We’re often recognized for our festivals, music and outdoor adventures, but Louisiana shopping is also topnotch. From the boutiques of Lake Charles and the antiques shops in Monroe to the art galleries of New Orleans and the outlet stores in Bossier City, we’ve got just what you are looking for. Be sure to leave room in your suitcase for a souvenir or two. A strand of Mardi Gras beads or a Louisiana cookbook will remind you of your wonderful Louisiana adventure until you are able to visit us again.
The thunder of hooves heard in Ville Platte each October would presumably warm the heart of Marcellin Garand, a former cavalry officer in Napoleon's army who is credited with founding this city in the northern reaches of modern day Cajun country. Here, his equestrian legacy is remembered during the Louisiana Tournoi, a one-of-a-kind horseback tournament, where riders wearing capes and costume armor vie to lance the most gold rings while racing along a rustic track. The event is held in conjunction with the Louisiana Cotton Festival, which honors the area's agricultural bounty with a downtown parade, a ball and visits by festival queens. Throughout the year, visitors find Cajun food and swamp pop music galore, a historic district straddling El Camino Real, the Spanish colonial-era trail connecting New Orleans to Natchitoches and easy access to Chicot State Park with its many acres of wooded, rolling hills and meandering, cypress-studded waterways.