance to get close to alligators, wild boars, nutria rats and black bears. Passengers will also see a real Cajun village that can only be reached by boat. Another great outdoor activity is a visit to the Northlake Nature Center. Visitors can see hardwood forests, pine-hardwood forests and pond-swamp ecosystems as well as an archaeological site from a 700-year-old native population. The center has five miles of trails where visitors can see giant southern magnolia trees, migrant warblers, wild turkeys and a Cypress-gum swamp.
Fontainebleau State Park
Fontainebleau State Park (fontainebleaustatepark.com), a sugar plantation in the 1800s, is a 2,800-acre recreational area on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Two other sides of the park border Bayou Cane and Bayou Castine. Park visitors can enjoy a sandy beach and boating and swimming in the lake. Trails are available for hiking, biking and skating. One nature trail has interpretive signs posted to help visitors identify trees and shrubs along the way. Hikers will also see some of the 400 different bird species living in the park. Visitors can extend their fun by camping in the park or staying in one of the lakefront cabins.
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum is in Madisonville, seven miles outside of Mandeville. Its setting, on the banks of the Tchefuncte River, help highlight the museum's role as an educator of Louisiana maritime history. Visitors will see exhibits and publications and be able to take part in interpretive programs about boat-building, lighthouse restoration and other maritime endeavors. Another interesting museum is the Abita Mystery House in Abita Springs, 11 miles from Mandeville. Also known as UCM, or Unusual Collections and Minitown Museum, the place can appropriately be described as eccentric. Visitors will see homemade inventions, folk art and oddities. This can include old arcade machines, a comb collection and a trailer hit by a UFO.
Louisiana is known for its music and Mandeville is no exception. Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall, built in 1895, played host to many musical greats, including Louis Armstrong. This historic music hall is still drawing crowds who come to hear today's singers and bands play jazz. Another great spot to hear music is Ruby's Roadhouse. Most weekends, Ruby's stage is filled by local musicians. Sometimes Ruby's plays host to national and international artists as well.
Posted on: Friday the 1st of March 2013.
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Written by: Louis Williams