Louisiana’s “No Man’s Land”
The Settlers were Larger than Life, and so are the Stories!
6 Days | Spring | Summer | Fall
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
In Western Louisiana, “No Man’s Land” was the neutral strip between the United States and Spanish territories following the Louisiana Purchase. The region had no King or Country, it was home to outlaws, bandits, pirates and pioneers. The settlers were larger than life, and so are the stories!
U S Tours Flexible Pricing:
- Customizable Comps
- Net Rates
- Luxury or First Class Hotels & Meals
- Motorcoach Transportation & Professional Tour Managers are available
Whatever you want, U S Tours will be happy to structure tour prices to match your needs. Just let us know!
Day 1 – Lake Charles, LA – Free Evening at Casino
Arrive today in Lake Charles, LA where you enjoy a two-night stay at one of the local casinos. Enjoy a free evening for dinner and gaming on own.
Day 2 – Creole Nature Trail All-American Road – Seafood Lunch – Historic Charpentier District – King Cake Demonstration & Tasting – Crying Eagle Brewing Tour & Tasting
Start the day with a guided tour of the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. One of only 43 All-American Roads in the entire United States, the Creole Nature Trail is a journey into an untamed wilderness. Right from the vehicle you will see alligators, multiple bird and waterfowl (over 400 species spotted each year) and other marsh wildlife…all in their natural habitat. Affectionately known as Louisiana’s Outback, the Creole Nature Trail is a journey into one of America’s “Last Great Wildernesses.”
Next, enjoy a seafood lunch at a local Lake Charles restaurant. Then enjoy a guided tour of the Historic Charpentier District. On the National Register of Historic Places, the Charpentier Historic District covers 40 blocks of downtown Lake Charles. Homes dating from the late 1800s to the early 1900s primarily designed and built by carpenter architects.
The afternoon also features a Mardi Grad tradition – King Cakes. Enjoy a King Cake Demonstration, Decorating and Tasting. The Mardi Gras season is expressed on king cakes with the carnival colors of green, yellow, and purple. The meaning behind the carnival colors will be explained before having group members ice then custom decorate their cake. As a king cake is cut, each person waits anxiously for their piece to locate the small baby. Next, tasting of each of the cakes!
Then enjoy a tour and tasting at Crying Eagle Brewing. Go behind the curtain and get up close look at the kettles, hands-on with the hops, and a tasting at the conclusion of your tour.
Return to your Casino this evening for an included dinner and free time. (B,L,D)
Day 3 – DeRidder, LA – First USO & War Room Museum – Gothic Jail – No Man’s Land Presentation & Lunch – Free Time on DeRidder Main Street – Leesville, LA
After breakfast, depart for DeRidder, LA part of the Beauregard Parish. Start with a tour of the First USO and War Room Museum, the first USO in the nation. The USO houses a collection of military items as well as large collection of military artillery from several wars.
The War Memorial Civic Center was the first building built for and donated to the United Services Organization (USO) in 1941. It was one of the largest of five different sizes of Type A buildings designed for USO’s by the Quartermaster Corps. Off-duty soldiers from Camp Polk and DeRidder Army Air Base made it a home away from home. The structure, exterior and interior, is preserved on its original site and in its original condition.
Next visit the Gothic “Hanging” Jail. Celebrated in the song “The Hangman’s Jail” and the only Gothic Style Hanging Jail in America, the lockup was the location of a double execution in 1928. The jail and courthouse are connected by a tunnel used to transport prisoners out of public view. The jail is believed to be haunted by the spirit of the old jailor who is sometimes seen standing by the window.
While at the Gothic Jail, enjoy a lunch and a No Man’s Land Presentation. Enjoy regional specialties from the parishes comprising No Man’s Land, while learning about the history, folk life, and attractions of the area.
The afternoon features some free time for shopping on Main Street. Located downtown are the Real Art Gallery, Beauregard Rural Life Museum, Treasure City Market (three story antique market) once noted as one of the state’s top 10 antique markets, Big D Western Wear (Largest in stock western wear in the state) Nothing Fancy Boutique, Get Healthy Store & Spa, Java Joes, Lou Lou’s Bakery, The Funky Steer, Vintage Girl, Golden Nutrition (specialty teas).
