Nottoway Plantation & Resort- The largest antebellum mansion in the South

 

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Nottoway Plantation and Resort is a 19th Century estate located in White Castle, La. and dates back to the 1850’s and The Civil War Era. Nottoway is the largest remaining antebellum plantation in the south and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nottoway is a three-story historical sugarcane estate and sits on 15 acres and measures 53,000 sq. Ft.

Nottoway mansion features both grand Greek Revival and Italianate architecture. The rich country estate has 200 windows, 165 doors, 64 rooms, 12 mantles, 7 staircases, and 5 galleries. Nottoway is an AAA Four Diamond inn and operates as a B&B, wedding venue, and museum. Nottoway offers guided and self-guided tours and is a favorite venue for romantic southern weddings.

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History of the Antebellum Plantation

-19th century

Nottoway was built in 1859 by the Randolph family and encompassed 6,200 acres. Mr. Randolph had the home built for 80,000 and paid in full in cash. Nottoway today is worth approximately 4 million dollars. The estate consisted of the mansion, slave quarters, schoolhouse, greenhouse, horse stables and more. Nottoway was once a cotton plantation, and John Randolph converted it to a sugarcane plantation.

John Randolph and his wife Emily had 11 children. Sometime in 1886, After Mr. Randolph’s passing, Mrs. Randolph moved from the mansion and sold most of the property, excluding the swamps. Landry & Dugas were the new owners and purchased the home for 50,000.

-20th Century

Nottoway was resold in 1899 for 100,00. The estate was sold again shortly in 1913 for 63,000. Nottoway was sold yet again in a partnership for 63,000 and sold back again in 1913 where it went for a few thousand at a sheriffs sale to Surgeon General, Dr. Whyte Owen. He tried to operate it as a sugarcane farm once again and decided to keep the mansion and surrounding areas and sell off the remaining of his 1193 acres.

Into the 20th century, the Owen family were the homeowners and Mr. Owen’s daughter-in-law, Mrs. Odessa Owen, decided to sell the home once again. She sold the house for 720,000 to Mr. Arlin Dease, with one contingency…

-21st Century

The last surviving heir eventually struck a deal of a lifetime. She stated she wished to live in one of the house quarters until her death. He agreed, and she lived out the rest of her years in this very house as promised.

In 1985, Nottoway was sold to a wealthy Austrailian man, Sir Paul Ramsey who still owns the estate to this day. Mr. Ramsey is the chairman of Ramsey Health Care and operates 72 hospitals, elder care facilities, and psychiatric hospitals. He also is the largest stakeholder, and he also operates 13 stations with Prime television.

Life on the Plantation

The Randolph family owned many slaves who worked in the crops. During the tour, I learned that at one time the slaves were released during the emancipation signing and many left, but about 53 decided to stay and work for Mr. Randolph. Without the pay increases, they were promised more slaves left in search of better wages. Many slaves left for personal freedoms and others in search of other house families to serve like the Randolph’s.

Randolph owned 176 slaves and was one of the largest slaveholders in the south. Harvesting sugarcane is physically demanding, and many slaves worked double shifts in the fields. Many slaves were expected to cook, clean, plow the fields, plant sugar cane, cut stalks and more. It is disheartening to reflect with an open heart the working and living conditions of our past generations.

Tour

We purchased tickets online and headed out of the city towards the country. Nottoway is located somewhere between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. When you arrive, you enter through the gift shops to purchase tickets or present your advanced tickets. You then advise if you would like a guided tour or a self-guided tour.

Tours begin every hour on the hour. You then proceed out through the gift shop into the house grounds. Our guide was Brock, and he was entertaining and informative. The guides are dressed in period attire. In October, Nottoway begins it’s haunted nighttime tours.

I look forward to returning in the chilly fall weather for another ghostly tour of the property! They also hold Murder Mystery Dinner Theater shows. On with the tour…

One of my favorite stories about the Randolph family retold by our guide was one of Mrs. Randolph and the pineapples. Being as the Randolph’s were very wealthy and had a massive mansion, they would often host many visitors and guests for extended stays. Mrs. Randolph loved pineapples and was known to give her guests a fresh cut pineapple after supper. When guests have upset Mrs. Randolph, she will give her guests a whole pineapple and haughtily watch them try to cut it themselves. She would soon leave them to their struggle and retire for the evening. When a houseguest received an entire pineapple, they understood they would quickly be seen off and that they had upset the lady of the house.

House Exterior

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Nottoway operates as a Bed and Breakfast and wedding venue and features 64 rooms, guest cottages and carriage houses, and honeymoon suites on three floors and outdoor rooms. Guests can retire in The Mansion, The Boys Wing, The Garden House, The Suites, The Cottages, or The Carriage House. Furnishings include antique Victorian Queen beds, Mahogany four-poster beds, jacuzzis, and a parlor. Other amenities include a brides quarters, salon and spa, a crystal ballroom, a southern restaurant and cafe, outdoor pool and tennis court.

House Grounds

Nottoway has nestled about 200 ft. from the banks of the Mississippi River. Nottoway estate consists of 620 acres of land including Mississipi River-front land, highland, and swamplands. We crossed the grounds of the mansion and walked up the side of the levee. The splendid views from the back of the home are remarkable. From the top of the ridge, you can see panoramic views of the mighty Mississippi. From this side of the house, you can see the natural beauty of the property. There is a multitude of towering Oak and Spanish moss trees offering shade, and quiet moments of reflection.

