AROUND THE PORT

Steeped in history, rich in culture, and brimming with community pride, St. Charles Parish has something for all the senses.

The Wetland Watchers Park in Norco located on Lake Pontchartrain is home to natural wildlife and features a nature walk, marsh overlook, fishing and picnic areas perfect for outdoor recreation.

 

TASTE and SMELL the vast array of food offerings

Are you hungry? Thirsty? Well, if you’re making your way to St. Charles Parish, you won’t be for long. With more than 50 restaurants, there’s something for every specific taste as menu options range from traditional Cajun and Creole cuisine, authentic Mexican and Asian delicacies, to brand-name national chains.

Though both locations are unassuming, The Seafood Pot in New Sarpy (14386 River Road, theseafoodpot.com) and Portside Restaurant in St. Rose (11698 River Road, 504-469-3111) plate up some of the best-boiled seafood found anywhere. Mouth-watering trays of shrimp, crab, and crawfish are piled high at these two culinary destinations. For traditional home cooking, it’s hard to go wrong at Truck Farm Tavern in St. Rose (11760 River Road, truckfarmtavern.com)  which serves high-end comfort food in a relaxed environment and plenty of draft beers.

One of the best sushi spots in the area, Taste of Tokyo (1972 Ormond Blvd, Ste. E, Destrehan, tasteoftoykodestrehan.com) features traditional rolls along with a creative roster of specialty rolls that will excite and surprise the taste buds, including a Filet Mignon Roll that places perfectly, grilled steak atop a jazzed-up California Roll.

“From the most experienced gourmets to the most casual of diners, St. Charles Parish restaurants offer a smorgasbord of menu items for everyone,” said Corey Faucheux, the Parish Director of Economic Development & Tourism.

 Not quite full yet? Well, more regional delicacies can be found on the West Bank of St. Charles Parish. Along Highway 90, there’s Zydeco’s located in Paradis (www.zydecos.biz). The menu features traditional surf and turf options, along with some out-of-the-box items like their Cajun Nachos – tortilla chips covered in crawfish etouffee, a cheese blend and diced tomatoes.

 

TOUCH the Catch of the Day

Louisiana is truly a sportsman’s paradise, and St. Charles more than does its part in living up to that moniker. Boating and fishing opportunities are plentiful within the parish. Throughout, the bayous and canals provide plenty of areas in which to catch freshwater fish. Lake Des Allemands and its tributaries are full of fish species like crappie, trout, and bass. For a little variety in what fishermen might catch, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Salvador provide prime spots for year-round freshwater and saltwater fishing.

To get the nautical adventure started, St. Charles Parish has public boat launches in Des Allemands, Hahnville, Montz, Paradis, and Norco. For exact locations and further details, visit www.stcharlesparish-la.gov/visitors/boating-and-fishing.

 

HEAR the sounds emanating from local festivals and parades

The residents of St. Charles Parish have plenty to celebrate, and love doing so with a packed calendar of festivals and parades full of food, fun and of course plenty of music to make you move your feet.

Every year in late June, thousands from near and far gather on the grounds of St. Gertrude The Great Catholic Church in Des Allemands for the Louisiana Catfish Festival. Founded in 1975, the Catfish Festival features food vendors serving up the festival namesake in every way imaginable, carnival rides, a pageant, and three nights of Cajun music bands. On the last weekend of September, come on down to the Alligator Festival in Luling’s West Bank Bridge Park — featuring live music, arts and crafts booths, and a golf tournament.

A few months earlier, that same site is the home of the St. Charles Parish Independence Day Celebration. This year, the event – which will feature the same great food, music and prime spots to watch fireworks – will be held on July 3, from 6 pm to 9 pm at West Bank Bridge Park.  

 Coming up in Autumn is the Destrehan Plantation Fall Festival (www.destrehanplantation.org), and to round out the year is the annual Norco Christmas Parade, a themed event where community members enter their floats.

For a full list of special events in St. Charles Parish, go to www.stcharlesparish-la.gov/visitors/special-events.

 

SEE the history and traditions of this proud parish

St. Charles Parish is the home to one of the world’s greatest engineering marvels — the Bonnet Carré Spillway. Constructed in 1931, this flood-control operation allows water from the Mississippi River to flow into Lake Pontchartrain during times of abnormally high river levels caused by excess flooding in the Mississippi River Valley and its tributaries. Most recently, the Spillway was opened in 2011, 2016 and earlier this year for 30 days in March and April.

St. Charles Parish is also home to two old plantation homes — Destrehan Plantation and Ormond Plantation — that attract visitors from across the world and are popular settings for events and weddings.

 

Residents in St. Charles Parish embracing Christmas Spirit at the 2017 Norco Christmas Parade.

 

The pavilion and playground area located at the Wetland Watchers Park in Norco.

 

Balloon-twisting clowns dressed as Uncle Sam and The Statue of Liberty enjoying the 2017 Independence Day Celebration.

 

The Bucktown All-Stars performing at the 2017 Independence Day Celebration.

 

A local dance team performing at the 2017 Norco Christmas Parade.