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CottagesNow that summer is officially here thanks to the passing of the summer solstice a few days ago, families and adventurers across the country are gearing up for extended trips. And if there’s one thing Americans do well, it’s road trips. From families going to visit relatives a few states away, to college students hitting the open road searching for a taste of independence and adventure, to couples with RVs who are constantly touring the highways and byways of the United States, most of America will hop in a car and drive at some point over the next two months.

Ascension Parish is no stranger to visitors passing through, as it has a large number of tourist attractions. Several plantations sit close to the levees that hem in the Mississippi River, museums offer a chance to explore the rich heritage of our area, and swamps and bayous can be explored in canoes or air-boats. (For a comprehensive list of all attractions, please visit the Ascension Parish Tourism Commission’s website).

Generally speaking, it is easier to figure out where you’re going to stay than what you’re going to visit when you’re on the road. Often, people choose big hotel chains (Marriotts, Hiltons, etc.) because they are convenient to find, have fairly reasonable rates, and always have vacancies. As a fairly young man fresh out of grad school, I confess to getting sucked into the big hotel chains cheap rates and continental breakfasts over the last few years (a common question my friends and I often asked each when selected a place to stay was “How many guys can we squeeze into one room for the lowest price.”). That was until I began working in the tourism industry for a bed and breakfast, which totally changed my outlook on where to stay when I traveled.

Bed and breakfasts provide a personal experience that you’ll never find at large hotel chains. Whether it’s a freshly cooked full breakfast, peace and solitude that you can only find by getting off the interstate and driving away from it, not staying the night right next to it, or vernacular antiques that you’d expect to find in an auction house and not your bedroom, BnBs provide a decidedly unique and relaxing experience that will make you never want to leave. Here in Ascension Parish, we have several BnBs that can provide you with perfect basecamp for touring the area or a just a place to rest your weary head after a long day on the open road (personally, I am partial to The Cajun Village Cottages, which sits back in a secluded hollow in the Louisiana woods).

So if you’re travelling to or through Ascension Parish this summer on a road trip, I encourage you to branch out and try the bed and breakfast experience. I promise you won’t be disappointed!