Visit The Northshore Inspiration Guide Spring-Summer 2024

Page 1

ACCESSIBLE ADVENTURES

Page 12

EAT AND DRINK LIKE A LOCAL

Page 20

PADDLE INTO SPRING AND SUMMER

Page 34

SPRING/SUMMER 2024
2 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER Events 90 190 190 190 190 11 433 1090 434 1088 1083 36 41 21 22 1085 435 21 40 437 1082 25 1077 1078 40 437 10 10 12 12 59 59 Slidell Airport Greater St. Tammany Airport Tourist Information Fontainebleau State Park Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge Pelican Park Fairview-Riverside State Park BogueChittoRefuge ManagementPearlRiverWildlife Area Honey Island Swamp MISSISSIPPI Lake Pontchartrain Causeway ToNew Orleans To New Orleans RougeToBaton ToBirminghamToHattiesburg ToGulfCoast TAMMANY TRACE Covington Bush Slidell Folsom Madisonville Abita Springs Mandeville Pearl River Lacombe Hickory Goodbee Talisheek Sun Lake Pontchartrain
Rigolets LEGEND Secondary Roads
Interstates Baton Rouge New Orleans 2 | the NORTHSHORE
The
Tammany Trace
VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 3 SPRING/SUMMER 2024 06 THE NORTHSHORE PLANNER 08 DISCOVER YOUR EASY ESCAPE 09 /// SHOP LOCAL, SHOP UNIQUE 10 /// SWEET SOUNDS 12 /// ACCESSIBLE ADVENTURES 14 /// HONEY ISLAND SWAMP TOURS 15 /// CRUISING THE TCHEFUNCTE RIVER 16 /// ST. TAM FAM TIME 18 /// A NATURE LOVER'S DREAM 20 EAT AND DRINK LIKE A LOCAL 21 /// BACK ON TAP 22 /// PERK UP YOUR DAY 24 /// SPILL THE TEA 25 /// DAKOTA'S DELICIOUS EVOLUTION 26 /// WHERE THE SEAFOOD IS BOILING 27 /// MOUTHWATERING BLUE CRAB AND MORE 28 /// LET'S TACO 'BOUT IT 29 /// ZERO-PROOF DELIGHTS 30 THE NORTHSHORE PERSONALITIES 30 /// BRYISHA LYONS 32 /// PATRICK BROOKS 34 PADDLE INTO SPRING AND SUMMER 40 OUR COMMUNITIES 41 /// ABITA SPRINGS 42 /// COVINGTON 44 /// MADISONVILLE 46 /// MANDEVILLE 48 /// SLIDELL 50 NORTHSHORE SOUNDTRACK 28 Let's Taco 'Bout It 24 Spill the Tea 14 ON THE COVER: Northshore Sunset at Fontainebleau State Park. Photographer: Virender Ajmani. Kayak provided by: Kayaks to Geaux Honey Island Swamp Tours

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

The Sun Is Shining on The Northshore

Sun's up! It’s time to fill your cup and float awhile on The Northshore. Our team has packed this issue with spring and summer easy escapes to season your memories. After all, it’s the season of boundless adventures and unforgettable experiences. From swamp tours to birding trails, culinary delights to cultural festivals, we've left no stone unturned to uncover the hidden gems and timeless classics that await you. For starters, there’s never been a better time to check out our music scene and the many free, open-air outdoor concert series across the parish (page 10) and trust us, dancing is highly encouraged.

When it’s time to beat the heat, get on the water. You can take a boat (page 15), skip through convenient splash pads (page 17), relax with a serene sunset picnic at a waterfront state park (page 18) or paddle your way through the many waterways on The Northshore including the breathtaking Honey Island Swamp. Know your options before you go with our informative cover story on page 34. Whether you're a seasoned kayaker or a first-timer looking to dip your toes (and paddle) into the world of water sports, we’ve got you covered.

Our Easy to Discover Dining section (page 20) will fuel you for more fun on

The Northshore. In this issue, we've delved into a delicious menu of topics, including boiled seafood, coffee and donuts, beer, tacos and much more for one or many to enjoy. These articles promise to add a flavorful touch to your spring and summer ahead.

We’ve also visited with Bryisha Lyons (page 30) and Patrick Brooks (page 32), two humble changemakers and business owners on The Northshore that we’re excited to spotlight for their significant impacts on the community.

Let this guide be your source of inspiration and join us online at VisitTheNorthshore.com for more than we can possibly cover here. You can also tune into All The Waves, a new podcast by Visit The Northshore, where we tell in-depth, fun, vibrant and engaging stories from personalities that make The Northshore easy to discover and hard to leave.

And once you’re here, don’t forget to share those memories with us by using our hashtags #VisitTheNorthshore and #TammanyTaste.

Ready to dive in? Grab your paddles, slap on some sunscreen and let’s go!

With sun-kissed smiles and warm wishes,

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Katie Guasco

EDITORIAL STAFF

Erica Sweeney Glory, Sarah Hill, Roberta Carrow Jackson

CONTRIBUTORS

Jyl Benson, Donna Bush, Beth D'Addono, Carroll Devine, Ochsner Eat Fit Northshore, Rae Shipley, Tico Soto, Poopy Tooker, Barbara & Jim Twardowski

FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Virender Ajmani, Donna Bush, Danielle Desir Corbett, Leah Dominique, Kevin Garrett, Cheryl Gerber, Laura Grier, Jordan Hefler, Joanie Johnston, Bill Lang, Anthony Chopper Leone, Eric Lindberg, George Long, Joseph Marc, Anna Rockhold, Randy Schmidt, Bobby Talley, Jim Twardowski The

to Renée Kientz.

4 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER Welcome
Northshore
dedicated
The Northshore is a biannual publication of Visit The Northshore. Visit The Northshore provides visitor information and assistance to leisure and business travelers in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. Find comprehensive listings for accommodations, attractions, dining and events at VisitTheNorthshore.com Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube and LinkedIn at @VisitTheNorthshore Printed in the USA PRESIDENT/CEO Kimberly
GROUP PUBLISHER Adam Pitluk, PhD CREATIVE DIRECTOR David Halloran CONTACT THE PUBLISHER Info@midwestluxurypublishing.com midwestluxurypublishing.com 917.447.7731 PRESIDENT AND CEO Donna O'Daniels Visit The Northshore 68099 Highway 59 Mandeville, LA 70471 (985) 892-0520 VisitTheNorthshore.com
inspiration guide is
Ferrante

Do you have pictures of The Northshore that you would like featured in this magazine, on our social media platforms or in our user generated website galleries?

Show us your photography talent and stay tuned for prizes!

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4th of July Fireworks

Plan Your Visit

Check out

April 12-13

GULF STATES QUILTING ASSOCIATION BIENNIAL QUILT SHOW

The group’s 20th biennial showcase of fiber art

April 12-14

ABITA SPRINGS EN PLEIN AIR EXHIBITION

Local artists’ annual captures of the outdoors, painted in the open air

April 19-21

BHAKTI FARMS YOGA FEST

Yoga, healing arts, music and camping near Covington

April 20-21

COVINGTON ANTIQUES & UNIQUES FESTIVAL

Treasure-hunting for antique aficionados

May 4

Q50 RACES CINCO DE MAYO

Running under ancient oaks in Fontainebleau State Park

May 11

SOME ENCHANTED EVENING WITH NORTHSHORE COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA

Symphonic sounds under the stars

June 1-30

A TASTE OF COVINGTON FOOD, WINE, MUSIC & ART FESTIVAL

A full month of Bacchanalian feasts and tastings

June 7

OZONE SPRING SOUND-OFF

A showcase of up-and-coming singer-songwriters

June 29-July 4 INDEPENDENCE DAY

Parish-wide parties with fireworks

July 20-21

HERPS REPTILE & EXOTIC PET SHOW

Unique creatures and everything you need to keep them

July 29 & August 5

UNITED WAY RED BEANS ‘N RICE COOK-OFFS

Cooking teams compete, you get all-you-can-eat

August 1-31

TAMMANY TASTE OF SUMMER

Delicious deals, special prix fixe menus

August 17

COVINGTON WHITE LINEN FOR PUBLIC ART

Wear your cool linens and see some cool art

August 31

WHITE LINEN AND LAGNIAPPE

A so-long to summer with music, art and shopping in Olde Towne Slidell

*all events are subject to rescheduling, canceling or postponing. visit our website for current information.

