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Gerard Gilberto | | October 16, 2014

College Football Road Trip: Louisiana Voyage

  Tiger Stadium will be your destination for this week's Ultimate College Football Road Trip

Ultime voyage sur la route de style cajun de football collégial!

Translation: College Football Ultimate Road Trip, Cajun Style!

Kentucky-LSU. Sounds like a great basketball game, but something of a lop-sided football game in year’s past. However, this season Patrick Towles and Kentucky are making some noise in the SEC, and Les Miles’ squad should be wary of the surging 5-1 Cats. I would not want to miss this one, so let's hit the road and Laissez les bons temps rouler!

  Marley's Sports Bar
Let’s hope for the road trip’s sake that it all works out for the boys from Baton Rouge, this way the only Rajun' Cajuns you’ll see this weekend will be at your first stop in Lafayette, Louisiana.

For those of you bearing down on Tiger Stadium from the west, you’re going to hit a town called Lafayette about 60 miles before you get to Baton Rouge. It’ll seem like a quaint, family-oriented town, but don’t be fooled; this town is just a plain old good time.

There is a strip of good cocktail bars and Cajun restaurants on Jefferson Street in Downtown Lafayette.  Marley’s Sports Bar on Jefferson Street is a great place for a sports fan to take in some good local Cajun food.

However, you cannot leave this city without going to Poche’s in Breaux Bridge and trying the Boudin Balls (as well as other authentic Cajun boudin: crawfish, pork, etc.).

The last stop on the Lafayette food tour should be at Meche’s Donut King. This is a great authentic Louisiana bakery, with delicacies like king cake and beignets, accompanied by donuts that would put Krispy Kreme to shame.

Now you’re going to need somewhere to walk off all this food, the perfect place to do this will be on a swamp tour of Lake Martin.

Also west of Baton Rouge is a fun place with a great Sunday tradition that folks coming from the east can take in. Whiskey River Landing sits on the Atchafalaya Basin and has live Cajun or Zydeco music on Sundays. So after you take in the game on Saturday, head west and, “Allons Danser!”

Now for those of you coming from the east, before you hit Baton Rouge, visit New Orleans. There is no shortage of things to do in New Orleans. But you’re here. You know where you want to go. So just do it. Right away just go right to Bourbon Street.

Try the Hurricane, a signature cocktail at Pat O’Brien’s, and then keep going down the street until you hit Tropical Isle try their signature drink, the Hand Grenade. All right are you a happy tourist now? Good, let’s go see more of New Orleans.

Start in the morning. I know I got mean to the tourists there but we’re actually not done with the tourist places. Café Du Monde, at the head of the French Quarter on Decatur Street. It sits right between a perfect view of the Mississippi River and St. Louis’ Cathedral. While you’re there get a Café Au Lait and some beignets.

  Drago's charbroiled oysters! #NOLA #dragos #oysters #yummy -- @ericaedoyle
Then go see the sights in town; the World War II Museum is amazing. Also, it would not be a bad idea to visit the French Market and then double-back to see St. Louis Cathedral (be sure to tip the street artists and performers that stay outside the Cathedral).

I know you’re not there for the Mardi Gras festivities in February, but you could still get the experience if you go on a tour with Mardi Gras World.

When the sun comes down a little, take a Haunted History Tour, which is basically a ghost tour through the French Quarter.

It’s getting to be that time, lucky for you; there is also no shortage of places to eat in New Orleans, your decision depends on what type of food you want to eat. Let’s keep it Cajun: for oysters, you have a couple different options. If you want raw shellfish, like clams or oysters you go to Acme Oyster House.

If you want your oysters with a little bit more flavor, head to Drago’s where they specialize in char-broiled oysters. There are two locations but head to the one at the Hilton on the Riverside, it’ll be easier to walk toward your evening destination from there. The best Po’ Boy in town can be found at Gene’s on Elysian Fields Avenue. And if you want crawfish you go to a place literally called, “Cajun Seafood,” right off Esplanade in the 7th Ward.

Now that you’ve had a good New Orleans meal, it’s time to listen to some good New Orleans music. Find Frenchman Street in your travels and hop from jazz club to jazz club. This right here is the big leagues for jazz and blues musicians and the places to see it all lie on Frenchman Street. Head to the big stage at The Maison or the Blue Nile, then wander to the small stage at the Spotted Cat.

Just make sure not to get lost in the best live music you’ll see in a bar or nightclub, because we have a football game to get to.

Baton Rouge on a football Saturday is nothing short of amazing. There is no such thing as a private tailgate in Baton Rouge. You’ll almost be surprised how willingly these people hand out Gumbo and Jambalaya and everything else they’re grilling up to people just because they’re fans of the Tigers. Keep this in mind and maybe find a chance to set up camp and make about a thousand new friends. Tailgates are also everywhere, including LSU’s scenic quad, with a beautiful view of the campus clock tower. But if you're looking for a restaurant to eat at rather than a tailgate then you cannot walk past the stadium without stopping at Pastime.

Similar to the Elephant Stomp and the Tiger Walk in Missouri, LSU has the Walk Down Victory Hill. Also, if you want to see Mike the Tiger (they have a live tiger for a mascot) make sure to head there very early, it’ll absolutely be worth it. There might also be somewhat of a block party on North Stadium Drive before, during and after the game, so it might be cool to see before kickoff, but then make sure you get into the stadium for the game!

For your post-game festivities, you’re going to want to go to Tiger Land, a strip of bars and restaurants on Bob Pettit Boulevard that will hopefully be where the victory party is taking place.

For your post-post-game late night eats you’re going to want to go to Raising Cane’s or Louis’ Café, both LSU staples. Former LSU student, Todd Greaves, founded Cane’s in 1996 and Louis’ has been in business in Baton Rouge since 1941.

This will conclude your Week 9 road trip to Baton Rouge. Good luck, have fun and remember, down here, it's GEAUX TIGERS.

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• Ultimate College Football Road Trip archives

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