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Stephanie Villani
REALTOR®, GRI, ABR, SRS
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Articles Tagged "Outdoors"

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Community Guides | 50 Posts
Home Tips | 6 Posts
October
26

Alexandria Outdoor Adventures

Alexandria Outdoors

Louisiana offers endless possibilities for anyone with a taste for adventure and a love of the outdoors. Here in the Alexandria area, our Realtors® are proud to live in a region with such a wealth of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

From lakes and bayous to parks and trails, there are countless ways to spend time in the great outdoors in and around Alexandria. If you're in town checking out Alexandria open houses, be sure to also visit some of these great outdoor attractions!

  • Alexandria Levee Park Recreation Area - 300 Oak St, Alexandria, LA 71301
    Stretching along the banks of the Red River just minutes from Downtown Alexandria, the beautiful Alexandria Levee Park Recreation Area is a great close-to-home resource for spending time outdoors. The park includes walking trails with a great view of the river, plus picnic areas with barbecue grills, fishing access, and a three-lane boat ramp. It's also a perfect jumping-off point for paddling trips on the river and is within walking distance of many Alexandria homes for sale.

  • Hayes E Daze Ranch - 1313 Upper, Boy Scout Rd, Forest Hill, LA 71430
    There's nothing quite like exploring the Louisiana countryside on horseback, and Hayes E Daze Ranch is a great place to do just that. Located about a 30-minute drive south of Alexandria, Hayes E Daze Ranch offers riding and horsemanship lessons, as well as guided trail rides through the wild landscape of neighboring Kisatchie National Forest. Guided trail rides range from one to three hours, and options are available for riders of all experience levels, from beginners right up to advanced equestrians. 

  • Kees Park - 2450 LA-28, Pineville, LA 71360
    Located in Pineville, just across the Red River and about 5 minutes from Downtown Alexandria, Kees Park is the perfect place to spend a quiet, restful day in the outdoors. This park has a lot of great features, including a splash pad, playground, walking trails, picnic area, and pavilion. But it's best known among local disc golf aficionados for its 18-hole disc golf course. The course features 9 wooded holes and 9 more open holes and offers plenty of challenges and obstacles for disc throwers of all skill levels. 

  • Juderman's ATV Park - 6512 Shreveport Hwy, Pineville, LA 71360
    If you're looking for a place to get a little mud on the tires, be sure to check out Juderman's ATV Park. The park spans 200 acres and includes 5 miles of marked forest trails with plenty of bogs, mud pits, and creek crossings to keep things interesting. Juderman's ATV Park is just 15 minutes outside of Alexandria and also includes shared picnic and barbecue areas.

  • Indian Creek Recreation Area - 100 Camp Ground Rd, Woodworth, LA 71485
    Located just 20 minutes from Alexandria on the shore of Indian Creek Reservoir, Indian Creek Recreation Area is a major hub for outdoor adventure in the Alexandria area. The recreation area provides fishing and boating access on the 2,250-acre reservoir, where anglers commonly catch largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. Camping is also available for both tents and RVs, and visitors can explore a beautiful network of nature trails that wind through the woodlands overlooking the lakeshore. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana! If you're looking for your dream home, our team is dedicated to helping you find it in the Alexandria area.

September
30

Where to Go Shore Fishing Near Houma

Houma fishing

Southern Louisiana has long been known as a sportsman's paradise. Bayous and marshes all around the Houma area are teeming with both freshwater and saltwater fish. And as our Realtors® are fond of saying, you don't need a boat to enjoy fishing in Houma. 

You'll find an abundance of shore fishing access in Houma and throughout Terrebonne Parish. If you're in the area visiting Houma open houses, be sure to check out some of these amazing local fishing spots. 

  • Bayou Terrebonne - W 70360, 8226 E Park Ave, Houma, LA 70363
    A historic waterway that has always been essential to shipping and commerce in Louisiana, Bayou Terrebonne is also a great place to do some fishing. The stream flows right through the heart of Houma, and anglers commonly catch largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill from its waters. There's excellent bank access at Houma's Downtown Marina, which offers waterfront boardwalks and picnic tables just minutes from many Houma homes for sale. Fishing is also available on the opposite side of the Bayou, just off Main Street. 

  • Bayou Country Sports Park - 4374 LA-311, Houma, LA 70360
    Fishing is just one of the many attractions at Bayou Country Sports Park, a recreation complex in Houma that includes soccer fields, a baseball and softball complex, and a splash pad. But the highlight of Bayou Country Sports Park is its fishing pond, which has been stocked with bass, catfish, and bluegill (rainbow trout are also stocked during the winter months). The pond's shoreline is entirely open to fishing, and wheelchair-accessible fishing docks have also been provided. 

  • Bayou Dularge - Bayou Dularge Rd, Theriot, LA 70397
    Bayou Dularge flows southward from Houma toward Lake Mechant, Caillou Lake, and, eventually, the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing charters head down the bayou toward the open waters of the lakes to catch redfish and speckled trout in summer, but during the cooler months, many of these fish head up into the bayou itself. There's fishing access all along Bayou Dularge Road, which parallels the bayou from Houma down through Theriot to Jug's Landing.

  • Lake Palourde - 2300 LA-70, Morgan City, LA 70380
    Just a 30-minute drive from Houma, Lake Palourde is known for having some of the best catfish fishing. The lake has produced some truly giant blue catfish and channel cats and also offers fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and alligator gar. Lake End Park is a great place to access the Lake Palourde from shore. The park provides an abundance of bank access, plus fishing piers, campgrounds, and a marina. 

  • Robinson Canal - LA-56, Chauvin, LA 70344
    An outstanding inshore fishing spot about 30 minutes south of Houma, Robinson Canal is one of the best shore fishing spots in the area for red drum, also known as redfish. The best bait options for redfish are cut bait and live baitfish. The period from fall into winter is a great time to fish the canal, which also provides good catches of black drum and sheepshead. There's great fishing access on the Robinson Canal behind Lapeyrouse Seafood, Bar, Grocery and Campground just off LA-56.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana. It's truly a place unlike any other, and our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find your dream home in Houma and the surrounding areas. 

September
20

Visit These Gardens in New Orleans

Gardens in NOLA

New Orleans homes for sale are surrounded by natural beauty that will inspire you. When you are relaxing after a full day of New Orleans open houses, be sure to take some time to enjoy the many green spaces that The Big Easy has in store.

Our Realtors® know there are plenty of wonderful reasons to make New Orleans your next home: The history, unbeatable music and dining scene, and a lifestyle you simply can't find anywhere else. But you don't have to head out to the Bayou to enjoy Louisiana nature: It's right in your backyard.

New Orleans goes one step beyond the usual municipal park concept with its focus on gardens. Some of them are historic, playing a role in the unfolding story of the city, while others are botanical gardens that encourage research, conservation, or hands-on skill development.

Let's visit some of the most beautiful gardens you can explore in New Orleans:

  • Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden – 1 Collins Diboll Circle, New Orleans, LA 70124
    Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is an acclaimed sculpture garden where the work of local and international artists is displayed in harmony with nature. In addition to more than 90 original works in a picturesque landscape, you can see an ever-changing assortment of temporary exhibitions.

  • Longue Vue House and Gardens – 7 Bamboo Road, New Orleans, LA 70123
    Longue Vue House and Gardens is a historic museum that has been lovingly maintained for nearly 100 years. The cornerstone of the estate was laid back in 1921, the grand vision of New Orleans businessman Edgar Bloom Stern and his wife Edith. The gardens have been open to the public since 1968. Today, they attract visitors all year long and host a variety of workshops.

  • New Orleans Botanical Gardens – 5 Victory Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70124
    New Orleans Botanical Gardens is the centerpiece of the New Orleans City Park, one of the most vital parts of the New Orleans social scene. There's always something new to see and do here, and it's wise to venture into the botanical garden with each change of season. This garden is replete with more than 2,000 plants from across the globe and has been in operation since all the way back in 1930.

  • Paradigm Gardens – 1131 South Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70113
    Billing itself as an "intimate and lush" place for your favorite private events right in the heart of New Orleans, Paradigm Gardens is known for partnering with the top restaurants in the area to produce experiences you'll never forget. It's been the place to go for everything from Goat Yoga to Roots of Music Festival and the signature, seasonal Paradigm Market and Brunch.

  • Press Street Gardens – 7 Homer Plessy Way, New Orleans, LA 70117
    Located on the grounds of the NOCCA Foundation, Press Street Gardens is unique. As an urban farm and outdoor learning lab for visitors of all ages, it's a nonprofit partner of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs are produced all year round here. It's also widely used as the site of birthday parties, weddings, film screenings, and other events.

Contact us today to discover more about New Orleans real estate opportunities.

September
23

Spend the Day at Moncus Park

Parks in Lafayette

If you're looking for a relaxing, fun-filled activity for the whole family, consider taking a trip to Moncus Park. You and your family can enjoy a ton of different activities and events in this well-kept municipal park near our Lafayette homes for sale - and best of all, you'll pay next to nothing for the experience. Let's take a look at what Moncus Park has to offer and how you can plan the ultimate park day trip. 

About the Park

Moncus Park is located at 2913 Johnston Street in Lafayette and is open 7 days a week from 5 AM to 10 PM. The play areas are open from 9 AM to 9 PM.

If you want to access the dog park, your dog will need a special park tag. You can get this tag by submitting your dog's vaccination records to park officials and paying a $13 annual fee. This tag system ensures that all dogs can use the park safely.

Amenities

Moncus Park encompasses several acres of green space crisscrossed by miles of hiking trails and walking paths. These paths take you through the park's open areas and the stunning ravine forest on the far end of the entrance. You're sure to have a great time exploring the area and discovering all the natural beauty of this space. When you're done, you can take a seat on the rolling hills by Lake Reaux to relax and catch your breath. 

Have a furry friend or two in your life? Take them to the Giles Automotive Dog Park, a paradise where you can let your dog off his leash to explore the park's paths, hills, tunnels, and other features. All dogs must have park tags to visit the park, and for safety's sake, small and large dogs are only allowed in the park on specific days. Dogs under 16 inches tall must visit on odd days, while dogs that are taller than that can visit on even days.

Kids will have a great time swinging, climbing, and sliding down the equipment at the state-of-the-art Ochsner Playground. The playground includes activities for kids of all ages, so even the youngest visitors will have no trouble finding something fun to do.  

Programs and Events

Moncus Park is a great place to hang out anytime, but it also hosts a huge roster of programs and events for residents to enjoy. Options include yoga classes, CrossFit training, youth gymnastics classes, sign language classes, children's painting, and storytime sessions, and more. 

One of the park's most popular events is its Food Truck Fridays tradition. Every Friday from 11 AM to 2 PM, a collection of local food truck vendors assembles at the park to serve lunch to hungry residents. The lineup is constantly changing and includes local favorites like Big Belly Sandwiches, Yo Daddy's BBQ and Blues, and Beignet Box. Drop in for a delicious lunch you can eat right there in the park. 

On Saturdays, you can also visit the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market. Stationed near the park's entrance, this is the perfect place to pick up some fresh produce or one-of-a-kind gifts!

Ready to move to an area where excellent parks are always nearby? Our Realtors® are here to help! 

Contact us today to talk to our real estate team or sign up for one of our Lafayette open houses – you're sure to love the many properties we have up for sale right now. 

September
9

Recreation Centers Throughout Lafayette

Lafayette Recreation Centers

Lafayette is such a lovely place to live and grow. The city offers a lot of public resources, including several recreational areas where you can take a walk, have your kids play on the playground, or play a round of disc golf. If you've been busy looking at Lafayette homes for sale lately, we recommend taking a break and visiting one of these local recreational areas.

  • Corneaux Recreation Center: 411 W. Bluebird Dr., Lafayette, LA 70508
    The Corneaux Recreation Center is one of the largest in the area, offering both indoor and outdoor facilities. Outdoors, you can play with your dog in the dog park, play a game of soccer, practice in the batting cages, or walk on the track. There are also covered picnic areas and restrooms.

    Inside the Corneaux Recreation Center, there is a gym and workout area with instructor-led classes like Zumba and Aerobics. There are even karate lessons taught on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. The Youth Volleyball and Basketball programs are very active, too.

  • Heymann Recreation Center: 1500 South Orange Street, Lafayette, LA 70503
    The Heymann Recreation Center offers everything you need for a productive indoor workout. There's a weight room and gymnasium inside with free-play basketball Monday - Friday. 

    If you prefer to be outdoors, the 0.5 mil jogging track at Heymann is a fun choice. Or, you could toss some discs around the 18-hole disc golf course. 

  • Girard Recreation Center: 500 Girard Park Dr., Lafayette, LA 70501
    If you're in the area attending Lafayette open houses, stop by the Girard Recreation Center for some fun activities. This center offers a lot of indoor activities, which are perfect for the cooler fall and winter months. Take square dancing lessons, enroll in karate classes, or play basketball.

    Outside, the Girard Recreation Center has a 1.25-mile jogging track, tennis courts, a fishing pond, and a kids' playground. There's even a special needs playground on-site, along with a splash pad where kids can cool off on hot days.

  • Bowels Activity Center: 120 Dawn St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    Bowles Activity Center
    is a good place to hold a community meeting or group activity. There are activity rooms you can rent to suit your needs. This center also has a large outdoor area with a lit soccer field and an 18-hole disc golf course. 

    The playground equipment at Bowles Activity Center is modern and a favorite with kids. There's also a full-size pavilion, which is great for hosting birthday and graduation parties, plus other celebrations. 

  • Martin Luther King Recreation Center: 309 Cora St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    The Martin Luther King Recreation Center is home to the Butler Memorial Library. Here, you can check out books, DVDs, and other materials to bring home. The library also offers free WiFi and public computers. 

    In addition to the library, this center has a weight room and an indoor game room. There are aerobics classes for seniors Monday - Wednesday, and piano lessons Monday - Friday. Outside, a 15-acre park offers an array of amenities, including a ball park, tennis courts, an outdoor pool, and a jogging trail. The children's playground area has equipment for all ages.

Each of these recreation centers has something unique to offer, but they are all lovely places to spend a few hours. Visit a few, and see which one you like best. If you're new to the area and still looking for a home, contact us soon. Our Realtors® are local experts and would love to help.

August
23

Visit These Beaches Near Lake Charles

Lake Charles

Lake Charles homes for sale are some of the most sought-after in Louisiana, with those that have actual lake frontage in the greatest demand. While the competition is fierce, the satisfaction is well worth it. And as a part of the Lake Charles community, you don't have to live right on the water to enjoy it.

Between Lake Charles open houses, it's a good idea to explore the local area and get a sense of all that it has to offer. Our Realtors® are glad to help you make the most of it!

Let's take a stroll down some of the best beaches near Lake Charles:

  • The Beach and Marina at L'Auberge – 777 Avenue L'Auberge, Lake Charles, LA 70601
    The Beach and Marina at L'Auberge is the quintessential family-friendly beach here in Lake Charles. You can enjoy a meal at the tables or jump into a game of beach volleyball. There is no entry fee, and visitors of all ages are gladly welcome. Looking for a beach that's open on holidays? Check L'Auberge first. You can even rent a marina boat slip for a day out on the water; it's all overseen by the L'Auberge Casino Resort.

  • Golden Nugget Beach – 2550 Golden Nugget Boulevard, Lake Charles, LA 70601
    Golden Nugget Beach is the beach affiliated with the world-famous Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino. Just steps from the casino's country club as well as top-rated steak and seafood restaurants, it's a sunny little slice of heaven. You may expect the beach itself to be an afterthought, but it won't disappoint. On the shores of the historic Calcasieu River, it offers swimming, sunning, and a variety of ways to get out on the water.

  • The Cajun Riviera – See Website for Location Details
    The Cajun Riviera is the unofficial nickname given to Holly Beach by Lake Charles locals. Thanks to its serenity and seclusion, it has become known as a premier couples' retreat. Because of the difficulty the area has faced with multiple major storms, the vacation rentals available at Holly Beach now take the form of large, private RVs that can be moved to safety by the renters in the event of harsh weather.

  • North Beach – North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70601
    North Beach is where you will find yourself if you follow Interstate 10. It has a claim to fame as the only white sand beach located inland anywhere between Texas and Florida. Visitors and Lake Charles residents are welcome seven days a week, all year round, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at night. This beach has been known to host a variety of musical performances and other community events.

  • Rutherford Beach at the Gulf of Mexico – See Website for Location Details
    Rutherford Beach at the Gulf of Mexico is a beach and campground in Louisiana's Creole Gulf. This is where the Mermentau River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the beautiful beaches, you'll find picnic tables, picnic shelters, and a limited number of full RV hookups. The beach remains fully open to the public all year round, weather permitting.

Contact us to discover more about the Lake Charles area.

August
26

Plan a Houma Adventure: Swamp Tours

Houma

Houma homes for sale are some of Louisiana's best. With the combination of vibrant culture, a strong local economy, and unparalleled outdoor beauty, it's no surprise so many people from outside the state ultimately choose Houma for their next home.

Our Realtors® know that the potential for outdoor adventures is one big driver of interest in Houma. As a resident here, you're just a short drive from a truly unique ecosystem unlike any other in the United States: The Louisiana Bayou.

A bayou is a slow-moving creek or a swampy stretch within a river or lake. The Louisiana Bayou stretches across two states (the other one is Arkansas) to a length of 375 miles. Home to over 100 kinds of fish, it's the biggest bayou out there. And exploring it is a local pastime you might just love.

Let's drop in on some of the leading bayou tour providers around Houma:

  • Annie Miller's Swamp Tours & Charters – 3718 Southdown Mandalay Road, Houma, LA 70360
    Annie Miller's Swamp Tours & Charters is one of the oldest swamp tour providers in the region. Open all year round for tours of about two and a half hours, Annie Miller's combines education with a dose of adventure. It may be the easiest way to see a Louisiana swamp gator up close and safely!