6 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER Events
the
at VisitTheNorthshore.com
Full Events Calendar

SPRING-SUMMER 2024 FESTIVALS

APR 6 /// Abita Springs Autism Awareness Day

APR 7 /// Abita Springs Busker Festival

APR 13 /// Spring for Art

APR 13 /// Crawfish Cookin’ for a Cause

APR 20 /// Louisiana Bicycle Festival

APR 20 /// Slidell’s All-you-can-eat Crawfish Cook-off

APR 20 /// Maritime Music & Art Festival

APR 20-21 /// Covington Antiques & Uniques Festival

APR 20-21 /// St. Tammany Collectors Convention

MAY 18 /// Louisiana Veterans Festival

MAY 18 /// Fools of Misrule Fools Fest

JUL 20 /// Kokomo Stroll

VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 7 EASY TO DISCOVER Events EASY TO DISCOVER Events
White Linen and Lagniappe Free Festivals Across the Parish

Your Easy Escape Discover

8 | the NORTHSHORE
Park
Fontainebleau
State

Shop Local, Shop Unique

Elevate your Style at these Boutique Hot Spots.

GATHER YOUR GAL PALS and immerse yourself in the shopper’s paradise that awaits you on The Northshore. The area is a gem for boutique shopping enthusiasts. With a plethora of attractive boutiques dotting its landscape, this region has become a haven for those seeking unique and locally curated fashion and gifts. The friendly, local shop owners, the vibrant colors and the Southern hospitality make every visit a memorable one. And their products are unforgettable, too. Step into these alluring, locally owned boutiques, and you'll find an exquisite collection of one-of-a-kind fashion pieces, artisan jewelry and unique home décor that reflect the style of the region. From LSU and Saints attire to seasonal jewelry, you’ll be ready for every special occasion; from pearls to pontoons.

We’ve rounded up a short list of ladies’ apparel boutiques across the parish, and there are many more options at VisitTheNorthshore.com/things-to-do/shopping.

LOCAL BOUTIQUES

APRICOT LANE BOUTIQUE

3441 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville

apricotlaneboutique.com/store/ mandeville

BELLA LUCCA BOUTIQUE

796 E. I-10 Service Road, Ste. 140, Slidell bellaluccaslidell.com

CAMEO

302 Girod St., Mandeville cameo.boutique

COLUMBIA STREET MERCANTILE

236 N. Columbia St., Covington shopmercantile.com

HAZEL LANE BOUTIQUE

434 N. Columbia St., Ste. A, Covington shophazellane.com

HEMLINE

2891 U.S. Hwy 190, Mandeville shophemlinemandeville.com

MACKENZIE & ME

70488 LA-21 Ste. 700, Covington mackenzieandme.com

POSH BOUTIQUE 21

70380 LA-21, Covington poshboutique21.com

THE NEXT

328 E. Boston St., Covington thenextbyjennycarr.com

EASY TO DISCOVER Shopping
VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 9

Sweet Sounds

Concert Series on The Northshore.

FROM FREE OUTDOOR COMMUNITY CONCERTS at Heritage Park in Slidell or the trailhead amphitheaters in Mandeville and Covington to the seasonal concert series held at the Dew Drop Jazz Hall, Abita Opry, The Harbor Center and Wild Bush Farm & Vineyard, the musical offerings of The Northshore are plentiful, each with its own vibe to resonate with your own.

Believed to be the oldest virtually unaltered rural jazz hall in the world, the Dew Drop Jazz Hall in Mandeville is a must-do experience for both artists and audiences. Inside the 1895 structure, it’s the hushed vibe of a listening room, while outside on the lawn,

concertgoers set up lawn chairs to listen to music peal through the open shutters as they chat with friends. Visitors to the Abita Springs Opry appreciate the preservation of Louisiana “roots” music, as well as acoustic country, bluegrass, zydeco and more in a quintessentially Southern Town Hall experience. Meanwhile in Slidell, The Harbor Center transforms its convention center lobby into an intimate, bohemian listening room for the Lobby Lounge concert series. With so many options to suit your taste in music and atmosphere, you’ll want to mark your calendar all season long, so you don’t miss a thing.

10 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER Sounds
10 | the NORTHSHORE

CONCERT CALENDAR

BAYOU JAM IN HERITAGE PARK

Apr 5: Clifton Brown and the Rusty Bucket Band

Apr 19: High School Band & Choir Showcase

LOBBY LOUNGE AT THE HARBOR CENTER

Apr 2: Paul Childers

May 9: Jessie Ritter

Jun 13: Maiah Wynne

Jul 16: Symone French & The Trouille Troupe

Sep 17: Anne Elise Hastings & Her Revolving Cast of Characters

THIRD SUNDAY CONCERTS AT CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Apr 21: Robin Williams & Friends

May 19: Joe Krown

DEW DROP JAZZ & SOCIAL HALL

Apr 6 & 20 | May 11

ABITA SPRINGS OPRY

Apr 20 | May 18 | Sep 21

JAZZ’N THE VINES AT WILD BUSH FARM & VINEYARD

Apr 6 & 20 | May 11 & 25 | Jun 1

MANDEVILLE LIVE! FREE FRIDAYS AT THE TRAILHEAD

Apr 5, 12 & 26 | May 3 & 10 | Sep 20 & 27

ROCKIN’ THE RAILS AT COVINGTON TRAILHEAD

Apr 4, 11, 18, 25

SUNSET AT THE LANDING – COVINGTON

Every third Friday from March to October

*note: all dates and artists subject to change; check out the full events calendar and artists' names at visitthenorthshore.com

VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 11 EASY TO DISCOVER Sounds VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 11

Accessible Adventures

Wheelchair-Friendly Options Welcome Visitors on The Northshore.

WHETHER YOU ARE ATTENDING AN ANNUAL FESTIVAL or longing for an unhurried weekend away, you’ll find The Northshore welcomes wheelchair users.

Wheelchair accessible paths beside the Mandeville Lakefront seawall provide unobstructed views of Lake Pontchartrain and allow you to linger along the lakefront. Stop for a selfie at the gazebo or underneath a 100-year-old live oak tree. Wheelchair access points may be found at several spots along Lakeshore Drive. Larger vehicles may be accommodated in parking lots behind lakefront businesses and off Jackson Ave. by Pontchartrain Yacht Club.

The Tammany Trace, 31 miles of an asphalted wheelchair-accessible trail, runs through five communities, making it easy to roll on this rails-totrails converted path. From elevated vantage points, glimpse views of wildlife, bayous, streams and rivers.

Heritage Park, near Olde Towne Slidell, overlooks Bayou Bonfouca with a wide cement path winding alongside it to meander by the bayou. Next door, Palmettos on the Bayou features a Cajun brunch on Saturdays.

Embrace nature at Fontainebleau State Park on an all-terrain track wheelchair now available for public use. The electric-powered chair is free to use, and reservations are required 48 hours in advance. Wheelchair-accessible cabins are currently under construction, slated to re-open in summer 2024.

More than 4,000 free-roaming endangered, exotic and threatened animals live at the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom. Hop aboard a wheelchair-accessible covered wagon for a guided tour and feed the wildlife, such as free-roaming bison, giraffes and kangaroos.

Shop for one-of-a-kind finds to take home at many shopping venues across the parish. On Saturdays, the Mandeville Trailhead Community Market vendors sell prepared foods, fresh produce and a slew of arts and crafts. Booths line wheelchair-accessible sidewalks.

12 | the NORTHSHORE 12 | the NORTHSHORE
Check VisitTheNorthshore.com for more accessible adventures on your next visit.
Northlake Nature Center
Mandeville
Lakefront
VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 13 VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 13 Causeway Bridge ABITA SPRINGS TRAILHEAD FONTAINEBLEAU STATE PARK
TRAILHEAD JOHN T. DAVIS PARK PELICAN PARK HERITAGE PARK NORTHLAKE NATURE CENTER LACOMBE TRAILHEAD MANDEVILLE TRAILHEAD COVINGTON TRAILHEAD CAMP SALMEN NATURE PARK KOOP DRIVE TRAILHEAD & KID’S KONNECTION PLAYGROUND 12 12 190 190 59 36 LEGEND Interstates Highways Secondary Roads Trailheads TAMMANY TRACE All-terrain track wheelchair at Fontainebleau State Park
SLIDELL-CAROLLO

Discover the Wild Wonders of Honey Island Swamp Tours

A Thrilling Gator Adventure Awaits.

