Covington, Louisiana


Best Places to Retire in Louisiana

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Covington (population 8,600) is just north of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish, 35 miles from New Orleans. It is easy to reach via the 24-mile long causeway – a straight shot into the city from Covington. Parts of the parish reach the city more directly via the I -10 causeway. Other communities in the parish include Folsom, Sun, Bush, Talisheek, Abita Springs, Madisonville, Mandeville, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell, with a combined population of just over 200,000 persons. Covington is the county seat. The area boasts the best schools in the state, excellent health care and a vibrant business environment. It is the fastest growing parish in the state. http://www.cityofcovingtonla.com/

There is an active arts and cultural program in the area that include numerous festivals and cultural events, galleries and museums. In addition, there are community and state parks, outstanding shopping, fine dining, recreational opportunities for golf, swimming, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hunting, birding, horseback riding, hiking, cycling, and more. Add to this all the wonderful restaurants, sports teams, music, theater, nightlife and many other amenities and excitement of the city of New Orleans, just 35 miles away. The Northshore area (as it is known) is regarded as quite safe and a good environment for raising a family or for retirees.

Covington was founded on Independence Day in 1813 along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River that flows into Lake Ponchartrain. The historic downtown, which is on the river, has tree-lined streets with boutiques, antique shops, restaurants and the Columbia Street Landing. Its harbor was its crucial link to commerce in cotton, lumber, bricks and other commodities, and is still active today. On the third Friday of each month, residents come to The Landing for the “Sunset at the Landing” Concert Series. There are also a number of good dining choices where you can enjoy the local cuisine featuring French cooking, crawfish dishes, or perhaps alligator. Covington offers a relaxed and affordable way of life with year-round festivals, parades, outstanding recreational opportunities, and a thriving arts community.

Arts & Culture

Playmaker’s Theater is a Covington venue that hosts live theater and concerts. http://www.playmakersinc.com/

The St. Tammany Art Association seeks to enrich the community through exhibitions, educational and arts programming. http://www.sttammanyart.org/

There are a number of galleries featuring paintings, sculptures, and works in clay, leather and other mediums. http://www.greateerneworleans.worldweb.com/Covington/Galleries/

Mandeville Trailhead and Cultural Interpretive Center features a museum, interactive fountain, amphitheater and lookout tower. It hosts educational and entertainment events, including concerts. http://www.mandevilletrailhead.com/

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum & Research Center is an active educational and research effort to collect, interpret, and preserve the maritime and cultural history of the Lower Mississippi River Basin. One of its educational programs is boat building. http://www.lpbmaritimemuseum.org/

Recreation

Two sites along Lake Pontchartrain offer the best access for swimming. These are Pontchartrain Beach on the south shore and Fountainbleau State Park on the north shore. http://www.crt.state.la.us/Parks/ifontaine.aspx

Fontainebleau State Park is a 2,800-acre park on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville. It contains the ruins of an old sugar mill and brickyard built in 1829 by the town’s founder, Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville. Park visitors can enjoy sunbathing on the sandy beach, swimming in the nearby pool, use the numerous picnic sites, fish in its stocked pond, or walk the 1.5-mile nature trail. It is also connected to the 31-mile paved Tammany Trace hiking, cycling, and equestrian trail. http://www.crt.state.la.us/crt/parks/fontaine/fontaine.htm

Tammany Trace is a 31-mile rails-to-trails conversion that links the St Tammany Parish towns of Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe, and Slidell. The paved trail, and parallel equestrian trail, leads through stands of loblolly pines, live oaks, and magnolias, and crosses 31 bridges using the original railroad trestles. It offers excellent recreation opportunities for walkers, joggers, equestrians, or rollerbladers. http://www.tammanytrace.org/

Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Lacombe is comprised of 15,000 acres of pine flatwods, oak rides and coastal marsh on the coastline of Lake Pontchartrain. The facility offers opportunities for birding, fishing, hunting, biking, hiking and canoeing. http://bigbranchmarsh.fws.gov/

Northlake Nature Center in Mandeville is a 400-acre preserve with ancient pines and hardwood forest. It is called St Tammany’s “Secret Garden.” The center features Louisiana’s lush beauty and is a refuge for both wildlife and humanshttp://www.northlakenature.org/

Folsom Equestrian Center in Folsom is a training and boarding facility for serious horsemen. It is home to the New Orleans Polo Club and you can enjoy watching a Sunday polo match. (985) 796-8080 GALA (Gallop Around Louisiana) is a horse show facility in Folsom. It features a Grand Prix field with all-weather limestone footing, two hunter rings, and a covered arena. All of its show events are free to spectators. (985) 796-0760, or view our web site:http://www.galahorseshows.com/

There are nine golf courses in the area, including both public and private layouts. http://www.neworleansnorth.com/golf.htm

Education

Louisiana Technical College, part of the statewide community college system, provides technical and vocational education at 40 college campuses. One of those campuses is in Slidell. http://www.ltc.edu/home.asp

Delgado Community College of New Orleans has two satellite campus locations in the Northshore community. One is at the Slidell Learning Center in Slidell and the other is in Covington. http://www.dcc.edu/

Senior Programs

St. Tammany Parish Hospital offers its “S.O.S. Program” for Seniors. Benefits include: Certified Senior Health Insurance Information Program Counselors; educational opportunities, screenings, exercise classes and trips, meals at reduced rates, seminars and educational programs, social programs, support groups, and meals on wheels. http://www.stph.org/content/

Hospitals

Lakeview Regional Medical Center is a full-service, acute care hospital licensed for 178 beds http://www.lakeviewregional.com/

St. Tammany Parish Hospital is a full-service, acute care hospital. http://www.stph.org/

Airport

Louis Armstrong International Airport, New Orleans – http://www.flymsy.com/

Weather

http://www.wunderground.com/US/LA/Covington.html

Newspaper

News Banner – http://www.slidellsentry.com/

Property Taxes

St. Tammany Parish Assessor – http://www.stassessor.org/

State Taxes

http://www.rev.state.la.us/

Chamber of Commerce

St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce –http://lagumbo.com/covington/index.htm

Area Agency on Aging

http://goea.louisiana.gov/area_agency_on_aging.html

Distances

Madisonville – 7
Abita Springs – 4
Mandeville – 10
Folsom – 12
Slidell – 28
New Orleans – 35 miles

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