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From New Orleans to its bayous, Louisiana is full of unique cultural opportunities. Explore vibrant museums, landmark historic sites, and more.
Here are 20 suggested destinations and events to embark on when exploring the Pelican State.
1. Start with a introduction to Louisiana's history with a visit to the Louisiana History Museum in Alexandria. Explore exhibitions that cover everything from Native American settlements to present day events, all housed in the historic Alexandria Public Library.
2. Continue with a visit to Baton Rouge, home of the historic Louisiana State Capitol Building. This 34-story Art Deco limestone building features an observation deck with stunning views of Baton Rouge, the Mississippi River, and the Capitol Gardens.
3. Explore downtown Delhi's roots at the Downtown Delhi Historic District, which dates back to the American Civil War. Enjoy visiting antique stores and a preserved drugstore.
4. Visit the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which honors musicians and artists who have contributed to the Cajun music and culture in Eunice's Cajun Country.
5. Pay a visit to the Arlington Plantation House in Franklin, a Greek Revival relic from the Civil War and plantation era and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
6. Tour the historic Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Lafayette. Built in 1821, the church contains the oldest cemetery in Lafayette, stunning stained glass patterns, and is the oldest church in the Lafayette Parish.
7. Celebrate Louisiana's unique cultural attributes with a trip to Lafayette's annual Festival International de Louisiane. Enjoy creole cooking, a kid's area, four stages of music, a marketplace, and more.
8. Explore the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens in Monroe. Dedicated to preserving the memory of Joseph Biedenharn, the first bottler of Coca-Cola, the museum features antiques and memorabilia from the 1914 era when it was built.
9. Take the kids to the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum in Monroe, where they can explore hands-on exhibits like the Health Hall, Bubbleworks, and the Earth Balloon.
10. Travel along the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail, which displays twenty-six sites along the trail from New Orleans to Shreveport, including stops at Alexandria, Natchitoches, and Shreveport.
11. Stop by the Natchitoches Historic District, home to the oldest commercial district and town in the Bayou State. Explore over fifty historical buildings, including the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the Levy-East House, and the American Cemetery.
12. Visit the famed districts of New Orleans, including Bourbon Street, Canal Street, the Garden District, and the French Quarter, for a taste of the most unique city in America.
13. Pay tribute to World War II heroes and veterans at the National WWII Museum, which is the most extensive museum detailing the history of America's involvement in the war.
14. Visit the country's oldest operating Catholic cathedral with a tour of New Orleans's Saint Louis Cathedral. Gracing the landmark Jackson Square, the Greek Revival cathedral has been welcoming the faithful since the early 1700's.
15. Expand your culinary palate of New Orleans's illustrious cuisine with a trip to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, home of exhibits, videos, tastings, and recipes.
16. Get the full Mardi Gras experience thanks to The Backstreet Cultural Museum. Explore displays of Mardi Gras costumes, cultural artifacts, and photographs of New Orleans's famed Carnival celebrations.
17. See the remains of the 1729 capital of Texas when you visit Los Adaes State Historic Site near Natchitoches. Explore one of the nation's greatest preserves on the history and culture of colonial Spain, including missionary sites and presidios.
18. Join the life of the party at Shreveport's Festival Plaza. The year-round calendar of festivals include the Red River Revel, Cinco de Mayo Festival, Holiday in Dixie, and Festapalooza.
19. Tour the plantation region near Saint Francisville and La Place and see historic Myrtles, Rosedown, Laura, and Oak Alley Plantations.
20. Discover Uncle Earl's Hog Dog Trials in Winnfield, a popular Louisiana tradition where dogs are trained to contain hogs and host "baying" trials.