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Louisiana’s midsection is home to many historic cities like Ville Platte, Natchitoches, and Alexandria – what we like to call Bayou State’s bellybutton.
Incorporated in 1818, Alexandria has many historic structures doubling as museums. Downtown’s Louisiana History Museum is housed in the Old Alexandria Public Library – built in 1907 and found on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Also listed on the register, the historic Rapides Bank Building – built in 1898 – is home to the Alexandria Museum of Art along the Red River.
Located in central Louisiana, the Cane River National Heritage Area in Natchitoches features some of the area’s most culturally rich architecture and historic neighborhoods. Given its namesake, the heritage area lies on the shores of the Cane River.
Some of the places to visit in the Cane River National Heritage Area include the Cane River Green Market, Oakland Plantation Unit, Melrose Plantation, St. Jean Baptiste, and many others. The Cane River Creole National Historical Park is widely considered to be a must-see in the heritage area.
A must-see when traveling in central Louisiana, the Los Adaes State Historic Site is found in Robeline and west of Natchitoches. This National Historic Landmark preserves the site of the 1729 capital of Texas, on the frontier of New Spain.
Visit this historical site to see the San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes mission and the Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Los Adaes presidio. It remains one of the United States' most important archaeological sites regarding the cultural of colonial Spain.
While visiting the Bayou State, travel along the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail to become acquainted with the many cultural and historical sites. In total, there are 26 sites along the trail from New Orleans, through Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Natchitoches, and Shreveport, with many small towns in between.
Sites along the way include museums like the New Orleans African American Museum and the River Road African American Museum, as well as the French Market, located in New Orleans' French Quarter. Other must-sees include Southern University, the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, and the Multicultural Center of the South.
Known as Louisiana's oldest town, Natchitoches is home to a variety of historic attactions, including the Natchitoches Historic District. Stroll through the thirty-three blocks in the district to see over fifty historical buildings along the shores of Cane River Lake.
This National Historic Landmark is home to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, the Levy-East House, Kaffie-Frederick Hardware Store, Ducournau Square, the American Cemetery - the oldest in the Louisiana Purchase and two more historic cemeteries.