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.
Louisiana had a meaningful role in the World War II Allied victory, contributing everything from foot soldiers and commanders to training facilities for tens of thousands of personnel and behind-the-scenes innovators who ultimately affected the war’s outcome. Experience these six must-do World War II attractions.
Whether your Louisiana vacation is a three-day weekend, a weeklong leisure adventure or free time tacked to a business trip, enjoy this crash course in Cajun culture and history so you can revel in seeing, doing, hearing and tasting those things found only in Louisiana.
Poverty Point Reservoir State Park, only a few miles from Poverty Point World Heritage Site, the recently inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of my favorite parks to visit, whether for a day trip or overnight. The beach area is ideal for watching birds fly over the reservoir; in the winter, it’s a lovely place for peaceful contemplation.
You may know that Louisiana was named for French King Louis XIV. The territory was named in his honor by French explorer La Salle, who claimed the territory to the west of the Mississippi River in the 1680s for France. The huge land tract—the Louisiana Purchase—would later form all or parts of 15 states and two Canadian provinces.
But the cities and towns inside Louisiana have some interesting stories behind their names as well.
In Louisiana, remnants of the Civil War are never far away. From the pine groves of central Louisiana to the eastern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, memories of the "War Between the States" linger.
Compared to Louisiana, other states have it easy.