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.
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.