Louisiana

Louisiana has one of the most colourful histories of any state in the USA and is a rare and exotic mix of nations and cultures. For over 200 years this diverse collage of cultures has collided with the rest of the world to create a sensory overload. Louisiana has kept the best from its history and now offers a holiday experience that is so rich in its colourful way of life that the memory will remain with you for years to come.

Top Tips

Ride a streetcar on the St Charles Lines to experience a journey on the oldest continually operating streetcar in the world. Its mahogany seats, brass fittings and exposed light fittings epitomise the charm and romance of New Orleans.

Whilst in new Orleans, enjoy hot chocolate and beignets at Café Du Monde in the French Market, just off Jackson Square. Supposedly the best in New Orleans, it gets extremely busy with locals and tourists alike, so visit early morning or mid-afternoon to avoid the queues.

Everyone wants to stay in the French Quarter when they visit New Orleans, but it makes sense to stay in one of the hotels at the other side of Canal Street. They still allows easy access to the area but your sleep isn't disturbed by the noise from the late night bars.

When visiting New Orleans, don't miss a trip down the Mississippi on a paddle wheeler. You can participate in a lunch or dinner cruise, or just enjoy a sightseeing voyage - all provide great views of the city and surrounding towns.

For a unique look into the parades for which New Orleans is renowned, head to Mardi Gras World where the floats are created and there is a museum dedicated to the history of the tradition.

Food & Festivals

From the world class music to the spirited fairs and festivals, Louisiana has something for everyone. With more than 600 fairs and festivals, the cultural calendar is packed with exciting celebrations and there is sure to be something going on, whenever you choose to visit. The fabulous cuisine is an exquisite fusion of tastes from a diverse list of cultures. Louisianans cook from the heart – and create with their soul. This is obvious whether you are eating a sandwich in a café or a 5 course meal in a world-renowned restaurant. The very first cocktail was created in New Orleans, which is reflective of the carefree, party attitude. Sample a “Hurricane” cocktail at one of the many 24-hour bars!

Music & the Great Outdoors

Music is the lifeblood and heartbeat of Louisiana, and it can be heard throughout the cities and towns, in cafés, bars, clubs and restaurants. Louisiana was the birthplace of Jazz, as well as many other distinct musical styles, including Cajun and Gospel. The legacy of native Louisianans includes world famous entertainers such as Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick, Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Britney Spears, and Wynton Marsalis. Your ears will be pleasantly surprised by the diversity of music on offer within the state.

For those that enjoy the great outdoors, Louisiana offers coastal marshes, bayous and rolling hills and lakes in the north and south. It’s an ideal destination for activity holidays including fishing, cycling, golf, hiking and kayaking. Take a trip into the swampy mysterious bayous draped with Spanish moss and see if you can spot an alligator or two!

New Orleans and Beyond

The very colourful city of New Orleans  is overflowing with history, culture and an energy that reverberates throughout the city. There is a wealth of experience for all the family in New Orleans – paddlewheel steamers, the Aquarium, Audubon Zoo, the Voodoo Museum, Mardi Gras World, air boat swamp tours, street car rides, French Quarter people-watching, Bourbon Street night life and the National D-Day Museum, for starters.

Beyond New Orleans, discover the charms of rapidly-changing north Louisiana with its vibrant Shreveport-Bossier area, home gardens of the American Rose Society, and the 17th century town of Natchitoches, where Steel Magnolias was filmed. Visit Louisiana’s Art Deco State Capitol in Baton Rouge and explore some of the fabulous historical plantation homes nearby. In French Louisiana, dance the two-step in Lafayette, or explore the wilds of the Creole Nature Trail near Lake Charles.

Louisiana brings history alive through its extensive collection of majestic antebellum homes dating back to a bygone era. Many of these magnificent homes are located on the River Road between New Orleans and Natchez, but there are also wonderful examples throughout the rest of Louisiana. Each home tells its own story of the families and slaves that once lived and worked on these grand old estates.

 

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