Steel Magnolias turned 30 this past November, and the little town where the author of the book lives and the movie was filmed is going all out for the event! But that’s just one of the many festivals that happen in this little town on the Cane River in Louisiana. Each December the town gets completely dressed up for the holidays for their Christmas Festival, which is named as one of the Best Christmas Festivals in the nation! Labor Day is the Annual Zydeco Festival, reminding you that you are in Louisiana, and so many other events that there is never a bad time to visit, even if it’s just a stop to grab a meat pie!
If you love shopping at little boutiques with your friends, then this is your place! The Historic Downtown has the cutest shops, all along the Cane River. The Kaffie-Frederick General Store is a MUST visit.
Cane River Pedal and Paddle Sports offers kayaks and paddleboards on the river.
The Cane River Queen is a fun paddleboat that takes cruises on the river!
Steel Magnolias Filming Site Tour. In preparing for the 30th Anniversary of the movie, there are planned tours on Nov. 7-10th along with a movie showing at the Parkway Cinema where the movie originally premiered in 1989. However, you can visit most of these locations anytime during the year.
Cane River National Heritage is the area around the Cane River, including the plantations and historical sites. Visit the website to see all there is to do!
American Cemetery The oldest cemetery in the Louisiana Purchase, this cemetery is worth seeing even if you’ve never seen Steel Magnolia’s, but it was the cemetery where the last scene was filmed, making it a must if that is why you are visiting. Founded in 1737, all headstones, including those of the town’s founder, St. Denis were lost, with the oldest known headstone dated 1797, over 60 years!
Natchitoches Alligator Park A seasonal park with alligator feeding shows and a petting zoo with more customary animals.
National Fish Hatchery Aquarium One of 69 hatcheries across the U.S., the Natchitoches Hatchery is currently raising Alligator gar, Alligator snapping turtles, recreational fish species, and freshwater mussels. There are several different aquariums onsite. The hatchery was built on land once used by the Caddo Indians, and there is a memorial and educational kiosk on site, as well as a mock dig site. It is a State Historical Site.
Roque House A great example of Creole architecture, it’s history attest to the Cane River Creole community, however it is currently being used a store by the Caddo Adai Tribe.
Los Adaes Historic Site Few Texans know that the one-time Capitol of Texas, from 1729-1772, is in Louisiana.
Oakland Plantation and Magnolia Plantation National Park South of Natchitoches, this National Park recounts the life on cotton plantations in Louisiana in a living history Admission to the park is FREE. Check the website for guided tours and more information.
Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen Meat pies are a big thing in Natchitoches, and you need to try one while you are there! Many restaurants serve them, but these are our favorites!
Maglieaux’s Restraurant We love the big patio overlooking the river, and the ribeye and crabmeat stuffed chicken breast were both wonderful.
Cane River Commissary Another great location for meat pies, and regional Creole fare.
Cane River Brewing Company is a neat tap house brewing their own beer in an old, historic cotton gin.
Chateau St Denis Hotel Located on Front Street, it’s one of the premier hotels in Natchitoches.
Judge Porter House Bed and Breakfast Stately rooms with Wi-Fi in an opulent, antiques-filled circa-1912 home with 2 wraparound porches.
Steel Magnolia Bed and Breakfast If you love the movie, you need to at least visit!
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