Summer fun found right out your back door

More than 24 million people visit Louisiana every year. They help directly sustain the lifestyles of more than 200,000 of our fellow residents and annually generate more than $9.4 billion to state and local economies.

Louisiana’s tourism industry is expected to create approximately $850 million in tax revenues this year alone. Without that source, every household in the Bayou State would be required to pay an additional $550 in taxes each year to compensate what visitors financially contribute to the state budget.

According to “Best Family Travel Experts,” a network of travel writers, authors, journalists and marketing consultants, this summer’s typical vacationers are seeking “more authentic and meaningful travel experiences.”

The experts have noted that travel agents across the country report having clients willing to stray off the beaten path to experience something new.

In southeast Louisiana there is plenty to do in addition to what have become expected vacations, not all attractions are limited to New Orleans and there is an abundance of opportunities off the expected routes.

The Tri-parish region features attractions and activities that are both child-friendly and adult-welcoming. This is especially inviting when the current economy prompts vacationing Louisianans to consider staying close to home while deciding where to invest leisure time and money.

Within Lafourche, St. Mary and Terrebonne parishes alone there are a variety of resources for travelers staying close to home.

Our area offers pleasurable road trips to simply view and in many cases receive public tours of 15 plantations that display architecture and culture rooted in the 19th century.

The Tri-parishes feature listings for 15 swamp tours, 70 charter fishing guides, and four bicycle excursions. We offer visitors and ourselves 10 museums that are dedicated to the regional culture, five wildlife areas and fisheries, and nine quality golf courses.

Every weekend features a festival or concert of some kind, someplace within the three parishes. Families can find attractions appropriate to include the kids. In turn, adults without children-in-tow have a broad selection of activities suitable for their senses.

This week alone, attractions include “Seussical, Jr.” performed tonight, Thursday and Friday at the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux. Downtown Live After Five is on Friday and the Southdown Plantation Open House and Family Day is Saturday, both in Houma. Then on Monday, a midnight showing of “The Amazing Spiderman” is being offered at Lake Cinema in Morgan City.

We encourage Tri-parish residents to discover vacationing resources close to home. After all, 24 million visitors must know something.