St. Tammany Parish is a beautiful, extraordinary and diverse part of Louisiana. The parish has 1,124 square miles that encompasses bayous, creeks, rivers, lakes, hills, forests and a true-to-home gumbo of people. In fact, it’s such a mixture that almost every piece of the Bayou state’s culture can be found in just one place – from the river town of Madisonville; to the waterfronts in Mandeville; to the quaint, southern-home charm of downtown Covington.
“I feel like we’re a microcosm of the state,” said Renee Kientz, vice president of the St. Tammany Tourism Commission.
The big challenge, she said, is marketing the parish as a whole. In the past, it has been very difficult to create a campaign that doesn’t leave some – or several – important parts of St. Tammany out of the mix.
So, what banner could be placed high above the area that would unite such a diverse and expansive culture? Well, the pride and joy of almost all Louisiana can be summed up in a single, delicious word: food.
Thus, the ‘Tammany Taste of Summer’ was born as a sister event to the ‘Coolinary New Orleans Restaurant Month.’ Over 24 restaurants, small eateries, and drink shops are participating in the inaugural year of the event.
A wide variety of three-course brunches, massive lunches and four-course dinners all await those who travel into the parish during August. Interested in something specific? Chances are St. Tammany has it – Cajun food, Mexican food, Italian, even English tea are just a broad stroke of what’s offered as part of the first ‘Taste of Tammany.’ All Interested visitors can navigate tammanytaste/restaurants/ to see a complete list.
But, it doesn’t stop there – want to stay in St. Tammany? Turn it into a long-reaching, unique experience where you can eat world-renowned food for days? The Tourist Commission has you covered, partnering with local hotels to offer special rates for those who reserve through mmxreservations.com – just be sure to enter promo code ‘Tammany Taste.’
Visitors who mention the delicious title of the event at the front desk of any participating hotel will also receive a special culinary gift, courtesy of the tourist commission.
But, Keintz said, it’s important to remember that St. Tammany has plenty to offer outside of food – it’s just hard to touch on it all in one medium, much less a day.
“Just as part of what Covington has to offer – visitor’s can stay at the Southern hotel and are in walking distance of over thirty shops and restaurants. The Tammany Trace Bike Trail has become a huge attraction.”
“Even Slidell has a culture all its own,” she added.
Travelers who are on a budget and may not be interested in the boutique-style hotel can find many house-brand name hotels at very affordable prices, and Fontainebleau State Park offers cabins for the outdoor lovers at affordable rates. The state park system has over 80,000 acres of wildlife preserve in St. Tammany – perfect for lovers of nature.
One can’t mention St. Tammany without discussing the ever-growing Abita Brewery, which now ships it’s delicious and wide-ranging libations all over the United States. Just down the road is the original brewery, which has been turned into a restaurant offering some of the best hamburgers in Louisiana.
“For over a century, this is where people from New Orleans came to get away and play,” Kientz said. “We want to offer that to the world.”