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.
No city in North America can compete with New Orleans when it comes to culture, food, historic architecture, joie de vivre and tourism options.
The Crescent City has suffered plagues, wars, imperial regime changes and devastating floods. Yet, it always wakes up with a smile on its face. This may be because its inhabitants step to an easy beat first laid down three centuries ago. Moving at this relaxed pace, visitors are delighted by the French Creole elegance of the Vieux Carre (French Quarter) or the opulence discovered in a streetcar ride through the Garden District and Uptown.
Anytime of year find live music, amazing Creole and Cajun cuisine, fresh seafood, farmers markets, shopping, nightlife and more. During Mardi Gras season, the city becomes the world’s center. Downtown transforms into an adult playground, while parades in residential areas provide children thrilling entertainment. Each spring, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival moves the focus to the charming Gentilly area and the Fair Grounds Race Course. But no matter the time of year, New Orleans' calendar overflows in celebration.