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.
Bayou Teche, a waterway in south central Louisiana, meanders through St. Martinville, where birds wade among cattails, streets are shaded by century-old mossy oaks and people enjoy fishing, picnics in the parks and visits to historic museums.
The St. Martinville people are descendants of Beausoleil Broussard, an Acadian hero from the 1700s, and Bienvenu and the Duchamp families of French royalty, who fled revolution. Descendants from Senegal also share life in St. Martinville, and many residents still speak French.
These diverse ethnic groups host fun-loving Louisiana festivals: Boucherie, Mardi Gras, Pepper Festival, St. Lucy Festival of Lights, Okra and Acadian Memorial Festival/ Promenade on the Square and more. Seems like an all-play, no-work kind of place, but civic-minded citizens work all year to assure something enjoyable is happening around town. Visit St. Martinville, an All-American City Finalist along the lovely Bayou Teche. Many of its the buildings in its historic district are on the National Historic Register.