Getting the flavor of...Louisiana’s meat-pie mecca

Many visitors pull in to the historic city of Natchitoches with meat pies foremost on their mind.

Louisiana’s meat-pie mecca

Natchitoches, La., might be as proud of its meat pies as its long history, said Cathy Barber in The Dallas Morning News. Located on a site settled by the French in 1714, this “genteel Southern burg” an hour south of Shreveport had its Hollywood moment when the 1989 film Steel Magnolias was filmed here, but many visitors pull in with meat pies foremost on their mind. Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant is “an unfancy spot, given its reputation,” but its famous meat-filled pastry pouches are the best in town. Fill up on a meat-pie breakfast before hitting the other attractions, including three former plantations, the Steel Magnolia House B&B, and the oldest cemetery in the Louisiana Purchase. The buildings on downtown’s Front Street have the same elegant ironwork you find in New Orleans. Some days, “the sound of a fishing boat puttering by” on Cane River Lake can be the only reminder that New Orleans is actually 260 miles away.

Puget Sound’s forgotten fort

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Nearby Fort Worden gets more attention, but Fort Flagler might be the better Seattle-area getaway, said Brian J. Cantwell in The Seattle Times. Like its neighbor across Port Townsend, Fort Flagler State Park features former officers’ quarters that can be rented by the night as well as breathtaking views of Puget Sound and the surrounding mountains. But Fort Flagler sits at the end of a spit of land that requires a bit more of a drive, and the size and “sheer variety” of its parkland give it an edge. During silver salmon season, the park’s 3.5 miles of shoreline can be crowded almost “elbow to elbow” with anglers. More often, serenity is what you’ll find if you hit the water in a rented kayak or walk the park’s old parade ground—just one among many remnants of the site’s brief half-century life as a military post. If you follow scenic Bluff Trail, “you’ll pass half a dozen old gun batteries, like ghostly pyramids buried in grass.”

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