What to do while you’re here….
The Magnolia Cafe’, the locals’ favorite for lunch & Friday night dining & dancing, is on Commerce Street, behind the Birdman Cafe’, just past the main red-light intersection in town. They are open daily for lunch 11-4 and Thursday through Saturday from 11-9 for dinner. Great poboys, burgers and salads as well as very good dinner specials that usually include seafood and steaks. Wines by the glass & a bar. On Friday nights, you’ll find an interesting mix of locals enjoying live music on the screened porch while dining & dancing (all ages from toddlers to seniors!). Phone: 225-635-6528.
The Carriage House at the Myrtles Plantation is open for lunch (11-2) and dinner (5-9) and Sunday Brunch from 11-2. Note, they are open Mondays, but closed Tuesdays. Located in a charming cottage on the grounds of The Myrtles Plantation, they offer numerous daily specials and po-boys, salads and excellent burgers. If you are looking for a place in St. Francisville for a nice dinner, their evening specials are good and we recommend their steaks. Atmosphere is nice. Fine wines and a bar. Phone: 225-635-6278.
Ma Mama’s Kitchen in New Roads is the one of the best restaurants around and now you can get there by taking the spectacular new Audubon Bridge! It’s about a 15-20 minute beautiful drive, which takes you into the quaint Creole town of New Roads. Located at 124 Main Street, it’s across the street from False River on the ground floor of the oldest commercial building in town (turn right at the main red light & it’s in the first block on the right. The menu is quite varied with the freshest Caesar Salad we’ve ever had along with classics like Oysters Rockefellar, BBQ Shrimp, Shrimp Tini & Remoulade. Nice wines by the glass. Open Tuesday through Thursday 11-9, Friday & Saturday 11-10. VERY popular so make a reservation and ask for Angela to be your server. Her menu suggestions are always perfect! Phone 225-618-2424.
Just across the street from Ma Mama’s Kitchen is Morel’s Restaurant which is also quite good. Located right on False River, the “River Room” is situated directly over the river, with amazing sunsets. They serve mostly Creole favorites. To see their menu, visit their website, www.morelsrestaurant.com. They also have nightly specials. Our favorite is the 4 oz. filet served over a bed of creamed spinach and roasted potatoes, topped with fried oysters and Bernaise sauce! Open Sundays & Mondays from 11-2 for lunch, and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11-9. Phone 225-638-4057.
Hot Tails, located at 1113 Hospital Road in New Roads is a very popular casual restaurant owned by award-winning husband and wife chefs. They do not take reservations, so there could be a wait for a table. They specialize in Cajun/Creole seafood. Open 11-9 daily except Sundays. Phone: 225-638-4676.
Also in New Roads on False River @ 108 East Main, is Satterfield’s Restaurant. It’s a nice facility overlooking the river and if you’re into fried seafood, it’s fine. It’s a great place for a drink overlooking the river. Phone 225-638-5027.
South of the Border is a restaurant located on Hwy. 61 just south of the Mississippi border. Open Tuesday – Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 11am-2pm specializing in steaks, seafood, salads, burger & sandwiches. Phone 225-635-3071.
Al Aqaba Lebanese Restaurant at the corner of Ferdinand & Commerce (red light) offers excellent Lebanese food and is open 7 days a week. You can count on them being open from 11:00 – 8:30 every day and later on weekends. Although not much on atmosphere and no liquor license, if you dine there (as opposed to ordering take-out), you can bring your own wine, beer or whatever. They charge the required $2 corking fee. Phone 225-635-4035 for take out orders.
Que Pasa Mexican Grill is on the corner of Hwy. 61 & Commerce Street at the red light on the south end of town. They are open Monday through Saturday from 11 am – 9 pm for lunch & dinner and Sundays from 11-3. Good Tex-Mex food & margaritas. Outdoor deck seating (our favorite, weather permitting) or indoors. Wines by the glass and a bar. Phone: 225-784-0161.
The Francis Smokehouse & Specialty Meats is on the corner of Hwy. 61 and across Commerce Street from Que Pasa. They are open Monday-Saturday 10-6. Although they have seating, this is really more of a take-out place offering excellent BBQ, fried chicken, burgers & sandwiches. They also sell beautiful steaks, boudin and sausages for grilling here. Phone 225-245-5046.
