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.
Opelousas is a great place to use your feet, whether strolling over the 19th-century brick sidewalks lining its historic district or participating in the city's deep Zydeco music tradition by dancing at a local club or festival. Opelousas is Louisiana's third-oldest city and is part of the state's Main Street Program with its downtown cluster of antique shops, boutiques and restaurants serving Cajun cuisine. Visitors can see antebellum, Victorian and early 20th-century buildings on a walk through town, including the "Hidden Capital of Louisiana," which served as the governor's mansion during the Civil War. A trip to the historic Le Vieux Village, with its 19th-century cottages, Orphan Train exhibit and Jim Bowie display about the famous one-time Opelousas resident, adds historical context to the Cajun and Creole folkways still in such vibrant evidence around the city today, while the Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino is among the city's newest attractions.