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Overview

Surrounded by the dense forest of the Kisatchie National Forest, Natchitoches (pronounced Nak-ah-dush) sits at the center of Cane River Country, the heart of Creole Louisiana, where a unique blend of bilingual French Catholic and Franco African people have lived for centuries. Natchitoches, the oldest permanent settlement of the Louisiana Purchase, dates back to 1714 and the draw here is the preserved architecture and general gorgeousness of the 33-block historic district. Catapulted to fame when the movie Steel Magnolias was filmed here in 1988, Natchitoches has an excellent collection of bed and breakfasts, pretty boutiques and good ...

Surrounded by the dense forest of the Kisatchie National Forest, Natchitoches (pronounced Nak-ah-dush) sits at the center of Cane River Country, the heart of Creole Louisiana, where a unique blend of bilingual French Catholic and Franco African people have lived for centuries. Natchitoches, the oldest permanent settlement of the Louisiana Purchase, dates back to 1714 and the draw here is the preserved architecture and general gorgeousness of the 33-block historic district. Catapulted to fame when the movie Steel Magnolias was filmed here in 1988, Natchitoches has an excellent collection of bed and breakfasts, pretty boutiques and good restaurants. Several annual festivals draw crowds but none more than the 40-day Christmas Festival, where the town literally glows from the lights and good cheer. Beyond the downtown area is the 45,000-acre Cane River National Heritage Area, with several well-preserved plantation buildings. Outdoor activities abound in the Kisatchie National Forest.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Established in 1714 the community was named after the Natchitoches Indian tribe. It is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, one and a half hour south of Shreveport
  • Research: wikipedia | wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    In spring, when the weather isn't so scorching. Also during the Christmas Festival, which starts the first Saturday in December.