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.
Marksville was founded by accident. Here, in the 1790s, a Venetian peddler named Marco broke a wagon wheel along his travels, and decided to stay and set up a trading post. The resulting town offers visitors a patchwork of colonial history—and more. The 1820 Hypolite-Bordelon House is a window into the life of early European settlers. Fort De Russy was built during the Civil War to defend the Red River. On the prehistoric side, Marksville State Historic Site features a Native American ceremonial center. The first inhabitants of the Marksville area are honored with the annual Fete du Ble Indian Festival. The modern presence of Native Americans is on spectacular display at the 500-room Paragon Casino & Resort, owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. Natural areas, such as Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area and the Lake Ophelia and Grand Cote National Wildlife Preserves, give hunters, fishermen and nature lovers their due.