With the hot days of summer winding down, now is the perfect time to experience some really cool things without leaving the Parish. Receiving recommendations from locals all over St. Tammany, here are my suggestions for three memorable sights that basically scream Louisiana.

Site Sight #1 – Cabin Fever

Right on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, beyond the city lights of New Orleans, you can become one with nature at Fontainebleau State Park. Spread over 2,800 acres, this nature lover’s paradise features recreation of all sorts. Whether you want to hike, bike, kayak, birdwatch or just laze on the sandy beach, this park has it all and more. For around $150 per night, you and your family can extend that fun with a stay in a fully furnished cabin. Much to my delight, these cabins are actually quite cozy and well-kept. Hanging out on the porch at night telling ghost stories just added to the thought of what was in those woods. Remember to bring your own S’mores’ ingredients!

Site Sight #2 – Louisiana’s Version of Ripley’s Believe It or Not

When describing the Abita Mystery House, quirky does not seem adequate. It is truly a case of you have to see it to believe it. Located in Abita Springs, this part museum, part weirdness, part art and part junk is in my book for top state tacky attraction. Besides all this, you will see a dogigator (no misspelling here; that’s what they call it) and miniature recreations of Louisiana points of history. Just stop here and see this place, then hop over to Abita Brew Pub to discuss with your cohorts what you just experienced. Trust me, everyone will have a different answer.

Site Sight #3 – Swamp Things

Honey Island Swamp Tour alligator

I didn’t say, “We need a bigger boat.” I said “We need a smaller gator.”

My last recommendation for cool things to do is go on a swamp tour. If you would have told me I would one, go on a tour and two, enjoy it, I would have said you were right about the first part. I took this tour on a dare, as I am not a fan of alligators or any reptile for that matter. There were plenty of the creatures and quite a few sights I would rather forget, however I did see a lot of beautiful birds. So why am I recommending this? Like me, you can say you did it once. Shout out to the Honey Island Swamp Tour guides for keeping me calm.

St. Tammany Parish has a plethora of outstanding recreation, restaurants, museums and architecture. Add in these three unique sights, and you can say, “I have now just about seen it all.”