Louisiana’s diverse menu of attractions features world-acclaimed indigenous cuisine and music, diverse and mysterious landscapes and wonderful views of an enlightening, entertaining and unique history and culture. The spice rack is the special flavors brought by cultures from all corners of the earth.
Favorite attractions are fascinating New Orleans; antebellum plantation mansions along the Mississippi River; sites exploring the history and evolution of Cajun and Creole culture; the natural wonders that make the state a true sportsman’s paradise; and hundreds of festivals and special events statewide that celebrate every aspect of Louisiana’s "joie de vivre," or joy of life. There’s a lot to celebrate here. The climate is sub-tropical, and the land and waters are generous and beautiful.
Nowhere else is Louisiana’s uniqueness more evident than in New Orleans, affectionately called “The Big Easy.” The most European looking and feeling city in America, New Orleans offers architecture, history, art, music and food the city can distinctly call its own. Mixed in are shopping, entertainment and nightlife, at every turn in the heralded French Quarter, the Central Business District, the Arts and Warehouse District, Faubourg Marigny and the Garden District (or “uptown,” as the locals call it).
“Plantation Country” is the corridor of the “Great River Road” along the Mississippi River. The region is adorned with one of the greatest collections of historic architecture in the country – pre-Civil War plantation mansions like Houmas House, Nottoway, Oak Alley, Laura and Rosedown. At the region's midpoint sits Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capitol city.
West of Baton Rouge is “Cajun Country,” Louisiana's southwest region settled by Acadians in the late 1700s. The Cajun culture has remained unusually intact for over two centuries – many in the region still speak a Cajun variant of French as a second language; eat savory Cajun dishes like gumbo and jambalaya; and play the culture’s indigenous Cajun and zydeco music.
Traveling northward in Louisiana, subtle shifts are found in history, culture and in overall way of life. The “Crossroads” region of Louisiana cuts across the center of the state and serves as a cultural and geographic junction within the state. Large plantations also prospered in central Louisiana during the antebellum South period, notable examples are Frogmore Plantation west of the city of Vidalia and Melrose Plantation near the city of Natchitoches. North and central Louisiana are home to the roots of blues, Southern gospel, country and even American rock and roll.
To the west are districts of Louisiana’s 600,000-acre Kisatchie National Forest and biking, hiking and canoeing opportunities. Further west, some of the South’s best fishing and water recreation is found in the massive Toledo Bend Reservoir separating Louisiana from Texas. Northernmost Louisiana, “Sportsman’s Paradise,” differs from other parts of the state in that its settlers were not French and Spanish – they were mostly second-generation Anglo-Saxon pioneers moving westward from other Southern states. The region is called Sportsman’s Paradise due to its range of outdoor things to see and do.
Airports serving Louisiana include Alexandria AEX Airport, Baton Rouge BTR Airport, Lake Charles Regional LCH Airport, New Orleans Louis Armstrong MSY Airport, Shreveport Regional SHV Airport, Monroe Regional MLU Airport and Lafayette Regional LFT Airport.
Louisiana has a semi-tropical climate, which remains relatively constant. New Orleans is usually hot and humid, with sunshine occurring for 60 percent of the year. Average temperatures in the city range from 52° in January to 82° in July. June marks the beginning of the hurricane season, usually lasting until September.
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