Louisiana State Park Road Trip Planning

Louisiana State Parks: 21 reasons to love the Bayou State

Louisiana State Park RoadtripI was scrolling through emails one hot and steamy June 2018 afternoon. You know how it is, thumbing through endless email subject lines that you have no idea came to be in your inbox. (Side note: When did I sign up for so many food and animal rescue email subscriptions?) I landed on an email that I actually open and enjoy each time that I receive it. The LouisianaTravel.com Ambassadors: Bayou Krewe Newsletter is fun to read about what’s going on in Louisiana from other people who love the state as much as I do. In this particular email, there was a “June Challenge” which suggested making a quick road trip or an entire weekend camping with friends at any one of the 21 State Parks. “21 State Parks? Hmmm . . . I want to see them all!” was the thought that went through my head that Friday evening. Louisiana State Park Road Trip PlanningSo, I went to my desk and started plotting out my “21 State Park, One-weekend Road-trip” that I thought I was planning to take in a few weeks. 29 hours and 32 minutes were all I needed to cover the 1456 miles. I went to bed thinking that I may wake up in the morning to start my adventure. That’s exactly what I did.

Starting out Saturday morning, my plan was to hit every State Park in Louisiana by Sunday evening. It was mid-afternoon on Saturday when I realized that wasn’t going to happen. Oh well, I decided to see what I could and start again the next weekend. Here¬† are the 21 reasons to love the Bayou State of Louisiana, in the order for which I visited:

Reason #1: North Toledo Bend State Park

Reason #2: South Toledo Bend State Park

Reason #3: Sam Houston Jones State Park

Reason #4: Palmetto Island State Park

Reason #5: Cypermore Point State Park

Reason #6: Lake Fausse Pointe State Park

Reason #7: Grand Isle State Park

Reason #8: Bayou Segnette State Park

Reason #9: St. Bernard State Park

Reason #10: Fountainebleau State Park

Reason #11: Fairview-Riverside State Park

Reason #12: Bogue Chitto State Park

Reason #13: Tickfaw State Park

Tickfaw State Park

Reason #14: Chicot State Park

Reason #15: Lake Bistineau State Park

Reason #16: Jimmie Davis State Park

Reason #17: Lake Bruin State Park

Reason #18: Poverty Point Reservoir State Park

Reason #19: Chemin-A-Haut State Park

Reason #20:¬†Lake D’arbonne State Park

Reason #21: Lake Claiborne State Park

I’ve had many people ask me which was my favorite, and honestly, I can not pick a favorite. I was so stunned by the beauty of each and every park. The care that has been taken to keep our State Parks in good shape was surprising to me. The other reason that I can’t pick a favorite is that two-weekend road trips are not near enough time to find the real gems in the pack. I’m making it a priority to go back and spend more time at each park.

Robin Williams - member of the Bayou KreweIf you are looking for a quick road trip, visiting a Louisiana State Park is an inexpensive way to go. Entry fee is only $3 per person. Camping fees vary in ranges, so make sure you check out the website for each park.¬†When you go, here’s what to remember:

  • Bring fishing gear
  • Pack a Lunch
  • Wear appropriate shoes
  • Sunblock!
  • Create a travel journal to make notes & add photos (paper or electronic)
  • Tag your visits on social media using #OnlyLouisiana and #BayouKrewe (sign up to be a Bayou Krewe Ambassador)

Thank you for visiting Louisiana State Parks

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams

Be A Fan of Shreveport-Bossier

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In celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week – May 1 -7, 2016, I invite you to Be a Fan of Shreveport-Bossier (SB). I am a super fan of SB, and love spreading the word about all of cool things to do in this area. In case you didn’t know, Shreveport-Bossier is home to a horseracing track, six casinos, 45 family attractions, and 50 annual events. I cringe when I hear someone say “there’s nothing to do here”, it is soooo not true.

Check out the video below for my top picks in SB Outdoor Adventures:

Whether you live in SB or have plans to visit, Shreveport-Bossier is filled with museums, festivals, art galleries, indoor and outdoor adventures that will keep you busy for hours. The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau, and KSLA, has teamed up with SB attractions to offer some super-fabulous, exclusively deep discounts available only during Travel and Tourism¬†week. All you have to do is register your email address at BeAFanOfSB.com. Nearly 20 discounts are being offered as part of the ‚ÄúBe a Fan of Shreveport-Bossier‚ÄĚ campaign. When you sign up to receive the discounts, you will also be automatically entered to win a ‚Äústaycation‚ÄĚ package including a hotel stay at Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites in Bossier City, 2016 family 4-pack to Splash Kingdom,¬†a $50 gift certificate to Jan‚Äôs River Restaurant, as well as a family 4-pack of tickets to Sci-port Discovery Center, a family 6-pack to Holiday Lanes and more.

You can help spread the word too by sharing your photos and experiences on social media with the hashtag #BeAFanofSB.

