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This Louisiana Travel Edition Posted on 01/28/11   |   Next Edition »

Visiting Central Louisiana

Louisiana’s bellybutton? Alexandria. Dead-set in the middle of the state, Alexandria is two hours southeast of Shreveport and four hours northwest of New Orleans along Interstate 49. Slip in some Jerry Lee Lewis on your road trip and visit the Delta Music Museum in Ferriday – birthplace of the man himself. Of course the usual Cajun vacation points apply like plantation visits and creole cuisine. Your trip continues at the Kent Plantation House for a tour of this French colonial structure, then to dinner for the best dining in the center of the Bayou State.

Allow the music of central Louisiana to slow you down. Way down. Detour off I-49 and head to the Delta Music Museum in nearby Ferriday. Join the free, 30-minute tour of the sounds of Memphis through the rhythms of New Orleans. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, this museum remembers the rhythm and blues of the Mississippi River Delta through 16 pioneering musicians like Mickey Gilley and Leon "Pee Wee" Whittaker. But let us warn you, Conway Twitty’s "Hello Darlin’" will be stuck in your head for days.

Time spent in Louisiana isn’t complete without a plantation tour. Don’t miss this chance to stroll through the Kent Plantation House, a French colonial structure built in 1796. May at the house brings Alexandria Afire! – a showcase of plantation life during the Civil War. Closed on Sunday, the house is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with guided tours on the hour. Set along Bayou Rapides Road, the Kent Plantation House is only one mile from the Best Western hotel in Alexandria.

This isn’t swamp country, but you can certainly count on authentic creole cuisine on your trip through Louisiana. Stuff yourself with po’ boys or indulge in fine dining at Bistro on the Bayou on Chappie James Avenue. Close your eyes and point at the menu – you’re certain to land on something traditional and delicious. Our favorites? Fresh Fish Bayou or Cajun Fried Louisiana Oysters. From Alexandria, travel five minutes northeast on US 165 for some fresh creole lunch in Pineville. Drop in at Lee J's on the Levee – which earns five-star Yelp reviews – for a plate of fried shrimp, spinach casserole and bread pudding. Your hankering for fresh Cajun food is met in central Louisiana.

So fill up the tank and crank up the region’s soundtrack – Lewis’ "Great Balls of Fire" – and head out for I-49. You’re in central Louisiana now.

Best Western Rewards

6 Best Western Hotels
in Central Louisiana

  • Best Western of Alexandria Inn & Suites & Conference Center

  • Best Western Plus DeRidder Inn & Suites

    Deridder

  • Best Western Natchitoches Inn

    Natchitoches

  • Best Western Oakdale Inn

    Oakdale

  • Best Western St. Francisville Hotel

    Saint Francisville

  • Best Western Ville Platte

    Ville Platte

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