  • Cajun Man's Swamp Tours and Adventures – 251 Marina Drive, Gibson, LA 70356
    Cajun Man's Swamp Tours and Adventures is a trusted name in family-friendly swamp tours you can reach just a few minutes from Gibson homes for sale. Known for the iconic 49-passenger vessel, Cajun Man's tours and adventures include the Alligator Tour, Eagle Expo, Photo Tour, and many others.

  • Cajun Tours & Cruises – 709 May Street, Houma, LA 70363 USA
    Cajun Tours & Cruises is a combination swamp tour and historic tour company. Individuals and groups are welcome, with an emphasis on getting to meet and learn from locals. Reviews laud the crew of fun, friendly, informative guides and city tours.

  • Bayou Black Airboat Swamp Tours – 125 Gator Court, Gibson, LA 70356
    Bayou Black Airboat Swamp Tours is a terrific introduction to the bayou for those interested in fishing and off-grid camping, both major hobbies of the operators. Most tours are about 90 minutes long. You'll see native fauna and flora as well as traditional Cajun homes and where local seafood is caught.

  • Zam's Swamp Tour – 141 Kraemer Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 70301
    Zam's Swamp Tour is a familiar name for those who enjoy swamp tours near Thibodaux homes for sale. Tours take place seven days a week and leave at 1:30 p.m. sharp each day. Zam's is deeply involved in a local effort to preserve swamp gators and turtles, two favorite animals you are likely to see on a trip.

  • Airboat Tours by Arthur – 4262 US-90, Des Allemands, LA 70030
    Airboat Tours by Arthur is the place to go for swamp tours close to Des Allemands homes for sale. Promising a glimpse of "nature's beauty at its finest," it is all led by life-long Louisiana resident Arthur Matherne. As one of the most experienced guides in town, Arthur's tours are always full of insights.

  • Cajun Pride Swamp Tours – 110 Frenier Road, Laplace, LA 70068
    Cajun Pride Swamp Tours is a convenient way to launch an excursion near Laplace homes for sale. One of the many swamp tour businesses that bounced back after Hurricane Ida, it offers "VIP Swamp Tours" on a premium 16-passenger boat and land-based tours of historic Louisiana architecture.

Contact us to learn about Houma real estate.

August
2

Explore These Lakes Near New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans is famously identified with the Mississippi River, but that's not the only notable body of water found around the Big Easy. Our real estate agents love making convenient getaways to enjoy these incredible lakes near NOLA. 

  • Lake Pontchartrain
    Any discussion of lakes around New Orleans homes for sale has to begin with Lake Pontchartrain. Technically, the largest inland body of water in Louisiana is an estuary, which is a mix of freshwater from rivers and saltwater from the ocean. By any definition, Pontchartrain is a prime location for a multitude of activities, from fishing and boating to walking and sightseeing. Crossing the 23-mile Causeway Bridge is an hour-long scenic trip on its own. Visit the New Canal Lighthouse on Lakeshore Drive to learn more about the past, present, and future of Lake Pontchartrain. 

  • Lake Borgne 
    Coastal erosion has turned Lake Borgne into a lagoon of the Gulf of Mexico. Lake Borgne is also the mouth of the Rigolets, which is the strait that connects the Gulf to Lake Pontchartrain. While the larger body of water grabs more of the spotlight, anglers recognize Lake Borgne as a plentiful source of trout, redfish, and catfish. The lake's signature attraction is Fort Proctor, also known as Beauregard's Castle, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in the 1850s to protect local water routes, the fort is now completely surrounded by water and accessible only by a 20-minute kayak or canoe ride. 

  • Lac Des Allemands 
    Lac Des Allemands is named for the German settlers who came to the area in the early 18th century. In 1978, the lake gained national attention thanks to an article in the New York Times about its status as "Catfish Capital of the Universe." According to locals, "little red worms" at the bottom of the lake provide the nourishment that makes the catfish so special. Above ground, Lac Des Allemands is surrounded by cypress tree-lined bayous that are home to great blue herons, alligators, bald eagles, and other wildlife. Swamp boat tours are a popular way to explore the 12,000-acre lake.

  • Lake Martin
    Thanks to its location in Cypress Island Nature Preserve, Lake Martin is one of the best places to view the amazing range of plants and wildlife that are native to the state. In particular, Lake Martin is the site of one of the state's largest colonies of water birds, including great blue herons, snowy egrets, and white ibis. While they're best viewed from a distance, the lake also features a large alligator population. Whether you stroll along the boardwalk or venture out in a canoe or kayak, you're bound to have an incredible experience.

  • Lake Maurepas 
    It may be difficult to think of 15,000 acres as "small," but Lake Maurepas is often referred to as the "little sister" of Lake Pontchartrain. Visitors appreciate the unspoiled beauty around the lake, which makes it a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Stop in for lunch at nearby Middendorf's Restaurant and try their signature thin-fried Maurepas catfish as you relax on the outdoor deck overlooking the lake.

New Orleans open houses are a great way to find your forever home. Contact us at Latter & Blum for up-to-the-minute information on the latest listings.

July
26

Outdoor Dining Spots Throughout Lake Charles

After a full day checking out Lake Charles homes for sale, it only makes sense to get out and have some fun. You are sure to find outdoor dining options for you, no matter what your favorite cuisine might be.

Our real estate agents are often asked about the best restaurants in Lake Charles. While the city has something for everyone, one topic comes up again and again, thanks to the area's natural beauty: Outdoor dining. Always popular in Lake Charles, it has really taken off in recent years.

Let's look at just a few of your many Lake Charles outdoor dining options:

  • 1910 Restaurant and Wine Bar – 949 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601
    1910 Restaurant and Wine Bar is a classy and sophisticated spot nestled right in the midst of beautiful downtown Lake Charles. While enjoying all the views from the public square on Ryan Street, you'll savor American, Creole, Cajun, and French delicacies. The Sunday Brunch brings out the best of 1910! Outdoor seating is always available.

  • Pujo Street Cafe – 901 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601
    Pujo Street Cafe does a little bit of everything, with a chef-inspired menu that ranges from Creole and Cajun classics to steaks, seafood, pasta, and desserts. You'll feel like you're right in the beating heart of New Orleans from your own Lake Charles neighborhood. The covered patio is one of the best around, and it eagerly welcomes your canine friends so long as they remain leashed at all times.

  • Luna Bar and Grill – 719 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601
    Luna Bar and Grill combines delectable food with an eclectic atmosphere that attracts locals and visitors alike. Luna's patio is an important part of the Lake Charles live music scene. Visit in the evenings, and you may see an up-and-coming Lake Charles musical act or a well-known star. As for the food, it does dinner and lunch – and on Sundays there is a "Jazz Brunch" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Loggerheads Bar and Riverside Resort – 3748 Highway 3059, Lake Charles, LA 70601
    Loggerheads Bar and Riverside Resort is at one of the city's best locations, right alongside the Calcasieu River. Guests must be 21+ to enter, thanks to the wide-ranging menu of wine, liquor, beer, and spirits. As you join in the fun, you'll note the casual atmosphere and some of the best outdoor seating to be found here in Lake Charles. There's enough space for dozens of visitors to enjoy a view of the water in peace.

  • Rikenjaks Brewing Company – 3716 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70605
    Rikenjaks Brewing Company has recently made its triumphant return to Lake Charles. Originally a major player in the growing Lake Charles dining scene in 1990, Rikenjaks went on hiatus for some time before reappearing in its current spot. Now, it offers daily specials, drinks, and live music. Tuesday is Team Trivia night, and every Friday and Saturday includes live music right on the patio.

Eager to discover Lake Charles for yourself? Contact us to find out more or stop by one of our Lake Charles open houses.

July
11

Riverboat Cruises in New Orleans

Nola Riverboats

Riverboat travel is part of the rich historical legacy of New Orleans. Explore NOLA from a new perspective aboard one of these delightful riverboat cruises recommended by our real estate agents.

  • New Orleans Steamboat Company - 400 Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA 70130
    Board the Riverboat City of New Orleans for a jazz-filled trip along the river from New Orleans Steamboat Company. Daytime and Sunday cruises start off with a calliope concert, followed by a performance from Duke Heitger's Steamboat Stompers Jazz Trio. Evening cruises features a Grammy-nominated jazz trio. A knowledgeable guide is on hand to share information about the port. Optional lunch, brunch, and dinner buffets are available. Prices start at $39 for adults and $16 for kids ages 6-12. 

  • New Orleans Paddlewheels - 1 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70130
    Take a trip back in time near New Orleans homes for sale with New Orleans Paddlewheels. The Creole Queen is a stunning throwback to the days when these classic ships were a regular sight on the river. With three private dining rooms that accommodate 880 passengers, the Creole Queen has the largest indoor capacity of touring vessels in New Orleans. Their signature historic cruise, offered twice daily, includes highlights such as Lafitte National Historic Park and the French Quarters of Treme and Marigny. Other options include jazz, brunch, and holiday cruises, with meals available on all. Prices start at $39 for adults and $15 for kids ages 6-12.

  • New Orleans Pedal Barge - 2651 Paris Rd., New Orleans, LA 70129
    The iconic Mississippi River is a majestic sight, but the swamps and bayous of NOLA have their own unique beauty. While it's not a riverboat like the others on our list, you can take a one-of-a-kind trip along the Bayou Bienvenue River on a New Orleans Pedal Barge. Plus, it's a great option for groups! Cajun Queen and Bayou Boogie seat 18-22 passengers with 12 pedal stations for an interactive experience. Not up to a workout? The barges have backup motors to handle the job. Both boats are equipped with Bluetooth speakers and party lights. Guests can bring their own food and beverages, and fishing is permitted. New Orleans Pedal Barge also offers a 12-person luxury pontoon boat and the Freaky Tiki, which holds up to 25 passengers. Visit the website for information about pricing and reservations.

  • The Riverboat Louis Armstrong - 1 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70130
    Have an unforgettable experience when you book an event at the biggest venue on the Mississippi River. The Riverboat Louis Armstrong offers enough space for 2,500 guests, making it a memorable backdrop for meetings, weddings, and other special events. This space includes four dining rooms and three fully-stocked bars. Unlike other riverboats on this list, this riverboat will remain dockside and only sail under special circumstances. Besides hosting weddings and corporate events, The Riverboat Louis Armstrong also hosts a number of concerts, brunches, and other seasonal events. Keep an eye on their website for the latest information on these upcoming events.

Enjoying a cruise on the river is even easier when you live nearby! New Orleans open houses are a perfect way to find or sell a home. Contact us at Latter & Blum to learn more.

July
1

Visit Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge This Summer

Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge

Louisiana is home to many different ecosystems. If you'd like to spend a day admiring the area's natural wonders, Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to do so since it has many unique species of plants and animals. Our real estate agents often recommend that newcomers visit the refuge to learn more about local wildlife. Plan your visit with the information below.

  • Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge: An Overview
    Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1996 as a way to preserve the freshwater marshes in South Central Louisiana. The land is maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is within easy reach of many Houma homes for sale.

    With more than 4,600 acres of marsh and swamp land, the refuge is bisected by the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway. Several man-made canals also stretch across the refuge. Visitors can walk along the 1-mile path or navigate the swamps by boat. 

  • Visiting the Refuge: 3599 Bayou Black Dr., Houma, LA 70360
    The refuge is open to the public 24 hours a day. If you drive to the official address listed above, there is a parking lot that can accommodate several vehicles. The boat launch is right next to the lot, and there is a $5 fee to launch. Or, you can walk the 1-mile path on foot. Just be aware that it does get wet and muddy. You'll want rain boots or waterproof shoes if you decide to walk.

    Make sure you stop by the little kiosk near the start of the nature trail during your visit. The displays there will teach you all about the refuge's natural ecosystems and the animals you're likely to see.

  • Plant Species
    You'll see everything from oak trees to swamp grass at the refuge. But one plant you really don't want to miss is the tupelo trees. This unique species of tree will only grow on swamp lands. They are known for their big, colorful flowers, which are heavily pollinated by bees. The bees make honey from the nectar, and tupelo honey is highly valued for its health benefits.

  • Animal Species
    As the name suggests, you can expect to see plenty of animals at Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge. American Alligators roam the swamps. Covered in scales, these reptiles can grow up to 14 feet in length. Bald eagles have also been spotted in the refuge, mostly between October and May. 

    The refuge is also brimming with smaller birds, from palm warblers to painted buntings. You'll often see black-bellied whistling ducks and yellow-crowned herons swimming in the swamp. Many of these species rest on the marshes as they're migrating south.

If you spend an afternoon at the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge, you're sure to fall in love with the region's natural wonders. If you love it enough that you decide to move here, don't hesitate to contact us. Our talented real estate agents will help you find the perfect place to call home. 

June
27

Disc Golf Courses Throughout Louisiana

 disc golf

Looking for something new to do this summer? Grab your friends and family and go play a round of disc golf! Disc golf is pretty similar to regular golf. The major difference is players throw a flying disc instead of using balls and clubs, and the objective is to land the disc in a basket instead of a hole.

Our real estate agents have been really getting into this fun summertime activity, so we're up to date on all the best disc golf courses around the great state of Louisiana. You'd be surprised at just how many great courses there are around:

  • Bob Rodgers Memorial Disc Golf - 107 Sutherland Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70611
    Located in Sam Houston Jones State Park, the Bob Rodgers Memorial Disc Golf Course contains 21 challenging wooded holes spread out over 4,353 feet. Fees are $1 per person and loaner discs are available at the park office. The park also contains plenty of camping and rental cabins if you're planning to make a whole weekend out of it.

  • Ward 3 Recreation Disc Golf Course - 3210 Power Center Pkwy, Lake Charles, LA 70607
    This 9-hole, 28-par disc golf course near Lake Charles is great for beginners. Ward 3 Recreation offers a mostly open course with a few obstacles that mostly consist of park amenities (playgrounds, picnic tables, etc.). Certain sections do have a few trees. The course is a lot of fun, and if you like the area, there are some great Lake Charles homes for sale just a few miles away. 

  • City Park Disc Golf Course - 65 Diagonal Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124
    This popular disc golf course is 18-holes and contains many obstacles including live oak trees, lagoons, and bridges. The City Park Disc Golf Course is actually the only course in New Orleans. Located in City Park, each hole is a par 3, making it great for players of all skill levels. 

  • LHC Disc Golf Park at Scotlandville 3100 Monte Sano Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70807  
    You'll find a challenging and well-maintained 61-par course at LHC Disc Golf Park with 18 total holes (including two par 5's). It's actually the second-largest course in the state. The terrain is mostly flat, yet you will find your fair share of subtle rolling landscapes. The course is open from sunrise to sunset. 

  • Highland Road Park Disc Golf Course - 14024 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Highland Road Park Disc Golf Course has two basket locations per tee (purple baskets are the short course, gold baskets are the long course). You'll find beautiful hilly and woodsy terrain, as well as a scenic creek that runs right through the course. There is even a tiny pro shop onsite making this location perfect for disc golf fans near Baton Rouge homes for sale

Have fun ringing those disc golf baskets, as it's one of the many fun things to do around Louisiana. If you're in the market for a new home, contact us today.

June
22

Canoeing and Kayaking Spots in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Water Activities

Canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are eco-friendly ways to enjoy nature while staying active. Our real estate agents explore these waterways around Baton Rouge homes for sale.

  • Milford Wampole Memorial Park - 901 Stanford Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Paddling newcomers can get their feet wet at Milford Wampole Memorial Park. LSU Lake has a number of boater-friendly launch spots that make it easy for beginners to head out. BREC also hosts occasional sunset paddles that accommodate all skill levels. Park hours are sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.

  • Greenwood Community Park - 13350 Hwy. 19, Baton Rouge, LA 70714
    Greenwood Community Park is another spot that's good for newbies. If you haven't yet invested in your own craft, canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rental services are conveniently located right next to the 18-acre lake. The paddle trail along the edge of the lake is nicely shaded, making it perfect for a late-afternoon trip. Afterward, take Fido for a run in BREC's newest off-leash dog park. Greenwood Community Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

  • Ward Creek Greenway - 9311 Mall of Louisiana Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Even in its urban setting, Baton Rouge retains many spots of natural beauty. Ward Creek Greenway is tucked in behind developed stretches that include the Mall of Louisiana and luxury apartment buildings. Plans are in the works to include the Greenway in the Health Loop, a connected sequence of parks and green spaces that will eventually span more than 10 miles. Ward Creek is a lazy, slow-running waterway that's easy to navigate, even when traveling upstream.

  • Highland Road Community Park - 14024 Highland Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Paddle the same waterways traveled by early settlers at Highland Road Community Park. The park's boat launch provides access to Bayou Fountain, part of BREC's Blueways water trails. As the surrounding lands became developed, fallen trees and debris made the waterway impassable. Fortunately, dedicated community members started a project to clean up Bayou Fountain, which is once again open to paddlers. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

  • Tickfaw State Park - 27225 Patterson Rd., Springfield, LA 70462
    With four different ecosystems within the 1,200-acre grounds, Tickfaw State Park is a popular place for nature lovers to explore a variety of landscapes. Paddling along the park's namesake river, just minutes from Springfield homes for sale is one of the favorite activities for visitors. From the launch, pass through a cypress swamp as you head out into the river, where paddlers are frequently treated to sightings of alligators and turtles beneath a canopy of trees. Admission is $3 per person, with no fee for ages 3 and under. Hours are 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily.

  • Wetland Watchers Park - 1650 Lower Guide Levee Rd., Norco, LA 70079
    Wetland Watchers Park, not far from Norco homes for sale, started as a unique outdoor classroom where students could learn about the values and challenges of local wetlands. Today the park includes boardwalk nature trails, a 10-foot marsh overlook, fishing piers, and a canoe/kayak launch. The park is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. - 10 p.m.

