Thanks to heavy Spanish, French and African influences and ancestry, Louisiana, also known as the Bayou State, has one of the richest and most distinct cultures of any of the 50 states. In a state where the past is never too far away, many Louisianians still hold firm to their own distinct heritage. Many groups, like Creoles and Cajuns, still proudly celebrate their heritage, keeping alive many culinary and cultural traditions. For a glimpse into the past, travel the Great River Road, which connects countless antebellum plantations and rural towns in between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the state capital.
As the state license plate boasts, Louisiana is truly a “Sportsman’s Paradise.” Southern Louisiana is an especially popular place for boating, camping, fishing and bird watching; the state’s wetlands and preserves are natural habitats for many rare and endangered species. A visitor would be well-advised to hop on a swamp tour and explore one of the state’s most defining geographical features.
New Orleans, the state’s largest city, is the center of tourism and commerce. While the Crescent City may get a bad rap for its decadence and debauchery, the city is also the center of the state’s cultural attractions, with everything from the National World War II Museum to some of the best restaurants in the country.
If you think you’re brave enough, explore the darker side of Lousiana culture. Although New Orleans often claims the title of “Most Haunted City,” the rest of the state is not far behind in its offerings of hair-raising attractions. As mysterious as the fog the covers the Bayou, the backcountry of Louisiana offers many haunted attractions, like the Myrtles Plantation in central Louisiana.