The front entrance has a stunning circular fountain and angelic statues. The Iris pond behind the home features a beautiful white wooden bridge, fountain, and sculpture. The exterior of the mansion features a three-story Rotunda and 22 large white columns and posts. The balconies have outdoor furniture for rest and offer mesmerizing views of the antique home and large manicured property. I was able to leisurely tour the upper galleries and second story porches.

DSC_0013.jpgFountain Garden Courtyard

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House Interior

Nottoway mansion houses a multitude of vintage furniture and antiques. I admire the lavish details of the rooms such as the crown molding along the ceilings, Corinthian columns with hand-cast arches, velvet drapes, porcelain doorknobs, brass and ceramic furnishings, and Italian marble fireplaces. The ceilings are an astonishing 15.5 Ft. high and the doors are 11 ft. The music room features a gorgeous angelic harp and piano.

The dining room features hand-painted delicate China dishes and a large solid wood dining room table. The lady of the house had a tea room where dames of times past huddled around over delicate teacups and shared ladies stories. Mrs. Randolph was quite mistrusting of others and was known to stow her valuables in a stocking which she would hide away in the bedposts.

The man of the house had a grand gentleman’s study where he could leisurely read or perhaps smoke cigars and banter with his comrades. The children’s rooms displayed little beds such as the rooms in the house with simple furnishings in contrast to the rest of the house. The house also had all indoor plumbing which shows the affluence of the family at a time where many used outhouses.

My favorite room was the White room. The room has all white walls and even white floors! There were touches of gold and brass furniture and antiques spread throughout the room. An all-white room is so delicate and gorgeous.

DSC_0115.jpgThe White Ballroom

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House Gardens

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Mississippi River

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Weddings

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Other places to visit:

Gift Shop

Cinema Room

Museum

Le Cafe

The Mansion Resturant

Family Cemetery

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With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“…there ain’t no journey what don’t change you some.”

Bucket List Dreams- Hemingbough

 

A Spiritual Retreat to Hemingbough

 

Hemingbough is a beloved sanctuary where I draw a source of inspiration for many of my musings. Hemingbough is a cultural arts center situated in the Felicianas within the quaint and charming town of Saint Francisville.  Hemingbough is located along the rolling hills of Louisiana’s Old South Hwy.

This rural retreat is beautiful and tranquil and promotes a meditative state and rest. Hemingbough is a safe haven for spiritual seekers of enlightenment and promotes inner peace and harmony between nature, self, and our fellow man. One can enjoy the quiet solitude of the great outdoors and bask in the warm Louisiana sun.

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Amphitheater

The Greek Revival amphitheater is where I am drawn to, and I get lost in the beauty of the elegant architecture. The Greek amphitheater features an open-air coliseum and towering white columns with an inspiring water backdrop. There are also many stunning Greek statues sprawled throughout the grounds. This is a gorgeous location to exchange vows.

Lake

Hemingbouhgh has beautiful natural areas overlooking the lake. Audubon Lake offers scenic views of Louisiana’s iconic lakes and woods. I enjoy sitting next to the water and taking in all of the natural beauty of nature. It’s the perfect place for solitude and self-reflection.

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Gazebo

I also love the gazebo overlooking Lake Audubon and the water show at the fountains. The peristyle gazebo is one of my favorite spots at Hemingbough. I take my hair down and spin around in my flowy dress and laugh at life and smile at god.

Maze

 I always find myself gravitating to the greenery and mystery of the labyrinth maze. I enjoy strolling through the formal gardens and garden hedge maze taking in all of the sights and wonders of nature. There are many angelic statues spread throughout the grounds. The Spanish Moss trees tower overhead, and it’s easy to get lost beneath their shade and beauty.

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Peacocks

Peacocks are one of my spirit animals because they are beautiful, regal and majestic. Their iridescent and colorful bright blue and green fans have tiny ornamental eyes. Greek mythology tells us the story of Zeus and Hera, the rulers of the heavens.

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Zeus was a lover of many women but took Hera as his wife. Mythology tells us that Zeus admired another woman, Lo, and so a vengeful Hera exacted revenge. Hera transformed the young girl into a heifer and gave her up to her servant, the monster Argus, who had a hundred eyes. Zeus and Hermes plotted to free Lo and have the monster killed. The plan was a success. Legend tells us that Hera placed the eyes onto her sacred animal, the peacock.

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Guesthouses

Hemingbough runs as a plantation-style bed and breakfast. Hemingbough offers 8 guesthouses, cottages, and two end suites. Hemingbough also operates as a wedding and event venue. The Audubon Room and Hempstead Hall can be rented out for rehearsal dinners and receptions, as well as birthday, engagement, or anniversary parties.

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Hemingbough artfully blends Old Southern architecture with Greek Revival architecture. I am an Old Hollywood vintage enthusiast and classic Greek mythology lover, so Hemingbough is the perfect place for me to find inspiration to curate art.

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Chapel

The Edward Dease Memorial chapel offers a moments peace to those seeking prayer and meditation. The chapel features a small porch, dressed alter and communion table, an old piano, Bibles and songbooks, and stained glass windows.

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With All My Love,
The VintageGypsy

“What if it’s the there
and not the here
that I long for?
The wander
and not the wait,
the magic
in the lost feet
stumbling down
the faraway street
and the way the moon
never hangs
quite the same.”

