Charm and History on Louisiana’s Northshore
It's easy to be attracted to all of the natural beauty and quaint communities of Louisiana’s Northshore, an area that isn't defined so much by any particular city, but by a body of water. Be it the food, fishing, architecture, wildlife, art or music, Lake Pontchartrain is at the center of all the activity in this region.
Covington: Shopping, Restaurants and a Market
Nestled among three rivers, the city of Covington has maintained its historic homes and buildings and kept its Southern charm by ensuring an eclectic mix of art galleries, specialty shops and restaurants on its downtown streets. There is a strong sense of community here, and it is most noticeable at the Covington Farmers Market on a Saturday morning. This is a farmers market in the true sense of the word. There are no crafts or commercial items – just hard working farmers and their various types of food on display to taste and purchase. The Market takes place, rain or shine! And there are always live music jams by local musicians.
Abita Springs: Where Great Beer and Mystery Merge
To the east of Covington is the town of Abita Springs, which got its name from the nearby therapeutic springs. These are the clear, artesian waters used by the Abita Brewing Company to brew its beer. While the brewery outgrew its original place and moved down the road, the Abita Brew Pub is still going strong, and is a popular place for locals and tourists to have lunch and enjoy tasting Abita's many beers.
Nearby is the most interesting Abita Mystery House. And what a well-deserved name! It features an original mix of folk art and eclectic displays of found objects. It is definitely a fun place for kids and their parents to explore this artsy tribute to Southern life and humor.
Old-School Jazz and Strolls Along the Lake
Coming back toward the lake on the shoreline is the city of Mandeville. People like to go out to stroll along Lake Pontchartrain to enjoy the view.
Historically, the town became one of the few places where the “new music,” jazz, was heard outside New Orleans. Bands would play music on the steamboats going across the lake and at pavilions and dance halls. And there is still one of those historic jazz halls in operation – the Dew Drop Jazz & Social Hall.
It's a peaceful place, an unpainted wooden structure, which looks much as it did more than a century ago. With pew-like benches, listening to a jazz band play, this venue really gives you the feeling of being transported back in time.
Come visit Louisiana’s Northshore and discover the charm and history on the other side of the lake.