A little trip to Natchitoches Louisiana

Mr. GDC and I recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  With COVID still active we chose to celebrate simply.  We traveled to our cousin's home in Louisiana. Along the trip we stopped in the town of Natchitoches, it had long been a place of fantasy for me. As a small girl our family often traveled during the holiday season to visit our Louisiana family.  Leaving Fort Worth after my Dad arrived home from work, we drove through Natchitoches at night. Each November through December Natchitoches  transforms into a fantasy of childlike wonder with an unbelievable number of lights. Those distant memories called to me, I'd always wanted to see Natchitoches in the daylight - 

Photo Credit Violet Hill

We made a reservation at one of many gorgeous bed and breakfast Violet Hill , a stunning Victorian, nestled upon the banks of the Cane River and dressed in a pale shale of violet.  Pointedly we arrived as darkness fell. We took our coffee upon the deck looking through the darkness at the Cane River, the frogs were singing, lightening bugs danced above the lawn it was magical.  

The only guests of Violet Hill that evening we could wander around and take in the beauty of the home, decorated in a graceful Southern style.  The next morning we took our coffee upon the bank of the river, the mist rose off the water while white cranes fished in the water. It was truly beautiful. 

Our room dressed in antiques with the feature a carved four poster bed was enveloped in the pale soothing violet color.  We slept well. 

Ms. Laverne arrived to prepare the most amazing breakfast for us; Blueberry Muffin Bread Pudding, Sausage Crustless Quich, Au Gratin Mashed Potatoes, toasted English Muffins and fresh sliced tomato.  I think we gained 5 lbs at breakfast! Ms. Laverne was as charming as her home.  After breakfast we departed to wander about Natchitoches. 

We learned historical details of Natchitoches, the oldest town in Louisiana, founded in 1714 by French Canadian explorer Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. Beginning as  a trade post along the Red River, creating commerce with then Spanish ruled Mexico. After the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the post enjoyed an influx of French, English and Scotch-Irish immigrants who founded the town. Becoming a freight hub where cotton would be brought in by wagon then transferred to boats, floating down river eventually making a connection to the Mississippi and onward to the port of New Orleans.  Eventually the Red River change direction cutting off Natchitoches, leaving what is now Cane River Lake. The small town became mostly agricultural. It wasn't until the 1970's when city planners began to build tourism based upon it's rich history that the small town began to grow.  

Years ago the movie "Steel Magnolias" was filmed around Natchitoches, the movie continues to bring people to the small charming town. Today you can spend a night or two in the childhood home of Shelby Eatenton that is now a bed and breakfast.  The movie is touching story of a young woman Shelby, her family and friends as they each deal with life. It focuses upon the women and the comparison of women to a magnolia made of steel, strong and determined.  The movie boasted a star studded casts including Shirley MacClaine, Sally Field, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts.  I couldn't resist strolling along the Denis Street sidewalk. We continued on around the neighborhood discovering a few lovely homes.  

We made our way downtown for a little shopping. We discovered a terrific kitchen store, Cane River Kitchenware, they have all sorts of gadgets to make any cook yearn for more drawer space! We also purchased some of their Almond Amaretto specialty coffee, its rich flavor has made it one of my favorites.  The store not only has amazing finds they offer cooking courses. If you can't make it to Natchitoches, they ship anywhere, you can visit their website here

While enjoying Downtown we found a fountain surrounded by a small garden and sitting area at a street intersection.  We took a few moments to admire the bronze fountain featuring cranes -  

Nearby we found the Beau Jardin garden with stairs that lead to the Cane River. Framing the stair a created water fall follows you down the stairs from the street height to the riverside below. The gentle bubbling sounds was intriguing, the sunshine danced upon the water, caladiums were tucked in crevices among the rocks. 


Hugging the opposite of the stairs are gardens filled with begonias, caladiums and coleus  under a canopy of crepe myrtles. The bright green, red and white color combination punctuated the soft shaded areas with brilliant color. 

At the bottom of the stairs were walking paths, additional gardens and stunning Southern Oak trees with their outreaching branches creating canopies at least 50'. We were told the trees were likely 500 years old based upon their size. 

We followed a path and discovered a French Colonial style cottage built in 1797, the cottage constructed of bousillage (adobe made of clay and horse hair) applied between upright angular posts with a wide roof that helps to protect the cottage from rain and sun. The cottage named after Aubert Rogue, the last occupant of the cottage is a upon the National Registry of Historic places, moved to this site in 1967 from the Isle Brevelle. Currently the cottage is undergoing a renovation for preservation and is believed to be one of the oldest examples of Creole architecture. 

Here you can see the cypress wood slats that make the wide covered porch.  you may read more about the historic Roque cottage here.

View of Natchitoches downtown from the park. 

The Cane River 

Cane River Bridge 

Photo credit Tres Bien 

After wander along the river we did a little antique shopping at Tres Bien located in historic Natchitoches on Dennis Street.  We were searching for something to remember our trip by. Shortly after entering the quaint shop and meeting the owners, Henry and Debbie we spied a mantle clock sitting high upon a shelf. We liked the size, the hole in the center of the face allowing you to peak at the gears, the delicate gold scrolls drawn upon the front. We spent a bit of time walking about the shop enjoying all the unique offerings, while chatting with Henry.  We had been looking for a mantle clock and both felt it was the perfect remembrance of our 30th anniversary, the passage of time that seems to go by so quickly.  We purchased the clock, Henry was kind to offer guidance on winding, then packed it well for it's trip back to Texas. 

The charming clock found a prominent home atop the Galveston shipping crate. 

Our time in Natchitoches was short, we enjoyed it very much and hope to go back for another visit. We may visit again to see the holiday lights that left such a sweet memory in my mind when I was a child. 

Until next time, wishing you all the Best - 


  1. I love small Southern towns! My daughter and I had a trip planned to Savannah back in March . Of course, it got cancelled due to the virus. It is a maybe for October but it's not looking good. I enjoyed your visit --the stairway with the waterfall ! I hope Laura didn't do much damage . Love your blog. Thank you for this mini vacation.

    1. Thank you for stopping by I'm thrilled you like the blog. I researched storm damage, from what I can determine wind gust were around 65 mph, some trees limbs and a few trees are down, also power is out. The Historic District according to the Natchitoches Times experienced little damage. Northwestern University had a little damage. Everything I've read, thankfully it appears the town fared well. October 8 - 11 is a historic homes tour in town. Maybe your turn to go for a visit? I may see you there!


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