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Touring the Bayous of New Orleans

Louisiana’s bayou land has inspired countless tales of intrigue and legend and continues to be one of the most interesting outdoor landscapes that you can explore anywhere. The topography, the lifestyle and the people are all very interesting—consider visiting if you stay in New Orleans for a few days. In the bayou, you’ll hear how the Cajuns turned soup into gumbo, the washboard into a musical instrument, and the swampland of Louisiana into a paradise. A haven for outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts, the swamp and bayou host many visitors looking to spend some quality time in nature. But this isn’t the type of “nature” where you stroll through the park looking at flowers; this is capital N Nature, as in gators and nutrias and catfish as big as your 5-year-old child. The bayou is so different and remote from anywhere else I’ve visited, that it can be difficult to describe.

One popular place to tour is Honey Island Swamp. You can take a boat tour to see one of the most preserved river swamps in the country. Touring the bayous of New Orleans by boat is both relaxing and informative. Air boat tours are thrilling and exciting. You’ll definitely see birds and other common animals, but you may also catch a glimpse of the red wolf, alligator, feral hogs or even a Florida cougar. Your tour will take you through groves of Cypress trees where you will see fascinating wildlife and vegetation practically untouched by humanity.

In addition to the wildlife, the people of the bayou area are fascinating, too. Make sure you get to meet some of the local Cajun people that make this watery terrain their home and have done so for three hundred years or more. They speak Creole French and make a simple living of fishing, trapping and shrimping. Many of their houses are built above the still waters on stilts, some of them without running water or electricity.

You may also enjoy reading, “The Plantation Homes of New Orleans,” and “Chicory-Infused What? You’ll Find it in New Orleans.”

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