-Tyler Knott Gregson

Baton Rouge City Guide

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Baton Rouge is a vibrant and cultural city which brings passionate locals together through our deep love of our town and rich historical roots. There are many famed landmarks and exciting attractions that draw in the masses. There are always numerous community events and festivities to look forward to. Baton Rouge is a port city that bridges us to the world and the world to us!

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The Louisiana State Capital reaches high into the sky welcoming all far and wide.

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Louisiana’s Old State Capital is our very own castle in the south.

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Downtown Baton Rouge is the place to be for activities, attractions, and festivities.

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The Mississippi River Bridge highlights the port city of Baton Rouge.

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 The Riverfront offers scenic views of the Mississippi River and Mississippi River Bridge. The Levee is loved by all ages and is the perfect location for biking and jogging.

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Arsenal Park is located in the Spanish town neighborhood of downtown Baton Rouge. Arsenal Park is warm and inviting, and a local favorite.

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City Park has several attractions. City Park encompasses the main park, golf course, tennis courts, dog park, art museum, and more.

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Baton Rouge has several historical antebellum plantation homes that are open to the public for educational tours. The plantation homes are accessible for photoshoots, weddings, and other parties and events.

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Famous plantations include Magnolia Mound, Mount Hope and neighboring The Myrtles, Nottoway, Houmas House, and more.

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Perkins Rowe offers a great selection of boutiques and restaurants. They often have live music on the weekends, and they have a great movie theater.

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Baton Rouge celebrates numerous Mardi Gras parades during parade season. The festivities are in full swing during Mardi Gras, and this really embodies the spirit of Louisiana.

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Baton Rouge has many festivals. Live After Five sponsors free outdoor concerts every spring and fall. I love seeing everyone smiling and coming together as one big family to enjoy music, dancing, and food.

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The Brec Baton Rouge Zoo is a favorite spot for family fun. Everyone loves the zoo!

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L.S.U. Hilltop Arboretum is the perfect place for enjoying a day outdoors in nature.

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Baton Rouge is known for being the home of Louisiana State University.  L.S.U. is tiger country. You can visit Tigerland on any given weekend during football season to see tons of tailgating fans, cook-outs, and get-togethers. Tigerland is relatively all inclusive with food spots, clothing stores, live venues, bars and more.

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Baton Rouge is quite the cultural experience. A short drive from here is our sister city, New Orleans. One thing is sure, Louisiana is a melting pot and being a Louisiana girl is a way of life.

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In Louisiana, our roots run deep. We have a strong sense of faith, family, and community. Our southern charm welcomes all.

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With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“Nostalgia in reverse, the longing for yet another strange land, grew especially strong in spring.” ––Vladimir Nabokov

Bucket List Dreams- Historic Saint Francisville

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Saint Francisville is an antique and quaint town which takes you back to a time of Southern Belles and antebellum plantations. Saint Francisville is in The Feliciana’s located along Louisiana’s Old Historic South off US-61. Saint Francisville is highly regarded for its historic plantations and countryside.

In Saint Francisville, you can visit one of America’s Most Haunted Houses, The Myrtles, explore one of their many beautiful plantation homes, such as Rosedown, and discover one of the oldest gothic architectural churches in the south, Grace Episcopal. You may also visit one of their many historical sites such as Audubon State, get lost in the timeless beauty of Hemingbough, or be at one with nature at Cat Island National Refuge.

Downtown Historic Saint Francisville is nationally recognized for its significance to history with numerous historic sites and points of interest. Downtown Saint Francisville is located on Main Street and is the perfect place to slow down and enjoy taking in all of the sights of times past. There are charming bed and breakfasts, quaint inns, darling cottages and bungalows, antique storefronts, vintage stores, art galleries, specialty boutique shops, southern dining, and more.

Saint Francisville is home to several beautiful antebellum plantations which date back to the Civil War era. Many of these mansions have been restored while still retaining that old southern charm weaved together with French and Spanish influence. The Myrtles Plantation, Rosedown Plantation, Greenwood Plantation, and Oakley House all date back to the 1800’s.

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The Myrtles Plantation is hailed as one of the most haunted places in America. The Myrtles is loved by paranormal enthusiasts and ghost hunters far and wide. The Myrtles is the perfect place for spinning history and mystery with a telling ghost story that will leave you both dazzled and haunted. The Myrtles is a famed local attraction and offers daily tours of the grounds and home. The property operates as a museum and B&B.

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Grace Episcopal Church dates back to 1827 and the Civil War era. This cemetery features an eerie Gothic architecture church, crumbling old tombs, and towering old Spanish Moss trees. Visitors are drawn to the decaying beauty of Grace Episcopal.

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The church survived battle shots from Union soldiers and gunboats, and the cemetery is the burial grounds for both Union and Confederate soldiers and masses of townspeople who fell under the flu epidemics and other illness. The Gothic architecture is unbelievable. The scenery is both haunting and breathtaking. Grace Episcopal exudes a quiet, still beauty that deeply resonates.

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Hemingbough serves as a place for personal spiritual retreats while enjoying the serenity basking in the warm Lousiana sun. Hemingbough highlights the natural beauty of Saint Francisville. Hemingbough features a Greek amphitheater, manicured gardens, a gazebo overlooking Lake Audubon, a Bed and Breakfast, and eight guest rooms all while majestic peacocks roam freely throughout grounds. Hemingbough is widely famous for weddings, receptions, and other celebrations. The landscaping is quite beautiful and is a lovely place for photoshoots.

