The state of Louisiana is an exciting blend of European influences; from the Spanish explorers in 1528 to the French in the late 17th century, followed again by the Spanish. At this time, thousands of French speaking people from Acadia found refuge here, from whom the Cajun people now descend.
With a strategic location on the river, history flows in the state as well as the sound of music, it is the birthplace of jazz. From here the likes of Louis Armstrong, Jerry Lee Lewis and Britney Spears have sprung! With over 400 festivals a year, there is always something happening in Louisiana, in addition to the tax free shopping and of course, delicious food; from po’boy sandwiches filled with anything from seafood to cold meats, and traditional bread pudding. There remains today plantation homes to visit, the preserved settlement of Natchitoches and the Creole Nature Trail where you might spot alligators!
A vibrant combination of French, Spanish and American cultures comes alive in the must-see city of New Orleans. Ride a streetcar, taste Cajun and Creole cuisine, celebrate Mardi Gras in February and visit the Jazz Museum for a true New Orleans experience. Soak up the atmosphere on Bourbon Street and admire the stunning architecture of the French Quarter, the oldest area of the city. Perhaps take a cocktail walking tour to learn about the first cocktail ever created, the Sazerac! Travelling from New Orleans towards Baton Rouge, enter the New Orleans Plantation Country, home to eight plantation homes including the popular Houmas House Plantation and Oak Alley Plantation, an instantly recognisable and photographed home. Explore the exciting swamp area on a swamp or airboat tour.
Journey onto the city of Baton Rouge to visit the Old Louisiana State Capitol and the Shaw Centre for the Arts filled with museums, restaurants and theatres, as well as Nottoway Plantation. Discover the ancient way of life in the restored homes of the Acadian Village, and folk life at Vermillionville. Perhaps spend a few hours at the well known honky tonk, Blue Moon Saloon, for some Louisiana fun, before driving onto Lake Charles to travel the Creole Nature All-American Road, and for golfing opportunities.
In the Crossroads Region, visit Alexandria during Mardi Gras for great fun and explore the outdoor area of Kisatchie National Forest. A visit to Natchitoches is a must for viewing French-Creole architecture in the historic landmark district, eating meat pie and enjoying flashbacks to the 80s film, Steel Magnolias, filmed here. In the north of the state, Shreveport’s entertainment and national monument Poverty Point, are highlights, as well as the home of Coca Cola in West Monroe.
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