If you want to feel like you’ve stepped back in time or wandered onto another continent, head to Louisiana where life is slower, the weather is steamier, the food is spicier, and the past is alive and kicking on every street corner. Louisiana’s unique history makes it the perfect travel destination to explore the United States varied cultural background.
Visitors can wander among lively crowds and explore the rich history of the French Quarter, or visit a plantation or historic town to get a taste of Louisiana’s past. For adventure or to enjoy the scenery.
Louisiana Art and Science Museum
Louisiana Art and Science Museum is an educational and entertaining trip. While there are rotating galleries and traveling art exhibits, the Museum’s permanent exhibits are the big draw. Marvel at a show in the Planetarium, discover Ancient Egypt or get up close and personal with works by Louisiana’s best artists.
Avery Island Tabasco Visitor Center
This Louisiana island is home to the Mcllhenny Tabasco Factory and a wildlife sanctuary. The entire island is actually an eight-mile deep salt dome, beneath lush vegetation. Visitors to Avery Island can explore 250 acres of subtropical jungle and see some of the native wildlife. The island has housed the manufacturing facility for Tabasco brand pepper sauce since 1868.
New Orleans oldest and most iconic neighborhood is known as the French Quarter. The neighborhood was founded in 1718, and although it is called the French Quarter, many of the buildings were built during Spanish rule of the region. The entire district is a National Historic Landmark.
One of the main attractions in the French Quarter is Jackson Square a lively public square with historic buildings on all sides. Bourbon Street, the French Quarter’s most infamous street, is known for its drinking establishments, both new and old.
Oak Alley Plantation
Oak Alley Plantation is a historic plantation located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, in the community of Vacherie, St. James Parish, in Louisiana. Oak Alley is named for its distinguishing visual feature of a canopied path, created by a double row of southern live oak trees about a quarter mile long. The plantation is one of the most photographed plantations in Louisiana.
Oak Alley Plantation’s restaurant is housed in a 19th century cottage on the grounds, and offers a delicious menu of traditional Cajun and Creole dishes.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park covers six separate sites: three sites in Acadiana, Barataria Preserve, Chalmette, and the French Quarter.The Acadiana region was developed to protect the Cajun Culture of the Lafayette area and has three cultural centers, one in Lafayette, Eunice, and Thibodaux. The Barataria Preserve was created to protect the regions hardwood forests, swamps, and marsh land. The French Quarter site features a visitor center which informs visitors about the region’s history.
Top Things to Do in Louisiana
Jackson Square earns it name for one of three bronze statues of Andrew Jackson located in the center of the square. This famous landmark facing the Mississippi River is surrounded by historic buildings, including the St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytere and Cabildo Louisiana State Museums, also the Lower and Upper Pontalba Apartments, the oldest apartment buildings in the United States.
Mardi Gras World
Mardi Gras World also known as Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World is a tourist attraction located in New Orleans. Guests tour the 300,000 square foot working warehouse where floats are made for Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. Mardi Gras World is located along the Mississippi River, next to the Morial Convention Center. The largest float designing and building facility in the world. Here more than 80 percent of the floats that journey down New Orleans’ streets during the Carnival season are designed and built.
Vermilionville is a living history museum and folk life park that represents the cultural resources of the Acadian, Native American & Creole cultures, from the time period 1765-1890. Vermilionville features several acres of history with 18 structures, including six original period homes, a schoolhouse, blacksmith forge, and a chapel. This heritage and folk life park is alive with costumed interpreters, crafts, traditional cooking, and music.
You’ll find America’s 6th largest and 7th most visited park right in the heart of New Orleans. This 1,300 acre park is 50% bigger than New York’s Central Park. The park is home to the world’s largest collection of mature live oak trees, some of which are older than 600 years. In addition to endless acres of walking trails, the park features an amusement park, a children’s playground themed like a children’s fairy tale, the New Orleans’s Botanical Garden, the New Orleans Museum of Art, a golf course, stadium, sculpture garden, and several other sites that are worth a visit.
Located in New Orleans, the Audubon Zoo covers 58 acres and provides home to 2,000 animals. Some of the exhibits of interest include gorillas, orangutans, white tigers, and white alligators. The zoo also features a Louisiana Swamp exhibit. The Reptile Encounter exhibit features a new and popular Komodo dragon, as well as many other species of lizard, snake, and amphibian.
Things to Do in Louisiana
There isn’t a place in the world quite like Louisiana. On a trip to Louisiana you might just be flattered with traditional southern charm and you’re sure to be fascinated by the multicultural history of this unique place. Throughout the state, Louisiana’s complicated history is reflected and preserved in historical landmarks both in the big cities and small towns.