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.
With its distinctive red-bricked Main Street lined with shops, banks and churches, old-time charm pervades downtown Minden. History buffs will find plenty to explore in Minden's historic districts with their antebellum and Victorian-era homes--- or at Minden Cemetery, which includes soldiers' graves from Civil War battles fought nearby. Just outside Minden, the Germantown Colony and Museum offers a glimpse of what life was like in an early 19th century settlement created by followers of the German-based Utopian Movement. Minden is also a gateway to outdoor recreation galore at destinations like Dorcheat Bayou and Lake Bistineau, teeming with largemouth bass and the Caney Lakes Recreation Area with its numerous trails, campsites and lakes. The Webster Parish Fair comes to Minden in October with rides, games and a parade through downtown, while the Moess Art Center and City Farm combines art and agriculture and hosts annual events like the Spring Arts Festival.