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Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge features a collection of the most extensive assortment of trees on this side of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Cat Island is perfect for nature walks, bird watching, fishing and more. There are numerous bird varieties including waterfowl such as blue herons and snowy egrets. There is an abundance of wildlife who call this conservation home including crawfish, snakes, turtles, fish and even alligators. Cat Island showcases the immense natural beauty of Louisiana’s wetlands and forestry.

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Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area, or Clark Creek, is overseen by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Tunica Hills offers hiking and biking paths, nature trails, stunning woodlands, and gorgeous waterfalls. Tunica Hills can be accessed through the St. Francisville side or the Mississippi side. There are various flora and fauna sprawled out throughout over 5,000 acres of natural and unrefined Louisiana landscapes. You may also see squirrels, birds, and deer while wandering through the vast natural habitat. The park uses an honor system and also has trail maps placed throughout the park.

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Other things to do:

Hiking and Biking Trails

Imahara’s Botanical Gardens

Angola Museum

Afton Villa Gardens

Audubon State Historic Site

 

Saint Francisville is the perfect destination for history lovers, antique enthusiasts, nature explorers, outdoor adventurers and more. Explore and discover the hidden gem of the south.

All my Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“I keep going back
as if I’m looking for something I have lost
back to the motherland, sisterland, fatherland
back to the beacon, the breast
the smell and taste of the breeze,
and the singing of the rain.”

 

 

America’s Most Haunted Plantation- The Myrtles Plantation

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Saint Francisville is located along Louisiana’s historic south and is renowned for its gorgeous plantation-style houses, beloved historic district, local inns and B&B’s, and multitude of antique storefronts. Saint Francisville is deemed the jewel of the south. The Myrtle’s Plantation weaves a ghost haunting with old south history so perfectly. The story of The Myrtle’s Plantation is centered around the murder mystery of the homeowners, and the hanging of the infamous house maid, Chloe.

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The home dates back to 1796 and was once constructed by General David Bradford. The Myrtles offers self-guided and guided ghost tours where the history of the house is retold in depth. The retelling of the eerie distant past that is The Myrtles Plantation is notorious. The Myrtles has been called America’s Most Haunted House.

 

Legend tells us that Chloe, the ghost girl, in a jealous fit, began eavesdropping on private conversations in the home and the master ordered her ear to be cut off. Chloe started donning a turban and anger and jealousy later ensued. The lore tells us that a vengeful Chloe poisoned the children’s birthday cake with oleander flowers, and then sorrowfully she aided them and attempted to nurse them back to help. Without meaning to, she used to much poison resulting in the death of the master’s wife and two daughters. The master did not eat the birthday cake, and thus his life was spared. The murder of the family incited fear and outrage among the other slaves who drug Chloe outside and had her hanged.

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The Myrtles is fully operational and offers daily tours and doubles as a B&B. It is also a popular place for weddings and bridal parties. The Myrtles has 8 rooms and a set of cottages for guests far and wide to brave through the night. They also have a restaurant on the grounds.

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At first glance, the Myrtles is but a beautiful old plantation overflowing with southern charm. In actuality, The Myrtles tops the Smithsonian’s list of the most haunted places in the world and is listed on the National Historic Register.

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The Myrtles property has also been featured on many ghost adventure exploration and travel shows, and most notably on The National Geographic Channel, The Discovery Channel, and The Travel Channel. 

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The Myrtles is relatively untouched, and still has the old carriage house quarters, and the former slave quarters on the property. In keeping with Southern tradition and preservation, many remain primarily in their natural state.

 

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The south has an abundance of haunted homes, but the allure of The Myrtles entices folks far and wide. Ghost enthusiasts come hungry to the myrtles in the hopes of having a supernatural experience and catching a glimpse of the house ghosts and the ghost girl herself, Chloe. The level of mystery and intrigue the Myrtles elicits is paramount.

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I’ve been here several times and each time I’m still impressed. I always find amazing things to explore and photograph. I still see new things I hadn’t noticed before, and I again am drawn to the fascinating stories and history of The Myrtle’s. The grounds are always lovely and clean, and it is a superb place for visits, lunch, and relaxation.

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The views off the verandah and wraparound porch are quite exceptional. There is also beautiful moss trees, enchanting flower gardens, an oasis pond, arched gazebo, and sinister angelic statues.

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When planning your trip to Saint Francisville, I’d also recommend you visit the gorgeous gothic architectural marvel of Grace Episcopal Church. And if you enjoy the great outdoors check out Clark Creek Natural Waterfalls for hiking and viewing waterfalls. Also, Cat Island Natural Wildlife Refuge is a sportsman’s paradise.

In closing, the quaint and sleepy town of Saint Francisville is a must visit with their 7 stunning plantation homes, incredible antique storefronts, mouthwatering local Cajun eateries, charming bungalows and Beds and Breakfasts, and of course, the world-famous and insanely haunted, Myrtles Plantation!

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

 

Time and Eternity
This world is not conclusion;
A sequel stands beyond,
Invisible, as music,
But positive, as sound.

-Emily Dickinson

 

 

 

 

Downtown Baton Rouge

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Downtown Baton Rouge is celebrated for its historical significance, lively arts and cultural scene, highly regarded festivals and parades, delicious southern dishes, incredible live music venues and more. Downtown Baton Rouge includes the historic neighborhoods of Beauregard Town and Spanish Town. We are a place of story-telling and preservation of our traditions and culture. In The Bayou State, we dance a little longer, laugh a little more, eat a little too much and attend way too many festivities. We are a city of good-times with family and friends. Baton Rouge, or The Red Stick state, offers a multitude of attractions for locals and out-of-towners alike.

