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.
The City of Natchitoches is the heart of Natchitoches Parish. Founded in 1714 the site was established near a village of Natchitoches Indians. As the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory, its history is also a story of the development of our nation.
The City’s Historic Landmark District, which fronts Cane River Lake and encompasses a 33-block area, includes many historic homes, churches and commercial structures. A mixture of Queen Anne and Victorian architecture, along with Creole style cottages can be seen throughout the district.
People settled in the Natchitoches area in large numbers after the Louisiana Purchase. Eventually, however, the river changed its course, bypassing Natchitoches. What was once known as the Red River is now Cane River Lake.
Nationally recognized as a Preserve America Community, a Distinctive Destination and a Great American Main Street, Natchitoches is a genuine heritage destination.