Here are some useful websites to help you stay engaged:

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams
Marketing Maven, Holiday Lanes

National Travel and Tourism Week, a project of the U.S. Travel Association, was established by a congressional resolution in 1983. This week of events serves to champion the power of the tourism and hospitality industry. For more information on National Travel and Tourism Week, visit www.ustravel.org.

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Print your #BeAFanOfSB coloring sheet

How to find inspiration in Shreveport-Bossier (and a Giveaway)

FullSizeRender-1Do you have something that makes you cringe when you hear it? Something that drives you to roll your eyes and stomp your feet? I sure do. When I hear the phrase “there’s nothing to do in Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana” I have to restrain myself from completely wigging out. You see, when I first moved to Shreveport-Bossier, I will admit that I said it myself. I moved here from South Louisiana and I really just wanted to go home. For many years, I went to work and then headed straight to my house. On occasion, I looked to the arts and entertainment section of the newspaper to find things that might be of interest to my family. I didn’t know many people that could help connect me to the community, so I just stayed home. That was then. And now, I subscribe to the thought that there are things to do wherever you may be.

Somewhere along the way I found out that if I wanted to be connected to a community, I first needed to leave my house, and secondly, I had to put some effort in on my¬†part. I¬†kind of had to be a researcher in my own life. I started, uncomfortably and awkwardly, attending events. I visited tourist welcome centers to find attractions located¬†in Shreveport-Bossier. I scoured the newspapers to find events. I asked people what was going on in town. As the internet became more ingrained in my¬†life, Googling and Facebook events became the go-to places for my inspiration. These are all fantastic ways to get information, and I will maintain that flow, but my favorite way to get the SB scoop is through the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau’s (SBCTB) newly redesigned website Shreveport-Bossier.org. Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 3.36.00 PMThis website has been around for a while and was already one of my go-to sites, and in particular, the SB Fun Guide link that holds the events page. Today the SBCTB unveiled a redesign of the website with a celebratory launch party at Great Raft Brewing.¬†SBCTB President Stacy Brown gave an introduction to area partners and shared some of the new features of the website.¬†With the redesign, there is so much inspiration and a resource for both locals and tourism visitors. What you will find out is that Shreveport-Bossier has more to do than you can even imagine.

What can you expect to find on the site?  Maps, brochures, photo and video galleries, trip advisor and social media integration, geo-triggers for coupons and events, and itinerary planning:

  • CASINOS – gaming, night life and horse racing
  • THINGS TO DO¬†– Attractions, shopping, family fun, sports, nightlife, group experiences and outdoor recreation. Be sure to click on the Attractions Link to see the multitude of experiences such as performing arts, museums, art galleries and historic places. There is also a great link for free offerings!
  • EVENTS – Festivals, music and annual events – <<<< This is one of my favorite parts of the site because it hosts the SB FUN GUIDE, which is the event driven piece
  • RESTAURANTS – food and drinks!
  • HOTELS – where to stay
  • MY TRIP – a personal trip planner to build an itinerary for a visit to the big SB

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 10.06.05 AMIn my job at Holiday Lanes, I have¬†become active in the SB Attractions Association and am currently serving as president of the association. One of my personal goals is to share local event information with as many people as possible in the community. First,¬†I’m asking¬†my attraction/hotel/restaurant/travel industry colleagues to BE AWARE¬†that you¬†can UPDATE¬†your¬†venues on the newly designed site; and ADD¬†events to the SB Fun Guide. For the event driven page to be successful, it will take input from those who are planning, marketing or hosting local events. The SB Fun Guide is also undergoing redesign and will hopefully be launched next week (Feb 2016). Secondarily, I want this site to be¬†top-of-mind for locals and visitors when looking for inspiration for things to do in Shreveport-Bossier. ¬†Chris Jay, social media and public relations manager of the SBCTB, says¬†that he is super excited that the new site will allow easy and quick uploading of featured events which will¬†showcase partners, whether they are festivals, restaurants or attractions. Ideally, a venue would like to promote for several weeks, or months, prior to an event, but being able to make changes in a matter of minutes will be transformative for local tourism partners who might find themselves in need of a last-minute promotional boost.

So . . . how do you find inspiration in Shreveport-Bossier?

And, how do you WIN A GIVEAWAY?

One lucky That Just Happened blog reader will receive Bowling for Six people from Holiday Lanes. Simply go to Shreveport-Bossier.org, find the attractions link and locate the Holiday Lanes link on the site. Paste the Holiday Lanes Attraction page link in the comments section below AND THEN tell me which part of the Shreveport-Bossier.org website gave you a bit of inspiration. Winner will be announced on February 17, 2016.

Panderina Soumas and David Doe, local ambassadors and SB visitor guide cover models share a smile at the website Launch Party.

Other ways to connect with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau:

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams
Marketing Maven, Holiday Lanes

 

2/17/16 – CONGRATS Bill McGill – you are the winner of a bowling certificate for six to Holiday Lanes!