America's Greatest Main Streets
Courtesy of Natchitoches Area CVB
This quiet town of 18,000 was first settled in 1714—four years before anyone thought to take up residence in New Orleans, four hours to the southeast. The downtown faces the Cane River and has a decidedly southern feel thanks to winsome buildings along Front Street festooned with balconies and cast iron, not to mention a waterway lined with live oaks. You may recognize it from the film Steel Magnolias.
Worth a Stop: A block off Front Street is Lasyone’s Meat Pie restaurant, serving a Civil War–era favorite: an empanada-type dish stuffed with mixed beef and pork.