Known as Louisiana’s Northshore, St. Tammany Parish is draped across the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain — just 45 minutes from New Orleans’ French Quarter. New Orleanians have been vacationing to the Northshore since the 1880s, when steamboats brought them across the lake to stay in large resorts shaded by tall trees, where the air was cooler and cleaner and the deep-spring water was reputed to cure ills and calm nerves. Today, visitors to the Northshore enjoy two waterfront state parks, charming B&Bs, even a boutique hotel — The Southern Hotel — one of the old resorts from the early 1900s that has been lovingly restored and renovated.

In recent years, the Northshore has been discovered by visitors in search of soft adventures, green spaces and waterways, great culinary and cultural scenes, picturesque towns and feel-good vibes. Many come for boat tours of the Honey Island Swamp, fishing charters and kayak adventures on the bayou. Others love the sophisticated feel of historic downtown Covington, a charming district with galleries, shops, museums and more than 25 res- taurants within walking distance of the boutique Southern Hotel and B&Bs.

Perhaps the best way to experience St. Tammany Parish’s cuisine and culture though is at one of the many “must-see” festivals and events held year-round. In autumn, you can sample succulent seafood at the St. Tammany Crab Festival, get into the groove at the Camellia City Smooth Jazz Festival, and celebrate maritime culture at the Wooden Boat Festival. Other outstanding events include the free juried Three Rivers Art Festival, featuring more than 200 artist exhibits, A Taste of Covington, a 5-day culinary festival, and Slidell’s All You Can Eat Crawfish Cook-off. There’s also the Abita Springs Busker Festival, for those longing to break out their dancing shoes, and the Olde Towne Slidell Antique Street Fairs, held twice a year and perfect for antique collectors.

Find out more at louisiananorthshore.com