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5 Off the Beaten Path Places in New Orleans You Can't Miss

5 Off the Beaten Path Places in New Orleans You Can't Miss | CosmosMariners.com

Who doesn't love New Orleans? After all, the Big Easy is known for some of most famous haunts and watering holes in the world. However, the city is more than beads, cocktails, and Bourbon Street.

New Orleans is filled with fascinating museums, saturated with art and bursting with music. If you are looking to experience New Orleans without the hustle and bustle of the usual tourist attractions, there is a wide selection of off-the-beaten-path attractions to be found...if you know where to look.

What to do in Natchitoches, Louisiana: A Complete Guide

What to do in Natchitoches, Louisiana: A Complete Guide | CosmosMariners.com

Louisiana's history is incredibly rich: it's the only state that was once a French colony, and that background still influences everything from how people in Louisiana speak to the cuisine that they serve. If you're interested in learning more about this portion of Louisiana's past, there's no better place to experience it than Natchitoches.

Pronounced "Nack-a-tish," this town was established in 1714, which makes it the oldest part of the Louisiana Settlement. Learn more about the area's past and present on your next visit: guest poster Apryl Chapman Thomas shares what to do in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

8 Quintessential New Orleans Experiences

8 Quintessential New Orleans Experiences | CosmosMariners.com

I love doing off-the-beaten-path type travel. But even I will admit that there are some times that call for the tried-and-true experiences in a place. After all, you don't want to be like my husband, who went all the way to London and never saw Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, or Parliament. I was so busy focusing on the unusual stuff in London that we completely forgot to do the normal stuff. Oops.

Like London, New Orleans has some of those places and experiences that you just have to do--or risk people saying, "Wait. You went on a trip there and didn't do ________??" Lest you make the same mistakes that I do and try to skip over the most popular sites, I'm here to guide you to 8 quintessential New Orleans experiences.

Literary New Orleans: A City of Inspiration

Literary New Orleans: A City of Inspiration | CosmosMariners.com

If the Big Easy's on your travel bucket list, you probably put it there after hearing about the nightlife in the French Quarter, the gorgeous homes in the Garden District, those Cafe Du Monde beignets (and the rest of the amazing cuisine there), and those spooktacular mausoleums in the graveyards.

All of these are excellent reasons to visit New Orleans.

However, most people spend quite some time in the city without ever realizing that they're in a literary gold mine. Book lovers, rejoice and start packing your suitcases--New Orleans has more than enough literary ties to keep you busy for days.

5 Best Plantations in Louisiana: the River Road and Beyond

5 Best Plantations in Louisiana: the River Road and Beyond | CosmosMariners.com

Beignets, alligators, the French Quarter, and historic houses: these are typically what you'll find at the top of most visitors' Louisiana itineraries. Even if you only have a few days to explore New Orleans and beyond, the chances that you'll end up at a plantation are pretty high.

But with all of the options--and the history, both good and bad--which of the state's many sprawling properties should you visit?

I've done the hard work for you and have explored all over the Pelican State to find the 5 best plantations in Louisiana. Make the most of your time along the River Road and beyond as you learn about Southern history at these properties.