What does "friendly" mean to you? When it comes to towns I tend to think of "friendly" in terms of people waving to you as you drive down the main street like they do in Ville Platte. Or hold the door open for you when you're stepping into a restaurant like they do in Breaux Bridge, or maybe wave you into traffic like they do in...Okay I saw that in a movie but I bet they would do it in Lafayette if there weren't so many cars.

Johnston Street at Ambassador Caffery
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The dictionary denotes the definition of the word friendly in several ways. The top choice is "kind and pleasant" and I think that's the definition that author Carolanne Griffith Roberts of Southern Living Magazine was going for in the article she compiled entitled The 20 Friendliest Places in the South. 

Southern Living solicited its readership to nominate places that they felt were "friendly". The staff compiled the suggestions and did some research and the fruits of their labor turned up only one place in Louisiana that was worthy of being included in "The Top 20".

Group Of Female Friends Enjoying Night Out At Rooftop Bar
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For clarity's sake, we should note that the article in Southern Living was not limited to just towns or just businesses or attractions, it's a compilation of the "friendliest places" in the South. So there are some bookstores and restaurants on the list. There are a few attractions on the list as well but I only saw two towns.

One of them was Paducah Kentucky. It's in the very southwestern tip of Kentucky and is dang near a part of Tennessee. I've only driven through Paducah and didn't stop so I can't say I have had a personal experience there. The other town that was listed is Covington Louisiana.

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This is a far cry from a similar survey taken by USA Today. The results of that survey found Starkville Mississippi to be at the top of the heap and for Louisiana, the town of record was West Monroe. Covington, Louisiana is neither of those places. A study similar to the other studies was done by Livability.com and their choice for "Best Place to Live in Louisiana" was Metairie.

Southern Living authors chose Covington because of its small-town charm that feels like home. The Mayor of Covington, Mark Johnson, is often seen roaming about town in a golf cart. He also sends out a newsletter that's full of information about the town and what's going on in it. And if that's not enough, you can actually take a Zumba class taught by his honor the Mayor too. Now that's friendly.

Tim P. Whitby
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I must admit my only experiences in Covington have involved the need for a restroom on a long highway drive but I do know they have places to pee and places to eat. In some of those places, you can do both, just not in the same room. But that wouldn't be friendly if you did that.

You can see the entire Southern Living list that inspired this article, right here. Oh, and don't "Drive Friendly the Texas Way" that will get you killed. Instead, just "Drive Friendly" which is totally different than what we see cars with Texas plates doing on I-10.

12 Things You Know if You're From Louisiana

Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells

 

 

 

 

 

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