If you can time your arrival into Garden city at night, do so. Despite its small size, the city seems to breathe at night and aptly earns its name as it looks like a garden of lights as you come out of the fields to the east.
Conway, Arkanas is a college town. There’s one university (University of Central Arkansas) and two colleges. Hendrix, a liberal arts college, is one of them. It’s been ranked as one of the top 40 liberal arts colleges in the country. There’s a very distinct American downtown located just south of the college that bustles with business as usual during the day and comes alive with music in the evening.
Natchez, MS is a cozy town of less than 20,000 people. Tourism is its main draw. Historic preservation has been a top priority and the atmosphere is inviting. Natchez is a city like many in this region that was inhabited by people from several different countries. First came the French, then the English. Spain was the last foreign country to lay claim to the city before relinquishing control to the U.S. in 1798.
I started off Wednesday morning with a tour of the main house at the Butler Greenwood Plantation. I was astounded that the house and land still resides with the original family. That’s a long, impressive heritage. After the tour that Anne Butler gave me, I headed into St. Francisville for breakfast and then a stroll around town.
Sitting on the back porch of the “tree house”, it’s hard to imagine that the city of Baton Rouge is just 35 miles south. To be honest, it’s hard to imagine that anything else exists within hundreds of miles from my feet dangling just over the wooden planks on the back deck, as I swing in solitude behind my cottage. The main house in front is the barrier to entry into a little fantasy land called the Butler Greenwood Plantation.
There’s a little town on the Bayou Lafourche just off Highway 90, that doesn’t get much attention. People on the highway are too rushed to get to New Orleans or too disoriented when they leave. Raceland, Louisiana is tucked just far enough away that the average person would hardly even know it existed, if it weren’t for a sign that says so. Residents here are fortunate that’s the case.
We tend to think the more the merrier, when it comes to a party. When it’s time to relax, numbers matter and big numbers aren’t welcome. A Chateau on the Bayou is the perfect place in a perfect little town to sit back, relax, and take in what everyone else is missing.
Hwy 90 runs along the coast of Mississippi from Biloxi to Pass Christian (pronounced Christy Anne). Biloxi is full of big high rise casinos that overlook the ocean and they gently fade away through Gulfport.
If you drive about 20 miles from the northern most point of Biloxi, through the hustle and bustle, the traffic and the noise, you’ll reach the town of Long Beach. Inconspicuously planted just two blocks from the ocean is a little bed and breakfast you’ll be wanting to call home for a quiet night’s sleep, good food and an evening stroll under the stars.
Riding my bike into Pensacola, Florida I had a comfortable feeling surround me that a small town offers. Before arriving, I thought the city was much bigger than it is. I had a pleasant surprise awaiting for me that catered to my need for the ocean and good ole’ southern charm served on a platter of small town hospitality.
There’s an old home on the highest hill on Quintard Avenue on the outskirts of Anniston, Alabama. It’s hidden beneath hundred year old oak trees and the shade these giants provide. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you very well may pass it by without notice.
That’s just fine by the guests of the The Victoria Inn and Restaurant. Some people enjoy keeping a secret. The silence is broken. Welcome to The Victoria.