Outdoor Adventure, Beer and Jazz in St. Tammany Parish
One of Louisiana’s hidden treasures can be found on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish. With swamp tours for nature fans, plenty of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, one of the nation’s oldest jazz venues and a craft brewery with equipment custom made in Germany, St. Tammany Parish is a great destination for exploring culture and nature in Louisiana.
Exploring the Tammany Trace
A wonderful way to get to know the area is by cycling, skating or walking along the Tammany Trace, a former train line now converted into a 31-mile nature trail. The Tammany Trace meanders through beautiful scenery while connecting five of the Tammany Parish’s communities from Slidell to Covington. Quality bikes can be rented at Bayou Adventure in Lacombe, a popular outfitter, which also rents out kayaks and fishing supplies. You can explore one of the many bayous (waterways) near the Tammany Trace, like Cane Bayou or Bayou Lacombe. Bayou Adventure has also great strong coffee and free Wi-Fi for a quick check in.
Honey Island Swamp Eco-Tour
Did you know that alligators are among the creatures with the best immune system? Did you know that they survived the dinosaurs, because they can go without food for up to half a year? You’ll learn this and much more on an eco-tour with Cajun Encounters, one of the tour providers covering Honey Island Swamp in Slidell. During a three-hour boat ride through the untouched wetlands, the skilled tour team points out elusive wildlife, feeds alligators and relays astonishing facts on the flora and fauna of Honey Island Swamp.
Craft Beer at Abita Springs
Should you at any point of your trip get thirsty for some local refreshments, there’s no better remedy than a visit to the Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs. Using the pure water of the deep local wells, the brewery uses German yeast strains for most of its brews and also adheres to Germany’s brewing purity law and uses equipment custom made in Germany. Take the free one-hour tour of the brew house, and afterward, enjoy sampling their classic and seasonal brews in the tasting room.
Jazz History in Mandeville
Jazz fans will find a special treat at the Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall in Mandeville. Over a century ago, pioneers of jazz like Louis Armstrong and Buddy Petit performed this new music here in front of enthusiastic local crowds. Today, musicians from around the world make pilgrimages to play at the Dew Drop, which still has no electricity and has been kept in its original, rustic state - complete with wooden benches for the audience. Catch some of today’s local artists as they pay tribute to traditional jazz and Dixieland at this original atmospheric venue.
With its fascinating nature, wildlife, range of outdoor possibilities, great beer and jazz, St. Tammany Parish is a true jewel in Louisiana!