There are plenty of nature spots to enjoy close to Baton Rouge! Stay ahead of the curve on the latest Baton Rouge open houses. Get the most current information when you contact us at Latter & Blum.

June
20

Dog-Friendly Restaurants Near NOLA

dog friendly places in NOLA

Looking for restaurants near New Orleans homes for sale where your favorite canine will be welcome to join you? You may not be able to bring Fido to New Orleans open houses, but you're sure to find plenty of places for delicious cuisine where dogs are part of the fun.

Our real estate agents know that finding a great yard for pets is a big driver behind purchases for many of our customers. With that in mind, we've collected a list of some New Orleans eateries that will be glad to show you some hospitality with your pal in tow.

Just remember that New Orleans' pet-friendly restaurants do require dogs to be on leashes!

Let's take a closer look at some of your many options all throughout The Big Easy:

  • New Orleans Creole Cookery Seafood – 510 Toulouse Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
    New Orleans Creole Cookery Seafood will dazzle you with an enormous selection of Creole food right in the heart of the French Quarter. The historic surroundings make delectable food even more delightful. If you have a four-footed companion in your party, you will be especially interested in the outdoor patios, which offer ample space and the soothing sounds of sparkling fountains.

  • The Ugly Dog Saloon – 401 Andrew Higgins Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70130
    The Ugly Dog Saloon welcomes your dog (ugly or otherwise) to one of New Orleans' many 20th-century success stories. Ugly Dog first opened its doors in 1998, right in the Warehouse District. Since then, it has become synonymous with award-winning barbecue that smells and tastes amazing. An array of outdoor seating ensures your pooch will have plenty of room!

  • Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant – 701 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
    Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant sits on St. Charles Avenue in one of the most desirable parts of the city. The vision of Chef Donald Link, it opened to the public for the first time in 2000. A James Beard Award winner, its menu is defined by local ingredients that meet in a fresh fusion of French Southern and rustic Italian cooking. The wine list is one of the most expansive in New Orleans.

  • The Bulldog Uptown – 3236 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
    The Bulldog Uptown is at the crossroads of the Garden District and the entertainment district centered on Magazine Street, making it the ideal way to start or end an evening of excitement. Voted "Best Bar Food" multiple times by local publications, it has nearly 50 draft beers to choose from. Lauded for its spacious patio (one of the largest on Magazine Street), it is a great place to bring your dog.

  • The Crown & Anchor – 200 Pelican Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70114
    If you are looking for a classic pub experience right in your own backyard, look no further than The Crown & Anchor. The Crown & Anchor is steeped in history – although first known by that name in 1998, it has been a tavern in one form or another going as far back as 1900 and has been consistently run that way since 1960. Its drinks, snacks, and specials are sure to please you and your pooch.

We know both you and your pets will love living in NOLA. Contact us to discover more about New Orleans today.

June
15

Historical Sites Near the Mississippi Riverfront

Mississippi River

Since Baton Rouge formed around the Mississippi River, it's no surprise that many of the city's historical sites are close to the waterfront. Immerse yourself in the rich history around Baton Rouge homes for sale at these fascinating locations.

  • Louisiana's Old State Capitol - 100 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    When Baton Rouge was selected as the capital of Louisiana in 1845, plans began for an impressive Gothic-style statehouse equal to the city's new stature. Today, Louisiana's Old State Capitol is a National Historic Landmark that serves as a museum to promote education and awareness of the democratic process over the years. Exhibits include a look at the legacy of Huey Long and a gallery of Louisiana statehouses of the past. The museum also hosts a series of visiting exhibits on a variety of topics. Hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and admission is free.

  • USS Kidd Veterans Museum - 385 S. River Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Military history comes alive at the USS Kidd Veterans Museum. The ship is named for Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr., who lost his life while serving on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. First launched in 1943, the USS Kidd is the only remaining Fletcher-class destroyer restored to its original configuration. Visitors can see the dented helmet of an infantryman who participated in the D-Day invasion and read the names carved on the black granite walls of the Louisiana Memorial Plaza. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Admission is $12.53 for adults and $8.36 for ages 5-12.

  • Riverfront Plaza - 300 S. River Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    No matter how many times you visit Riverfront Plaza, there's always something new to see. This 5.4-acre greenspace, right on the banks of the Mississippi River, offers endless opportunities for historical exploration, physical activity, and live entertainment. Examine maps that depict the evolution of the Mississippi's course over the years and marvel at Frank Hayden's "Red Stick" sculpture that pays tribute to the city's namesake. Water pools and gardens, levee terraces, and a dock overlook provide a scenic backdrop. The park is accessible 24/7. Alternatively, you can explore this area on your bike when you travel along the Baton Rouge Mississippi River Levee Bike PathThe trailhead for this 4.31-mile path is located under the Mississippi Bridge and makes for a fun and active way to explore the area. 

  • Beauregard Town - Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Located just a few short blocks from the riverfront, Beauregard Town brings a charming European feel to the streets of Baton Rouge. The city's second-oldest neighborhood dates back to 1806 and follows French colonial architectural traditions. Thanks to the beautiful homes and "Catfish Town," a warehouse district separating the residential area from the riverfront, Beauregard Town was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Let our real estate agents help you plan a tour of Baton Rouge open houses. Get started when you contact us at Latter & Blum.

June
17

Adding a Pool to Your Property? 6 Things to Know First

Pool on Your Property

During a hot Louisiana summer, a pool can be extra relaxing and provide a nice break from the heat!

Having a pool installed is a pretty big project, but if you do your work upfront, it's entirely manageable. Here are some things to know and consider before you add a pool to your property. 

  1. Pool Design
    Do you plan to use the pool primarily as a place to relax and cool off on hot days? Or will you use it as a place to swim laps and get some exercise?

    Sit down and write a few sentences about how you and your family will use the pool. This will keep you focused when considering different pool features and designs. For instance, if you plan on swimming laps, you'll likely want standard, rectangular pools rather than designer pool shapes.

  2. Pool Placement
    In a small yard, there may only be one space where you can put the pool. But in larger yards, you have more options. List the pros and cons of various pool positions on your property. For example, one site may be convenient to reach from your door, but it may also put the pool under a tree. Another site may be further from your home but require less excavation.

    After listing the pros and cons, narrow your options down to two or three sites. You can then ask your pool contractor which of these preferred sites they recommend.

  3. Your Budget
    Pools vary greatly in price. You can buy a basic, above-ground pool for a few thousand dollars, or you can install an in-ground pool for as much as $100,000 — and sometimes even more. Decide upfront how much you plan to spend on your pool. Then, you can focus on shopping for options inside of that budget. This approach helps keep you from over-spending. It will also save you from wasting time looking at pool designs outside of your budget.

  4. Chlorine or Saltwater?
    Most pools have a feeder system that adds liquid chlorine bleach to the pool as needed to keep the water sanitary. Other pools are saltwater pools; the chlorine is provided from salt rather than bleach. Saltwater systems are more expensive to install but gentler on the skin. Talk to a pool contractor about both options, and choose the one most in line with your needs and budget.

  5. Who Will Do Maintenance?
    Some homeowners open and close their own pools each year. Others hire out for this service. There are even pool companies you can hire to come clean and maintain your pool on a weekly basis. Think about how you want to maintain your pool before you even install one. This can prove helpful when choosing a pool size and features.

  6. Landscaping Options
    We've attended some Lafayette open houses with gorgeous backyard pools. Often, it's not just the pool that's attractive; it's the landscaping around it. Talk to your pool contractor about landscaping options. Some companies install pools and do landscaping design, which is a real asset. You want plants that call attention to the area but ones that are fairly easy to maintain.

Once your pool is in place, all that's left to do is enjoy it! If you're still looking for the perfect home among our Lafayette homes for sale, with or without a pool, contact us soon. Our real estate agents will be happy to help.

June
10

Driving Ranges Near Lafayette

Driving Range Lafayette

Go to Lafayette open houses, and you'll be only a few minutes away from some of the best driving ranges and golf courses in the state of Louisiana. Most driving ranges are associated with professionally sized golf courses, and many offer classes to help you boost your skills even further.

Let's take a closer look at some of the places around Lafayette to perfect your golf swing:

  • North University Golf Center2305 North University Avenue, Lafayette, LA 70507
    As part of the Wetlands Golf Course, North University Golf Center is a convenient place to putt, chip, and drive minutes from a full eighteen holes. The Center is well known for its professional staff and its attention to detail, with modern facilities in a beautiful setting. To warm-up for the day or test out new clubs, you are invited to the driving range – where you can learn directly from friendly golf professionals.

  • Lafayette Golf Academy2231 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Lafayette Golf Academy is a top-rated local driving range with full educational courses to help golfers of any background to take their game to the next level. Adults, teens, and kids can get in on the action with classes divided by age. There are also special events that take place on a regular basis.

  • Cane Row Golf Club – 500 Darby Lane, New Iberia, LA 70560
    If you are looking for the fun and excitement of golf near New Iberia homes for sale, then you will not want to overlook Cane Row Golf Club. Formerly known as Squirrel Run Golf Club, this course stands by its long-time mission of offering you golf the way it was meant to be played. You can enjoy lessons at the driving range, get supplies at the complete pro shop, dine at the clubhouse, and even try out local food trucks that stop nearby.

  • Farm d'Allie Golf Club – 1235 Beau Bassin Road, Carencro, LA 70520
    With nearly 20 years in business, Farm d'Allie Golf Club is a haven for spending time on the links out by Carencro homes for sale. Golf clinics are available for men, women, juniors, and corporations. Detailed instruction helps you master the individual facets of the game, like short game and full swing. There's even an outdoor club fitting service for amateurs through professional players.

  • Muni Lafayette Golf Course1121 Mudd Avenue, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Muni Lafayette Golf Course (also called Herbert Municipal Golf Course) is a gorgeous and conveniently located golf course that frequently plays hosts to charitable events. The course was originally completed all the way back in 1926, but it enjoyed a major renovation in 2010. You can book a tee time right from the website or even join the official "e-Club" for the latest information on happenings near Lafayette homes for sale.

Contact us to find out more about what Lafayette has to offer.

May
25

5 Outdoor Kitchen Trends for This Summer

Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is an excellent addition for maximizing your home's exterior spaces. Our real estate agents know that an outdoor kitchen is also an attractive feature to potential homebuyers. Here are a few outdoor kitchen trends that we expect to see take center stage this summer. 

  1. Larger Outdoor Kitchens
    Outdoor kitchens will continue to increase in size and incorporate more appliances and cooking equipment. For example, a few years ago, an outdoor kitchen might have a basic grill, a small prep area, and a sink. Now, an outdoor kitchen will have a grill with multiple cooking options, outside cabinets, an area for beverages (like a wine cooler or outside fridge), and more specialized cooking equipment (such as a pizza oven or smoker). 
  1. Multifunctional Pieces
    Pieces that can serve multiple purposes are a popular trend in outdoor kitchens. Not only does this allow you to maximize the amount of space that you have for your kitchen, but it reduces the number of pieces that you need to purchase. A firepit can be used for roasting s'mores or adding ambiance, but with a tabletop cover, it can also function as a table for eating. Your grill isn't just for grilling; it also has burners for warming sides and sauces and cabinets and shelves for storing grilling accessories. A combo grill allows you to cook with different fuel sources, eliminating the need for multiple kinds of grills.
  1. Pieces with Counterbalance Hinges
    More furniture and cooking equipment are using counterbalance hinges to optimize their functionality. Counterbalance hinges offer better support for the heavy lids and doors often associated with outdoor equipment. These hinges also make it easier to maneuver lids, counters, and doors. For example, when you open a grill with counterbalanced hinges, the lid will remain in the same position. You can tilt an outdoor countertop with a counterbalanced hinge into an upright position if you need to create more space or need a temporary walkway. Pieces with counterbalance hinges are generally ergonomic and add more flexibility to an outdoor kitchen. 
  1. Hidden Cabinets and Fridges
    Outdoor kitchen owners are embracing pieces with hidden cabinets and fridges for a few reasons. Items with hidden cabinetry and a hidden fridge tend to have a more streamlined design that's aesthetically pleasing, regardless of your stylistic preferences. Pieces with hidden cabinets utilize a design that hides the hinges. This prevents the hinges from being continuously exposed to the elements and prematurely wearing out. 
  1. Smart Home Technology
    For a homeowner who's ready to add their home to the list of Alexandria homes for sale, we know that having updated smart home technology makes your home more appealing to potential homebuyers. The popularity of smart home technology also extends to outdoor kitchens. Outdoor kitchen appliances, like grills, pizza ovens, and smokers often include smart technology that makes it easy to monitor the cooking progress of your meal. Smart lights, speakers, and TVs are easy to control and operate using your smartphone or virtual assistant and offer endless opportunities for outdoor entertainment. 

Ready to purchase a home with additional space for your outside kitchen? Contact us today to get started!

May
23

Birding Spots Near Lake Charles

Lake Charles Birding

Louisiana is home to some of the most remarkable birds in the entire country. The Lake Charles area is no exception in this regard. There are more top-notch birding spots around our Lake Charles homes for sale than we can count. We've listed some of the best ones below. 

  • Peveto Woods Sanctuary - 182 Gulf View Rd, Cameron, LA 70631
    The Peveto Woods Sanctuary is in a prime location near our Cameron homes for sale, right in the middle of many birds' migratory flight paths across the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, it has become a haven for some of Louisiana's more uncommon passerine birds, including Western Tanagers, Red-faced Warblers, and Hooded Orioles.
     
    The sanctuary is run by the Baton Rouge Audubon Society and is carefully maintained to preserve the birds' habitat. Guests are welcome to walk the many on-site trails and take pictures of the birds and wildlife but are asked not to do anything that might disturb the sanctuary's creatures.

  • The Wetland Walkway - 3000 Holly Beach Hwy, Hackberry, LA 70645
    The Wetland Walkway is part of the Sabine National Wildlife Preserve, an area near our Hackberry homes for sale dedicated to keeping Louisiana's wetlands and their wildlife intact. With 1.5 miles of wheelchair-accessible paths and boardwalks and a two-story observation tower, this walkway makes it easy to get close to some of the state's more elusive birds.

    The stars of the show are the preserve's many wading birds and waterfowl, but you'll also find plenty of predatory birds like hawks, falcons, and turkey vultures. Remember to scan both the water and sky during your visit to see as many different species as possible. 

  • Willow Island - Willow Island, LA 70549
    Willow Island is a small island located in Saint James Parish in Louisiana. This is one of our real estate agents' favorite spots for observing sparrows, including hard-to-find varieties of sparrows. 

    There are also plenty of pelicans and coastal shorebirds like sanderlings and plovers to be spotted along the island's shores. Keep an eye out for a fantastic shot of these birds against a cresting wave! 

  • Pintail Wildlife Drive - 1428 LA-27, Bell City, LA 70630
    The Pintail Wildlife Drive is part of the Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest conservation areas in Louisiana. This paved 3-mile loop is perfect for bird-watching from the comfort of your car.

    On this trail, you'll pass a lively mixture of marsh and woodland scenes and observe many of Louisiana's common bird species in their native habitats. In the winter, you may even spot the Vermilion Flycatcher, a beautiful scarlet passerine that is sure to delight any avid birdwatching fan. 

  • Sabine Pass Lighthouse and Lighthouse Bayou - Cameron, LA 70631
    The Sabine Pass Lighthouse was constructed in 1856 to help Louisiana's sailors safely navigate the shallow waters of Lighthouse Bayou. The structure itself is no longer safe to access, but this location is still home to over 250 bird species at various times of the year. 

    Many brightly colored songbirds pass through the area during migration in the spring and fall. Stunning wading birds and waterfowl like the Rosette Spoonbill often gather around the banks of the bayou and its surrounding trees. Even the tiny threatened Black Rail can sometimes be spotted in the long grass around the area.

These diverse biomes are truly a birdwatcher's paradise. You can enjoy countless opportunities to observe gorgeous birds by moving closer to the action. Contact us today for more information on our listings or to attend one of our Lake Charles open houses

May
16

National Safe Sun Week: 6 Louisiana Sun Safety Tips

Sun Safety Tips

Summer is right around the corner, and with it, all of the typical fun summer activities: swimming, biking, walking, and just in general, spending as much time outside as one possibly can. Of course, what all of these things have in common is plenty of sunshine, so it shouldn't be a surprise that National Safe Sun Week is held the week before Memorial Day to remind us to be safe this summer. Here are a few sun safety tips from our real estate agents to help keep you safe while enjoying your favorite summer activities.

  1. Avoid Sun Exposure During Certain Times of the Day
    The worst rays of the sun are from mid-morning until late afternoon, so if you can, stay out of the sun during those times of the day. This is when you'll love having a shaded porch or patio, where you and the kids can be outside without getting direct sun exposure. You'll find outdoor living spaces like these trending right now in many New Orleans homes for sale.

  2. Wear a Hat
    Gardening is one pastime where you can't help being in the sun since sunshine is what the plants need. The skin on your face, your ears, your scalp, and your neck are all extra sensitive to sun exposure but can be covered easily just by wearing a hat. Look for something trendy that you'll wear, but also with a wide brim that will shade as much of your skin as possible.

  3. Wear Lightweight Clothing
    Long pants and sleeves are an excellent way to protect your skin from too much sun exposure. Darker and heavier fabrics are, of course, more effective at this, but even lightweight fabrics will often do the trick and may help keep you cooler as well by reflecting sunlight and heat.

  4. Wear Sunglasses
    Sun exposure is just as bad for your eyes as it is for your skin, if not worse. It can cause damage to the fragile components of your eyes, burning the retina and contributing to the development of cataracts over time. It also can make you squint and contribute to more rapid aging of the skin around your eyes. Look for sunglasses you're comfortable wearing.

