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.
After a long day of touring plantations, nothing could be more satisfying than setting up camp in Donaldsonville and sitting down to a nice meal, well-paired with a glass of wine. Here’s where world-renowned Chef John Folse's manufacturing plant is located along with his Bittersweet Plantation and Lafitte’s Landing restaurant. Donaldsonville is known not only for its place in Louisiana culinary lore but also for its political significance. It served as the state capital in 1830 when the seat of power was first moved from New Orleans – because the more countrified legislators had become scandalized by the Crescent City’s laissez-faire approach to moral conduct. Though the capital ultimately moved to Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville has maintained the quiet, small-town appeal that first inspired Louisiana legislators to move there. Indeed, the state has designated Donaldsonville as one of its Main Street communities, and it is also home to the intriguing River Road African American Museum.