EMBARK ON AN EXHILARATING SOFT ADVENTURE in the enchanting Honey Island Swamp, in the Slidell/Pearl River area of St. Tammany. Here, nature reigns supreme, offering a sanctuary of unspoiled beauty, lush wilderness in perfect harmony and a thriving tapestry of wildlife. Of course, there are the iconic alligators, basking lazily on sunlit logs or casting wary glances from the water's edge, their intrigue piqued by your presence.

Your senses will be treated to a symphony of sights and sounds.

Keep your eyes peeled as you journey deeper into this pristine realm, and your senses will be treated to a symphony of sights and sounds. Turtles glide beneath the water's surface, while overhead, a majestic eagle may soar gracefully in the sky. Along the banks, you may spot snowy white egrets, pileated woodpeckers and majestic great blue herons, adding to the picturesque scenery. Numerous tour companies stand ready to guide you through the wonders of the Honey Island Swamp, ensuring your adventure is as educational as it is exhilarating. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Most tours extend for approximately two hours. Among these guided tour options are Dr. Wagner's Honey Island Swamp Tours, Pearl River Eco-Tours, Cajun Encounters and New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours. Book now and prepare for an adventure!

14 | the NORTHSHORE
EASY TO DISCOVER The Outdoors 14 | the NORTHSHORE

Cruising the Tchefuncte River

Meet Captain Rob Rouyer of Tchefuncte River Charters.

ON THE NORTHSHORE, you’re never more than 15 minutes from water, so having an expert captain ready to take you out makes this relaxing treat easy to discover. Come aboard as I chat with Captain Rob Rouyer who knows a thing or two about river cruising.

How long have you been operating boats, and what inspired you to become a captain?

I have been operating boats for over forty years. I bought and built my pontoon boat as a personal project in 2019. The more we used it, the more people wanted to rent it because of its uniqueness. I got my captain’s license and started Tchefuncte River Charters in 2019.

Do you have a memorable experience from a past boat tour that you'd like to share?

Spending so much time on the river I get to see a lot of wildlife. Last fall, I had a group out for a cruise with friends from out of state. There were plenty of osprey, wood ducks, five alligators and a pair of eagles. My guests were so excited to have the opportunity to experience so many animals in the wild.

What is your favorite thing about being a charter captain?

It surprises me how many people live in the Covington, Mandeville and Madisonville area and have never experienced the river that runs smack dab in the middle. I love it when locals take a cruise and get to see what they have in their own backyard.

What can visitors expect on a tour with you?

I offer a relaxing cruise where a group of friends can kick back, sip a glass of wine or a favorite beverage while experiencing all that the river has to offer. During spring, you can expect to see all types of migratory birds and other wildlife. In the summer, the river is a place to swim and relax at Brady Island or the sand bar and watch the skiers and wakeboarders do their thing.

What amenities can passengers expect on your boat for added comfort and enjoyment?

My boat "The Fat Bottom Girl" is a 26' pontoon boat. She has a forward covered seating area where you can take in the sights around a custom coffee table. There is plenty of room to seat passengers and have snacks, a meal or even crawfish while enjoying the ride. In the rear covered area of the boat there is a 7' bar with bar stools to hang out while cruising down the river. There is an onboard portable toilet if needed. You can't cruise the river without music, so we have a great Bluetooth-ready sound system. We have plenty of life jackets for adults and children and are equipped with all required safety gear.

Are food and beverages provided or can passengers bring their own refreshments?

I offer a wine and cheese sunset cruise and a springtime crawfish cruise. I typically do not offer catering, but I can arrange for to-go plates through one of our local restaurants on the river. As always, my guests are welcome to bring food, snacks, beverages and an ice chest.

What tips do you have for visitors who have never been aboard a vessel like yours?

In the spring and summer, bring your sunscreen. Most of all bring a fun attitude to help relax and enjoy your time on the river.

VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 15 EASY TO DISCOVER The Outdoors VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 15
To book your unforgettable experience, visit tchefuncterivercharters.com.

Where the Imagination Soars

Embark on a Magical Adventure at the Children's Museum of St. Tammany.

THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM OF ST. TAMMANY offers an unforgettable family adventure filled with endless fun and exploration. This vibrant and engaging museum in Mandeville offers hands-on activities that will leave kids of all ages (and adults, too!) wide-eyed with wonder.

Kids won’t even realize they’re learning because everything feels like play and is a place where curiosity knows no bounds. At the Children's Museum, you step into a world of imagination with immersive exhibits that spark creativity and critical thinking. Kids can build, paint and explore their way through exhibits like the ArtSmart Studio and Construction Junction. The museum's enchanting outdoor space beckons little explorers to discover the joys of nature. From the whimsical Storybook Forest to the Outdoor Classroom,

there's something for every budding naturalist. Foster a love for science, technology, engineering, art and math through interactive S.T.E.A.M. activities like my daughter’s favorite, the Rigamajig inside the How and Why gallery. Watch your child's eyes light up as they uncover the mysteries of the universe.

A place where curiosity knows no bounds.

Keep an eye on the Visit The Northshore calendar for annual special events, workshops and exhibits at the museum, like Chalk Fest, STEM Quest, Boo Bash on the Lawn and the annual Noon Year's Eve Bash.

A visit to the Children's Museum of St. Tammany isn't just a trip; it's a journey where children can learn, play and create unforgettable memories. So, pack your bags and head for a day of adventure that your family will cherish forever. Your kids and the kid in you will thank you.

16 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER Family
16 | the NORTHSHORE
ST. TAM FAM TIME

Make a Splash

Keep it Cool at these Splash Pads on The Northshore.

MANDEVILLE TRAILHEAD SPLASH FOUNTAIN 675 Lafitte St., Mandeville

FONTAINEBLEAU STATE PARK WATER PLAYGROUND 62883 Hwy 1089, Mandeville

EAST LAKEFRONT CHILDREN’S PARK

1500 block of Lakeshore Drive, Mandeville

ABITA SPRINGS TRAILHEAD SPLASH PAD 22049 Main St., Abita Springs

COQUILLE PARKS AND RECREATION SPLASH PAD 13505 Hwy 1085, Covington

HERITAGE PARK SPLASH PAD 1701 Bayou Lane, Slidell

PEARL RIVER PLAYGROUND AND SPLASH PAD 64500 Church St., Pearl River

VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 17 EASY TO DISCOVER Family VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 17

A Nature Lover's Dream Come True

The Northshore has 80,000 Acres of Wildlife Preserves to Explore.

SPRAWLING ACROSS THE NORTHSHORE OF LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN is a nature lovers’ paradise. Whether your passion is birding, hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, photography or just chilling in the great outdoors, there is something for you.

The spectacularly scenic Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge has over 18,000 acres of freshwater and brackish marsh providing critical habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl, as well as numerous fresh and saltwater fish species, while also protecting our local communities from storm surge. Bald cypress-tupelo forest, bayous, hardwood forest hammocks and pine savanna provide a resting respite for migratory songbirds and home for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

The best hiking in Big Branch Marsh is found in Lacombe at the Boy Scout Interpretive Nature Trail, with a half-mile self-guided boardwalk trail; or enjoy a 5-mile roundtrip hike that will take you to an observation point overlooking the massive marsh. Past the overlook, the habitat changes from pine savanna to a chenier of ancient oaks along beautiful Bayou Lacombe.

Around the corner, there’s a quick flash of black and white. Did you hear the distinctive call of the elusive and endangered red-cockaded woodpecker?

Pine trees with a white painted band indicate a red-cockaded woodpecker nesting tree.

Cane Bayou in Big Branch Marsh is the eastern border of Fontainebleau State Park. A favorite pristine, relaxing bayou to kayak, this scenic and easy paddle is a short mile and half to Lake Pontchartrain where stellar sunsets delight and an occasional family of river otters appear for a joyful frolic. Both the Boy Scout Interpretive Trail and Fontainebleau are amazing spring locations to enjoy blooming native Louisiana irises.

Fontainebleau State Park contains 2,800 acres of beautiful, scenic, nature-loving nirvana. Find the remains of an 1829 sugar mill along with miles of hiking and biking trails that intermingle with the Tammany Trace. Wildlife abounds with numerous birds and frequent deer crossing your path. Check out VisitTheNorthshore.com/events for educational programs taking place at the park, including guided hikes with foraging instruction, seminars with park rangers, botanists and more.

18 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER Parks 18 | the NORTHSHORE

Just a short distance further is the fabulous Fairview-Riverside State Park on the stunningly scenic waterway of the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville. Sitting on 99 rambling acres, this waterfront park offers gorgeous campsites, fabulous fishing, bountiful boating and wonderful moss-draped oak trees. The park is perfect for a picnic, scenic walks and family photos.