  5. Wear Sunblock
    Sometimes it's not possible to stay out of the sun, or to stay covered in the sun, so always wear sunblock whenever the sun exposure is unavoidable. You'll want a high SPF sunblock, applied half an hour before sun exposure to give it a chance to absorb into your skin, and reapplied periodically throughout the day for as long as you're in the sun.

  6. Watch Your Skin for Changes
    If you have a history of too much sun exposure, you will want to keep an eye on your skin for any sign of changes, even if you're now much better about wearing sunblock and taking other precautions. Sun exposure doesn't just cause more rapid aging, such as wrinkles and discoloration. It also can cause skin cancer, which is often first noticed in moles or other spots on the skin that change color, size, or shape.

Summer is the best part of the year for many people, with longer days, more sunshine, and lots of fun events. It's also when the real estate market is at its peak, so if you're thinking about buying or selling a house this summer, contact us today or visit one of our New Orleans open houses.

May
11

Plants to Grow in Your First Garden

Garden Tips

Gardening is more than just a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. It's also a great way to improve your yard's appearance and boost your home's curb appeal. Even if you don't have a green thumb, you can put together an amazing garden by choosing plants that are easy for beginners to grow. Here are a few types of plants that our real estate agents recommend, carefully chosen for gardeners of all skill levels.

  • Marigolds
    These cheerful flowers are frequently seen in the gardens of Baton Rouge homes for sale, and they have some great benefits, too, such as keeping pests out of your garden. Marigold seeds can be planted once the nights are over 50 degrees and will continue to bloom into late summer and even early fall.

  • Pansies
    Pansies are also surprisingly easy to grow and come in a variety of colors and sizes. It's best to plant the seeds in the fall, but in a pinch, you can also plant in the spring, so right now is a perfect time to get those pansies started.  These flowers thrive in areas where the winters aren't too cold, so you'll often see them in gardens and planters at Baton Rouge open houses.

  • Mint
    If you want a fragrant garden that's easy to care for, mint is perfect for you. Mint is a hardy plant that can grow in almost any soil and with almost any amount of moisture. If you want to control it, be sure to remove it from unwanted areas of your garden and harvest the leaves before the plant goes to flower.

  • Basil
    While not quite as unstoppable as mint, basil is still easy to grow. The biggest thing to note with basil is that it doesn't hold up well to cold temperatures, so wait until the overnight temperatures are on the warmer side before planting and cover it in case of an unexpected frost. Because of this, basil is also a great herb to put in small planters so that you can bring it inside in bad weather.

  • Sunflowers
    Sunflowers are majestic plants to have in your garden, and you have the added bonus of being able to enjoy their seeds at the end of the season, too. They're surprisingly easy to grow, too, as they are not very picky about the soil they're in. The one thing they do require is a lot of sunlight, so you'll want to plant them along a southern wall of your home, or somewhere they'll have sun all day long and won't throw shade on the rest of your garden.

  • Zucchini
    If you're wanting the experience of growing not only herbs but also your own food, zucchini is a great place to start. Be sure to mark out a large space in a well-irrigated area, as zucchini plants take up a lot of space and suck up a lot of water. Make sure you pick them while they're small, too, or you may end up with more zucchini than you can eat!

  • Potatoes
    Potato plants may not be pretty, but they'll satisfy your desire to grow some of your own food. Potatoes are hardy crops that are easy to start and care for and a perfect use for that bag of potatoes you forgot about until they sprouted. Plant in the spring, and you'll be ready to harvest your crop by midsummer.

Even if you're not an experienced gardener, you can dress up your home's landscaping with easy-to-grow plants like these. For more ideas on boosting your curb appeal before selling your home this summer, contact us today.

May
4

Florists in Baton Rouge for Mother's Day

Baton Rouge Florists

Mother's Day is around the corner, and now is the time to start planning a special gift for all of the wonderful moms in your life. Fortunately, Baton Rouge is home to some amazing florists that offer everything you need for Mother's Day this year, from simple yet beautiful arrangements to elegant gift baskets that are packed with items that mom is sure to love. Our real estate agents have the details on five local Baton Rouge florists where you're sure to find a great gift for Mother's Day.

  • Heroman's Florist – 2291 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    With more than 140 years of experience selling flowers near Baton Rouge homes for sale, it's safe to say that the team at Heroman's Florist knows how to put together a truly memorable Mother's Day gift. You can do all of your shopping online with local delivery/in-store pickup or head to one of their two Baton Rouge locations to get help picking out your gift from the very knowledgeable staff. From lavish arrangements with four-dozen roses to blooming plants that mom can enjoy all year long, you're sure to find something special at this experienced florist.

  • Billy Heroman's – 10812 N. Harrell's Ferry Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    Another well-known experienced local florist, Billy Heroman's has four locations around Baton Rouge, including the 10,000 square foot flagship Harrell's Ferry store. As the flagship location, the Harrell's Ferry store is staffed by some of the team's most experienced designers, who will be happy to help you pick or design just the right arrangement. You can even opt for the special "Flowers for a Year" gift, with new flowers delivered once per month all year long.

  • Blushing Blooms Floral & Gifts – 3482 Drusilla Ln., Ste. G, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    In addition to a great selection of both custom and pre-made floral arrangements, Blushing Blooms Floral & Gifts offers a diverse selection of themed gifts to pair with your Mother's Day flowers. Gifts include fun home décor, special teas, LSU-themed items, and plenty of great baby gifts for the new moms in your life. Of course, there are also tons of beautiful floral gifts, including roses, tulips, lilies, orchids, hydrangeas, and dahlias.

  • Trey Marino's Central Florist & Gifts – 13561 Hooper Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70818
    Now in its second generation of local family ownership, Trey Marino's Central Florist & Gifts offers both in-store shopping and convenient local delivery for its artistic, colorful floral arrangements. For Mother's Day, the team at Trey Marino's has put together two special floral packages, with the Mother's Day Designers Choice and Premium Designer's Choice arrangements. These arrangements are sure to be popular, so ordering ahead of time is recommended.

  • Comeaux's Florist – Prairieville, LA 70769
    Proudly owned and operated by an all-women team, Comeaux's Florist is an online, delivery-only florist located in Prairieville which offers delivery throughout Baton Rouge. If you're shopping for a mom who loves to garden or care for houseplants, this is a great place to shop. They offer herb planters, dish gardens, and a wide variety of traditional houseplants, along with their extensive selection of custom, hand-crafted floral arrangements. Find their full selection online, or give them a call to discuss your custom arrangement before Mother's Day.

Searching for your next home in Baton Rouge? Our team is here to help, starting with Baton Rouge open houses to help you find the perfect home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Baton Rouge, LA area.

April
27

Alexandria Gardening Stores and Greenhouses

Alexandria Gardening

With spring finally here, it's time to start choosing plants and items like edging and fountains to spruce up your garden. You'll be able to find the items you're looking for - along with expert advice and excellent customer service - at Alexandria gardening stores and greenhouses.

Our real estate agents suggest shopping at the following locations for your gardening needs:

  • GibKo Landscaping - 110 Evergreen St., Bunkie, LA 71322
    Whether you'd like to buy a new potted plant to spruce up your porch or want to overhaul your entire garden, GibKo Landscaping is a go-to destination. They receive new plants each season, with ferns, geraniums, and vegetable plants, among others, arriving in early spring. In addition to plants, you'll also find plenty of pots, patio furniture, and other decor to help complement your outdoor space. You can buy the items you need and do the work yourself or hire GibKo to install landscaping and even water features.

  • HomeBase - 515 MacArthur Dr., Alexandria, LA 71303
    HomeBase
    has everything you'll need to improve your garden, including fountains, ponds, edging, pavers and stepping stones, raised gardening beds, garden fencing, and more. They carry a small selection of succulents, so the store is mainly a place to find everything else related to gardening. If you'd like to scout out items online before browsing in the store, you'll be able to see how many of each item are in stock.

  • Petrus Feed & Seed - 2914 N. Bolton Ave., Alexandria, LA 7130
    Petrus Feed & Seed
    is a family-owned business that was first started in 1926. Farmers and homeowners alike now shop at its locations, which carry a large selection of lawn and garden products, vegetable plants, seeds, and more. Their knowledgeable, helpful staff can assist you with everything from choosing plants and seeds to recommending the best fertilizer for your soil type. And even after you've bought your plants and seeds, they'll continue to help by diagnosing and treating any issues in your yard and garden if you bring in a sample.

  • Holloway's Nursery - 11528 Highway 165 S., Forest Hill, LA 71430
    Holloway's Nursery
    has been in business for over 50 years, and over the years, it's grown into an establishment that provides plants, trees, and shrubs to gardeners nationwide. It's hard to imagine that the shop won't have the plants you want since they have millions in stock, many of which you can view on their website under the "Our Stock" tab. You can choose to have your plants delivered or pick them up, depending on what's more convenient for you.

  • Michael's Nursery - 546 Hwy. 113, Glenmora, LA 71433
    Michael's Nursery
    aims to provide quality plants at reasonable prices, along with personalized service and reliable delivery. You'll be able to choose from a large selection of evergreen shrubs, perennials, roses, flower bulbs, seeds, and ground covers as well as plants in the "Southern Living" collection. The vast majority of the plants are grown on-site at the nursery's two locations, each of which is surrounded by about 15 acres of land.

Contact us if you're looking for a home to buy and would like to see Alexandria homes for sale. We've been helping people in the Gulf South buy and sell real estate since 1916 and understand that finding the right home is much more than a business transaction. It's an essential part of having a happy, prosperous life, and we'd love to help you find the right home for you.

April
18

Fishing Charters Near New Orleans

Fishing Charter

With access to the Mississippi River and a vast maze of bayous and backwaters that empty onto the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is within casting distance of some of the best fishing spots in America. It's just one of the many things our real estate agents love about life in NOLA. 

Springtime happens to be one of the best times of year for fishing in New Orleans, providing opportunities to catch fish, ranging from redfish and speckled trout to marlin and red snapper. Here are some of the best fishing charters and guide services in Louisiana. 

  • Salty Dog Charters - 3353 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70119
    Offering coastal Louisiana fishing just 30 miles from The French Quarter, Salty Dog Charters has been in business since 2007. Their main quarries are usually speckled trout and redfish, though your catch may vary depending on the season. But no matter what time of year you hit the water, the experienced guides at Salty Dog Charters are some of the best near these New Orleans homes for sale

  • Victory Bay Charters - 26204 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70129
    Most fishing expeditions with Victory Bay Charters ply the rich waters of the Biloxi Marsh and Lake Catherine, which harbor abundant populations of redfish, speckled trout, black drum, and flounder. They offer full-day and half-day trips ranging from just a single person to large groups of five or more. Your catch will be cleaned and bagged at the marina so you can take it home and enjoy it at your leisure. 

  • Southern Fly Expeditions - 156 Millaudon St, New Orleans, LA 70118
    Fly fishing in the waters around New Orleans is a unique experience, and few guides offer greater skill and knowledge than the ones who work for Southern Fly Expeditions. With a focus on light-tackle fly fishing for redfish, trips with Southern Fly Expeditions ensure that every fish is an adventure. Fishing trips depart from the banks of the Mississippi River just minutes from these New Orleans open houses

  • Full Deck Charters - 20240 San Rocco St, New Orleans, LA 70129
    Whether you want to catch redfish and speckled trout in the estuaries or head offshore to fish for red snapper in deeper waters, Full Deck Charters offers guided trips from Lake Ponchartrain to Breton Sound and beyond. Full Deck Charters was named "Best Guide For Kids and Family" by Best of Louisiana Outdoors, and owner/operator Captain Bob has a lifetime of local fishing know-how.

  • Bayou Bowfishing Charters - 2090 Old Spanish Trail, New Orleans, LA 70129
    Fishing with a bow and arrow is a thrilling experience, and for many who book a trip with Bayou Bowfishing Charters, it's a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Charters take place after dark in St. Bernard, Chef Pass, and Rigolets areas, and anglers have a shot at Redfish, alligator gar, sheepshead, catfish, flounder, and drum. Alligator hunting trips are also available.

  • Blue Mudd Fly Fishing Charters - 3110 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
    Few fishing experiences are more thrilling than battling a 30-pound redfish on a fly rod to the boat. That's the kind of excitement you can expect at Blue Mudd Fly Fishing Charters, which takes anglers out in pursuit of massive bull redfish in the Mississippi River Delta. You'll learn the skills of sight-fishing for redfish, identifying fish patterns, and how to play a big fish on light tackle under the instruction of your expert fishing guide. 

Contact us today to learn more about the adventures that await in Louisiana. 

April
6

Boat Launches in the Baton Rouge Area

Boat Launches

There are a lot of things our real estate agents love about life in Baton Rouge. It's a unique cultural city and the capital of Louisiana, with distinctive music and food scenes. Just as importantly, it's a prime jumping-off point for outdoor adventures. 

Providing access to the Mississippi River and several other waterways, Baton Rouge is the perfect place to begin a fishing and boating trip in Louisiana. If you're looking for just the right place to get out on the water, be sure to check out these great boat launches in the Baton Rouge area:

  • Glass Beach Boat Launch -  River Rd S, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    The only free, public boat launch on the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, the Glass Beach Boat Launch is located just south of the I-10 bridge, just minutes from downtown. There are no developed facilities here; just a no-frills boat ramp and parking area for vehicles and trailers. The spot gets its name from the rounded pebbles of smooth "beach glass" that were used to pave the landing. The Glass Beach Boat Launch is just minutes from many Baton Rouge homes for sale.

  • Floyd's Morley Marina - 7675 Choctaw Rd, Brusly, LA 70719
    Just a few miles west of Baton Rouge and close to Brusly homes for sale, Floyd's Morley Marina has been a popular local boat launch since it was established in 1992. The marina overlooks the Port Allen Lock, a canal system that connects the Mississippi River to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Floyd's Morley marina is a great starting point for boating and fishing trips and is also known as a local hot spot for food, drink, and entertainment. 

  • Kayak Launch at Highland Road Community Park - Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Spanning a little over 144 acres, Highland Road Community Park is one of the best places in Baton Rouge for hiking, cycling, and other outdoor recreation. It also features a kayak launch on Bayou Fountain, a meandering stream that is part of the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail. It's a great place to go for an afternoon paddle after visiting these Baton Rouge open houses. Although Bayou Fountain is typically a calm, slow-moving stream, it has numerous downed trees and other hazards that require caution from paddlers. 

  • Broussard Landing - Plaquemine, LA 70764
    There's not much to see at Broussard Landing, a bare-bones boat launch in Plaquemine, just a few miles south of Baton Rouge. Located just off Louisiana State Route 988, Broussard Landing is little more than a gravel road that dead-ends at the Mississippi River, but it's an effective if somewhat under-developed launch site that offers plenty of room for vehicles with boat trailers to park. There's also a stretch of open bank here where anglers can fish from shore. 

  • Bayside Bait Shop & Marina - 18795 LA-16, Port Vincent, LA 70726
    A favorite among anglers in the Baton Rouge area and conveniently close to Port Vincent homes for sale, Bayside Bait Ship & Marina is a great place to begin your next fishing trip. Located along the Amite River southeast of Baton Rouge, Bayside Bait Ship & Marina offers boat ramps and a full line of fishing and boating gear and supplies. There's also a campground onsite for tents and RVs. The Amite River is a great place for catfish fishing and is easily navigable by larger motorboats as well as small craft like boats and kayaks. 

Contact us today to learn more about planning your adventures in the Baton Rouge area! And be sure to ask our real estate agents about how we can help you find your dream home in Louisiana. 

March
31

Kisatchie National Forest Outdoor Adventures

 Kisatchie National Forest

Are you ready for an outdoor adventure you won't forget? Our real estate agents have a suggestion!

One of the many reasons Alexandria homes for sale are so in demand is because of their proximity to the Kisatchie National Forest. Kisatchie is the only designated national forest in the state of Louisiana. It sprawls across 604,000 acres, with forested pine hills set across seven different parishes.

Things to Do in Kisatchie National Forest

With so much space to explore, just about any outdoor activity you can name is provided for within the bountiful nature of Kisatchie. It has a blend of developed and backcountry areas for you to choose from. You could spend weeks there and only see a small fraction of what there is to experience.

Let's take a closer look at what you can expect in and around the forest:

Camping Opportunities

There are no cabins anywhere within the Kisatchie National Forest. However, camping is welcome and encouraged. There are campsites for RVs and tent camping. Some tent camping sites are designed for groups of 10 or more. Finding the right campground for you may take some planning!

The area is divided into five ranger districts, and each one has its own campgrounds. There are dozens of different areas where camping support is provided. Bear in mind that some are intended for daytime use only. Before you visit, find the district closest to your entry point and decide on a site.

Because there are so many campgrounds available, reservations are not taken for the majority of sites in Kisatchie National Forest. However, you can call ahead to the ranger station to inquire about RV camping since RV hookups are in limited supply.

Fishing

Kisatchie Bayou fishing is one of the biggest attractions and draws anglers from all around the region in the spring and summer. Kisatchie Bayou stands out for its white sandbars, its rocky outcroppings, and even a number of pristine waterfalls. Fish you can encounter include bream and bass.

Other bodies of water throughout the Kisatchie are home to catfish and crappie. The most popular of all fishing spots within the forest is Saline Bayou, which crosses 20 miles of hardwood bottomland. You may also find dozens of other ponds and streams, many of them undisturbed throughout most of the year.

129-mile long Dugdemona River is a great starting point for most anglers. A popular place to gather is Beaver Dam, which you'll find along the upper shore of Caney Lake. No matter what you choose, it is sure to be exciting.

Other Water Sports

Various ponds and rivers throughout the National Forest support kayaking. Beware that not all channels are navigable. Watch out for posted signage about entry points and proper equipment before you begin.

