Time for a fall break? Here are some of the best places to cool off, have fun and take in what the South has to offer | Sponsored: Travel Guide

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Here in Louisiana, we always think of our friends and neighbors. Over the past year, many have helped those in need following the hurricanes that hit our state. People donated food, money and work. They offered shoulders to cry on and beds to sleep on. Plus, this all happened in the midst of the Delta Variant wave and as people try to navigate vaccinations, get back to work and school, and keep their families healthy.

It’s no wonder most people probably feel the need for a fall break. A little escape can do wonders for the mind, body, and spirit. This does not mean that we are indifferent. Instead, we understand the importance of recharging so that we can give even more help and be our best in all aspects of life.

Although the attractions are open, it’s still a good idea to check their websites and social media for COVID-19 protocols and updates. Happy fall!

Blues Archive (Oxford, Mississippi)

Located on the University of Mississippi campus, the archives house the world’s largest collection of blues recordings and related material. The BB King collection alone includes over 7,000 recordings, photos and promotional material. The Archives are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Free entry. More info: 662-915-7408 or www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/archives.

A taste of Spain at Sipp (Oxford, Mississippi)

On October 13, The Sipp takes Spain to the south with an event showcasing the best Spanish wines paired with authentic Spanish tapas. If you can’t, The Sipp offers Tasting Room events featuring a menu of over 50 wines and 100 whiskeys, as well as small and large plates. More info: 662-380-5402 or www.thesippms.com.

Gulf Coast Beaches (Mississippi Coast)

With 62 miles of shoreline that tend to be less crowded than Alabama and Florida, it’s easy to find a spot on the Mississippi coast to settle in for a day amid the sand and surf. Bring your own beach gear or rent it from a local vendor. If you are looking for more activities, there are cruises and tours of the islands and local habitats. Plus, every unique town along the coast has restaurants and shops that don’t mind a bit of sand on your shoes. More info: 228-896-6699 or www.gulfcoast.org






Mississippi has miles of beaches for family fun. Photo courtesy of Coastal Mississippi.




Crawfish Haven / Ms. Rose’s Bed and Breakfast (Kaplan, Louisiana)

If you’re looking for an idyllic Cajun retreat that will leave you well-rested and well-nourished, look no further than one of Acadiana’s only true bed and breakfasts. Located just north of Kaplan, the Mrs. Rose’s offers crayfish tours, Cajun cooking classes and special Cajun dinners prepared by award-winning owner and chef Barry Toups. There is also an outdoor event venue that can accommodate up to 100 people for parties, meetings, and other gatherings. More info: 337-652-8870 or www.crawfishhaven.net.






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Mme Rose’s bed and breakfast. Photo courtesy of Barry Toups.




Sunday Slow Bike Ride (Shreveport, Louisiana)

Running from April to the end of October, this social cycling event begins Sunday afternoon in downtown Shreveport before passing through the town’s historic district and stopping at local water points to rehydrate. . The journey takes at least 10 miles at a leisurely pace. Runners must have valid state ID, safety equipment, and pre-register at www.socialbikerides.com. More info: 318-519-0957 or https://www.sbfunguide.com/event/sunday-slow-roll-(bicycle-ride)/10288/.

Sci-Port Discovery Center (Shreveport, Louisiana)

This center is ideal for anyone interested in math, science and technology. The shows and exhibits are designed for visitors of all ages. The center is home to Louisiana’s only IMAX Dome Theater, which regularly features immersive shows and documentaries. There are also many exhibits, including a planetarium, solar observatory, animal enclosures and a solarium, as well as hands-on activities suitable for everyone’s age. More info: 318-424-3466 or www.sci-port.org.

Ancient alley (West Monroe, Louisiana)

Several unique shopping blocks make this stretch of downtown West Monroe on the banks of the Ouachita River “a shopaholic’s delight,” according to Southern Living magazine. Whether you want to browse or shop, there is a wide variety of home decorations, jewelry, clothing, art, and more. It is the ideal setting for a long walk full of inspiration and ideas. Shops are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, although some also have Sunday and Monday hours. More info: 318-387-1933 or www.antiquealleyshops.org.

L’Auberge and Golden Nugget (Lake Charles, Louisiana)

These two neighboring casinos offer a lot more than just places to play – although there are hundreds of slots and table games if you’re feeling lucky. Instead, L’Auberge and Golden Nugget are beach resorts in their own right. They have large hotels with luxurious rooms, as well as amenities such as swimming pools, spa services, golf, world-class restaurants and live music. It’s not hard to imagine a few days here away from your worries! More information: https://www.goldennugget.com/lake-charles/ and https://www.llakecharles.com/.

Terry Hershey Park (Houston, Texas)

Covering nearly 500 acres, this park and its network of hiking and biking trails is the perfect place to get away from it all in the great outdoors. There are plenty of green spaces to lay out and relax, but also amenities like playgrounds, pavilions, fishing grounds, a wildflower garden, a butterfly garden and more. More info: 281-531-1592 or www.pct3.com/Parks/terry-hershey-park.






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Terry Hershey Park. Photo courtesy of Harris County.




Arkansas Spa Trail (various sites, Arkansas)

There’s nothing like a day at the spa to make you feel like a new person, and in Arkansas there is no shortage of services. The thermal route covers several towns, each offering affordable means of recharging your batteries. Services include massages, mineral baths, facials, hand and foot treatments, hot stone treatments, reflexology and much more. There are even specialized packages for people with medical conditions. More information: www.arkansas.com/articles/spa-trail.






Arkansas Thermal Trail

Quapaw Hot Springs National Park Public Bath. Photo courtesy of Kirk Jordan of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.




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