Natchitoches, Louisiana's oldest city
The oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory, Natchitoches is rich in history and culture.
Located in Central Louisiana on Interstate 49, Natchitoches (NACK-a-tish) is the original French Colony in Louisiana. It was established in 1714 and is located on the historic El Camino Real de los Tejas, which was designated a national historic trail in 2004.
Aside from being known for its famous meat pies, Natchitoches has a charming landmark district with great shopping and numerous bed and breakfasts. Throughout the year, Natchitoches celebrates its music, food and culture with events and festivals.
The town, where the movie "Steel Magnolias" was filmed, is also known as the City of Lights from mid-November though the New Year. The town's world-famous Christmas Festival is held on the first Saturday in December.
Homes and plantations along the Cane River – in the Cane River National Heritage Area – are open daily. They include the Melrose Plantation, the Cane River Creole National Historical Park at Oakland Plantation and the Cane River Creole National Historical Park Magnolia Plantation Complex.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking and biking in the Kisatchie National Forest and hunting or fishing in numerous lakes, bayous and the Red River.
Visitors can feed, hold and have their picture taken with a real alligator at the Alligator Park & Show and see buffalo roaming at the Adai Indian Nation Cultural Center. To the west along the El Camino Real lie three other state historic sites: Los Adaes State Historic Site, Fort Jesup State Historic Site and Rebel State State Historic Site, which includes the Louisiana Country Music Museum.