Hiking and Trail Riding

There are many different trails winding their way through the Kisatchie, such as the 36-mile Sandstone Trail winding through the Kisatchie Hills. You'll find hundreds of miles of marked trails. Markers include information on trail length, terrain, difficulty, and estimated time of completion.

Altogether, there are trails suitable for hiking, mountain biking, all-terrain vehicles, and horse riding. Be advised that the ranger station has designated some trails as "sunrise to sunset" only, so it is crucial to plan out your journey to return before nightfall.

There is so much to see and do throughout Louisiana. Contact us to learn more or get started with Louisiana real estate.

April
1

Geocaching Spots in Houma

Houma Geocaching

Geocaching is essentially a global treasure hunt. It's an activity that involves using GPS coordinates to find "caches" that have been hidden at specific locations all over the world. Here in Houma, it also happens to be a great way to get to know the local area. 

To date, 21 geocaches have been hidden in the Houma, Louisiana area. Finding them all constitutes an official GeoTour of the region. It's one of only around 50 such tours that have been established worldwide. 

How Does Geocaching Work?

You only need a GPS device or GPS-enabled smartphone to get started, along with the Geocaching App (it's free). Caches usually consist of boxes or containers of various sizes, with unique and mysterious "treasures" hidden inside. 

Many caches have been hidden at parks, local businesses, and other landmarks in the Houma area. Download the Geocaching app, get your GPS ready, and join our real estate agents on a GeoTour of Houma, Louisiana! These are just some of the places where you can find hidden treasure:

  • Houma Travel Visitors Center - 114 Tourist Dr, Gray, LA 70359
    The Houma Travel Visitors Center is a great place to introduce yourself to Bayou Country. It also happens to be the first stop on the Houma GeoTour. The cache you're looking for here is a medium-sized container hidden inside the Visitor's Center. The center is just minutes from these Houma homes for sale.

  • Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge - 3599 Bayou Black Dr, Houma, LA 70360
    Preserving more than 4,600 acres of woods and wetlands just outside Houma, Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge is a prime spot for activities like hiking, kayaking, and bird watching. Waterfowl using the Mississippi Flyway stop here every year during their annual migration. The geocache hidden here is a medium-sized container secreted away among the trees. 

  • Mr. Ronnie's Donuts - 1171 W Tunnel Blvd, Houma, LA 70360
    A local favorite for more than 25 years, Mr. Ronnie's Famous Hot Donuts is one of the best places in town to find your favorite circular dessert (also, keep your eyes open for a small magnetic cache hidden inside). Mr. Ronnie's is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you need a hot, fresh-out-of-the-fryer donut, they have you covered. 

  • Donner Community Center - 361 Azalea Dr, Donner, LA 70352
    The grounds of the Donner Community Center are a quiet respite in the outdoors, complete with a playground for kids. It's a great picnic spot with grassy lawns and big, old mossy oak trees. Take note of the massive cypress tree in the middle. The bench underneath is a great place to sit in the shade, and it's not far from the cache.

  • Scarlet Scoop - 4602, 300 Barrow St, Houma, LA 70360
    Ice cream is just the tip of the iceberg at Scarlet Scoop. This beloved local ice cream parlor serves old-fashioned malts and milkshakes, along with next-level Cajun praline sundaes. The geocache hidden here is very small and located outside the shop, but don't neglect to stop inside for a little dessert.

  • Isle de Jean Charles - Montegut, LA 70377
    A beautiful strip of land at the southern fringe of Terrebonne Parish, Isle de Jean Charles is a tight-knit community at what can feel like the ends of the earth. Follow Island Road to access some great areas for fishing and sightseeing, and watch for a small, well-hidden cache. You might need boots or water shoes to get this one!

Contact us today to learn more about life in Houma, Louisiana. It's the heart of Bayou Country, and it's a truly unique place to call home. Be sure to ask our real estate agents about how we can help you find your dream home in the Houma area. 

February
11

Historic Oak Trees Throughout Lafayette

Oak Trees Louisiana

Louisiana's live oak trees are special. They're more than just trees. They're tangible links to the past. Living history. Our real estate agents never get tired of gazing up through their majestic canopies. 

Some of the oldest and largest trees in Louisiana are these monumental live oaks in Lafayette. 

  • St. John Cathedral Oak - 515 Cathedral St, Lafayette, LA 70501 
    The tree known as the St. John Cathedral Oak is inarguably the most famous tree in Lafayette. One of the largest live oaks in the United States, it's estimated to be around 500 years old. The Cathedral Oak stands approximately 126 feet high and has a spread of 210 feet across. Measurements of its circumference vary but typically come in around 29 feet. You can see this awe-inspiring tree near Downtown and minutes away from many Lafayette homes for sale.

  • Twentieth Century Oaks - 104 E University Ave, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Dr. Edwin Stephens, the first president of what is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, planted 18 live oaks on the university grounds on New Year's Day, 1901. He nicknamed them the Twentieth Century Oaks for their origin at the start of a new century, and they're still a fixture of campus. Located near the university entrance at the intersection of University Avenue and Johnson Street, they're neither the largest nor the oldest live oaks in town but are among the most celebrated. Be sure to stop and pay them a visit if you're in town visiting Lafayette open houses.

  • Evangeline Oak - 121 S New Market St, St Martinville, LA 70582
    The tree known as the Evangeline Oak has been the most-visited site in St. Martinville—a small city 15 miles southeast of Lafayette—since the late nineteenth century. It could very well be the most famous tree in Louisiana, despite not being particularly old or particularly large (at least by live oak standards). The tree gets its name from Evangeline, the 1847 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in which the titular character and her lover Gabriel are reunited. According to a combination of history and myth, the Evangeline Oak is the tree under which the characters' real-life counterparts once sat, inspiring Wordsworth's Poem. 

  • The Cleveland Oaks - Jefferson Island Rd, New Iberia, LA 70560
    Joseph Jefferson was an actor and comedian in the mid-19th century, and he was about as famous as a 19th-century comedian and actor could get. So much so that president Grover Cleveland—a fan and admirer of Jefferson—visited him on his property in Louisiana in 1892. While touring the areas that are now known as Jefferson Island and Avery Island, Cleveland noticed two majestic oaks that Jefferson later nicknamed in his honor. Today, the two Cleveland Oaks are still standing. Both trees are a short drive from many New Iberia homes for sale.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Lafayette, Louisiana. From rich history and incredible architecture to wild landscapes and outdoor adventures, it's a truly one-of-a-kind place to call home. Our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find your dream home in Acadiana.

January
12

Where to go Biking in Baton Rouge

Biking in Baton Rouge

Whether for exercise, exploration, or your daily commute, Baton Rouge is a bike-friendly city with ample options for getting around on two wheels. There are plenty of bike paths, both paved and off-road, along with a great collection of bicycle clubs that make it easy to connect with other riders. Our real estate agents have the key info on some of the many ways that you can enjoy biking in Baton Rouge.

  • Baton Rouge Levee Bike Path – Between River Rd. and Mississippi River, Baton Rouge, LA
    We start with a trip along the riverfront on one of the more popular bike paths located near Baton Rouge homes for sale. The Baton Rouge Levee Bike Path travels from downtown Baton Rouge past Tiger Stadium, with great views to enjoy while you ride. The bike path is 4.31 miles long, and offers a wide variety of local attractions where you can stop along the way. There are plans to expand this bike path significantly, with a Downtown Greenway that will connect all of the downtown parks.

  • LSU Lakes Loop – 901 Stanford Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    For another pleasant ride along the water, try a trip around the LSU Lakes Loop which can be accessed from Milford Wampold Memorial Park. The park itself has about .25 miles of paved trails, but the LSU Lakes Loop stretches considerably further than that. Sandy beaches along the lakes make for the perfect place to stop and take in the view, especially around sunset and sunrise.

  • Perkins Road Community Park – 7122 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    A trip to Perkins Road Community Park offers a variety of options for biking. The park is connected by a series of paved trails open to bikers, skaters, runners, and walkers, ideal for a leisurely ride. Perkins Road Community Park is also home to the BMX Raceway when you're in the mood for something more adventurous. There's even a velodrome, a 333-foot paved track that allows cyclists to reach speeds that wouldn't be possible on other trails. These attractions are free and open to the public, with the BMX Raceway and velodrome requiring helmets to enter.

  • Hooper Road Park – 6261 Guynell Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70811
    Mountain biking is on the menu in Baton Rouge as well, thanks to the trails at places like Hooper Road Park. This 200-acre, wooded park is home to more than 5 miles of mountain bike trails and is open from sunrise to sunset. This is a great place to get a taste of local natural beauty without leaving Baton Rouge.

  • Comite River Park – 8900 Hooper Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70818
    Another popular place for getting in touch with nature, the 5.5-mile mountain bike trail at Comite River Park is located along the edge of the Cypress Bayou and Comite River. This is a more advanced trail, perfect for mountain bikers looking for a fun challenge.

  • Baton Rouge Bike Club – P.O. Box 253, Baton Rouge, LA 70821
    There are quite a few bike clubs around the city as well, and the Baton Rouge Bike Club has been connecting local riders for more than 50 years. Become a member to enjoy a busy schedule of events and plenty of other perks.

Ready to find a home that makes it easy to explore your favorite city on two wheels? Our local real estate team is here to help. Visit one of our Baton Rouge open houses or contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Baton Rouge, LA area.

January
10

Louisiana: Where to Set up Camp This Winter

Winter Camping Louisiana

Do you love camping so much that you hate to put away your gear when winter arrives? You don't have to! Louisiana's warm climate keeps temperatures high enough to allow you to camp comfortably throughout the winter season. 

Many of our real estate agents are nature enthusiasts who don't let chillier temperatures keep them from enjoying the great outdoors. Here are some of their favorite spots to spend a winter night under the stars across Lousiana.

  • Fontainebleau State Park - 62883 Highway 1089, Mandeville, LA 70448
    Surrounded by two bayous and a lake near our Mandeville homes for sale, the Fontainebleau State Park offers guests plenty to see on both water and land. 

    The park is also crossed by part of the Tammany Trace, an old railway that was converted into a path perfect for a long walk or bike ride. There are even more than 400 species of wildlife to observe on an excursion down the 4.8-mile hiking trail or the 1.25-mile nature trail. With 12 deluxe cabins and 126 campsites with water and electrical hookups available, you're sure to enjoy your time in this wilderness retreat.  

  • Midway RV Park and Marina - 3185 Highway 477, Natchitoches, LA 71457
    Midway RV Park and Marina is a pleasantly quiet park located on the banks of the Red River, just a few miles away from many of our Natchitoches homes for sale. This is a great spot to go fishing or kayaking, even in winter, and the tranquil atmosphere of the area invites you to kick back and relax.

    The park's many campsites offer a range of modern conveniences, such as 30 amp and 50 amp hookups, water and sewer hookups, free WiFi, and even an on-site shop for you to stock up on camping necessities like snacks and firewood. 

  • Grand Ecore RV Park - 1071 Tauzin Island Road, Natchitoches, LA 71457
    Grand Ecore RV Park is a smaller camping location that is especially well-suited for families and older campers. Nestled in the Bayou Pierre with access to the Red River and a floating dock, this is the perfect spot to enjoy some boating, fishing, and picnicking.

    Aside from dozens of RV camping spaces, you'll also find an activity center, an outdoor playground, and even a laundry station in the shared area of this park. 

  • Palmetto Island State Park - 19501 Pleasant Road, Abbeville, LA 70510
    Palmetto Island State Park was in development for nearly 30 years before it finally opened in 2010. Now, this park has become a popular camping spot near our Abbeville homes for sale. Winter guests often choose to stay at one of the 6 vacation cabins located inside the park, each with a full kitchen, a bathroom, a screened-in porch, and a fireplace. If you prefer simpler arrangements, there are also 96 RV campsites available for guest use.

    During your time here, you can take a walk down the short Cypress Trail and enjoy scoping out some of the local wildlife or rent a canoe to spend some time on the water. If you're planning on camping with a group, you can even rent an outdoor pavilion equipped with a grill and fire pit to enhance your experience.  

  • Lake Fausse Pointe State Park - 5400 Levee Road, St. Martinville, LA 70582
    Campers located near St. Martinville homes for sale can visit Lake Fausse Pointe State Park for unforgettable wintertime outings. This 6,000-acre park near the Atchafalaya Basin offers incredible views of Louisiana's swampland from its raised cabins and catwalks. 

    Visitors can book choose between a range of different types of accommodations, including 8 deluxe cabins, 46 premium and improved campsites with water and electrical access, and a multitude of basic campsites. 

Want to experience all that this only state has to offer? Let us help you find a Louisiana home to call your own. Contact us today to take the first step toward settling down in this rich bastion of culture, history, and natural splendor.

November
10

Aquariums to Visit Around Louisiana

Aquariums in Louisiana

Louisiana is a pretty wild place. From the Gulf Coast to the Bayou Country, it's a state filled with all kinds of unique plants and animals. Many of the most fascinating live below the water's surface, and you don't have to go deep into the wilderness to see them. 

Louisiana is home to numerous world-class aquariums and marine life exhibits where you can see sea creatures from all over the world, and from right here in Louisiana. Our real estate agents are excited to share some of their favorites.

  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas - 1 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
    Regularly ranked among the best aquariums in the United States, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is offers a truly remarkable array of marine life. Located alongside the Mississippi River adjacent to the French Quarter and convenient to many New Orleans homes for sale, the aquarium is home to more than 250 species of animals ranging from sharks and stingrays to otters and sea turtles. The African penguins are the undisputed stars of the show, and you can observe the penguin feeding at 10:30 am and 3:00 pm daily.

  • Barn Hill Preserve - 11342 LA-955, Ethel, LA 70730
    The Barn Hill Preserve isn't exactly an aquarium, but one of its animal attractions is so unique that we just couldn't leave it off our list. After all, there aren't many places where you can swim with otters! The preserve houses a group of Asian small-clawed otters who reside in a climate-controlled pool, and visitors have an opportunity to swim with them daily from 2 pm to 5 pm (reservation required). Barn Hill Preserve is located just minutes from these Ethel homes for sale

  • Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery - 615 South Dr, Natchitoches, LA 71457
    While many aquariums display sea creatures that are unique and exotic, the Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery focuses on aquatic life that's a lot closer to home. The hatchery raises native fish species like alligator gar to help reestablish wild populations, as well as more common fish like largemouth bass and blue catfish for sport fishing. Located just a few miles from many Natchitoches homes for sale, the hatchery also includes a large aquarium exhibit where you can observe some of Louisiana's most fascinating native fish, reptiles, and amphibians. 

  • Blue Zoo Aquarium - 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd Suite 1123, Baton Rouge, LA 70836
    The main thing that makes Blue Zoo Aquarium stand out is that it offers more than a chance to merely see some interesting sea creatures. The zoo creates an immersive, interactive experience in which you can touch and feed stingrays, birds, and other animals. It's a thrilling experience for kids and adults alike, which makes Blue Zoo the best aquarium near these Baton Rouge homes for sale. The zoo includes dozens of interactive attractions and exhibits, and annual and daily passes are available. 

  • Alexandria Zoological Park - 3016 Masonic Dr, Alexandria, LA 71301
    Originally founded in 1923, the Alexandria Zoological park has been one of Louisiana's top animal attractions for nearly a century. Located a stone's throw from these Alexandria homes for sale, the zoo is home to over 500 animals, including birds, reptiles, mammals, and, of course, fish. Keep an eye out for clownfish—you might recognize them from 'Finding Nemo'—and alligator gar, perhaps Louisiana's most impressive native freshwater fish species. The zoo also includes five species of alligators and crocodiles. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana. From amazing animal attractions to the wild landscape all around us, it's a truly one-of-a-kind place to call home. 

October
25

Plan a Visit to Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge

Cameron Prairie

Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge has played a vital role in conserving Louisiana's biodiversity since it was first established in 1988. This beautiful location is fortunately open to the public, and it is one of the first places our real estate agents recommend when clients ask about green spaces and nature trails around Lake Charles. 

Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge was the first conservation area established under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. It is located approximately 25 miles away from Lake Charles. The refuge serves as the headquarters for Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex and is comprised of two units: the Gibbstown Unit and the East Cove Unit. 

  • The Gibbstown Unit features most of the area's walkable land and spans a combined 9,621 acres.  
  • The East Cove Unit encompasses 14,927 of brackish and salt marsh. It is only accessible by boat and includes very little land. This space is part of the Cameron Creole Watershed Project, a project whose goal is to restore an estimated 64,000 acres of marshland in Cameron Parish. 

Both units are carefully managed by a team of conservationists to preserve the habitats that the local plants and animals need to thrive. Visitors are asked to be respectful of these efforts and follow the rules while they are in this space. 

Activities 

Some of the many activities you can partake in at the wildlife refuge include: 

  • Boating and Fishing  
  • Hiking  
  • Birdwatching, Wildlife Viewing, and Photography 
  • Hunting 
  • Driving Down the Pintail Wildlife Drive 
  • The Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex Visitor Center

Wildlife 

One of the most compelling reasons to visit Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge is its diverse array of birds, mammals, reptiles, and other creatures. 

The refuge is primarily intended to protect the area's waterfowl, so it's no surprise that it has healthy populations of birds like Northern pintail, ring-necked ducks, and snow geese. 

Graceful wading birds like ibis and herons are also common sights. One of the most distinctive of these birds is the roseate spoonbill, a small wading bird with striking flamingo pink plumage. Visitors can even observe a wide range of raptors at the refuge, including merlins, kestrels, and peregrine falcons. 

There are also plenty of land animals to observe within the conservation area's bounds. Swamp rabbits and cottontail rabbits are both abundant, as are other relatively common indigenous species such as opossums and mink. Majestic white-tailed deer can sometimes be seen grazing in far-off fields. Although they are not native to the area, nutria were introduced to the refuge in the 1930s for unknown reasons and have thrived there.  

