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.
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.