It's the birthplace of America's only indigenous art form—jazz—but Louisiana also is home to a host of musical styles ranging from country, gospel and blues to hip hop, rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. We enjoy an embarrassment of riches in musical talent. From the days of Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet to names like Pete Fountain and Al Hirt, to Kermit Ruffins and Trombone Shorty; from piano innovators Jelly Roll Morton and Professor Longhair to contemporary treasure Allen Toussaint; from Zachary Richard and zydeco "king" Clifton Chenier to Beau Soleil and Rockin' Dopsie; from legendary bands like the Neville Brothers to some of the world's biggest musical names, including Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr.; Louisiana has produced an incredible wealth of musical talent. The fruits of their influence—and many of the artists—appear on stages large and small throughout the state. When you come to Louisiana, don't miss the music!
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.