To plan your outdoor adventure, head over to

and get into nature.

VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 19
VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 19
Fairview-Riverside State Park
Big Branch Marsh
VisitTheNorthshore.com/things-to-do/outdoors

Eat and drink like a Local

20 | the NORTHSHORE
Mandeville Seafood

Back on Tap

“The Funk” is Flowing at Chafunkta Brewing Company.

CHAFUNKTA BREWING COMPANY’S CRAFT BEERS

are once again flowing from the taps at bars and restaurants around St. Tammany. After a brief distribution hiatus, this beloved local brewery is back in action, ready to quench the thirst of its loyal patrons.

Nestled in Mandeville, Chafunkta has long been a cherished gem in the Louisiana craft beer scene. Known for their innovative and flavorful brews, this brewery has earned a reputation for excellence. With its recently renovated taproom and welcoming atmosphere, it's no wonder that Chafunkta has become a favorite hangout for locals and visitors alike.

From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and everything in between, Chafunkta's brewers have a knack for crafting beers that cater to a wide range of tastes. Whether you're a seasoned beer connoisseur or just starting your craft beer journey, you're sure to find something you love at “The Funk.”

Chafunkta often hosts events, supports local causes and collaborates with other businesses in the area. Their “Pups and Pints” events, which are held every Sunday and benefit the Northshore Humane Society, are the perfect opportunity to celebrate your four-legged friend, all while enjoying great beer and good company. Chafunkta also hosts yoga classes, trivia nights, food trucks and live music. Their events are sure to add a flavorful twist to your social calendar.

Reconnect with old friends, make new ones and savor the taste of Chafunkta in the taproom and across The Northshore. Chafunkta’s beers are back on tap, and the good times are flowing.

VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 21 EASY TO DISCOVER Dining
VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 21
EASY TO DISCOVER Dining 22 | the NORTHSHORE Perk Up Your Day Fuel Your Fun with Coffee & Donuts Across the Parish.

Coffee Donuts

ABITA ROASTING CO.

1011 Village Walk, Covington 13102 LA-1085, Ste. 120, Covington 504 Water St., Madisonville abitaroasting.com

THE BOOK & THE BEAN 235 Girod St., Unit A, Mandeville thebookandthebean.com

CURED. ON COLUMBIA

415 N. Columbia St., Covington

CHERRYBOMB COFFEE

643 Lotus Drive, Mandeville cherrybombcoffeeco.com

THE GIDDY UP

82292 LA-25, Folsom giddyupgrounds.com

HAVEN COFFEE AND COCKTAILS

534 N. New Hampshire St., Covington havencc.coffee

THE REMINDING COFFEE & CREATIVE HOUSE 141 Terrabella Blvd., Covington thereminding.com

ROOTS PLANTS + COFFEE

124 Erlanger Ave., Ste. B, Slidell

SIRINCCI COFFEE COMPANY

1808 Front St., Slidell 791 Robert Blvd., Slidell sirincci.com

ST. JOHN’S COFFEEHOUSE 535 E Boston St., Covington

TANDEM COFFEE AND COCKTAILS

424 Girod St., Mandeville tandemcoffeeandcocktails.com

WHITE HOUSE COFFEE

61700 LA-434, Ste. A, Lacombe whcoffeeandcreamery.com

BUTTER KRISP DINER

1105 U.S. Hwy 190, Covington butterkrispdiner.com

BEIGNET AU LAIT

1071 Robert Blvd., Slidell beignetaulait.net

CAFÉ DU MONDE

70437 LA-21 Ste. 100, Covington 1814 N. Causeway Blvd., Ste. 1, Mandeville shop.cafedumonde.com

DONUTS, BRUNCH, N' SUCH 624 Robert Blvd., Slidell

DONUT KING

1660 Girod St., Mandeville

JELLY DONUTS AND KOLACHES

MARY LEE DONUTS

100 N. Tyler St., Ste. 3A, Covington

NONNA RANDAZZO'S BAKERY

2033 N. Hwy 190, Ste. 5, Covington nonnaskingcakes.com

TASTY CREAM DONUTS

2020 Gause Blvd. W., Ste. 101, Slidell

4036 Pontchartrain Drive, Slidell

LACOMBE DONUTS & BREAKFAST

27395 U.S. Hwy 190, Lacombe

MANDEVILLE BAKE SHOP 2203 Florida St., Mandeville

TOWN DONUT & BREAKFAST

1251 N. Collins Blvd., Covington

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Spill The Tea

Sip your Way through The English Tea Room Experience.

WALK INTO THE ENGLISH TEA ROOM in downtown Covington and you are magically transported to the British Isles. The charming cottage filled with art, antiques and collectibles provides a classic setting for an authentic high tea experience. From freshly baked scones with clotted cream to exquisite tea sandwiches and sweets, it’s a perfect place to linger as you travel back in time. Visitors from as far away as Europe and South America seek out the tea room for their astounding selection of teas. With 267 varieties in the collection, the English Tea Room is one of the largest suppliers of looseleaf teas in the United States. Tea is the passion of owner Jan

Lantrip, a compound pharmacist by trade. “Tea feeds your body on a cellular level,” Lantrip says. “Each cup is packed full of antioxidants and increases serotonin levels in your brain, providing a sense of well-being.” Once you select your favorite, it can ship to you anywhere in the world.

The English Tea Room is one of the largest suppliers of loose-leaf teas in the United States.

The full menu includes dishes rarely seen on this side of the pond like Scotch Eggs or Bangers and Mash, but Lantrip’s specialty is “tea cuisine.” Everything from soups to salad dressings incorporate tea. Spicy masala chai shines in the Coronation Chicken Salad, a recipe traced back to Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.

After twenty years in business, the English Tea Room has become a staple experience of Covington. Sit back and enjoy the parade of children dressed in hats and tiaras celebrating birthdays while making some cherished memories of your own. Reserve your tea time at englishtearoom.com

24 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER Dining 24 | the NORTHSHORE

Dakota's Delicious Evolution

A Culinary Gem Returns to Covington to Ignite Hearts and Palates.

WHEN THE DAKOTA DEBUTED on Highway 190 in 1990, The Northshore fine dining scene was in its infancy. Partners Chef Kim Kringlie and Kenny Lacour soon turned heads with international flavors and a carefully curated wine list. Within just a few years, Kringlie’s silky crab and brie soup became an often-imitated Louisiana classic and Lacour’s wine list received national attention from Wine Spectator

After more than thirty years, in fall 2023 The Dakota relocated to downtown Covington. The newly imagined restaurant provides a more open, airy space while retaining all the comfort and sensibility of the original location. All the favorites remain but now, Kringlie’s culinary imagination brings new dishes to the menu. Brown butter seared sea scallops delivered with a very modern cauliflower risotto and grilled Argentine Royal Red shrimp unusually paired with polenta, crisp spinach and chimichurri are some of the surprising additions.

Lacour’s award winning wine collection now numbers just under 800. An astounding bottlefilled glass wall display case offers perfect pairings for the diverse menu. In these luxurious new

digs, The Dakota is poised to raise the bar even higher on the fine dining scene they helped establish on The Northshore so long ago. For reservations and details on the extensive wine selection and menus, visit thedakotarestaurant.com

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Where the Seafood is Boiling

Fresh Louisiana Seafood Awaits You at Many Northshore Hot Spots.

THE ROAR OF PROPANE-DRIVEN FLAMES under a pot of steeping seafood is Louisiana's unique spring and summertime melody. It's a sound everyone appreciates for its meaning: Hot, boiled Louisiana crawfish, shrimp or crabs will soon be dumped from the pot onto newspaper-lined tables; then it's time to dig in.

Seafood boils are fun, the most coveted invitation of the season, but they are also expensive, messy and a ton of work for the host. Sometimes it’s best to leave the work to the pros, which St. Tammany Parish has in abundance. You can certainly peel-and-eat your way through Northshore restaurants like Morton’s Seafood on the Tchefuncte River, Don’s Seafood in Covington, or Peck’s Seafood in Slidell to name a few. Or find your catch at one of the many seafood markets across the parish.

boiling pot at the restaurant and market they named for their daughter, Aubrey Pearl. On offer are blue, snow, and Dungeness crabs, crawfish, lobster, and brown, white and royal red shrimp served with all the sides (potatoes, corn, sausage) and seasoned with a spice blend that has been in Danielle’s family for generations. pearlsseafoodmarket.com

Also operating as both a seafood market and a restaurant, family-run Kenney Seafood has been in business since 1972, first as a wholesale fishing operation and later (1989) as a comprehensive spot of any variety of boiled Gulf shellfish you may crave. kenneyseafood.com

Sometimes it's best to leave the work to the pros, which St. Tammany has in abundance.

