Day 51: A Visit to Little Saigon


time of year

We drove to the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge

Our first stop was the Madere Marsh Boardwalk. It turned out very short walk through the marsh and isn’t really worth stopping at.


Just a few miles up the road is the abandoned Fort Macomb

Built in 1822 as part of the “Third System” seacoast defense plan, the fort once guarded the Chef Menteur Pass into Lake Pontchartrain. Later, the fort was occupied by Confederate forces during the Civil War. There was a fire in 1867 and the fort was decommissioned and abandoned in 1871. The ruins were further damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Due to its dangerous and deteriorating condition, the fort is currently closed to the public (we didn’t know this at the time went).


Not too far from the fort is the Fisherman’s Castle

A roadside attraction that seems to have once been someone’s house. From the outside it seems to be in good condition, I hope someone can one day restore it to a home.’s_Castle

On the way back we stopped at another boardwalk in the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge

to walk the Ridge Trail (2/3 mile boardwalk loop). This path goes through one of the few forested areas in the refuge, about 5% of it consists of naturally elevated areas dry enough to support forest. The rest of the refuge consists of freshwater and brackish marshes. This area was heavily damaged by hurricane Katrina and efforts are being made to restore the natural habitat by planting native trees and culling invasive species.


difficulty: 1

For lunch we chose a nearby restaurant in “little Saigon”

Founded in 1982, Dong Phuong Bakery is a James Beard Award-winning Vietnamese bakery in the heart of New Orleans East offering traditional baked goods, banh mi, meat pies and seasonal staples such as mooncakes and king cakes. We ordered a Crawfish Pie (a spicy, herb filled crawfish filling with a sweet, buttery pie crust), a BBQ Pork Bun/Pate Chaud (pulled pork with a sweet BBQ sauce in a dense croissant like pie shell) and a Mixed Vegetable Bahn Mi (a veggies on a roll with delicious spicy, sweet brown sauce). Their bakery offers nation wide shipping and next door is a sit down restaurant offering traditional Vietnamese food.


We went back to our AirBnB

and walked around the corner for a coffee from the Cherry Espresso Bar and praline King Cakes. Omg so good! A cinnamon roll/ pastry wrapped around layers of pecans and brown sugar, topped with icing and Mardi Gras colored sugar crystals.


After a short nap we headed over to the Garden District.

It’s a beautiful place to walk the old brick streets and sidewalks to view the gardens and historic mansions.

The Chicory House

is in the garden district. We stopped in for a chicory coffee and a gingerbread biscotti.

We drove to the Audubon Park to see The Tree of Life

A huge, awe inspiring tree. Definitely worth walking up to and really experiencing the size and majesty.


We went to Pizza Domenica

for a Margarita Pizza with mushrooms. They have a custom-made oven shipped from Italy and offer specialty ,gourmet pizzas, a selection of antipasti, salad, desserts, and craft drinks. Fresh, light, authentic and delicious, maybe the best pizza I’ve ever had.


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