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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.
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.