Locally owned Mandeville Seafood Market consistently garners high praise for the quality and flavor of its boiled crabs, Gulf shrimp and crawfish as well as its friendly staff. This spot operates as both a seafood market and restaurant where you can dine in or take out. mandevilleseafoodmarket.com

At Pearl’s Seafood Market, no shellfish specimen escapes Danielle and Jason Martin’s massive

The Lama family of Italian immigrants started harvesting seafood from the Gulf around 1910 and then opened their celebrated seafood business in New Orleans’ famed St. Roch Market in 1947, which they operated for 50 years. In 2020, Anthony Lama Jr opened Original Lama’s Seafood at 304 Hwy 22 in Madisonville. This low-tech operation focuses on boiled seafood for take-out only.

PRO TIP

Get more than you think you will need and enjoy it while sitting on the nearby waterfront.

26 | the NORTHSHORE 26 | the NORTHSHORE
Pearl's Seafood Market Morton's Seafood

Mouthwatering Blue Crab and More

Discover Authentic Louisiana at Maryland Blue Crab House.

DON’T LET THE NAME FOOL YOU. This delicious spot is full of Louisiana flavor. The McCarthy family, with over 40 years of experience in the Louisiana seafood industry, now blends authentic Louisiana and Maryland flavors at Maryland Blue Crab House located in Mandeville. Theron McCarthy, owner of Maryland Blue Crab House, is a seasoned crabber and distributor with a passion for creating unique flavors. His special seasoning is a mouthwatering sensation, making every bite unforgettable.

At Maryland Blue Crab House, you can savor blue crabs prepared in various ways by chef Erick Clements, including traditional, garlic-steamed, char-grilled, fried or air-fried. They come in combos and baskets with fries, on salads and sandwiches, and even in hearty soups. Additionally, the menu pays homage to Maryland classics such as crab cakes, creamy crab soup, crab pretzel paired with homemade crab dip and the Chicken Chesapeake—a crab-topped chicken breast served on a Brioche bun.

While blue crabs take center stage, the menu

also offers an array of other delectable options, including shrimp (available in-shell, steamed or grilled by the pound), fresh Rockfish, po-boys, burgers, tacos and savory dishes like duck and andouille gumbo, chicken and sausage jambalaya and red beans and rice. marylandbluecrab.com

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Theron and Linda McCarthy

BRUNO'S TAQUERIA

2060 Old Spanish Trail, Slidell orderbrunostaqueriala.com

If you're in the mood for authentic tacos for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Bruno's has you covered. Their no-frills food truck in Slidell is a very popular stop for locals and visitors alike.

EMPA-TACO

101 LA-22, Madisonville empataco.com

Located near the Tchefuncte Riverfront in Madisonville, Empa-Taco serves up traditional and gourmet tacos alongside empanadas, arepas and tamales.

HABANERO'S

1331 N. Hwy 190, Covington 69305 LA-21 #600, Covington 1938 LA-22, Madisonville 1752 Lindberg Drive, Slidell habaneroscuisine.com

This lively spot has four locations on The Northshore and is known for made-from-scratch items and fresh ingredients. Enjoy their extensive signature taco menu or the classics.

Let’s Taco 'Bout It

A Diverse Array of Taco Joints on The Northshore Takes your Taste Buds on a Journey.

THE TACO SCENE HERE IS SIZZLING, and we've rounded up some of the hottest spots to satisfy your cravings. From classic to creative, there's something for every taco aficionado.

PACO'S TACOS

1931 LA-59, Mandeville pacostacos.la

Paco's brings a taste of Mexico to The Northshore with their authentic flavors and fresh ingredients. Delicious street taco options and twists like the Quesatacos abound at this Mandeville favorite.

PARISH TACOS

4700 LA-22 Ste. 17, Mandeville parishtacos.com

For a taste of their self-proclaimed “LouisianaMex,” head to Parish Tacos. Owner Michael LeBlanc and his experienced team combine Louisiana influences with street cuisine where every taco tells a different mouthwatering story.

TACOS & BEER

2142 First St., Slidell, (985) 641-4969

The name says it all! Enjoy your favorite tacos with a cold beer selection that complements the flavors perfectly. Better yet, take it outside on their streetside picnic tables and experience Olde Towne Slidell.

TAQUERIA HABANERO'S

3805 Pontchartrain Drive, Ste. 11-12, Slidell, (985) 326-8383

Their fusion of flavors and Birria tacos will leave your taste buds dancing.

THE PINK AGAVE

19124 W. Front St., Covington pinkagavetaqueria.com

This trendy spot is all about modern creativity. Try their gourmet taco options with playful cocktails.

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Parish Tacos Tacos & Beer

Zero-Proof Delights

A Mocktail Guide to Tempt your Taste Buds.

HAVEN COFFEE AND COCKTAILS

This specialty coffee café, roastery and cocktail bar is a special addition to Covington. Sip on their zeroproof French 75 featuring alcoholfree champagne and gin, creating a symphony of flavors for you to enjoy. havencc.coffee

ODELIA

Step into the breathtaking Odelia in Mandeville for the Arc de Triomphe—a splendid concoction of grapefruit, lavender syrup, rosemary and tonic. This pairs perfectly with any of Odelia's Eat Fit-approved dishes. odeliacafe.com

SOBAR SOUTH

SoBar South offers a mobile tap service that specializes in zero-proof, southern-style mocktails. Try the Eat Fitapproved Raspberry Rose Spritzer and taste the freshness in the raspberry juice from The Juicery in Abita Springs. thesobarsouth.com

SOUTHERN HOTEL

Created by Christopher Walker of the Cypress Bar at Southern Hotel, the award-winning zero-proof cocktail Sage Advice is beautifully crafted with fresh grapefruit juice and hints of elderflower and sage. Chris created this Eat Fit version with a natural, no-sugar elderflower syrup. southernhotel.com

ST. ANN WINE BAR

New to the Eat Fit family is localfavorite, St. Ann Wine Bar. This wine bar offers some of the tastiest Eat Fit appetizers around to pair with any of their hand-crafted mocktails. stannwinebar.com

PAPILLON'S

Papillon's is a must-try in Old Mandeville. Schedule a date night to try the Tea Time, a beautifully crafted zero-proof cocktail of green tea, fresh lemon juice and honey. You'll love this paired with Eat Fit-approved Piccata or Redfish Mediterranean. papillonsla.com

PARDOS

When your dining experience is a work of art, you'll know you're at Pardos. Searching for something with a little spice? Try the Spicy Palomita—fresh grapefruit, lime, ginger beer and jalapeno. This one is the perfect combo of sweet and spicy. facebook.com/pardosmandeville

TANDEM COFFEE AND COCKTAILS

Tandem offers many "Free Spirits" like the Rose Garden and Swinging Vines. They carry Lyres zero-proof spirits to create a mocktail of your choice. Each one pairs perfectly with Eat Fit appetizers like the hummus board, deviled eggs or Ricotta Apple Toast. tandemcoffeeandcocktails.com

EAT FIT TIP

Order your mocktails Eat Fit by swapping simple syrup for a plant-based sweetener, like allulose syrup, and limiting fruit juice to 1 oz. Cheers, friends!

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Zero-Proof Beverage from Haven
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MEET

Bryisha Lyons

Rooting for Community at Roots Plants + Coffee in Olde Towne Slidell.

BRYISHA LYONS IS A PERSON

WHO

DIGS DEEP, nurturing a vast root system to sustain her family, her community and herself.

Her business, Roots Plants + Coffee in Olde Towne Slidell, is the prism through which Lyons works her magic. The New Orleans native, who moved to Slidell to be closer to family, started her career in real estate sales. As with so many folks, the pandemic changed things. Lyons’ love for design and tropical plants, always an avocation, started taking over her virtual greenhouse. “What started as a hobby became serious,” recalled Lyons. She studied and earned a horticulture license with the Department of Agriculture.

She started with successful pop ups at coffee shops, nail salons and retail locations like Krewe, the New Orleans eyewear brand. Her social media following grew. “Plants are calming. I felt we were spreading around some much-needed love at an anxious time.”

