Natchitoches, Louisiana

Natchitoches claims many of Louisiana’s “oldest” distinctions—oldest general store, oldest cemetery, oldest permanent settlement. With those distinctions come the requisites: an extensive National Historic District (tour it by carriage), bed-and-breakfast accommodations and early sites from plantations to Fort St. Jean Baptiste, which tells of Natchitoches’ founding in 1714. In warm months, watch the sun play on Cane River Lake; in winter, the Natchitoches Christmas Festival illuminates the city.