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.
Along the road between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Gonzales awaits. This city brashly proclaims itself the “Jambalaya Capital of the World.” With so much competition in the neighborhood, you better be able to back up such a claim. And Gonzales does. For more than 40 years, Gonzales has held an annual springtime Jambalaya Festival and even has a Jambalaya Park next to the city hall. The town’s name does not originate, as one might imagine, from the Spanish colonial days of Louisiana. Rather, the town was named after a local resident of the late 19thcentury. With its proximity to the Mississippi River, there are a number of antebellum plantation homes within a short drive. Gonzales is a shopper’s xanadu. Its sprawling Tanger Factory Outlet Mall attracts people from miles away. The same goes for the 165,000-square-foot Cabela’s, which is part museum, part retail store for campers, fishermen and hunters.