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.
Hugging the banks of the lovely Tchefuncte River, Madisonville is rich in local color and maritime history. Explore that history at the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum and learn about efforts to preserve Madisonville's lighthouse, built in 1837, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fish or crab off the public pier on the lakefront -- or just enjoy some of the best seafood anywhere at restaurants such as Crabby Shack or Morton's, featuring a deck overlooking the river.
Visitors flock to Madisonville for year round festivals such as the Maritime Museum's Wooden Boat Festival, held in the fall, and the Krewe of Tchefuncte Mardi Gras boat parade.