By October 2022, it was time to open her own space, in Slidell, close to home. The first seeds for Roots Plants + Coffee were planted at a 400 sq. ft. space downtown. “We started with plants, but we realized Olde Towne didn’t have a small coffee shop.” After barista training with Bob Arceneau at Orleans Coffee, her husband Michael ran the single espresso machine. “We started small, to see how it would work out. Olde Towne didn't have this kind of business. But it wasn’t long before more people were coming in for coffee than for plants.” The couple expanded across the street, taking over a 1,600 sq. ft., long-shuttered antique mall. They built out the space with a retro vibe, thanks to comfy furniture, vintage China and soft lighting. Ayu Bakehouse in the Marigny provides baked goods. Van Friendly, also local, supplies gluten-free baked goods, including amazing donuts.

Community events are ever present on the shop’s Instagram feed. The shop supports Toys for Tots and back to school drives, holds open mic poetry readings and participates in Olde Towne happenings.

Pay a visit, and Roots is clearly a family affair. Bryisha is on the plant and design side, with Michael running the busy coffee shop. Their two boys walk over after school to do homework and help on weekends. Lyons sees her family making a difference. She saw her business as expanding diversity in Olde Towne, a community that welcomed the business with open arms. “I’d say we are the hub for diversity. People know this is a welcoming, eclectic space and our doors are open to all. I think that coffee and plants are a universal language that speaks to everyone.”

For more information, follow along on Facebook and Instagram @rootsplantsandcoffee.

SIP AND SAVOR

Roots Plants + Coffee

124 Erlanger Ave., Ste. B, Slidell, LA 70458 (504) 276-2876 | Instagram: @rootsplantsandcoffee

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MEET

Patrick Brooks

The Northshore's Cycling Expert at Brooks' Bike Shop.

32 | the NORTHSHORE

I CONSIDER MYSELF AN OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST, which is why I love sharing all the knowledge I have about one of my favorite attractions on The Northshore, Brooks’ Bike Shop. I first met the owner, Patrick Brooks, in 2017 while working on international tourism packages for the area. The service level and the uniqueness of his product, along with the creativity of his team, make it a perfect match for my tourism clients who want to explore The Northshore individually or with a group.

Patrick's commitment to his business and his passion for cycling The Northshore are truly commendable. He has successfully operated the shop since 2010, during which time he has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership and business acumen. Under his guidance, this “veteran-owned business with a passion for bicycles” has become a wellknown and trusted resource for cyclists in our area, catering to a diverse range of customers, from recreational riders to serious enthusiasts.

What sets Patrick apart is not only his expertise in the bicycle industry but also his commitment to customer service. He and his team go above and beyond to provide superior service, whether it's helping customers find the perfect bike or e-bike to rent, offering expert repairs and maintenance,

providing valuable advice on gear or leading a guided tour. Patrick's dedication to ensuring every customer leaves the shop satisfied and wellinformed is evident in the many positive reviews and repeat business Brooks’ Bike Shop enjoys.

As for me, I love to have fun. That’s as basic as it can get. I love to ride a bike around town in the beautiful sunshine, as I shop, eat and explore new things. I have taken numerous bike and trail rides with Brooks’ Bike Shop and each experience has been breathtaking. When I go to a new destination, I try to connect with nature on a spiritual level and Brooks’ Bikes Shop offers that kind of encounter for locals and visitors. Even if you are a lifetime resident of The Northshore, I encourage you to see your hometown in a different light. The shop has several convenient locations on the Tammany Trace, which connects the communities of Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe and Slidell.

Get the most out of your next visit to The Northshore by letting Patrick Brooks and his awesome team assist you with your reservation and provide expert advice. Trust me, you will not regret your decision.

BOOK YOUR BIKES HERE

Brooks' Bike Shop brooksbikeshop.com

Covington: (985) 338-5933

Mandeville: (985) 231-1079

Slidell: (985) 265-4278

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34 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER The Water

PADDLE INTO SPRING & SUMMER

VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 35 Uncover the Ultimate Kayaking and Canoeing Adventures on The Northshore.

In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing [or kayaking or paddleboarding].”

Here on The Northshore, when Jack Frost finally stops nipping at our noses and our weather takes a welcome, warmer turn towards springtime, it is time to get on the water. Hopping in a kayak or canoe or trying out a standup paddle board (SUP) is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of spring. We probably have more available paddling waterways than most other states and a multitude of methods to experience them.

GUIDED AND SELF-GUIDED

You can choose from a self-guided or guided trip, such as those offered by Canoe and Trail Adventures, easily the oldest locally run outfitter in the area. Selfguided trips depart from The Chimes in Covington, a local restaurant on the beautiful Bogue Falaya River. Offering the broadest selection of paddling transportation, you can choose from a paddleboard, single or tandem (double) kayak, double canoe or a family canoe. Included with your rental are paddles, life jackets (PFD) for all adults and children and a waterproof drybag. Participants are free to bring their own food, drinks and cooler or can purchase items from the fully stocked bar/restaurant.

Nearby in Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife

Refuge, they offer a certified Louisiana Master Naturalist guided kayak swamp tour on fabulous Cane Bayou, including lunch and ice cream. This short 1½ mile trip to Lake Pontchartrain showers participants with a true Louisiana bayou experience—alligators, herons, kingfishers, maybe a bald eagle, osprey or a great horned owl. Once a month they offer a sunset paddle on the same waterway, allowing partakers to enjoy the nighttime adventure of a Cajun swamp.

Their outdoor skills summer camp teaches kids, 4th grade and up, paddling, hiking, knot tying, fire building, basic first aid, fishing and more.

For more information, visit canoeandtrail.com

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Canoe and Trail Adventures

DIY

If you’re looking for more of a do-it-yourself trip, check out Bayou Adventure’s Kayak Kiosk rental, available at Cane Bayou in Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. You choose your own time of day to paddle; spur of the moment or planned. Use the app, ShareKayak, to secure your rental, complete a waiver, submit payment using a QR code and exchange photos. In their locker, they provide a kayak (single or tandem), paddle(s) and life jacket(s). For more information, visit bayouadventure.com/self-serve.

EASY TO DISCOVER The Water
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EDITOR'S TIPS

Paddle Prep

Always wear a properly fitted personal flotation device

Use the buddy system or an experienced guide

Choose your paddling option and length of time that suits your comfort level

Dress for the weather with comfortable shoes

Store keys and phones in a dry bag

Bring sunscreen, a hat and bug spray

Hydrate with water and pack easy snacks

Don’t feed the wildlife, especially the gators

Leave no trace

Paddle in designated waterways and follow any local regulations

Take plenty of pictures and videos and share them with Visit The Northshore

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MOBILE CONVENIENCE

Newest on the scene is Kayaks to Geaux, which offers more of a concierge-type approach to kayaking. You select one of their seven paddling locations or your own unique location, then reserve your kayaks and time. Owner, Jeremy Torres, or staff will meet you at the designated launch with your kayak (single or tandem), paddle(s) and life jacket(s). They assist you into your boat, with paddling instruction and directions if needed, and meet you back to pick up boats and gear after your delightful kayaking adventure. Note: all their single kayaks are outfitted for fishing, complete with a cushioned seat, rod holders and a spot for an ice chest or bait bucket.

Current locations for Kayaks to Geaux include: Bogue Falaya Wayside Park, Menetre Boat Launch, Cane Bayou, Mandeville Boat Launch, Main Street and Lake Road on Bayou Lacombe, Tchefuncte River or renter’s choice.

Rental options are half day (2.5 hours), full day (5 hours) or overnight (24 hours). Check their website for the latest places to paddle. For more information, visit kayakstogeaux.com

ADVENTURE PADDLING

If you prefer an adventurous swamp paddle, guided tours are available by kayak through the enchanting Honey Island Swamp.

Honey Island Kayak Tours offers customizable guided tours with their expert outdoor enthusiasts. The paddle will take you to the heart of the swamp where you’ll learn about the diverse ecosystem including the beautiful cypress trees, some up to 400 years old. They provide water bottles throughout the trip, dry boxes to store belongings and their tours are pet friendly. Book a tour at honeyislandkayaktours.com.

Cajun Encounters (mentioned on page 14) offers more than pontoon excursions. Their team provides an immersive and eco-friendly journey through the protected wetland and wildlife sanctuary of Honey Island Swamp with knowledgeable guides and top-notch kayaks. Visit cajunencounters.com for more.

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Discover our Communities

MAYBE IT’S SOMETHING IN THE WATER that gives Abita Springs its flavor—its creativity, quirkiness and affinity for nature—everywhere evident. Indeed, the town’s artesian spring or well water, with its reputed healing powers, has long drawn vacationers and settlers alike.

