In Louisiana, you can hit the links at the site of an 1812 battlefield or an old plantation home. Here, golf courses seem a natural part of the landscape. And for good reason: The courses of Louisiana's Audubon Golf Trail—the innovative collection of 18 top-notch courses, covering all five regions of the state—are all members of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, which promotes ecologically sound land management and the conservation of natural resources.
Established in 2001, the Audubon Golf Trail includes courses designed by Hal Sutton, David Toms and Pete Dye. Dye's latest creation, TPC of Louisiana at Fairfield, which opened in 2004, hosts the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, which is an annual draw for golf's heavyweights.
And while the Audubon Golf Trail provides a splendid sample of golf in Louisiana, there are numerous other beautiful and challenging courses statewide. Be sure to swing by.
Marksville was founded by accident. Here, in the 1790s, a Venetian peddler named Marco broke a wagon wheel along his travels, and decided to stay and set up a trading post. The resulting town offers visitors a patchwork of colonial history—and more. The 1820 Hypolite-Bordelon House is a window into the life of early European settlers. Fort De Russy was built during the Civil War to defend the Red River. On the prehistoric side, Marksville State Historic Site features a Native American ceremonial center. The first inhabitants of the Marksville area are honored with the annual Fete du Ble Indian Festival. The modern presence of Native Americans is on spectacular display at the 500-room Paragon Casino & Resort, owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. Natural areas, such as Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area and the Lake Ophelia and Grand Cote National Wildlife Preserves, give hunters, fishermen and nature lovers their due.