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.
The Mississippi River runs alongside Plaquemine, the parish seat of Iberville Parish. The city is rich in small-town charm, with old plantation homes that recall its founding in 1775. Plaquemine (whose name is a Native American word for "persimmon") is a former logging town that gained notoriety for an engineering marvel known as the Plaquemine Lock. The lock system allowed for transport of boats between the Mississippi River and the wild inland waterways of the Atchafalaya Basin, and it was designed by the same man who later became chief engineer for the Panama Canal.
Learn more about the city's importance to the state's rivers and bayous at Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site, and make sure you see other nearby attractions such as the Iberville Museum (housed in the former 1849 parish courthouse), the historic homes of Turnerville, Nottoway Plantation and Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park. Cyclists should take advantage of the 22-mile-long Plaquemine to Grosse Tete biking trail.