For the instructors at Blacklist Martial Arts & Fitness, learning martial arts is just as much about building community leadership skills as it is about punching and kicking. Committing to this belief, they train students of all ages and experience levels in classes held from morning to night. These programs introduce the range of Brazilian jiu jitsu, muay Thai kickboxing, and submission wrestling techniques—the diversity of skills imparted ensures students don't also have to test which ones their in-laws know. For students 14 years and younger, the studio offers Skillz: a martial arts curriculum for children further attesting to the studio's ability to accommodate a variety of clients.
Blacklist's coaching team is helmed by Brazilian jiu jitsu black-belt Tim Credeur, whose dedication to his craft earned him the nickname "Crazy." He isn't the only dedicated one—all of Blacklist's instructors have competed in gi and no-gi jiu jitsu grappling events, and some in professional kickboxing and MMA tournaments. To instill their passion in students, they allow Blacklist's most experienced trainees to represent the gym at MMA events. They also empower top students to lead some of the studio's classes.
When designing Squirrel Run Golf Club's three courses, architect Joe Lee incorporated the verdant charm of South Louisiana, challenging golfers of all stripes with 27 holes of stunning natural beauty. Throughout the Plantation, Steeple, and Woods courses, trees reflect off of glistening pools of water, and greens of Champion grass keep balls rolling with buttery-smooth surfaces. Separate practice greens and facilities allow golfers to fine-tune specific skills, and a well-stocked pro shop carries fairway-ready gear from labels such as Callaway, Cleveland, and TaylorMade or custom-fitted clubs from Ping and Titleist. After strolling the greens and thwacking shots into the stratosphere, guests share frosty beverages, grilled fare, and stories of the time they gave Fred Couples a piggyback ride at The Restaurant at Squirrel Run.
Foxy's Fitness Center encompasses a trio of workout facilities?including a women's-only club on Old Hammond Highway?where trainees sweat through group, semiprivate, and private sessions. With cardio and strength machines for self-guided reps, as well as DotFit nutrition guidance for all ages, the centers cater to guests of every fitness background. Exercise classes entail engaging actions, from cycling in studios to calisthenics to otter-cuddling contests in the indoor pools.
Ascension Community Theatre gathers gifted local actors and directors on the stage of the historic Pasqua Theater for acclaimed modern plays. The Pulitzer Prize–winning “Rabbit Hole,” directed by renowned Louisiana talent Mattie Olson, tells the tale of a family outlasting a major loss with elements of comedy flickering through the somber subject matter. Nicole Kidman was recently nominated for an Oscar for a film adaptation of the play, and Ascension’s staging shares the movie’s emotional complexity while swapping in real people for the holograms that take all but a few leading roles in most Hollywood films. Balcony seats unveil the best views in the historic Pasqua Theater.
Sculpted through the water-kissed terrain of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, The Island Country Club challenges golfers with a lengthy course that measures 7,010 yards from the farthest tees. Water hazards await on nearly every hole throughout the course, giving advantage to golfers with confident swings and disciplined refusal to give golf-ball treats to the aviary creatures that occupy The Island’s wooden duck houses. The course’s most difficult hole, the 441-yard, par 4 11th offers a PGA Tour-worthy test from the tee, as drives must steer clear of a water hazard that hugs the entire right side of the hole while also shaping the shot to compensate for the fairway’s right-ward bend. In respect of the wildlife that shares the course grounds, The Island uses solar panels to power its clubhouse, golf carts, and herds of robotic caddies hired to graze in the native long grasses.
To prepare for upcoming rounds, golfers can enlist the services of PGA master professional Dave Baron, the club’s head golf pro. After a long day of launching drives and managing 9-irons' tender egos, golfers can unwind at The Island Grill, where executive chef Mark Maggio artfully blends elements of Italian and Louisiana cuisine.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,010 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 75.1 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 143 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
Devoted to preserving Cajun culture by sharing it with the public, Cajun Pride Tours’ knowledgeable and passionate guides lead groups on tours that explore area swamps, plantations along the Great Mississippi River Road, and the historic districts of New Orleans. They also stroll along city streets in the French Quarter in New Orleans, the Garden District, and areas that display the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina. On boat trips, groups can spot friendly gators while floating through the Manchac Swamp—a protected area that prohibits any hunting, fishing, or tickling of the native wildlife. A short drive past the swamps drops tourists off near the area’s plantations that are notable for their history, architecture, landscaping, and insight into Creole culture.