Audubon Café is open Thursday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch. They have good home cooking along with soups, salads & sandwiches. They are across the parking lot from the large grocery store and Fred’s Dollar Store at Highway 61 & Highway 10. Phone: 225-635-5446.
Birdman Coffee & Books located in front of the Magnolia Cafe’, is our town’s popular hangout in the mornings, offering a great breakfast menu with omelets, huevos rancheros, waffles, as well as an assortment of coffees, pastries, scones & homemade ice cream (in warm weather). It’s open daily, Tuesday – Friday 11-5pm and on Saturday from 8am – 5pm and Sunday from 8-4pm. They stop serving breakfast at 11:00. On the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month, Birdman serves homemade supper (bring your own wine) with local musical entertainment from 6-8, food served starting around 5. Phone: 225-635-3665.
St. Francisville Inn puts on a breakfast buffet for $8 per person from 6:30 – 9:00 Monday through Friday and from 7 to 10 on Saturday & Sunday. They are located in the Victorian Gothic Bed & Breakfast at the 3-way red light on the corner of Ferdinand and Commerce. The restaurant has views of a landscaped courtyard and pool. The Wine Parlor, located in the Inn, is open until 9:00 every evening, offering a wide selection of over 250 wines from around the world (also available to take home by the bottle) and 40+ beers. Phone: 225-635-6502.
East Dragon in the Spring Creek Shopping Center located on the left, rear side of the shopping center. Very good Chinese & Cantonese food. There are “take-out specials” which are plentiful and include your choice of main course and comes with a wonton, egg roll & fried rice. Prices for the specials range from $5.95-$7.95. Only beer is served. East Dragon is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM. Phone: 225-635-6777.
Sonny’s Pizza, on Highway 61 in front of the Spring Creek Shopping Center has very good pizzas, in addition to po-boys, hamburgers and other Italian specialties (we like the fried shrimp sandwich). Only beer is served. They have a drive-thru window in addition to indoor seating. Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner and Sundays from 4-9 pm. Phone 225-635-4771.
Feliciana Seafood Market & Deli at Highway 61 and Commerce Street is in the Exxon-convenience store at the corner of Highway 61 and Commerce Street. It has a variety of gumbos, soups and fried seafood to go, in addition to po-boys, pizza, fried chicken and fish, hamburgers, etc. They also have a fairly wide selection of wine and are open everyday. They are open Mon. -Thurs. 7-9, Fridays 7-10, Sat. 8-10, Sun. 8-8. Phone: 225-635-4279.
The Mary Ann Brown Nature Preserve has a 2-mile trail through one of the few protected forests in West Feliciana parish’s Tunica Hills. The 109-acre preserve, recently opened to the public by the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, is just 5 miles east of St. Francisville. On Highway 964 on the left just across from the entrance to the Bluffs. The trail, through a mixed hardwood forest dominated by magnolia and beech trees, courses up and down over shallow ravines eroded from a silt plateau deposited by the wind of thousands of years ago. Blazed and easy to follow, the trail can be slippery at the small creek bisecting the preserve. The preserve includes butterfly and hummingbird gardens and a pond stocked with fish, all free and open to the public. There are also covered picnic areas.
Imahara’s Botanical Gardens is committed to providing West Feliciana and surrounding parishes a study of hardy and specialized plant collections (Azalea, Camellia, Crape Myrtle, Holly, Magnolia, Oak Varieties, Specialty Topiary, Existing Cypress Swamp, Palms, Bamboo, Japanese Gardens, Fruit Trees, Native Planting, Pond Planting) in the natural setting of the alluvial Tunica soils. Also of special interest is an extensive collection of haiku, carved in Japanese Kanji characters onto cypress boards by James Imahara, father of garden founder, Walter Imahara. The haiku line the walls of the Imahara Garden’s conference center, each accompanied by an English translation. James Imahara, an accomplished horticulturalist, served as head gardener at Afton Villa Gardens. Tours by appointment only. On June weekends the garden will open for Crape Myrtle Magic, when all twenty-five varieties of crape myrtles planted are expected to be in full bloom. Saturdays and Sundays from May 28—July 3. Directions: As you pull out of Shadetree, turn left and then take the first right onto Tunica Road (it turns into Mahoney Road). Continue 1 mile and the long white fence on the left marks Imahara’s. Enter left at the 4-tier pond with the large water feature. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for appointments for tours and special events like weddings. This is the same owner of Imahara Nursery and Landscaping Co. in Baton Rouge.
