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8 great scenic drives

alligator crossing sign next to sidewalk, canal

Photo: biotour13/Flickr

8 of 10

Creole Nature Trail

Location: Louisiana

Length: 180 miles

Recommended drive time: One to two days

Scenery: Although Hurricane Rita erased many of Cameron Parish’s beach communities from the map, the magnificent bayous and marshes that surround the Creole Nature Trail are teeming with life (of the wild variety). Make mandatory stops for three things along this All-American Road: crossing gators, bird watching and the best Cajun grub in the country.

Highlights: Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Peveto Woods Sanctuary

Refuel at: Sha Sha’s of Creole, Lake Charles; Seafood Palace, Lake Charles; Hollier’s Cajun Kitchen, Sulphur

Pull over (for the night) at: C.A.’s House Bed & Breakfast, Lake Charles; Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Sulphur

Stretch your legs at: Holly Beach

Cultural diversion: Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu

Required listening: Buckwheat Zydeco, “Lay Your Burden Down”

Remember that town called … Sulphur, Hackberry?