The refuge is also home to some more dangerous aquatic creatures. Both units are known to be excellent places to observe Louisiana's alligators in their natural habitat. They will generally keep to themselves when humans are around but don't get too close! The same goes for the snapping turtles that also inhabit the area. Some of them can be difficult to see, so be very careful when traveling through the marshy areas of the refuge. 

Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge is an immensely valuable ecological project that Lake Charles residents get to enjoy alongside the animals that live there. If you want to visit this site more often, why not move to a home in the area? Contact us for more information on our Lake Charles homes for sale or to arrange a viewing of any of the properties we are currently representing in this area. 

October
27

ATV Trails to Explore Near Alexandria

ATV Trails

You can tear up some trail any time in Louisiana, but fall is a particularly great time to be out ATV-ing. 

Here in the Alexandria area, we're lucky to have truly awesome ATV trails right at our doorstep. We asked our real estate agents to share their favorite places to go off-roading in the Alexandria area, and these are their top picks:

  • Calcasieu Ranger District (Kisatchie National Forest) - 9912 LA-28, Boyce, LA 71409
    The Calcasieu Ranger District of Kisatchie National Forest offers a lot of great options for ATV enthusiasts. The district is a mix of woodlands, swamps, and creeks and is home to a vast network of trails known as the Claiborne Multi-Use Trails. These trails total about 70 miles, looping through upland pine forests, and are open to ATVs, motorcycles, and horseback riding (hiking and mountain biking are also permitted). 

  • Juderman's ATV Park - 6512 Shreveport Hwy, Pineville, LA 71360
    Offering 200 acres of woods, meadows, and mud pits, Juderman's ATV Park is one of the best places around to go get some mud on the tires. The whole property is crisscrossed by a meandering network of ATV trails. They also have some great picnic spots and a secluded campground for overnight guests. The park is open every weekend, but arrangements can also be made for weekday riders. Juderman's ATV Park is less than 15 minutes from these Alexandria homes for sale and offers affordable daily rates for ATV riders and campers. 

  • Catahoula Ranger District (Kisatchie National Forest) - 5325 LA-8, Bentley, LA 71407
    Comprising a huge tract of land completely separate from the aforementioned Calcasieu Ranger District, the Catahoula Ranger District of Kisatchie National Forest offers some great riding trails of its own. Just 20 minutes from Alexandria, this district is home to the easy-to-moderate Little Creek Loop Trail, which traverses a wide variety of terrain, including bottomlands and upland forests. The nearby Hickman Trail Loop is slightly more difficult, including some solid hills that will keep you on your toes. The two trails are connected, and ATV riders can tackle them both as one long, continuous loop. 

  • Sandstone Multi-Use Trail (Kisatchie National Forest) - Forest Hwy 59, Provencal, LA 71468
    The 36-mile Sandstone Multi-Use Trail is located within the Kisatchie Ranger District of Kisatchie National Forest. The area is known for having some of the most spectacular scenery in the Alexandria area, and ATV riders on the trail can expect amazing views of the rugged countryside. Meandering through hilly terrain and vast stands of longleaf pine, the trail is mostly packed sand and clay with a few stream crossings. The Sandstone Trail is also open to motorcycles, horseback riding, hiking, and biking and is closed to motorized use from January 1 to May 1. 

  • Louisiana Mudfest - 12220 LA-8, Colfax, LA 71417
    Louisiana Mudfest is one of the largest mudparks in the south and a great place to ride. Located on a bend in the Red River just north of Alexandria, Louisiana Mudfest is open to ATV, OHV, dirt bike, and motorcycle riding and also has a campground and marina. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana. It's a great place for anyone who loves the outdoors, whether your activity of choice is hunting, fishing, hiking, or ATV riding. 

October
4

History of New Orleans City Park

City ParkNew Orleans City Park has been a community landmark for over 100 years, and its storied reputation is well-deserved. Our real estate agents love living in NOLA and all the parks residents have access to. One of the most popular being City Park. 

Origins 

The land on which New Orleans City Park was built was first acquired by the city in 1854, but it was not developed until nearly 40 years later in 1891. Since then, it has been slowly built up in both size and scope.  

At 1,300 acres, it is currently almost 50% larger than Central Park in NYC. It is the 20th most-visited public park in the US and a beloved icon of New Orleans. 

With the exception of a few past investments in exceptional circumstances, New Orleans City Park has been mostly self-supporting since opening to the public. It recoups the cost of maintenance and operation through user fees and land rents. 

Attractions 

Today, the park is a thriving community landmark full of exciting entertainment opportunities and cultural displays. Some highlights include: 

  • Tad Gormley Stadium, a major event space used for sports, concerts, and public events. 
  • Storyland, a themed trail where children can visit life-sized statues of their favorite storybook characters. 
  • Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, home of one of the few antique handcrafted carousels left in the country. 
  • Café Du Monde, where you can purchase regional treats like beignets and café au lait. 
  • New Orleans Botanical Garden, where you'll find over 2,000 varieties of lovingly cultivated regional plants. 
  • Grow Dat Youth Farm, a small campus where youngsters can explore the farming process and learn more about where their food comes from. 
  • The New Orleans Museum of Art, a peerless exhibition space filled with international works of art. The building also has an attached 5-acre outdoor sculpture garden to house additional works. 
  • The Festival Grounds, a wide-open 50-acre space where visitors can enjoy sports, biking, wetland exploration, and more. 
  • A full 18-hole golf course, as well as several mini-golf courses 
  • Paddleboat rentals to help you explore Big Lake in a fun and engaging way. 
  • Fishing spots in 11 different lagoons full of prime local fish. 

Though the park has always been regarded as a local gem, it received its first significant investment as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression. The Roosevelt Administration offered $12 million (an estimated value of $128 million today) in funding to develop the park further and turn it into a truly impressive location. 

The project employed around 20,000 workers and built critical landmarks like the Tad Gormley Stadium, as well as many of the fountains and roadways that are scattered around the park.

Hurricane Katrina left 95% of the park flooded for weeks and caused an estimated $43 million in damage to the property and its attractions.  

While the park was proudly self-sufficient at that time, there were few extra funds available to make the necessary repairs. It took a combination of municipal funding, investment from local organizations, and a lot of volunteer labor to rebuild the park. Eventually, however, it was restored to its former glory.  

New Orleans City Park is a special place for the city's residents, simultaneously bursting with fun and steeped in history. In that way, it's a lot like the city itself.

Contact us to learn more about our New Orleans homes for sale and take the first steps toward becoming a homeowner in one of the most beautiful cities in America. 

September
3

Kayaking in NOLA: Kayak Rental Spots

NOLA KayakingThe bayou has shaped the culture of Louisiana for generations. A bayou is a slow-moving river at the center of a truly unique ecosystem. New Orleans homes for sale are within a short drive of the bayou, as the state is home to thousands of acres of nature preserves protecting these unique treasures.

Our real estate agents know that, just like its incomparable food culture, outdoor adventures are a big part of why some people choose New Orleans. Whether you prefer a guided group tour or a leisurely journey on your own, check out these kayak rental spots.

  • Bayou Paddle Sports – 1101 Florida Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119
    Bayou Paddle Sports is a great way to learn all about Louisiana paddle sports and enjoy them with friends or family – even if you have no experience. You can rent a kayak, paddleboard, or a tandem canoe for a visit of two hours out on the water. Whether you are looking for a group kayaking escapade or a fun day outdoors with the kids, the "Family Day," "Night Paddle," or "Dog Days" events are sure to hit the spot.

  • New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours – 405 Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
    Touting some of the best kayak tours in NOLA, New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours is the premier option for when you want to see the unexpected. No matter which of the six curated tour experiences you choose, you'll learn and have fun in memorable natural surroundings.

  • Wheel Fun Rental – Big Lake Trail, City Park, New Orleans, LA 70124
    Wheel Fun Rental operates out of New Orleans City Park on Big Lake, one of the Big Easy's most beloved and storied public parks. Wheel Fun has become well-known for its pedal-based swan boat rentals equipped with LED lights that have popularized Swan Boat Night Rides. Traditional kayaks and canoes are readily available. This is also a popular place to embark on the New Orleans self-guided bicycle tour.

  • NOLA Paddleboards – See Website for Location Details, Throughout New Orleans, LA
    NOLA Paddleboards is one of the original paddle sports rental companies in New Orleans. Experienced guides will help guests of any skill level enjoy Lake Pontchartrain. Launching from an exclusive historic waterfront site thanks to its partnership with The Pontchartrain Conservancy, NOLA Paddleboards provides all equipment for groups of up to eight, typically for 90 minutes on the water. Private lessons can be booked separately.

  • Crescent City Kayak – 437 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70116
    Crescent City Kayak provides full kayak swamp tours complete with transportation to the launch site. The most popular offering is the Manchac Swamp Tour, an ideal way for beginners to sight the iconic Louisiana cypress trees and local wildlife. Want to witness the majesty of one of America's least-altered river swamps? The Honey Island Swamp Tour may be your best pick, thanks to its 70,000 protected natural acres.

  • Canoe & Trail Adventures at The Chimes Restaurant – 19130 West Front Street, Covington, LA 70433
    Canoe & Trail Adventures at The Chimes Restaurant launches its epic expeditions from one of Covington's top eateries. With affordable prices and rentals ranging from one to five hours, guests are encouraged to paddle at their own pace along the sandy-bottomed Bogue Falaya River. For a highly popular three-hour tour, you can choose the Flavor of the Bayou Tour. It's all surprisingly close to top Covington homes for sale.

Whether you explore NOLA by land or on the river, there's plenty to see and do! Contact us to learn more about New Orleans real estate.

July
19

Best Materials to Use For Your Patio

Patio Materials

A home with a patio provides opportunities for relaxation and various outdoor activities with family and friends. Whether you enjoy relaxing in the sun, tending to your garden, or grilling with the kids, a patio creates the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors.

If you're looking for New Orleans homes for sale, you know that the climate changes with the seasons. Our real estate agents can help you find a home with an existing patio or a sizable backyard where you can build your own. With hot summers, cool, windy winters, and year-round rainfall in New Orleans, choosing materials that provide long-term durability and easy maintenance is essential.

Concrete

In a changing climate, it's hard to find a patio material more versatile than concrete. Made from a mixture of cement, gravel, sand, and water, a concrete patio with proper maintenance can last 20-30 years. For minimal costs, you can build a concrete patio in a variety of shapes and finishes that complement the style of your home.

  • Poured or Stamped – A poured concrete patio is quick and easy to install as long as you have a flat surface. For $6 to $13 per square foot, you can create a patio in square, rectangular, oval, or curved shapes to complement the style of your home. Concrete can be colored as well as textured by using stamps that create a variety of patterns.

  • Pavers – Concrete pavers are manufactured stones that come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Unlike poured slabs, pavers are placed individually. They offer better drainage and less damage from cracks. Although pavers cost $13 to $20 per square foot, they can last 50-100 years with minimal maintenance.

Brick

Made from clay fired at high temperatures, bricks provide durability and classic appeal for formal and rustic homes and landscapes. Brick patios cost $14 to $20 per square foot, but salvaged bricks can be purchased as a cheaper, eco-friendly option. If full-sized bricks create structural concerns, thinner, lighter brick pavers can be laid in a variety of patterns. Brick patios can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance. Bricks are strong but porous, so cleaning with bleach and a scrub brush 3-4 times a year is recommended to prevent mildew and moss growth during rainy weather.

Flagstone

Flagstone is a beautiful material that's available in various stones and colors. Large, flat slabs of stone quarried from the ground are usually 1-3 inches thick. Irregular shapes and distinct colors enhance visual interest, and rough surfaces provide good traction when wet. Popular flagstones include Bluestone, Limestone, Sandstone, and Quartzite. When building a patio, flagstones should be at least 1 ½ inches thick and laid directly on soil or sand. Thinner slabs should be laid in concrete or wet mortar to prevent cracking. A flagstone patio will cost $14 to $28 per square foot, but it can last 100 years or more with proper care.

Loose Materials

Once considered a choice only for small side yards, loose materials are now popular options for patios, especially in drought-prone areas. Many homeowners are replacing thirsty lawns with more water-wise alternatives that are inexpensive and easy to use. Options include:

  • Bark and rubber mulch

  • Crushed stone

  • Decomposed granite

  • Pea gravel

  • Sand

At an average cost of $6 to $10 per square foot, loose materials can last many years and easily be replaced, but borders or edging may be needed to keep materials in place.

Still looking for a home perfect for relaxing on the patio? If you're interested in New Orleans properties, contact us for a tour of available homes in desirable communities that fit your lifestyle and financial needs.

July
23

7 Ways to Improve Your Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor LightingOur real estate agents know that a stylish outdoor space is a valuable addition to your home. A well-planned exterior space provides a place for al fresco dining, gathering around the firepit with a refreshing beverage, or enjoying your favorite TV show or podcast. Making sure your outdoor spaces are well illuminated ensures that you can enjoy them and helps add an extra level of safety and security. Here are a few ways you can enhance the overall effect of your outdoor lighting. 

  1. Use a Variety of Lights
    To create a cozy, welcoming outdoor space, use a variety of lights. If you have an overhead structure, like a gazebo or pergola, add lights that illuminate your entire deck or patio. Then, select some tabletop lamps so that you have lights nearby when you're reading, working, or relaxing. 
  1. Select Lights That are Functional
    Even the most elegant outdoor lights will go to waste if they're not functional and easy for you to use. For example, if you know that your access to electricity is limited, integrate some battery-operated lights into your setup. Or, if you hate having to turn a bunch of lights on and off each time you use them, look for products that you can put on a timer or operate with your smartphone. 
  1. Consider Motion-Activated Lights
    Motion-activated lights are an excellent alternative that can also help you reduce your energy usage. These lights only come on when they detect activity, and they'll turn off once movement is no longer detected. 
  1. Illuminate Your Walkways
    Make it safe to walk around your property at night by adding pathway lights around your driveway and paths. Solar-powered lights are a fantastic option that you won't have to worry about connecting to an electrical outlet. 
  1. Opt for Some Portable Lights
    Want to make sure that you always have access to light, regardless of where you're hanging out in your yard? Add portable lights to your outdoor setup. Table lanterns and candles are easily moved so that you can adapt their configuration to your entertaining plans. 
  1. Decorate Your Space with String Lights
    When you're exploring Lafayette homes for sale, you'll notice that decorative lighting effortlessly improves the look of your deck or patio. Instantly add ambiance to your outdoor spaces by adding a few strands of string lights. String lights instantly lend a romantic touch to your outdoor areas, and you can even select lights with different color or pattern options. Want to add a lot of light to your outdoor area but don't want to spend hours setting up a bunch of different strands of lights? Look for curtain lights! Curtain lights are easy to hang and instantly add whimsical lighting to a large area. 
  1. Illuminate Your Water Features
    If your property has a pool, hot tub, or pond, this is a fantastic spot to incorporate decorative lights. A light reflecting off the water looks beautiful, and you'll have light to enjoy nighttime activities.

Want a home with more space for your outdoor activities? Contact us today to get started!

July
12

6 Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors Near New Orleans

New Orleans Outdoors

New Orleans is a city where outdoor scenery and adventure await you around every turn, with endless natural beauty to explore. The city park system is robust with well-equipped parks that feature attractions for every member of the family to enjoy, the Mississippi River offers some of the most beautiful views that you'll find anywhere, and the swamps outside the city are ideal for eco-friendly tours. Our real estate agents have the details on 6 different ways that you can enjoy the outdoors around New Orleans.

  • Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden – 1 Collins Dbl. Cir., City Park, New Orleans, LA 70124
    One of the most popular public art installations near New Orleans homes for sale, the Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is a great place to combine your love of art and the outdoors. The garden was recently expanded by 6 acres, with tons of new trees planted and 26 new public works of art to enjoy. The garden is free to visit for all and open 7 days per week.

  • Paradigm Gardens – 1131 S. Rampart St., New Orleans, LA 70113
    In addition to supplying fresh, local produce to some of the best restaurants in the city, Paradigm Gardens is an urban farming facility that also hosts a wide variety of fun, outdoor events. Plan a trip to enjoy yoga in the garden, hear some amazing music during the concert series, or book your own private event to have the whole garden to yourself.

  • City Park Bike Rentals – Big Lake Trail at City Park, New Orleans, LA 70124
    New Orleans is a very bicycle-friendly city, so renting a bike is the perfect way to explore some of the city's most popular parks and green spaces. City Park Bike Rentals is located within the very large City Park, which is home to tons of attractions that families love. This conveniently located rental shop also offers boat rentals, allowing you to explore the park from a new perspective.

  • Lost Lands Tours – 625 Pine St., Unit 4, New Orleans, LA 70118
    Travel just a short bit outside of New Orleans, and you will find gorgeous, ancient swamps that offer some of the most abundant outdoor beauty in the region. Lost Lands Tours provides environmentally-friendly tours to nearby swamps, where you can explore nature, discover fascinating ecosystems, and learn more about efforts to preserve the natural beauty of the region.

  • Equest Stables – 1001 Filmore Ave., New Orleans, LA 70124
    We've mentioned that the New Orleans park system is a great place to find outdoor adventures, and facilities like Equest Stables are great examples of why that's the case. Whether you're an experienced rider or you want to learn for the first time, Equest Stables offers lessons for all experience levels at City Park. Enjoy an individual lesson, or schedule a group lesson that every member of the family will enjoy.

  • Joseph M. Bartholomew, Sr. Golf Course – 6514 Congress Dr., New Orleans, LA 70126
    The city parks of New Orleans are also home to two excellent municipal golf courses, including the par-72 Joseph M. Bartholomew, Sr. Golf Course. This is a beautifully maintained public golf course with affordable greens fees and a fun, challenging course layout that will appeal to golfers of all experience levels.

