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When you make a list of all the unique things Louisiana has to offer visitors, you quickly see the long-lasting influences of our French, Spanish and African ancestry. Our past is well-preserved in our architecture, music, food and lifestyles—which include our amazing festivals—and of course in our 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". Let yourself get lost in the traditions passed down through generations. Come visit us 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. Peek back across the centuries, as you walk under lavish ironwork and through the lush courtyard gardens of a meticulous French Quarter hotel. Touch history with a tour of a plantation where the daily activities of the past are recreated. Let nature's mysteries inspire and awe you via a boat tour through a cypress studded bayou.
Here, in Louisiana, history and lore don't merely live in books on a shelf; they're reflected in our everyday lives.
Architecture and the outdoors are the big draws to the small town of Bastrop. City founder Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop, was one of Louisiana's most colorful characters, who populated the town with 99 immigrants from northern states to run grain mills. Since then, Bastrop has become a hideout for Civil War soldiers, a refuge for refugees of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, and, more recently, the home to some of northern Louisiana's more interesting architecture. While cruising past the town's Craftsman and plantation-style homes, be sure to check out the Snyder Museum and Creative Arts Center -- ask about the historical tours of the region at the Bastrop Visitor Center. Outdoor adventure seekers will find plenty of paddling opportunitites in the area. Check out paddle trails in the area.