Old South Baton Rouge

Downtown Baton Rouge includes the historic neighborhood of Spanish Town. This is the site where Native Americans settled. The site was later inhabited by French-European settlers and is celebrated today as the Spanish Town Historic District. Spanish Town is Baton Rouge’s oldest neighborhood.

Downtown Baton Rouge also includes the European-style neighborhood, Beauregard Town. The neighborhood known as Beauregard Town is also where the Spanish settled and is inhabited by the French as well. The Beauregard Town Historic District is the second-oldest community in Baton Rouge.

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Lousiana Old State Capital

The Louisiana Old State Capital is Baton Rouge’s very own castle! I’d definitely recommend everyone to come in and tour the old state capital at least once. The stained glass windows and the stained glass rotunda ceiling is breathtaking. The spiral stairs are beyond beautiful. The ghost story is so much fun to sit through because it’s informative and entertaining.

I learned a lot about the history of Baton Rouge and the old and new state capital. It was free to attend and I’m really glad we did. It was also interactive so it’s a great experience for all ages, but especially the younger kids. The Huey P exhibits are great as well as the other exhibits chronicling the trials and triumphs of Baton Rouge. Definitely check out the beauty and history of Baton Rouge’s very own castle because it is definitely worth seeing.

Louisiana State Capital

Louisiana’s new state capital is the tallest state capital in the nation! Each time I visit the state capital I am impressed with the tremendous beauty that is this magnificent skyscraper situated in downtown Baton Rouge. Adjacent to the state capital is Arsenal Park and the views of downtown and Spanish Town is truly beautiful and inspiring.

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The state capital is open to the public and you can enter it for free. Here you can take a leisurely walk around and absorb the history of this massive structure at your own pace. You can take the elevator all the way to the top of the capital where it feels at times like you are swaying slightly with the most gentle breeze.

The history you are retold in regards to the assassination of Huey P. Long is interesting as it is informative. Storytelling is a collective experience and also a personal one. You can visit the assassination room and see the bullet holes in the wall. Regardless of the past or the tumultuous history the state capital is a must see and must experience stop for tourists and locals alike.

 

Downtown Parks

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State Capitol Park encompasses the well-manicured lawns and floral gardens located at the state capital. Capitol Park Museum is located right down the road in the Spanish Town neighborhood.

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Capitol Lake is so pristine overlooking Spanish Town and downtown Baton Rouge. I love sitting lakeside just taking in the breathtaking views.

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Arsenal Park is located in Spanish Town, by the Louisiana State Capital, in downtown Baton Rouge. Arsenal Park is arguably the most beautiful park in the city. The walkways lead through the park to the state capital and Capitol Lake. The ducks and fish are always out and the landscapes are grand. Arsenal Park is the perfect place for picnics, portraits, yoga, dog walks and family days.

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This park is located centrally in the downtown and Spanish Town area. I love this park and I frequent it often. The parking is a little strange, so you gotta park off on the road and usually around a bend or curve. They have plenty of ducks and little duckie families out here as the other BREC parks such as City Park and LSU Lakes. The views are tremendous at this park. You can see the downtown developments, the lake houses, the state capital and so much more.

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Repentance Park is where Live After Five is located and other local festivals. Live After Five puts on a free outdoor concert out on the lawn every Friday during the spring and fall. The turnout is huge and it is good clean fun with live music, dancing and art vendors and food trucks.

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Repentance Park is perfect for spring and fall festivals in the area. Many popular community events are held here. Live After Five has made its home here with free concerts from 5 pm-7 pm every Friday throughout the spring and fall months.

I have attended many concerts and festivals here including Live After Five, Blues Fest, Ebb and Flow Fest and more. A lot of people attend the events at Repentance Park so there is usually food trucks and merchandise tables set up. There are paved walkways so it’s convenient to get around the park. There is also a fountain which the kids love to use as their own personal splash pad. The views are great being as the park is next to the Louisiana Old State Capital and the Mississippi Riverfront.

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Third Street

Third Street offers a host of Cajun-infused restaurants complete with Cajun music. There are Irish watering holes, Cajun restaurants and bars, the Blues Room, and local sports bars with the LSU football games on. On the weekends, especially when the sun goes down, Third Street really comes to life!

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Red Stick Farmers Market

Main Street Market is indoors with many local artisans offering handmade crafts, home goods and several storefronts serving breakfast and lunch. If you get hungry you can stop by the Main Street Market where they are always cooking up some fresh food and there are several stands to choose from. Our Daily Bread has a stand located here and the bread always smells yummy and they have a good selection of choices for the health conscious individuals. You can grab a smoothie or a coffee or breakfast at any of the many vendors.

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The Red Stick Farmers Market is located downtown on 5th and Main. The Farmers Market offers fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, plus farm-fresh dairy, seafood, and meats. The Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. When it rains they move the farmers market inside the Main Street Market/Galvez area. Parking can be pretty hectic so it’s good to get there early and park in the garage.

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I’ve been coming to the Red Stick Farmers Market for years now and I always enjoy my early morning stroll through the downtown area and taking in all the sights and scents coming from the farmers market. The produce is always fresh. The flowers are beautiful. They have a pretty large section of herbs and spices. Fresh is always best! There are always smiling faces here and the locals love supporting other local farmers and small business owners.

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The Arts Market is located the first weekend of the month at The Farmers Market. There are many booths selling arts and crafts, jewelry and native clothing, homemade soaps, and bath products and more.