Ready to find your next home near the outstanding outdoor attractions of New Orleans? Let our local real estate team help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the New Orleans, LA area.

June
28

Pools and Splash Pads Near Lake Charles

 Lake Charles Pools

As temperatures rise, you and your kids may find yourself in need of a way to cool off. Pools and splash pads can be the perfect solution. Here are the top choices our real estate agents recommend around the Lake Charles area. 

  1. Prien Lake Park: 3700 West Prien Lake Rd., Lake Charles, LA 70605
    Prien Lake Park 
    is a 29-acre park overlooking Indian Bay. In addition to picnic pavilions and playgrounds, the park offers a SprayGround water park, which is great for kids. They can splash around in the spraying water, which tends to be safer for little kids than swimming in a pool.

    WiFi is available throughout Prien Lake Park, so if you need to send an email or check in with work during your visit, you can. There are also walking paths with distance markers, making it easy to squeeze a workout in between splashing sessions.

  2. Sulphur Parks & Recreation: 933 W. Parish Rd., Sulphur, LA 70663
    Sulphur Parks & Recreation 
    has a beautiful aquatic center that opened in 2005. Inside, there is an Olympic size pool with a zero-depth ramp entrance. The facility is open Monday - Friday from 5:00 am - 8:00 pm, Saturday from 8 am - 2 pm, and Sunday from 1 pm - 5 pm.

    Swimming lessons are also available in the aquatic center. There are classes for adults and for kids of all ages. 

  3. Lake Charles Ward Aquatic Center: 1100 2nd Ave., Lake Charles, LA 70601
    This aquatic center is a good place to stop for a swim when you're looking at Lake Charles homes for sale. The Lake Charles Ward Aquatic Center offers open swimming between 1 pm and 6 pm Monday - Saturday, and the fee is only $1 per person.

    Water aerobics classes are also available Monday - Friday at 6:30, again for a fee of only $1. Or, if you prefer, you can take a swimming lesson. There are options for adults and kids of all ages, and the specific schedule is listed on the website. 

  4. River Bluff Park: 747 Theriot Rd., Moss Bluff, LA 70611
    River Bluff Park
    is a lovely park with a lot of amenities for kids. There's a large splash area with lots of fun, colorful features that spray and dump water. The rubber footing helps prevent scrapes and other injuries.

    This park sits on the bank of a river, and there is a boat launch, exercise area, family restrooms, and a quarter-mile walking path you can enjoy during your visit. When your kids are done splashing, let them play on the playground, which has separate areas for 2 -5-year-olds and 5 - 12-year-olds.

  5. Adventure Cove Park: 3210 Power Center Pkwy., Lake Charles, LA 70615
    Adventure Cove Park is another great choice for kids. In fact, it is specifically designed to meet the meets of kids with varied abilities. The spray grounds are open all summer long and have plenty of fountains for kids to cool off in.

    Adventure Cove Park also has rubber footing for safe running and jumping. The paths are wide and wheelchair-accessible, and the play areas are created for various age groups' needs.

When you're feeling a bit warm this summer, head to one of these pools or splash parks, and let the water cool you off. Contact us if you're looking for a real estate agent to guide your house hunting process.

June
23

The Tricks to Starting a Raised Garden Bed

Garden Bed Tips

Raised garden beds can be a great way to garden. They are often more successful because of factors like better drainage and soil quality, and they're easier to work in. Plus, they look tidy and attractive, which is an added bonus if you're getting ready to list your home in Baton Rouge homes for sale. Here are a few tips for starting a raised garden bed.

  1. Decide how many raised beds you need.
    Keep in mind that raised beds enable you to plant a little closer together, so you're maximizing your available gardening space by raising the bed. Most casual gardeners will only need one or two raised beds. If you're planning to grow a lot of your own vegetables, or if you're planting sprawling or vining plants such as squash and melon, you might need more space.

  2. Choose the best location.
    Plan the location of your raised beds very carefully, noting which areas of your yard get the best sunlight throughout the day. Most vegetables need about eight hours of sunlight, and many, such as tomatoes, do best if they get a lot of morning sun rather than afternoon sun. How it looks is a secondary concern, but it's still important, especially if you're planning on selling the house. Raised beds and well-planned landscaping looks great to potential buyers, according to our real estate agents.

  3. Choose the depth.
    In general, the deeper the bed, the better it is for your plants (and your back). Deeper beds will retain moisture and need less watering, but they'll also drain better so that they don't just become a pool of standing water. Of course, a deeper bed may not always be ideal because of the cost of the dirt to fill it. If you have soil underneath the raised bed, you can get away with a shallower raised bed, but if you are building the bed over a concrete or another hard surface, you'll need as deep a bed as you can get.

  4. Prepare the ground underneath.
    If you're building the raised bed on top of a regular yard, be sure to prepare the surface. You'll need to weed and get rid of the grass, and you can actually give your plants' roots more growing room by breaking up the dirt underneath your raised bed. If it's an extremely weedy or grassy area, you can stop existing plants from taking over your bed by laying down cardboard underneath, but you'll lose some of that root real estate.

  5. Build the bed to last.
    Especially if you plan on using the bed for multiple years, it's important to do a good job of building your raised bed. You can buy pre-packaged raised beds that are ready to install, or you can find a plan online to build one yourself. Just make sure you give some thought to preventing the bed from shifting over time. Many gardeners recommend a stake midway down each side to help stabilize the walls.

  6. Get the right soil.
    You've already put a ton of planning, energy, and probably some money into these raised garden beds, so make sure they'll succeed by filling them with high-quality soil. A mix of compost and topsoil will ensure proper drainage and sufficient nutrients.

With a couple of raised garden beds and a trip to the nursery for some plants to fill them with, your yard will be transformed. For more ideas to improve your curb appeal before selling your home, contact us today.

June
7

Where to Go Ziplining in Louisiana

Zipline Louisiana

Think you've seen all that nature has to offer in Louisiana? Our real estate agents say you're in for a treat when you take in the glorious sights from up high with an aerial adventure at one of these top locations around New Orleans. 

  1. Zip NOLA - 301 Peavine Rd., Laplace, LA 70068
    Swamps are such an iconic part of life in Louisiana, but you've never seen them quite like this. Get the best view around at Zip NOLA, the first swamp zipline near Laplace homes for sale. Skim the tops of cypress trees as you keep an eye out for alligators, waterfowl, and other wildlife that make their home in the bayous. Guides share fascinating facts about swamp ecology that make your trip even more meaningful. Zip NOLA features five ziplines, two suspension bridges, and a spiral tree staircase. Watch their website or follow them on Facebook for information about the grand opening.

  2. LOOP NOLA - 1031 Harrison Dr., New Orleans, LA 70124
    Outdoor activities are a wonderful way for kids to develop their minds and bodies. That's the philosophy of LOOP NOLA, which has a mission of making the outdoors accessible to those in the urban environment around New Orleans homes for sale. One of their more popular programs is the City Park Challenge, a ropes course held in a secluded forest. Challenges are offered with high and low elements to accommodate all age groups and experience levels. Half- and full-day courses are available for groups of five or more, while General Public Days, including individuals, are scheduled in fall and spring. Prices start at $35 per person.

  3. Magnolia Ridge Adventure Park - 11342 LA-955 E., Ethel, LA 70730
    After traveling the world caring for wildlife, John "Gabe" Ligon wanted a way to share some of his experiences with the community by Ethel homes for sale. The result is Magnolia Ridge Adventure Park, where guests can enjoy the natural beauty and native wildlife of Louisiana. Adrenaline junkies can include a Ninja Obstacle Course with their zipline tour for a greater challenge. Hold a baby two-toed sloth and see other wildlife up close when you choose the Zipline/Animal Encounter bundle with a two-hour visit to Barn Hill Preserve, right next door. Ziplines are open to ages 5 and up. Prices start at $58.

  4. Epic Entertainment - 130 N. Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Scott, LA 70583
    Weather putting a damper on your outdoor plans? Take the fun indoors at Epic Entertainment, just minutes from Scott homes for sale. Scale the Clip n Climb wall and try your hand at various vertical activities to challenge kids and adults. Afterward, it's time for a Leap of Faith onto a swinging trapeze. Hours are noon - 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon - 6 p.m. Sunday.

  5. Zip'N Fun Adventure Park - 17200 - 16th St., Gulfport, MS 39503
    Just across the state line is Zip'N Fun Adventure Park, less than a 90-minute trip from New Orleans. Three different Treetop Adventure Courses incorporate combinations of 50 challenges, including ziplines, sky bridges, and Tarzan jumps. Experience one, two, or all three courses. There's also a Junior Adventure Course for kids between 3-feet and 5-feet tall. 

There's never a dull moment around New Orleans. Join the fun and contact us at Latter & Blum.

May
25

Top Fishing Spots Near Lake Charles

Fishing Spots Lake Charles

Ask ten local fishermen to name their favorite fishing spot, and you're bound to get ten different answers. But just about all Louisiana anglers agree on one thing: the Lake Charles area is a pretty great place to fish. 

We have many unique fishing opportunities here in Lake Charles, from the waters of our namesake lake to the meandering Calcasieu River and the mighty waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Join our real estate agents at some of our favorite Lake Charles fishing spots!

  1. Lake Charles - Lake Charles, LA 70601
    Part of a chain of lakes that also includes Prien Lake and Calcasieu Lake, Lake Charles itself is one of the easiest fishing spots to access near these Lake Charles homes for sale. Like its neighboring lakes, Lake Charles has brackish water—a mixture of salt and fresh waters—that supports unique fishing opportunities for speckled trout and redfish. Access is available at Millennium Park and North Beach, both of which are good places to launch a kayak or cast a line from shore. 

  2. Calcasieu River - 107 Sutherland Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70611
    The Calcasieu River cuts a winding path through the Louisiana landscape, offering some of its best freshwater fishing opportunities. Largemouth bass are the main target for most anglers, and 10-pound largemouths have been caught in the river. Spring offers some of the year's best bass fishing around beds of aquatic vegetation in the Calcasieu River. Catfish, crappie, and sunfish are also available. Sam Houston Jones State Park, located just outside the city of Lake Charles, is a great place to access the river and also offers campgrounds and cabins.

  3. Prien Lake - W Prien Lake Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70605
    Much like Lake Charles, the brackish waters of Prien Lake harbor a diverse assortment of fish, including speckled trout, black drum, redfish, and flounder. It's a popular place for kayak fishing, and many kayak anglers go after speckled trout by casting minnow and shrimp-imitating lures around drop-offs and shallow flats. Launch facilities for canoes and kayaks are available at Prien Lake Park, which overlooks the western shore of the lake. 

  4. Calcasieu Lake - 3955 Henry Pugh Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70605
    The largest lake in the Lake Charles Area, Calcasieu Lake, is often referred to simply as the "Big Lake" by locals. It is also the lake closest to the coast, with a direct connection to the Gulf of Mexico via the Calcasieu Ship Channel. It is also widely considered to be the best lake in the area for fishing. One of the most popular fishing spots on the lake is Calcasieu Point Landing, which offers a paved boat launch, fishing pier, and a fully stocked bait shop. Redfish, speckled trout, and flounder are often caught from the pier. Deep ledges and marshy bayous throughout the area offer opportunities to catch monster trout and redfish.

Be sure to pick up a Louisiana fishing license before you go. And if you're new to the area, consider booking a trip with a local fishing guide like Bayou Charters or Louisiana Fins Guide Service. There's nothing like an experienced local guide who can show you right where the fish are!

With summer well on its way, the fishing season on Lake Charles and the surrounding areas has just begun. Contact us today to learn more about outdoor adventures in Lake Charles, and be sure to ask our team about how we can help you find your dream home in Louisiana. 

May
14

Start Composting This Summer with These Tips

Composting Lafayette

You hate throwing away all that kitchen waste: coffee grounds and tea bags, apple and potato peels, tops of strawberries, outer layers of an onion, and more. Most of it probably goes in the waste bin, right? 

But what if you could turn that waste into good garden soil by composting it? Let's take a look at what's involved with composting and how to get started.

  1. What Can You Compost?
    You can compost most vegetable scraps, grass clippings, leaves (it's better if big, tough leaves have been cut up first by a lawnmower), and even eggs shells (wash them first). Avoid adding cooked or oily food, meat, so-called compostable bags and wipes, and bones. Protein and oily foods can attract rodents. Store compostable bits in the fridge or freezer in a bag until you're ready to add them to the mix.

  2. Choose Your Composting Site Carefully
    A backyard compost site should be in at least partial sun so that it will "cook" faster. But the compost may also dry out faster, so be sure to wet it now and then. Beware of starting a compost pile in the backyard if you have a dog.

    Or buy a compost bin, where you can add the compostable stuff, and if it's the turnable type, mix it up a couple of times a day. Another method is to place the compostable material in a sealable container with some Bokashi mix, which is a colony of bacteria that ferments food scraps.

  3. Add Your Greens and Browns
    There are two types of material to compost. Green material is nitrogen-rich and includes fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, grass clippings -- all crucial for microbial growth.

    But you also need browns to provide carbon. Typical sources are paper, such as egg cartons and newspaper, dried leaves, and other dried plant material.

    Greens are wet, and browns are dry. You generally should have more browns than greens, with browns layered on the bottom and greens on top. Typically layers are 2 inches each, and you continue to create new layers as you go so that aeration can take place between them and break the material down. If it doesn't break down, you will have a stagnant mess. Stir the compost or toss it after a time with a pitchfork. If you're using a compost bin, give it a turn a couple of times a day.

  4. How Long Does it Take?
    In cold weather, it could take six months or so for compost to break down, but in hot weather, compost can break down in two months.

    Be mindful of the smell of your compost. If it starts to stink -- like a landfill or a dumpster -- you may need to add brown material. Compost, when finished, should smell woody and earthy and may have a sweet or even somewhat sour smell -- but never rotten. When you've achieved fluffy compost, then it's ready to put in your garden or even to donate to a community garden.

Need more tips on improving your property to get it ready to sell among the Lafayette homes for sale? Our real estate agents can help. Contact us today. 

May
12

5 Places to Play Disc Golf Near Baton Rouge

Disc Golf Baton Rouge

Disc golf has become an increasingly popular sport and is a great way to connect with nature while you get some exercise. Bring a few friends along to compete against as you explore different disc golf courses near Baton Rouge, each of which has its own unique layout and characteristics.

Our real estate agents recommend trying these 5 places to play disc golf near Baton Rouge:

  1. Highland Road Park Disc Golf Course – N. Amiss Rd. and Bullrush Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 
    Highland Road Park Disc Golf Course, located near Baton Rouge homes for sale, has an 18-hole disc golf course, and each hole is equipped with a short course (purple) basket and a long course (gold) basket. Tees are marked with orange-painted bricks in the ground. Disc golfers report that length and accuracy are key to doing well on the Highland Park courses. Pick up a scorecard at the park's Tennis Center before starting and navigate your way up and down gently rolling hills and wide, grassy fairways. A creek also runs through the course, further adding to its natural beauty.

  2. Scotland Parkway Disc Golf Course – 3200 Harding Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70813 
    Reviewers describe Scotland Parkway Disc Golf Course as a fun, challenging course with a unique design. The course's tee pads, baskets, and signage are all praised. It's lightly wooded, with a deep, wide creek in play on half the holes. Since a few fairways are close to one another, be on the lookout for errant drives.

  3. LHC DiscGolfPark at Scotlandville – 3100 Monte Sano Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70807  
    The first disc golf course in Louisiana and the third in the country, LHC DiscGolfPark at Scotlandville, is known for its natural beauty. The holes weave through oak trees and rolling hills as well as Monte Sano Bayou. It's the second-longest course in the state, coming in at 7,610 feet. LHC at Scotlandville is also a very challenging course with fairways that are lightly wooded. The baskets are very easy to spot since they have bright yellow bands.

  4. Flanacher Park Disc Golf Course – 864 E. Flanacher Rd., Zachary, LA 70791 
    Located on a flat, secluded course just around the corner from Zachary homes for sale, Flanacher Park Disc Golf Course has a variety of open/wooded fairways. Due to its seclusion, it has a serene atmosphere that makes you feel as though you're getting away from the hustle and bustle. Several turns are 90 degrees or more and add to the course's difficulty, and since some fairways are very narrow, accuracy is more important than distance. Be sure to keep an eye on your disc since an errant throw could leave you fishing it out of the bordering woods.

  5. Pelican Park Disc Golf Course – 63350 Pelican Dr., Mandeville, LA 70448  
    Located on the Northshore near Mandeville homes for sale, Pelican Park Disc Golf Course is long and spread out and has alternate pin placements on each hole, with blue designating short and gold designating long. It's characterized by open fields, although some holes are more heavily wooded. If you live in the district and don't have your own disc, you can take your driver's license to the Castine Center park office and borrow one for free.

Contact us to see homes for sale near Baton Rouge. This area of the country has plenty of natural beauty and recreational opportunities, and we'd love to share more about what makes the Baton Rouge area such a special place to call home. 

April
26

Historic Sites Near Lake Charles

Lake Charles Historic Sites

Lake Charles is a place where history, art, architecture, and culture merge to tell a unique story that continues to evolve to this day. So much of the history of Lake Charles has been preserved to the present day, thanks to the work of local historical organizations and museums. You will also find a living history of the Lake Charles area in the form of historic homes, businesses, and public buildings, many of which are located downtown. Our real estate agents have the inside scoop on 6 historic sites near Lake Charles that you won't want to miss.

Historic Sites Near Lake Charles

  1. Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center – 1001 Ryan St., Lake Charles, LA 70601

    The Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center is the perfect place to start your historical journey near Lake Charles homes for sale. Part history museum, part art gallery, and part architectural marvel, this museum is one you definitely won't want to miss. It has exhibited works from some of history's greatest artists and also has countless unique artifacts.

