An unincorporated village on Lake Pontchartrain and along Highway 190, once a stagecoach route, Lacombe saw its first Europeans in the early 18th century. The laid-back community is known for the Creole observance of All Saints Day, in which descendants of early residents decorate and light graves in the oldest cemeteries in a ceremony known as Les Toussaints les Lumieres du Morte.

The area also is known for the Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, 15,000 acres of pine flatwoods and coastal marsh great for birding, hiking and kayaking.

Check in with Bayou Adventure, a one-stop shop and outfitter for all things outdoor. Get live bait, fishing advice, rent your own kayaks or take a guided tour of nearby bayous Cane, Castine, or Lacombe. Also, you can rent bikes for riding the nearby Tammany Trace or gear for fishing and crabbing on Lacombe’s Lake Road.

Learn about the area at the Lacombe Heritage Center, enjoy quiet contemplation at the 1923 Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, then head out for dinner at one of Lacombe’s dining landmarks. French technique meets Louisiana farm-to-table ingredients at La Provence, Chef John Besh of Food Network fame’s destination restaurant. Generations have enjoyed chef Sal Impastato’s take on Creole Italian at  Sal & Judy’s. For down-home Louisiana cookin’, try Char Lou’s or Janie Brown’s.

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