Whatever the cause, the town generously shares the benefits. Annually in spring, musicians who

Abita Springs

typically perform in the streets for tips are celebrated at the everpopular, outdoor Busker Festival. Another widely favored event is the Whole Town Garage Sale in March. Just imagine the treasures that await you. And all seriousness aside, a visit to the Abita Mystery House, a sort of repository of tongue-incheek weirdness, is worthwhile.

The town, a stop on the unspoiled Tammany Trace, has a Victorian style pavilion with a park and playground at its center, next to the Abita River.

You can feel the town’s vitality at the nearby Abita Café and the Abita Brew Pub, at the Trailhead Museum and at the Town Hall, which hosts the Abita Opry in spring and fall. At the Abita Brewing Company’s tours and tastings, you can learn about the fascinating process of beer making.

And on a hike through nearby Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve, among the beauty of the longleaf pines, you'll be refreshed.

CULINARY HOT SPOTS

ABITA BREW PUB

72011 Holly St. (985) 892-5837

ABITA FARMERS MARKET 22056 LA-59

ABITA SPRINGS CAFÉ 22132 Level St. (985) 400-5025

ARTIGUE’S ABITA MARKET 22069 LA-59 (985) 892-7300

MAMA D’S PIZZA & MORE 22054 LA-59 (985) 809-0308

MAPLE STREET BAKERY 72066 Maple St. (985) 327-5554

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Covington

42 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER Communities
Southern Hotel

JUST AS THE NAMES ABITA, TCHEFUNCTE

AND

BOGUE

FALAYA, said together, have a rhythmic beat, so too does the vibrant city where these rivers converge. Covington, over 200 years old, is a place where the past and present hold hands, and nature and art of every kind are best friends.

Hear the local beat at downtown clubs, like the Columbia Street Tap Room and Encore Bar & Grill. Enjoy free Rockin’ the Rails concerts weekly in April and October at the Covington Trailhead, or music once a month, March to October, at the Columbia Street Landing and Saturday mornings at the bustling Farmers Market.

Catch the art beat in the city’s many

galleries, including Armbruster Artworks, SALADINO, Rutland Street Gallery and Dead Tree Gallery. Visit St. Tammany Art Association’s exhibitions of established and emerging artists’ work and find great buys at the seasonal Art Markets Visit Southern Hotel, a work of art itself, which displays seasonal art installations. Also see how easily the past joins the conversation as you visit H.J. Smith & Sons General Store and Museum—there since 1876— now right in the middle of happening boutiques, restaurants and cafes.

Go half a mile north on 21st Avenue and look carefully to spot the enchanting “twig house,” a

unique hundred-year-old sanctuary structure, artfully and obviously lovingly made from intertwined heart pine knots. The fairy-type house with a dirt floor and see-through walls has prompted many legends. See it and you may be tempted, like others, to invent your own story about its mysterious purpose.

But there’s no mystery about why a magnificent live oak stands in the middle of Boston Street, the town’s main thoroughfare. When the street was constructed, the oak was in the way, so the builders just built the road respectfully in a semi-circle around the treasured tree.

CULINARY HOT SPOTS

ABITA ROASTING CO.

1011 Village Walk (985) 246-3345

BOULEVARD AMERICAN BISTRO

70340 LA-21 (985) 326-2121

CURED. ON COLUMBIA

415 N. Columbia St. (985) 893-0355

DEL PORTO RISTORANTE

501 E. Boston St. (985) 875-1006

ENGLISH TEA ROOM

734 E. Rutland St. (985) 898-3988

GALLAGHER’S GRILL

509 S. Tyler St. (985) 892-9992

LOLA

517 N. New Hampshire St. (985) 892-4992

MATTINA BELLA

421 E. Gibson St. (985) 892-0708

MERIBO

326 Lee Lane (985) 302-5533

NEW ORLEANS FOOD

AND SPIRITS

208 Lee Lane (985) 875-0432

TAVI

330 N. New Hampshire St. (985) 200-2045

THE CHIMES COVINGTON

19130 W. Front St. (985) 892-5396

THE DAKOTA

310 E. Boston St. (985) 892-3712

THE GLORIETTE

428 E. Boston St. (985) 202-8090

THE GREYHOUND

705 E. Boston St. (985) 400-5828

VALENCIA

315 N. Vermont St. (985) 900-2151

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Covington Trailhead

Madisonville

44 | the NORTHSHORE
EASY TO DISCOVER Communities

MADISONVILLE IS GRACIOUSNESS personified, with her moss-dressed live oaks, gingerbread trimmed front porches and come-hither looks. She’s not just a pretty face, though. She can help with your escape from the mundane, offering places you’ve never been before, as you explore the remote reaches of the meandering Tchefuncte River on a pontoon boat. View the alluring 1837 landmark lighthouse that stands at the river’s mouth, currently only accessible by boat. Knowledgeable captains with the right stuff, from Tchefuncte River Charters or Louisiana Tours & Adventures, are ready to guide and entertain you. You can learn the town’s fascinating history at Maritime

Museum Louisiana, located on the former site of Jahncke Shipyard where 2,200 workers built wooden ships for the U.S. Navy in 1900. Let yourself be astonished by the museum’s expertly done dioramas, artifacts and other exhibits.

Madisonville also easily accommodates as you do your own thing, like enjoying a meal at one of the Water Street restaurants or gaining a new life perspective as you loll on the river’s bank. And, a short ride east down Highway 22, Fairview-Riverside State Park on the Tchefuncte offers picnicking, camping, fishing and all the elements you need to complete your escape.

CULINARY HOT SPOTS

ABITA ROASTING CO.

504 Water St. (985) 246-3340

KEITH YOUNG’S

STEAKHOUSE

165 LA-21 (985) 845-9940

TBT MARINA CANTINA

100 Marina Del Ray Drive (985) 206-5390

TCHEFUNCTE’S AND THE ANCHOR

407 St. Tammany St. (985) 323-4800

TRIPLE NICKEL GRILL

305 Covington St. (985) 792-7292

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EASY TO DISCOVER Communities
Maritime Museum Louisiana
EASY TO DISCOVER Communities

Mandeville

46 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER Communities
Sailing Lake Pontchartrain

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A PLACE that blends the feel of a small, intimate town with a coastal resort, Mandeville could be it. Since the early 1900s, daily steamers brought visitors to Mandeville looking for entertainment and crowd-weariness relief. You'll still find that kind of place today.

Discover it in the tree-shaded streets of Old Mandeville, in the friendliness of Girod Street neighborhood restaurants, boutiques, art and antique shops, and at the Saturday morning Trailhead Community Market, where artisans, growers and producers sell their wares and musicians play on stage for free.

At the same Trailhead amphitheater, for six Friday nights in spring, find Mandeville Live!, a series of free concerts. Just set up your chairs under the stars and enjoy.

Also in spring, on scheduled Saturdays, feel the special vibe as live music of various genres is performed in the iconic 1895 wooden building housing the Dew Drop Jazz and Social Club. You might even dance. Not far away, and since the 1920s, sits the bar and live music dance hall known as Ruby’s Roadhouse. The style is funky, eclectic and unplugged.

For the ultimate in “unplugged,” you might want to meet the Seven Sisters Oak. At 65 feet tall, with a girth of 39 feet and an estimated age of between 500-1,200 years old, she is currently President of the Live Oak Society. She lives on a quiet street in the Lewisburg neighborhood. You can’t miss her.

A few miles down the road you’ll be able to experience Fontainebleau State Park. You can picnic, hike, fish, camp or play on the sandy beach or on the kids’ splash pad.

And you can head back to the marina on Lakeshore Drive and charter a sailboat, from Delaune Sailing Charters and even take lessons. It could happen.