  2. Charpentier Historic District – Downtown Lake Charles, Lake Charles, LA 70601

    Do you love to explore historic architecture? Then a trip to the Charpentier Historic District, located in downtown Lake Charles, is sure to pique your interest. This is the part of the city where you will find beautifully preserved historic homes, with designs that span a variety of architectural eras. The district covers about 40 blocks, ideal for a driving tour or historic strolls on weekend mornings.

  3. Imperial Calcasieu Museum – 204 W. Sallier St., Lake Charles, LA 70601

    Discover what life was like in St. Charles in eras gone by when you visit the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, where history and local artwork hand-in-hand to tell the story of Southwest Louisiana. This museum is packed with historic art from local artists and unique photography that highlights the development of the region over the years.

  4. Southwest Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Library – 411 Pujo St., Lake Charles, LA 70601

    Does your family have a long history in the Lake Charles area? Then a trip to the Southwest Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Library may shed more light on the history of your ancestors in the region. This is a great place to research your own genealogy and learn more about the families that have shaped local history.

  5. Brimstone Museum – 900 S Huntington St., Sulphur, LA 70663

    A brief drive west of St. Charles will take you to the Brimstone Museum complex, which is located close to Sulphur homes for sale. The Brimstone Museum tells the story of sulfur mining in the area and showcases the community's history. There are rotating exhibits on display throughout the year, including unique local art that you won't find anywhere else.

  6. Mardis Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu – 809 Kirby St. Ste 229, Lake Charles, LA 70601

    A fun, colorful museum filled with unique stories, the Mardis Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu is a must-see historic destination in Lake Charles. Home to the second-largest Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana, Lake Charles has a long history with Carnival season. The Mardis Gras Museum houses one of the largest collections of costumes in Louisiana, along with a variety of fascinating exhibits on the history of Mardis Gras and the unique traditions that surround Carnival Season.

Ready to create the next chapter of your own story in Lake Charles? Our team is here to help you find the perfect home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Lake Charles, LA area.

April
12

Walkable Neighborhoods in New Orleans

Walkable New Orleans Neighborhoods

Walkable neighborhoods provide a wide variety of benefits to residents and visitors alike. They offer convenience by allowing you to stroll rather than drive or use public transportation and also let you exercise in an attractive setting. If you live in one of these neighborhoods, you'll have a strong sense of community as you meet and mingle with neighbors and local business people when you get out and about and explore.
  
Our real estate agents know how walkable a neighborhood is can be attractive to some buyers, and can show you homes in the following local communities – as well as others – that are perfect for traveling around New Orleans on foot.

  1. French Quarter
    It's no surprise that the French Quarter is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in New Orleans. Founded in 1718, it's the city's oldest and well-known neighborhood. You'll find a great variety of interesting sites to see and things to do in the French Quarter, from Bourbon Street's nightlife to art galleries and historic churches. Stop in one of the area's famous restaurants before heading on your way to see more landmarks and partake in some of the fun that has made the French Quarter so famous.
      
  2. Marigny
    The Faubourg Marigny neighborhood – usually just shortened to Marigny – is located just down the river from the French Quarter. The hip area is a popular spot for locals to celebrate Mardi Gras and has become well known for its live music on Frenchmen Street and its restaurants, coffee shops, and bed and breakfasts. Marigny also has an Opera House as well as a nighttime Art Market complete with sidewalk musicians who create a festive atmosphere.
      
  3. Lower Garden District   
    Sometimes shortened to "LGD," the Lower Garden District has beautiful oak-lined streets dotted with stately mansions along with restaurants, pubs, cafes, coffee shops, and boutiques. The neighborhood has an artistic feel and is also known for its two parks – Coliseum Square and Annunciation Square. Take a break at Annunciation Square to visit the picnic area with a meal from one of the neighborhood's restaurants and relax under mature canopy trees. Or enjoy your picnic under some of Coliseum Square's shade trees and near one of its fountains.
      
  4. Touro
    The Touro neighborhood is located in Uptown New Orleans in between Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue. It has plenty of historic homes, many of which are over 100 years old. You'll be able to walk to bars, restaurants, shops, and the St. Charles streetcar line, and you're likely to spot residents out and about walking their dogs and enjoying the neighborhood.
      
  5. Irish Channel
    Named for Irish immigrants who came to the area in the 1830s, the Irish Channel is a mainly residential neighborhood and has plenty of homes with Victorian millwork and details. It's often described as a quaint area and has many popular destinations – such as breweries and restaurants – within a short walk.
      
  6. East Riverside
    East Riverside is a lively neighborhood populated with colorful homes and many cafes and microbreweries you can walk to. You'll also be able to make your way on foot to Tipitina's, a popular live music venue that's housed in a converted warehouse. Known for its Cajun dancing, Tipitina's adds to the neighborhood's local character.  

Contact us to see New Orleans homes for sale. We can help you find a neighborhood that you'll feel at home in and that offers the atmosphere and amenities that are important to you. 

March
19

Where to Take Your Dog for a Walk in Lafayette

Lafayette Dog Walking Trails The city of Lafayette is a great place to spend some quality time in the great outdoors. With beautiful parks and endless streets lined with historic buildings, there's always something new to discover.

And if you have a four-legged friend along for the journey? So much the better. These are our real estate agents' favorite places to take your dog for a walk in the Lafayette area. 

  1. Acadiana Park Nature Station - 1205 E Alexander St, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Spanning 110 acres and offering 6 miles of trails, Acadiana Park Nature Station offers a rich landscape that's ripe for exploration. The trails meander through a diverse landscape of forests, meadows, and creek bottoms, all of which harbor an amazing variety of plant and animal life. Located just minutes from these Lafayette homes for sale, the trails and nature station are open daily, free of charge, from dawn until dusk. Pets are welcome but must be leashed at all times. 

  2. Beaulieu Park Dog Park - 411 W Bluebird Dr, Lafayette, LA 70508
    One of Lafayette's newest dog parks, the Beaulieu Park Dog Park, was unveiled in 2019 and quickly became a favorite local destination for dogs and their humans. The park provides a large, fully fenced-in area where dogs can run freely, along with features like benches, a shady pavilion, and canine agility and exercise equipment. 

  3. Chicot State Park - 3469 Chicot Park Rd, Ville Platte, LA 70586
    Less than an hour from Lafayette, Chicot State Park is like a giant, 6,400-acre outdoor playground. In addition to being a well-known destination for camping and fishing, the park's greatest feature may be its 18-mile hiking trail, which completely encircles Lake Chicot and offers a handful of primitive backcountry campsites along the way. The trail is open to hikers and cyclists, and leashed pets are permitted. 

  4. Brown Memorial Dog Park - 1234 E. Pont des Mouton Road, Lafayette, LA 70507
    Offering great opportunities to let Fido run free off-leash, the dog park at Brown Memorial Park is a popular spot among Lafayette Locals and their pets. The dog park provides a large, fenced-in grassy area that is generally mowed, well-kept, and free of bare, muddy patches. Dogs are also welcome throughout the surrounding 50-acre park, as long as they are kept on a leash. 

  5. Girard Park - 500 Girard Park Dr, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Girard Park is nestled in the heart of Downtown, not far from the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Encompassing 33 acres, the park's picnic areas, shady lawns, and picturesque walking trails are popular places to enjoy the cool spring breeze, preferably with a furry friend. Dogs must be leashed, but they're welcome throughout the park. Girard Park is also home to a rec center and fishing pond and hosts numerous local events and festivals throughout the year. 

  6. Moncus Park - 2913 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
    A lovely green space in the heart of Lafayette, Moncus Park is a work in progress that promises to be a perfect spot to take Fido for a long walk. The park offers wide-open fields, towering shade trees, and a 2.5-mile walking trail. Leashed pets are welcome throughout, and there's also a fenced-in dog park with artificial turf where dogs can run off-leash.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Lafayette, Louisiana. It's a truly unique and special place for you and man's best friend to call home. 

March
15

Stargazing Spots Near New Orleans

Stargazing Near New Orleans

Nighttime in New Orleans is full of glittering lights, and the most spectacular ones blanket the city from above. Get a fresh perspective on NOLA with an evening of stargazing at one of these fascinating spots recommended by our real estate agents

  1. City Park - 1 Palm Dr., New Orleans, LA 70124
    The stars have been shining down on City Park since 1854, making it one of the oldest urban parks in the country. One of the features that draw millions of visitors each year is Couturie Forest, the world's largest stand of live oaks. Surrounded by majestic trees under a canopy of stars, it's hard to believe you're only minutes from New Orleans homes for sale. Dog-friendly City Park is open seven days a week, from 30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset.

  2. Audubon Park - 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70118
    Named for the iconic naturalist, Audubon Park is part of a network of 10 museums and parks devoted to environmental education and preservation. During the day, explore Bird Island, home to hundreds of birds in species ranging from snowy egrets to double-crested cormorants. At night, the park's intimate setting away from the city provides a great backdrop for stargazing. Hours are 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. daily. 

  3. Gretna Observatory - 1 Copernicus St., Gretna, LA 70053
    Learn all you can about the night sky over at Gretna Observatory. Get a clear view of stars, planets, the moon, and other astronomical wonders through the observatory's computer-controlled Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. The SCT is housed in a traditional aluminum dome, 16 feet in diameter, that rotates a full 360 degrees. Gretna Observatory is open to the public free of charge on Monday and Wednesday evenings, weather permitting. 

  4. Lake Pontchartrain Lakefront - 7637 Breakwater Park, New Orleans, LA 70124 
    Despite its name, Lake Pontchartrain is actually an estuary that connects to the Gulf of Mexico. But at 630 square miles, Lake Pontchartrain is the second largest inland saltwater body in the United States. The 24-mile causeway spanning the lake is the longest continuous bridge over water in the world. Secluded areas along the lakefront, such as Breakwater Park and West End Park, afford stunning views of the water by day and prime stargazing opportunities by night.

  5. Fontainebleu State Park - 62883 Hwy. 1089, Mandeville, LA 70448
    Just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, close to Mandeville homes for sale, sits Fontainebleu State Park, located on the site of a 19th-century sugar mill. Today, the 2,800-acre grounds are a favorite getaway due to miles of trails, boating and fishing, and an abundance of wildlife. Admission is $3 for all visitors over the age of 3. The park is open daily from 6 a.m. - 9 p.m., with extended hours until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

  6. Kenner Planetarium - 2020 Fourth St., Kenner, LA 70062
    Enjoy an unobstructed view of the heavens, rain or shine, at Kenner Planetarium, right down the street from Kenner homes for sale. Astronomy features and laser light shows are presented in the theater with a 50-foot domed screen and 118 stadium-style seats. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for kids. The planetarium is open from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. every Saturday. 

Looking for a New Orleans home close to some of the best stargazing spots? Our agents can help!

Contact us today to get started.

March
11

Learn About Butterflies Day: Butterfly Gardens Near Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Butterfly Gardens

The journey from caterpillar to butterfly is one of nature's most fascinating and inspiring transformations. On Sunday, March 14, spend some time observing these beautiful insects during National Learn About Butterflies Day. Get an up-close and personal view of these delightful spots around Baton Rouge suggested by our real estate agents.

  • Children's Garden - 4560 Essen Ln., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    All ages are welcome at Children's Garden, where kids are encouraged to interact with the various exhibits. Taste the freshness of blackberries, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables are grown throughout the year. The butterfly section provides a look at all phases of development, from eggs and caterpillars to chrysalis to full-grown butterfly. Admission is free for all visitors. Children's Garden is open daily from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

  • Independence Botanical Gardens - 7950 Independence Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    As part of their mission to make the city's natural resources easily accessible to the local community, BREC founded the Independence Botanical Gardens. One of the more recent additions to the site is the Butterfly Garden, completed in 2018. The garden includes cassia, echinacea, fennel, and other plants known to attract butterflies. The colors of the butterflies and the plants combine for a true visual delight. There is no charge for admission. Hours are 7 a.m. - sundown daily.

  • Laurens Henry Cohn, Sr. Memorial Plant Arboretum - 12206 Foster Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70811
    Laurens Henry Cohn, Sr. Memorial Plant Arboretum is another jewel in BREC's crown of scenic parks. With 16 acres of trees and shrubs, a fruit orchard, and a butterfly garden, the arboretum is a favorite destination for anyone who's seeking a peaceful oasis just minutes from Baton Rouge homes for sale. Besides butterflies, you can enjoy other flying creatures from the numerous bird-watching viewpoints throughout the grounds. The arboretum is open to the public free of charge. Hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., seven days a week.

  • Louisiana State Arthropod Museum - 5th Floor, Life Sciences Building, LSU, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
    Sixteen natural history collections housed on the LSU campus have been officially designated as the Louisiana Museum of Natural History. One of the more popular collections is the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, featuring approximately one million insect specimens. Exhibits, including butterflies, are pinned, fluid-preserved, or slide-mounted, with new specimens added on a regular basis. Staff members are available to answer questions. 

Create Your Own Butterfly Garden

Another fun option is to create your own butterfly garden! It's a family-friendly activity that benefits the environment and boosts the curb appeal of your home.

  • Choose plants such as zinnias, coneflowers, and petunias that attract butterflies with vivid colors and a plentiful supply of nectar. Stagger plants of different heights to draw a wider variety of butterflies.

  • Be sure to include host plants, such as asters, milkweed, and passionflower, that will provide a nutrient-rich base for caterpillars.

  • Place a shallow dish filled with pebbles or sand and water in the garden to serve as a drinking station.

  • Avoid pesticides as much as possible. 

  • Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Monarch, Duskywing, and Black Swallowtail are some of the butterfly species that are native to Louisiana. If there are butterflies you're particularly interested in, research their habits and tailor your garden accordingly.

When it comes to "cocooning," there's no place better than a home of your own around Baton Rouge. Contact us at Latter & Blum for help from our cheerful and experienced real estate agents.

March
5

National Day of Unplugging: Outdoor Retreats in Lafayette

Outdoor Retreats Lafayette

Eager for a taste of the great outdoors? Our real estate agents can help!

At Latter & Blum, our real estate experts spend hours every week exploring the best Lafayette homes for sale. But every now and then, even we feel the call of the wild. Louisiana's iconic bayous have shaped culture and history here for centuries, and they promise adventure for new residents and long-time locals.

What better time to reconnect than during National Day of Unplugging?

National Day of Unplugging is an awareness campaign that provides 24 hours of rest away from technology on the first Friday in March. 

There are all kinds of outdoor escapes to choose from around Lafayette!

Let's look at a few of them now:

  1. Avery Island – 30 Miles South of Lafayette, See Website for Location Details
    Avery Island is one of the area's five salt domes, striking features formed over thousands of years. It was settled in the 1800s by the Avery family and became the birthplace of Tabasco hot pepper sauce. Your visit will include the 170-acre Jungle Gardens, a protected botanical garden rich with local plants and wildlife that is open seven days a week. You can go on a five-mile scenic drive or explore the walking trail.

  2. White Lake Woods Conservation Area – Southwestern Louisiana, See Website for Location Details
    White Lake Woods Conservation Area was donated to the state of Louisiana in 2002. About 75% of the land is freshwater marsh. The rest consists of farmland, wetlands, wooded areas, and camping grounds. Waterfowl, shorebirds, and even alligators dwell in the freshwater marsh. Fishing, boating, birding, and wildlife viewing are popular activities. A two-mile nature trail wraps the north side of the wetlands.

  3. LARC's Acadian Village200 Greenleaf Drive, Lafayette, LA 70506
    LARC's Acadian Village sits on 32 acres of land administered by the LARC nonprofit, which provides support to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Village highlights the pioneer lives of the area's early settlers. The early 1800s recreation centers around a number of authentic period buildings, including the home of the first resident dentist in Lafayette. The village is a popular place for school field trips and weddings.

  4. Acadiana Park Nature Station – 1201 East Alexander Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Not far from Acadiana Park's beautiful campgrounds, you'll find the Acadiana Park Nature Station. This 150-acre facility is wheelchair accessible and incorporates a six-mile trail system. Since 1974, it has been known in the region for its Fourth Grade Environmental Education Program. Public tours are available every day of the year and guided Night Hikes on the last Saturday of each month.
     
  5. Atchafalaya Swamp Base – 2266 South College Road Suite E, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Created in 2010 as a national conservation site and "high adventure recreation base," Atchafalaya Swamp Base has a history intertwined with the local Boy Scouts. The Swamp encompasses an astounding 1.4 million acres, and the Swamp Base offers an accessible entry point. Its two iconic "treks," which consist of canoeing up to 75 miles, are regularly undertaken by experienced Scouts and guides. Weekend paddling trips are also available.

Living in Lafayette puts you at the crossroads of natural wonders. Imagine all that and the history, culture, and cuisine of one of America's most beloved cities. Contact us at Latter & Blum to learn about Lafayette real estate opportunities.

Latter & Blum
430 Notre Dame St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(866) 794-1022
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/04/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/04/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Houston Association of Realtors (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 12:32:26 AM EST) or Fort Polk MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:30:06 PM EST) or Greater Southern MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:35:12 PM EST) or Greater Baton Rouge MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:30:40 PM EST) or GSREIN MLS (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 1:09:58 AM EST) or Bayou MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:20:45 PM EST) or Pearl River MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:24:17 PM EST) or GCLAR MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:12:09 PM EST) or MGCMLS (last updated Mon 10/04/2021 9:31:53 AM EST) or Realtor Association of Acadiana (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:22:29 PM EST) or Southwest Mississippi MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:15:23 PM EST) or MLS United (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 1:36:09 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Latter & Blum may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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Agency License Information: Latter & Blum is licensed in Louisiana by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission. Latter & Blum is also licensed in Texas and Mississippi.


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