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.
If life is sweet in Franklin, it may have something to do with the vast sugar plantations that established the city as a 19th-century inland port and built the wealth still evident in its downtown center. Distinctive lampposts line Franklin's Main Street, a partner in the state's Main Street Program, and home to some of the city's 400 structures on the National Register of Historic Places. Each fall, downtown comes alive for the Harvest Moon Fest that is held in conjunction with the Franklin Patriotic Concert, a performance on the banks of Bayou Teche. Recently renovated and reopened as a performing arts center, a year-round roster of cultural events is found at the historic movie house, Teche Theatre. For sportsmen and nature lovers, a public boat launch leads to the Franklin Canal and easy access to the Atchafalaya Basin and the many ecological wonders of Louisiana's wetlands and its delta region.