NEW ORLEANS -- If your clients are planning a repeat visit to
Louisiana, they'll find a number of new attractions ready to
If it's a first-time trip, there will be more sightseeing
decisions to make.
Being a tourist magnet, New Orleans, not surprisingly, continues
to expand its leisure options. These include:A 140-acre Jazzland theme park, situated 12 miles from city
center, opened in May.
Open-air concerts, Cajun food and dance, more music at Jazz Plaza,
31 amusement park rides, water ski shows, a children's area, a
nightly Mardi Gras parade and plenty of shops offer entertainment
for visitors of all ages.
Phone: (504) 253-8100
Web: www.jazzlandthemepark.com.There's a lot new in the Audubon Institute realm. At the
Audubon Zoo, a $3 million Louisiana Swamp Exhibit expansion opened,
featuring an alligator museum, a white alligator exhibit, a swamp
nursery for baby animals and a Gumbo Trail focusing on Cajun
A 1,000-square-foot Seahorse Gallery is in place at the Aquarium
of the Americas, which is part of the Audubon Institute.
Another recent exhibit focuses on Pacific Coast sealife where
visitors actually can feel the spray from an Orca's blowhole.
Construction has started on a $10 million Audubon Insectarium.
The target date for completion of the 30,000-square-foot insect
museum is 2003.
It will be located on Canal Street, not far from the
Phone: (800) 774-7394
Web: www.auduboninstitute.org.In museum news, the National D-Day Museum opened on June 6, the
anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
World War II events are recounted through personal stories and
Phone: (504) 527-6012.Two new art museums are scheduled to open mid-2001. Showcasing
Southern art and culture, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art will
house the largest collection of its kind.
Meanwhile, it has set up a temporary gallery in the city's
Phone: (504) 539-9600.
The Louisiana ArtWorks, featuring exhibits by the state's
greatest artists, will also be housed in the Warehouse
Phone: (504) 523-1465.
Across the state, new attractions are up and running. Among
them:Hands-on displays, including computerized virtual sports and an
electron microscope; an Imax theater, and galleries devoted to
physical science, the human body and technology are among the 200
exhibits at the Sci-Port Discovery Center in Shreveport.
Phone (318) 424-3466.For clients who love the culinary arts, Chef Patrick Mould's
Louisiana School of Cooking in St. Martinville, southeast of
Lafayette, offers classes in preparing such local favorites as
jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish etouffee and Acadian bread pudding.
After class, the cooks can feast on their creations, then walk
off the calories by exploring this traditional French Louisiana
For reservations, call (337) 394-1710.For museum viewing with a difference, check out the UCM Museum
(short for Unusual Collections and Miniature town and pronounced
"You See 'Em" ) in Abita Springs, across Lake Pontchartrain from
Along with displays of Southern memorabilia and folk art, local
artist John Preble has utilized found objects, homemade inventions
and no small amount of imagination to create a miniature Southern
It's all here -- cane pole fishing, pick-up truck driving,
voodoo, fortune-telling, Cajun cooking, even UFO spottings. Preble
describes UCM, which opened in August, as "an art environment" and
"Louisiana's most eccentric museum."
Phone: (504) 892-2624.
Web: www.seelouisiana.com/UCM.On the more idyllic side, the Creole Nature Trail at Lake
Charles recently received National Scenic Byway status, making it
one of only 14 drives nationwide so designated.
The 180-mile road leads through marshes, bayous and coastal
lands. Those with fortunate timing can see wildflowers and animals
such as alligators and rare birds.Nature enthusiasts also will enjoy the recently opened Tickfaw
State Park in Springfield.
Boardwalks lead through four separate ecosystems -- a
cypress/tupelo swamp, a bottomland hardwood forest, a mixed
pine/hardwood forest and the Tickfaw River.At Brushy, in West Baton Rouge parish, the Choctaw Plantation
and Railroad welcomes visitors.
Built in the late 1820s on Spanish land-grant property, the
plantation offers tours by a train that replicates those once used
to transport sugar cane to mills.
The depot, scale house and farming equipment date back 100
Phone: (225) 749-2205.From Alexandria, clients can take a boat ride along the
well-named Red River while a narrator recounts the region's history
from the Civil War and Reconstruction periods through the Victorian
era and World War II.
For reservations, call (318) 442-4001.