"Alligator" Annie Miller has gone to the Big Swamp in the sky (and we miss her), but her son is continuing her legacy with Annie Miller's Son's Swamp and Marsh Tours (tel. 800/341-5441 or 985/868-4758; www.annie-miller.com). Come here (year-round, with evening tours that they swear aren't troubled by bugs in the summer) for a close-up look at the bayou and its wildlife. In a comfortable boat, you'll visit a rookery of nesting egrets and herons and can say hello to the gators who come when they are called ("Bah-bee! Tone-y! Ti-gar!") by the friendly operators of the very personal and delightful cruises. Tours cost $15 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under. Be sure to call for current schedules, to find out which location (there are several) is nearest you, and to make reservations.

Note: This is also worth the drive from New Orleans. Take U.S. 90 west through Houma (about 57 miles), exit right at the tourist office on St. Charles Street, turn left at the stoplight onto Southdown/Mandalay Road, and proceed to Miller's Landing on Big Bayou Black.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.