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The Riverfront offers the most scenic views of Baton Rouge. The levee has many events including everything from fireworks to festivals. The views of the Mississippi River and the Mississippi River bridge are truly beautiful. Definitely get here for sunrise or sunset to see some beautiful views.

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The Levee is the place for gatherings, meetups, and hangouts. There are many people running, jogging, biking, dog walking and more. The views of the waters and tugboats are incredible overlooking the Mississippi River and Mississippi Bridge. At the levee, we meet for Flow Art Fridays where local flow artists share their love of movement with hooping and spinning fire and led poi.

Downtown B.R. Recap:

Here’s a bit of advice get yourself downtown! Go as often as you can. Seriously, downtown Baton Rouge is vibrant and bustling and beautiful. There are so many things to do as a family or if you’re single, even if you are just a cultured human being, or if you’re a tourist, and trust me there are numerous things going on all the time that still draw in and surprise the locals.

So you like museums? Do you like science? Great, check out Louisiana Arts and Science Museum, or LASM. You like history? Then check out the U.SS. Kid. Check out the Baton Rouge port to see the barges and steamboats operating in full swing. Don’t forget to check out the events going on at The SHAW Center and Broadway shows, symphonies, and concerts, dance, and ballet at The Raising Canes River Center.

You like to eat, don’t you? There’s a wide variety of restaurants whether you’re craving seafood, Cajun food, Mexican food, Greek food, pizza, any kind of food…you get my drift, eh?

If you’re into nightlife festivities Downtown B.R. has it going on. There are many clubs/bars/pubs in a localized central area for whatever your individual taste may be. Like Blues? They have a blues room. Like Cajun music, they got that at Boudreaux and Thibodeaux’s. Enjoy more modern tunes? Wonderful, they got places for you, too. See, something for everybody.

Downtown Baton Rouge is always kept nice and clean and police patrol the area and it is pretty safe to take the whole family out. They are always sponsoring events such as Krewe of Mutts dog parades, color run, The Red Stick Farmers Market, Live after 5, and The Blues Festival just to name a few. They have a nice library, nice historic hotels, beautiful views of the Mississippi bridge and riverfront.

The North Blvd. Town Square always has music playing and is the Central Park grounds for many events. Repentance park is right around the corner and they also have events going on. Check out neighboring Spanish Town and their massive amount of pink flamingo yard decor. You can see some of the most historic houses, colorful people, and even stop by the historic Spanish Town Market.

Feeling athletic or you just want to exercise? Like talking your dog out for a walk? Of course, you do because this is Baton Rouge and everyone loves and has at least one pampered pooch. So take Fido and the baby in the baby stroller for a run on the levee which has beautiful views and a running trail.

Oh, and please note, parking is atrocious. Make sure you use the parking garage or have some change to put in the meters, that is if you can find a parking spot. And on events, there is almost always paid parking lots, sigh.

All in all, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go explore Downtown Baton Rouge. So take your family out there this weekend, or treat yourself tonight. You will enjoy yourself..

 

Sending all my love from The Bayou State,
The Vintage Gypsy

 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ― Marcel Proust

Bucket List Dreams- New Orleans

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New Orleans is world-renowned for its deep cultural roots and significance to history. New Orleans is home to many breathtaking cottages and bungalows with elaborate balconies, beautiful and historical decaying cemeteries, and elegant grand churches and cathedrals. New Orleans is especially notable for its lively blues and jazz music, Cajun and Creole cuisine, The French Quarter, Mardi Gras Parades, and so much more. New Orleans is an ongoing celebration marking 300 years of traditions and culture.

The French Quarter has sparked global recognition for its vibrant music scene, live entertainment venues, funky dive bars and more. The French Quarter is famed for festivals, celebrations, and wild and decadent Mardi Gras parades.

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Canal Street, or Main Street, is lined with glitz and glam. The buildings tower into the sky and there is eye-candy everywhere. The hotels are beautiful and glamorous. Harrah’s Casino is located off of Canal. There are many high-end storefronts located here.

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Frenchman Street is known for its arts scene, live music venues, and funky vibes. The walls are plastered with street art and the music is rolling out of various pubs and barrooms. There are many restaurants and eateries as well.

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Faubourg Marigny and the Bywater District offers a bohemian-style atmosphere with an abundance of sidewalk cafes, coffee shops, bars, and clubs. The houses all lined up are as colorful as the street art in the neighborhood.

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The Marigny Opera House was once a German Catholic Church and dates back to the 1800’s. Today, The Marigny Opera House holds symphonies and ballets. I love the old decaying architecture and religious relics from the past.

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Flora Gallery and Coffee Shop is a popular coffee-shop that many locals frequent and hang out. They have many coffee and tea varieties, as well as pastries and paintings for purchase. I like all of the unique local art they have tacked on the walls.

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Marigny offers colorful street views and old restored buildings and storefronts. The neighborhood is a cherished part of New Orlean’s history.DSC_0152.jpg

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Magazine Street, located in historic Uptown, has a lot of heart and soul. I really love all of the vintage and antique storefronts and the art and hipster scene. There is an abundance of retro and vintage boutiques, art galleries, live music venues, ethnic restaurants and specialty coffee and tea shops. Audubon Park and The Fly, Audubon Zoo and Audubon Nature Institute call Magazine Street home.

The Garden District is known for its beautiful homes and neighborhood. There are many iconic homes located in The Garden District.

