America’s main streets are staging a comeback

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By Fodor’s Travel

Not so long ago, Main Streets everywhere were being boarded up, caving into the fight against big business and shopping malls. Well, that’s all changing, as concerned citizens and historical groups are spearheading movements to renovate buildings, beautify streetscapes, revive local economies, and bring 21st-century verve into main drags across the nation. Here are some of the best — both the darlings and some unexpected surprises. Natchitoches

WHERE: Louisiana

Live oaks? Check.

Red bricks? Check.

Cast-iron balconies? Check.

Front Street exudes southern charm with all the antebellum trimmings in this sultry Louisiana town, established four years before New Orleans, in 1714 (and, by the way, is pronounced nak-a-tish). Don’t miss Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile, the state’s oldest continuously operating hardware store (since 1863), where you can still find classic toys like the Radio Flyer wagon.

The award-winning Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest History Museum on the street’s north end is a can’t-miss as well.