Washington Parish is where the footprint of metro New Orleans and the wetlands of south Louisiana give way to softly rolling hills, piney woods and small towns. This is historic lumber country, and home to the paper industry. It also contains thriving watermelon patches and claims to produce the best-tasting watermelons in the world. Summertime is also in full bloom on the parish’s swift-moving waterways, where tubing is the dominant form of recreation. It’s the perfect way for a warm afternoon; lay back and relax with friends while getting in touch, literally, with nature. The annual Parish Free Fair with its Mile Branch Historical Settlement transports visitors to the pioneering days of Washington Parish, with log houses and volunteers in period clothing.