Rosedown Plantation and Gardens is our most spectacular home on tour and should not be missed. Oakley, where John James Audubon stayed when he was here is another interesting historical site. Both are now owned by the State.
Local naturalist/artist Murrell Butler gives “bird walks”. He has a checklist of 138 species–78 of which nest on his property. Call Murrell at 225-635-6214 for reservations.
This area is one of the most popular among bicyclers. Backroads Bicycle Tour Group comes several times a year. Shadetree has bicycles for guest use.
If you’re a jogger, walker or bicycler and prefer a trail other than an in town jaunt, try Tunica Street which we call “Chipmunk Alley”. Turn left at the bottom of Shadetree’s steps, then right onto Tunica Street at the bottom of the hill.
Bs sure not to miss Afton Villa Gardens (featured in Travel & Leisure and Victoria Magazine) about 4 miles north of town on Highway 61 on the left side of the highway, just past the turn-off to Angola Hwy. 66. Open Fall & Spring. Fall season is October 1st to December 1st daily from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm daily. Spring season is March 1st through June 30th. Phone 225-721-2269 or 225-635-6773 for more information. Picnicking on the grounds is permitted.
Hemingbough, a cultural arts center, is open to the public and hosts an annual Easter Sunrise service outdoors in the amphitheater every Easter morning at 7:00 a.m., complete with a continental breakfast and music. It’s a non-denominational service. Admission is free. If you haven’t been to Hemingbough you must stop in and view this breathtaking property (238 acres) created by developer Arlin Deese. Hemingbough is available for weddings, parties, family & corporate events as well as many other functions. Phone: 225-635-6617.
Grace Episcopal Church and Cemetery just down and across Ferdinand Street is quite beautiful and the view from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church hilltop stunning. Both churches welcome guests. Sunday services at Grace are at 10:00 a.m. and services at Mt. Carmel are at 5:30 Saturday evening and 10:30 Sunday morning. The United Methodist Church just down on Royal Street also has Sunday services @ 8:15 am & two at 11:00 am (one contemporary & one traditional).
We have a good massage therapist in town: Rena Sturgeon is located behind the Magnolia Cafe’. Phone: 225-721-2304.
In addition to a wide variety of clothing and lingerie for ladies, Shanty Too, across from the Historical Society, has many gifts and a candy shop. Ma Milles and Femme Fatale, down on the left towards the red light, have women’s clothing and gifts. Sage Hill Antiques & Gifts, further down on Commerce Street across from the Post Office, has an eclectic collection of gifts, home accessories and women’s clothing. For antiques, Bohemianville Antiques (at the red light) has quite a melange of interesting things. Hillcrest, at the intersection of Commerce and Highway 10, is another great home, garden & gift shop. Mia Sophia Florist, next door to Hillcrest, has a great selection of flowers and unique gifts
For things like film, toilet articles and medicine, try Fred’s Dollar Store (on Hwy. 61 North) and the Elliot’s Pharmacy, just up the highway in the Spring Creek Shopping Center. Patrick’s Jewelry, located in the newly built building on Highway 61 near the Best Western, has such an amazing selection of jewelry, as well as Mignon Faget glassware, that folks travel from Natchez and Baton Rouge to shop there. Next door, you’ll find La Vie, which has women’s clothing, accessories and gifts. In case you’re unprepared for rain, Pat’s Hardware on Highway 61 has Lacrosse rubber boots and a huge array of hunting gear and both Dollar Stores have rain ponchos. We have umbrellas you can borrow.
Audubon Package Liquor and Ricky’s Lounge are located on Highway 61 just North of where it intersects at Commerce Street, has a good selection of wines & other liquor and inside to the left is quite the “quintessential local dive bar” where many locals hang out. It’s open on Tuesday through Saturday from around 3:00 pm until the wee hours. Phone: 635-3764.
Don’t forget to check out the latest issue of Country Roads Magazine in your suite which features a calendar of events and other attractions in the area.