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.
The Grand Coteau Historic District is one of the few primarily rural districts on the National Register of Historic Places. Grand Coteau is noted for its magnificent trees that form alleys, groves and gardens. Within the district there are over 70 structures designated as architecturally significant. Creole, French, Acadian, Anglo-American and Victorian styles are reflected in the houses, stores and religious institutions. Of special significances is this last category. Grand Coteau and Catholicism have been deeply connected for over 175 years. The Church and retreat centers continue to provide extensive spiritual and educational guidance for the community and visitors from afar.
Hear the story and visit the shrine of the Miracle of Grand Coteau at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, then stop to browse the antique and gift shops, or sample the local cuisine. The shops and restaurants, all housed in renovated historic buildings are a treat in themselves.