End the day in the Vernon Parish town of Leesville, LA for a night at a local hotel. Dinner is included tonight at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Day 4 – Museum of West Louisiana – Fort Jesup State Historic Site – Crawfish Lunch – Flowing Hills Creamery Tour – Los Adaes State Historic Site – Natchitoches, LA – Dinner in Historic District
This morning, visit The Museum of West Louisiana which is housed in the historic Leesville KCS Depot building. Displays related to the history of Vernon Parish. Memorabilia includes archaeological artifacts, logging implements, railroad memorabilia, quilts, clothing, cooking and household items, furniture and special displays – including a collection of paintings done by German prisoners of war who were housed at Fort Polk during World War II.
Next, enjoy a guided tour of the Fort Jesup State Historic Site which sits deep in the rural countryside between the Louisiana Purchase’s oldest city, Natchitoches, and the trophy fish-rich waters of Toledo Bend Reservoir. For those interested in American military history, it offers insights into a nation 150 years ago that was headed westward and facing enormous growing pains.
After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the United States’ western borders were not clearly defined. The U.S. claimed eastern Texas and the Spanish claimed west Louisiana. The area became known as the “Neutral Ground,” an infamously lawless region that led to Fort Jesup’s founding in 1822.
Over the following 25 years, Fort Jesup became an important outpost. Soldiers at the Fort maintained peace along the border and caught fugitives, and also performed more practical tasks such as conducting land surveys and building roads.
Lunch is included today at Bayou Crawfish, home of some of the best Cajun-Creole dishes in the area. If you prefer down-home southern cookin’, they have that too! Located in Many, LA the Heart of Toledo Bend Lake Country.
This afternoon, tour the Flowing Hills Creamery, a family-owned farm since 1979 located in Belmont, LA that processes & bottles their own cream-line milk. See where your milk comes from with a tour and demonstration. Enjoy some homemade ice cream while you’re here.
Then visit Los Adaes State Historic Site. Los Adaes, the symbol of New Spain in Louisiana, was once the capital of Texas and the scene of a unique cooperation among the French, the Spanish and the indigenous Native Americans. An area rich in archaeological finds, it thrives today as one of Louisiana’s most intriguing state historic sites. Built to counter any further French intrusion into Spanish territory.
The 14-acre site located on the “El Camino Real” near Natchitoches features the remains of a Spanish fort built in the 1700s to protect Texas from the French. It is a major archaeological site and offers interpretive programs.
Arrive in Natchitoches, LA where you enjoy a two-night stay. Natchitoches was the first permanent settlement in Louisiana, and was a vital part of the trade within No Man’s Land when no king or country claimed the neutral strip between the United States and Spanish territories.
Tonight, enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant in the Historic District. All historic district restaurants offer authentic Creole, Cajun and Southern dishes. (B,L,D)
Day 5 – Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site – Natchitoches Historic District – Cane River Creole National Historical Park – Meat Pie Dinner
This morning, visit Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site and experience the French Colonial life as you are guided through the fort by costumed interpreters. The full-sized replica of Fort St. Jean Baptiste, is located on Cane River Lake (formerly the Red River), a few hundred yards from the original fort site, set up by Louis Antoine Juchereau de St. Denis in 1714. Nearly 2,000 treated pine logs form the palisade and approximately 250,000 board feet of treated lumber went into the construction of the buildings. At Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site, you will gain a better understanding and appreciation of the customs and cultures of the early inhabitants of Natchitoches.
Next, enjoy some free time and lunch on own in the National Historic Landmark District. At the heart of Natchitoches, is the enchanting historic hub showcasing over 300 years of Louisiana French colonial history. The downtown district serves as a shopping and dining paradise. You can find everything you’re looking for including antiques, home décor, books, local art, kitchenware, clothing, souvenirs, tasty treats and much more! Each shop has its own special Southern Charm.
The afternoon features Cane River Creole National Historical Park. The park encompasses Oakland Plantation and portions of Magnolia Plantation, and displays buildings, equipment and personal items that reveal much about the lives of early planters and slaves who worked the land. The park displays more than the traditional “big houses” associated with plantations; slave cabins, corn cribs and overseers’ documents paint a fuller picture of the plantation economy. Nearby is St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, the first Catholic church in the United States built and supported by free people of color.
This evening, enjoy dinner at Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant. The Natchitoches’s signature dish is the meat pie, a turnover stuffed with spicy ground meat. (B,D)
Day 6 – Depart for Home
After breakfast, depart for home or head to Shreveport for your return flight home. (B)
**Groups who wish, can add Shreveport attractions to this itinerary.