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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.
The village of White Castle sits in the shadow of a levee on the Mississippi River, in the middle of Louisiana's Plantation Country. Nearby Nottoway Plantation is the big draw to White Castle, and it stands apart as the largest intact plantation in the South (nearby Belle Grove Plantation was even larger, was demolished in 1952). Contrary to popular assumption, White Castle is not named for Nottoway, but for a namesake plantation home that was removed due to flooding; White Castle Plantation's original site now sits below the Mississippi River.
Today, White Castle is one of the many rural towns you'll find on River Road, two stretches of highway that line the river and feature many of Louisiana's most famous plantation museums. Road cyclists can take a break and dine at Nottoway while riding the Morgan City to White Castle biking trail. Tour operator Acadian Swamp Tours is also headquartered in the area — join local guides on a voyage to the heart of Louisiana's wetlands.