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Anne Rice’s home is one of the most visited spots in The Garden District. The mansion is spooky and beautiful with intricate details that draw in fans from all over. Ann Rice is the author of the sensational and widely popular books, The Vampire Chronicles.

The homes in The Garden District are out of a page in a fairy-tale book. The Victorian design is elegant and beautiful.

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The Joseph Carroll Carriage House cannot be missed with its massive architecture and stunning pink exterior. The Garden District has many incredible Southern and Victorian-style mansions.

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Laissez les bons temps rouler – Let the good times roll!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“There’s something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I’m born to leave.”

 

 

Bucket List Dreams- New Orleans French Quarter

New Orleans is one of the most notable cities in the world and The French Quarter is a true testament to this. New Orleans is known for being the birthplace of Jazz music, Cajun and Creole cuisine, and Mardi Gras! New Orleans is celebrating its 300th birthday this year! The French Quarter is an eclectic melting pot of people who are drawn together by their rich history and culture. The French Quarter offers visitors a once in a lifetime experience at one of the most unique cities worldwide. The French Quarter offers many attractions and activities and has seen upwards of 10 million visitors a year.

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Jackson Square offers the most picturesque view of Saint Louis Cathedral. The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, situated among the notable Jackson Square, is the most iconic place in The French Quarter. Saint Louis Cathedral dates back to 1720 and is the oldest standing cathedral in the nation!

Saint Louis Cathedral is one of the top places to visit in The French Quarter and sees hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. The gothic architecture of the church is gorgeous, and the intricate designs inside the church are immaculate. Saint Louis Cathedral is pure splendor and is one of the most famous landmarks in New Orleans.

The Plaza D Armas is an open-air artist market as well as historic site dating back to the French and Spanish rule and the Louisiana Purchase. Plaza D Armas is situated by Saint Louis Cathedral and the governor’s mansion, the Cabildo, and houses the landmark sites of Jackson Square and the Vieux Carre.

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The French Quarter has a signature style with its many colorful houses and hanging flower baskets off of balconies. You will see so many beautiful balconies and galleries. You will also see houses of all colors- yellow, green, pink and blue!

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New Orleans locals and tourists share an appreciation of art and architecture, the love of swanky jazz and blues music, the famous Cajun and Creole food, and the historical significance and diverse culture that New Orleans exhibits.

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In The French Quarter there are horse-drawn carriage rides, walking tour groups, sidewalk artists, jewelry makers, fortune tellers and psychics offering tarot card and palm readings and so much more! New Orleans is a sensory overload in the best way possible.

Louisiana is famous for history and culture, music and arts, festivals and parades, bayous and swamps and our food! Foodies love New Orleans because you can have an authentic taste of the bayou with all of the delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine. New Orleans is also known for King Cake, especially during Mardi Gras, and French beignets. Other favorite desserts are Pecan Pie and Bread Pudding.

Some of our most famous dishes include Jambalaya, Muffulettas and Po’ boys, Dirty Rice, and Gumbo! In Louisiana, you will find beignets, pistolettes, chicken and sausage gumbo or seafood gumbo, shrimp or crawfish Étouffée, rice and gravy, red beans and rice, Jambalaya with andouille sausage, rice dressing, boudin, shrimp, oysters, cracklins, alligator, boudin balls, shrimp and grits, boiled crawfish, turtle soup, frog legs and more. In Louisiana, we put Tony’s seasoning on all our food and drink Sweet Tea religiously.

For a real taste of the bayou you may want to dine at Dennies, Commander’s Palace, GW Fins, Arnaud’s, Napoleon House, Acme Oyster House, Oceana Grill, Drago’s Seafood, Port of Call, Emeril’s, Galatoire’s, Antoine’s, Brennan’s, or Café Du Monde. Fun fact, Café du Monde and Commanders Palace date back to the 1800’s. Also, Karma Cafe, Green Goddess, and Seed are excellent for vegan and vegetarian dining!

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Nola has so many shops ranging from tourist shops to voodoo stores. Famed voodoo and occult stores include Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo, Hex Old World Witchery, Reverand Zombie’s House of Voodoo and Erzulies Voodoo Store.

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The most popular tours include Famous French Quarter Tours, Voodoo Bone Lady Haunted Tours, New Orleans Cemetery Tours, Ghost City Tours, Horse and Carriage Tours, Cajun Encounters Swamp, City and Plantation Tours, and so much more!

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During Mardi Gras parade attendees party wildly on the tops of balconies and attempt to catch Mardi gras beads. You will see the most lavish parade floats, beads everywhere in the streets and trees, people walking with Hurricane drinks from Pat O’Brien’s or daiquiris from Bourbon Street Daiquiri, donning carnival masks and costumes, full street line performances and much more. It is legal to drink in public and on the streets of New Orleans.

During Mardi Gras season they have many parades, and all of New Orleans’ knows how to let the good times roll. Mardi Gras in the Quarter is quite insane with non-stop partying and festivities. What people won’t do for some plastic beads?!

The French Quarter is as lively as the people living there. The locals and tourists alike are always enjoying themselves and having a great time with one another. You will see a lot of smiles, a lot of craziness, and you will laugh until you cry.

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As you walk the strip, you will see street performers, musicians, painters, living statues and more. There are so many talented artists that call N.O. home. The vitality and essence of The Quarter are unrivaled.

