One facet of Louisiana that makes it such an appealing visitor destination is its deep and colorful history. European explorers found their way to the region and inhabited the area very early relative to settlement of much of the rest of the continent. As a result, some communities in Louisiana are among the oldest in the United States. Before those explorers arrived, of course, people we now know as Native Americans populated the region. Reaching still farther back in time, ancient peoples left their mark on the area thousands of years ago. The state of Louisiana offers many ways to explore the region’s rich history, in hundreds of museums, historic structures, landmarks, artifacts and works of art. The careful preservation and restoration of these sites and artifacts has created many rare opportunities for visitors to experience Louisiana’s history and gain insights into the diverse cultures that continue to influence the state today.
Located in “The Heart Of Louisiana”, Alexandria and the adjacent Pineville, just across the Red River, form a hub, combining elements of north and south Louisiana neighbors. Cajun bonhomie and an annual Mardi Gras celebration thrive among all the amenities of a modern Southern city. A robust sportsman's culture is nurtured by outdoor opportunities at Kisatchie National Forest, nearby bayous and manmade lakes. The Red River is the focal point of both cities, and the Alexandria Levee Park puts festival grounds and an amphitheater right on its banks. Boat tours highlight the river's role in shaping Louisiana history, while annual bass tournaments speak to its lure for fishermen. Lake Buhlow in Pineville features high-speed motorboat racing, and the Alexandria Riverfront Center hosts statewide conventions and galas. History endures in Pineville's stock of intact 19th century homes and 18th century cemeteries. In central Louisiana, residents and guests enjoy a treasured, peaceful lifestyle. Diversity is celebrated through food, fun, family, arts, and festivals.