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Places that are rich in history and creative talent—and are also preservation-minded—are bound to have many sites that display these attritubes for all to see. Louisiana is such a place. The state treasures its long history and values the ongoing artistic contributions of its many talented citizens. The result is an abundance of museums, galleries and historic structures that preserve and exhibit the state's most valued assets for anyone who chooses to see them.
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.