Louisiana is famous as the birthplace of jazz, where over-stuffed po’ boys are bountiful, and where the greatest Mardi Gras celebrations take place.
The list of lesser-knowns from this swampy Southern state is deliciously new to the outsider: a steaming hot bowl of seafood gumbo, freshly-made beignets and drive-through daiquiri shops.
For return and first-time visitors alike, the streets of Louisiana are filled with an eclectic mix of people whose ideas, tastes and roots translate into the cuisines, music and art that characterize the Pelican State. Louisiana features a multicultural, multilingual history, influenced by the people who make up the state.
Here’s a look at the highlights …
COME STEP INTO THE WILD OUTDOORS OF LOUISIANA
With year-round hunting, fishing, golf and countless other opportunities for outdoor recreation, it is easy to see why Louisiana’s nickname is ‘Sportsman’s Paradise.’ That’s a lot to live up to – but with thousands of hiking and biking trails, beautiful State Parks, and one of the largest game preserves in the U.S., Louisiana is indeed the ultimate playground. The state’s vast expanse of coastal wetlands and countless birding trails make it a habitat for many rare and endangered species and a natural paradise for bird watchers as well.
MUSIC FILLS THE STREETS
Music is engrained in the soul of Louisiana. The birthplace of jazz, zydeco, Cajun, and swamp pop, Louisiana has also inspired genres ranging from blues and country to hip-hop, gospel, rap, and rock ‘n’ roll.
With music filling the streets, it’s no wonder that Louisiana has produced incredible musical talent. From legends such as Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson and Pete Fountain and innovators such as Jelly Roll Morton and Professor Longhair to Grammy winners such as Buddy Guy, Tim McGraw and Dr. John as well as modern stars such as Britney Spears, Lil’ Wayne and Frank Ocean, Louisiana is both a source of inspiration and fountain of creativity in music.
Here’s one of the best parts of Louisiana music – you can find it everywhere! From the main stage of a major music festival or a classic concert hall to Cajun restaurants and street performers, the sounds of Louisiana are around every corner.
A CULINARY WONDERLAND
Louisiana roots run deep inside a culinary wonderland drawn from French, Spanish, African, Sicilian, Caribbean, Irish, German and American Indian cultures. Add a dash of country comfort and a pinch of sophistication, and you’ve got a recipe for the best food on the planet. Just days after the New Year, Mardi Gras season ushers in the arrival of king cakes, followed by months of crawfish boils in the spring, slurping sno-balls and cracking crabs in the summer, with football tailgating in the fall and warm gumbo as the weather turns cold. Says the Louisiana Office of Tourism: “We’re waiting for you with open arms and aprons on, so grab a cold drink and let’s get busy.”
In Louisiana, visitors are never far from a memorable meal, and they’ll find suggestions for meals and tasty experiences to take their trip to a new level. And enjoy the libations! Have cocktails in the city where they were created or taste some of the most unique craft beers in the country.
To experience each region’s best flavours and dishes, clients can follow any (or all) of these seven culinary trails that cross Louisiana: Creole Crescent, Prairie Home Cooking, Capital Cravings, Bayou Bounty, Seafood Sensation, Red River Riches and Delta Delights Trail.
“LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER”
The long-lasting influences of Louisiana’s French, Spanish and African ancestry is well-preserved in its architecture, music, food and lifestyles – which include its amazing festivals – and of course in its museums of history and fine arts.
It is not an accident that Louisiana clings to the phrase ‘Laissez les bons temps rouler,’ meaning ‘Let the good times roll’. Clients can get lost in the traditions passed down through generations, especially during Mardi Gras when costumed riders parade and magnificent balls are thrown from New Orleans and Baton Rouge to Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Shreveport and beyond.
In Louisiana, history and lore don’t merely live-in books on a shelf; they’re reflected in everyday lives. Visitors can peek back across the centuries, as they walk under lavish ironwork and through the lush courtyard gardens of a meticulous French Quarter hotel. They can touch history with a tour of a plantation where the daily activities of the past are recreated. And they can let nature’s mysteries inspire and awe via a boat tour through a cypress-studded bayou.
For all the latest destination details about Louisiana see https://travelsouth.visittheusa.com/state/louisiana.