CULINARY HOT SPOTS

BOSCO’S ITALIAN CAFÉ

2040 LA-59 Ste. 3 (985) 624-5066

CAFÉ LYNN

2600 Florida St. (985) 624-9007

CRAZY PIG SOUTHERN KITCHEN 4700 LA-22 Ste. 1 & 2 (985) 792-7900

DUMAN ARTISAN KITCHEN 821 Girod St. (985) 231-7663

GIROD STREET MARKET

529 Girod St. (985) 629-4260

IMPASTATO CELLARS

240 LA-22 (985) 845-4445

KELLY'S COASTAL CABANA

124 Girod St. (985) 624-9331

LA LOU

200 Girod St. (985) 231-7125

LIZ’S WHERE Y’AT DINER

2500 Florida St. (985) 626-8477

ODELIA

3529 U.S. Hwy 190 (985) 778-0034

PARDOS

5280 LA-22 (985) 893-3603

PAT’S REST AWHILE 2129 Lakeshore Drive (985) 951-2173

RIPS ON THE LAKE

1917 Lakeshore Drive (985) 727-2829

THE BARLEY OAK

2101 Lakeshore Drive (985) 727-7420

VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 47 EASY TO DISCOVER Communities
Mandeville Lakefront

Slidell

48 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER Communities
Olde Towne Slidell

NATURE AND GOOD TIMES ARE never far apart or far away in Slidell. There are festivals, live music with “gotta-move dancing,” good food, play, adventure, history and serenity. In the city’s expansive and modern Heritage Park, which kisses the shore of Bayou Bonfouca for a quarter mile, you’ll find a walking trail, picnic table shelters, a playground, splash pad, and a boat launch at the marina end of the park. Better still, an amphitheater stands ready for the Bayou Jam spring concert series in March and April, and for the Northshore Community Orchestra’s Some Enchanted Evening in May.

If pickleball is your game, you’ll find courts open to the public at both John Slidell Park and Fritchie Park You can’t miss trying local cuisine at some of the restaurants and cafes. Have fun exploring historic buildings or browsing shops in Olde Towne Slidell. On Saturdays, the Camellia City Market is the place to stock up on homegrown produce, prepared foods, arts, crafts and specialty items—and to hear live music.

See nature close up, following a wooden boardwalk through the nearby Camp Salmen Nature Park on Bayou Liberty. Besides having a playground, amphitheater and pavilions, the park is home to the Camp Salmen House, a rare example of 1830's era French

Creole cottage architecture.

Take a ride on the wilder side on a Honey Island Swamp boat tour through this permanently protected wildlife preserve. Cajun Encounters Tours or Dr. Wagner’s Swamp Tours can take you into the pristine fresh-water swamp for a mesmerizing experience.

If you love “mudbugs” you’ll want to go to the Olde Towne Crawfish Cookoff in March or the All You Can Eat Crawfish Cookoff in Fritchie Park in April – both with live music.

Yes, Slidell has a bit of everything, including drama—the good kind—like you’ll see in productions at Slidell Little Theatre and Cutting Edge Theater

Whiskey & Ashe

CULINARY HOT SPOTS

CRAWFORD’S 1-STOP SHOP 715 Old Spanish Trail (985) 445-1199

EIGHT60 WINE WHISKEY BITES 860 Oak Harbor Blvd. (985) 259-4051

GILLIGIL’S ISLAND

4826 Pontchartrain Drive (985) 201-8824

KENNEY SEAFOOD, INC. 400 Pontchartrain Drive (985) 643-2717

KY’S OLDE TOWNE BICYCLE SHOP

2267 Carey St. (985) 641-1911

NATHAN’S RESTAURANT

36440 Old Bayou Liberty Road (985) 643-0443

OLDE TOWNE PIZZA CO. 285 Cousin St. (985) 445-1273

PALMETTOS ON THE BAYOU 1901 Bayou Lane (985) 643-0050

PEARL’S SEAFOOD MARKET 502 Gause Blvd. (985) 214-9014

PECK’S SEAFOOD 2315 Gause Blvd. E. (985) 781-7272

PHIL’S MARINA CAFÉ

1194 Harbor Drive (985) 641-0464

SOUTHSIDE CAFÉ

3154 Pontchartrain Drive (985) 643-6133

VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 49 EASY TO DISCOVER Communities

Northshore Soundtrack

N ew Orleans and St. Tammany Parish Musicians are the Playlist for your Scenic Causeway Bridge Drive.

THE NORTHSHORE IS A GREAT place for everyone to find their groove, whether you prefer dancing with the crowds at a food-andmusic festival, a family-friendly, free concert amid a bustling downtown or a transcendent listening room experience at a historic venue. Festivals and concert series feature high-energy bands performing a mix of Top 40, classic rock and country hits while more intimate venues spotlight local bands, regionally touring groups and singer-guitarists and singer-songwriters, nurtured by opportunities to perform at events like the Ozone Spring Sound-off and Abita Springs Busker Festival.

Artists perform a variety of genres, too, owing to the varied populations in and around St. Tammany Parish, especially New Orleans, with its world-renowned music scene. Cross-pollination among musicians around southeast Louisiana and across the Deep South dates from the birth of jazz, when early greats like Buddy Bolden and Louis Armstrong played the Dew Drop Jazz Hall. That continues to this day, as numerous musicians sit in with bands beside their own, bringing their own influences to the table, crafting something new before an eager audience and carrying that experience with them to their next show. The result: a diversity of sound to satisfy listeners of rhythm and blues, funk, Americana and indie rock, traditional jazz, bluegrass, pop country, folk, metal, hip-hop and more.

When coming to St. Tammany Parish via the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, a 24-mile journey, it’s good to have a soundtrack to accompany your trip across the world's longest continuous span over water. So, we’ve put together playlists for your ride. Our first list in the Fall/Winter ’23 visitor guide featured some of the most famous musicians who lived and performed on The Northshore. This time, we’re spotlighting artists who have included on their national and regional tours Northshore venues like The Harbor Center’s Lobby Lounge for their listening room series, Abita Town Hall for the Abita Opry, Wild Bush Farm & Vineyard for their Jazz’n the Vines series, the Columbia Street Landing in Covington for the town’s Sunset at the Landing series and select nightclubs across the parish.

On your road trip, you’ll hear up-andcoming storytellers like Cactus Thief and Mike Zito along with renowned artists like Michael Doucet (Beausoleil) and Trombone Shorty, whose Backatown record garnered national attention with its nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz album. There’s energetic fiddler and singer Amanda Shaw with Choppa (New Orleans Saints’ anthem “Choppa Style”) for a remake of a classic tune that blends Cajun swamp pop and New Orleans bounce, high-energy rockabilly by Lulu and the Broadsides, a sultry blues track by Mia Borders, a dreamy single by Taylor Mroski and a catchy tune by Crispin Schroeder, who declares about Lake Pontchartrain, that he’ll stay awhile—right here.

24-MILE PLAYLIST: CAUSEWAY TO THE NORTHSHORE

“Water, Water” from Lâcher Prise by Michael Doucet (2019)

“Louisiana Saturday Night”

Single by Amanda Shaw feat. Choppa (2022)

“Zydeco Star” from Bochinche by Fermin Ceballos feat. Rockin' Dopsie, Jr. (2021)

“Hurricane Season” from Backatown by Trombone Shorty (2010)

“Cindy Lou” from Sampler by Lulu and the Broadsides (2019)

“Sugar in My Soul” from Fever Dreams by Mia Borders feat. John "Papa" Gros (2016)

“Shoes Blues” from Pearl River by Mike Zito feat. Susan Cowsill (2009)

“Cheapest Flight”

Single by Taylor Mroski (2023)

“Two Bells”

from Two Bells by Cactus Thief feat. Molly Parden (2016)

“Pontchartrain” from Move by Crispin Schroeder (2005)

50 | the NORTHSHORE EASY TO DISCOVER New Tunes
VISITTHENORTHSHORE.COM | 51
Rock n Blues
go to visitthenorthshore .com for more vacation ideas .

Articles inside

Perk Up Your Day

2min
pages 22-23

Northshore Soundtrack

3min
pages 50-51

Slidell

3min
pages 48-49

Mandeville

3min
pages 46-47

Madisonville

2min
pages 44-45

Covington

3min
pages 42-43

Abita Springs

2min
page 41

Paddle into Spring & Summer

5min
pages 35-39

Patrick Brooks

3min
pages 32-34

Bryisha Lyons

3min
pages 30-32

Zero-Proof Delights

2min
pages 29-30

Let’s Taco 'Bout It

2min
page 28

Mouthwatering Blue Crab and More

2min
pages 27-28

Where the Seafood is Boiling

2min
pages 26-27

Dakota's Delicious Evolution

2min
pages 25-26

Spill The Tea

2min
page 24

Back on Tap

2min
pages 21-22

A Nature Lover's Dream Come True

3min
pages 18-19

Make a Splash

1min
pages 16-17

Cruising the Tchefuncte River

3min
pages 15-16

Discover the Wild Wonders of Honey Island Swamp Tours

2min
page 14

Accessible Adventures

2min
pages 12-14

Sweet Sounds

3min
pages 10-12

Shop Local, Shop Unique

2min
page 9

The Sun Is Shining on The Northshore

3min
pages 4-6
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