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Parking anywhere in the Quarter is atrocious especially when they have events as it’s near impossible to park. Nola is a tourist city so you will likely have to pay almost anywhere you park. You’ll want to be mindful where you park because the cops in cars, on motorcycles, or horses are out and about, and they will ticket you, boot your car, or have it towed if you park in the wrong place.

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The French Market is an international open-air market located in the French Quarter. I love strolling through The French Market checking out all of the different vendors. There is something about admiring oddities and browsing through quirky little shops that I enjoy.  I’ve purchased many things here from local flair to international dress. I really like the unique glass rainbow earrings that proudly state “Made in the Ghetto.” I also really like the Carnival soy candles and the incense. They last such a long time and smell heavenly.

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They have a massive market for African, Asian and Middle Eastern art here. I love the selection of handmade dresses, homemade soaps, and gifts from around the world. There is a lot of folk art, paintings, hand-blown glass figurines and many other unique and beautiful items. There are also several stations to stop by for some Cajun food, snowballs and smoothies, bakery and breakfast items and more. I would definitely recommend if you’re in the area stopping by to check out The French Market.

Bourbon Street is in the heart of the French Quarter and is lively and vibrant. With non-stop storefronts, barrooms, and pubs Bourbon Street is always packed with people. Bourbon Street is the Sin City of the south and is filled with adult entertainment venues, bars, and nightclubs.

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I love how alive New Orleans is. There is always live music playing, and someone’s always cooking something in a cast iron pot. There are so many unique qualities that make The French Quarter both strange and beautiful.

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New Orleans has the most incredible cemeteries you will ever see in your life. The tombs are massive, decaying, and absolutely haunting. My favorite cemeteries are Lake Lawn, St. Louis, Lafayette, and Greenwood. They have so many tours ranging from French Quarter tours to cemetery tours to ghost and vampire tours. I believe everyone should experience New Orleans and The French Quarter in their life.

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Being a Southern Louisiana girl and growing up with a Cajun family has shaped who I am today. Louisiana, The Bayou State, has a beautiful backcountry and we are a Sportsman’s Paradise with many outdoor recreational opportunities.

Louisiana’s Gulf Coast and The Mighty Mississippi River bridge us together running through the state connecting others to us and us to them. Louisiana features swamps and marshes, lakes and rivers, historic sites and so much more. There is always a music, food or cultural festival going on. We have a rich history, iconic landmarks and monuments, the best food in the world, and that Southern accent, charm, and hospitality you’ve heard so much about!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert–– Eat, Pray, Love

New Orleans City Park

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New Orleans City Park is a beautiful and massive park spanning 1,300 acres and consists of the largest collection of mature live oak trees in the world. City Park is home to the gorgeous New Orleans Botanical Gardens, The incredible Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, the immersive New Orleans Museum of Art, the whimsical Carousel  Gardens, the enchanting Storyland, the remarkable Popp Fountain and more. The magic and allure of The Crescent City are incomparable. City Park offers some of the best views of the city and it is one of the most popular destinations in The Big Easy for locals and tourists alike. City Park is one of the most visited and largest urban parks in the nation.

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One of my favorite times to visit the park is during tulip season. These colorful tulips will have you in flower heaven. The way they sway in the wind under the blue sky is enchanting. You’ll want to check out the tulips by New Orleans Museum of Art along Big Lake whilst they are in bloom.

City Park offers many activities and attractions perfect for family outings. City Park’s attractions also include train gardens, splash pad, playgrounds, golf park, dog park and more. City Park is also the event location for several cultural events and outdoor festivals such as Voodoo Music Fest.

Housed at City Park is also a popular New Orleans coffee shop, Morning Call, known for New Orleans famous beignets. Morning Call is a great coffee shop for meet-ups and visits. Morning Call is also in a terrific location convenient for park-goers. Due to its popular location, there are numerous tour buses stopping by throughout the day.

 

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New Orleans City Park is home to the New Orleans Museum of Art. The museum has some tremendous art pieces housed inside. New Orleans City Park showcases beautiful Greek architecture within City Park, on the exterior of the New Orleans Museum of Art and in the open air Peristyle Pavillion which houses the four concrete lions on guard. The huge columns are quite special. In actuality, you can see stunning architecture and sculptures placed all throughout the park at any given time.

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At City Park, you can enjoy the full splendor of an abundance of outdoor recreations such as nature walks, biking, golfing, kayaking, paddle boating, touring and exploring. There is so much to such as visiting the gardens, museums, playgrounds, cafes and even more.

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If you’re up for outdoor activities you can rent a bike, canoe, kayak or paddle boat around the Big Lake. City Park is especially scenic and showcases the true beauty of Lousiana. The vibrant flowers, towering oak trees with hanging moss and serene lakes offer one a means of escape to an oasis within the city.

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City Park is very picturesque and welcomes you with the most beautiful backdrop for special events and photographs. It’s the perfect place for wedding and engagement photo shoots, maternity, baby, and family portraits and more. It’s also great for kids birthday parties, family reunions, picnics, and cook-outs.

 

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City Park captures the true elemental beauty of Louisiana’s sportsman paradise with beautiful and eerie swamps and marshes and abundant Cyprus and Spanish Moss Oak trees. Louisiana’s European ties, namely French and Spanish, have influence that extends throughout the city of New Orleans and offers an atmosphere like none other. Our Cajun and Creole culture has been handed down for generations and ingrained in us as a way of life. New Orleans embodies the true essence of the perfect marriage between the city and the country.

 

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“The world is not in your books and maps. It’s out there.” ––The Hobbit