It is the unique goal of many travel adventurers to visit all 50 states in America. To boost this objective, each week we shall explore one state. Alphabetically, the 18th to visit is none other than Louisiana, abbreviated LA. Regardless of the order in which you visit them, Louisiana, the, is bound to mesmerize you.
Visit state # 18 – Louisiana
|State Motto||Union, Justice, Confidence|
|State Flower||The magnolia|
|State Bird||The pelican|
|State Gemstone||Cabochon cut oyster shell|
|State Capital||Baton Rouge|
|Famous Foods||Beignets, Jambalaya, Ya-Ka-Mein, Po’ Boy, Crawfish Boil, Muffuletta, Blackened Fish, Doberge Cake, Cracklins, Crawfish Monica, Cochon de Lait, Gumbo, King Cake, Red Beans, Pralines, Fish Fry, Etouffee, Snoball, Turtle Soup, Grillades, Boudin, and more|
Louisiana is a state in the Deep South and the South-Central regions of the United States. It is bordered by Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. The state was named in honor of King Louis XIV. In 1803, Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of the U.S. by purchasing the Louisiana Territory. Louisiana was the first of 13 states, or parts of states, to be carved out of the territory. Louisiana was admitted as the 18th state of the U.S. in 1812. Of interest, it is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions, termed parishes, which are like counties. And it is one of only two states not subdivided into counties – the other being Alaska which is made of up boroughs.
Louisiana should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Not only is it home to natural areas and parks, but the state also features rich historical landmarks and history that is destined to make an impression. The state’s capital is Baton Rouge. Among the top tourist attractions is the Old State Capitol located in the heart of the city atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The building was constructed in the Gothic style in 1847 but was burned by the Union Army and then repaired in 1882. The castle-like structure is noted for its architectural significance, art gallery and museum.
The state showcases its native trees, plants, flowers, and shrubbery at the Louisiana State University Hilltop Arboretum. Enjoy strolling the trails and crossing low bridges that wind along spectacular landscapes. Of course, the University is a main attraction of Baton Rouge, and the grounds feature 1,200 live oaks which shade the paths of the Italian-Renaissance inspired architecture which dates to the 1920s. At noon, hear the Memorial Tower chime the LSU Alma Mater across the grounds.
Louisiana boasts great outdoor areas offering unique experiences in nature. There are numerous waterways that traverse the parks to include swamps, lagoons, bayous, and lakes. Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is among the top visitor destinations for those who enjoy diverse landscapes. The park is home to America’s largest river swamp and folks can enjoy the Wetland Boat & Swamp Tour as well as the Old Cyprus Tour to witness the majestic state tree, the bald cypress. Of course, Louisiana is home to many other notable parks to include Bayou Segnette State Park, Bogue Chitto State Park, Cane River National Heritage Area and more. The latter is a picturesque outdoor space with a rich history as an important 18th century trade center. There you’ll see colonial forts, churches, plantations, homes, and cemeteries and visit Cane River Creole National Historical Park within the heritage area.
The largest city of Louisiana is New Orleans, nicknamed the “Big Easy.” It is a melting pot of cultures, namely French, African, and American. New Orleans is a vibrant city where jazz and other forms of music come to life and spicy Cajun, Creole, and soul food cuisine is deeply enjoyed. The late-winter carnival Mardi Gras calls residents and visitors to celebrate. During the event, folks take part in raucous costumed parades and street parties. The city embodies the festive spirit year-round during every season, evident through its vibrant culture, food, music, and late-night entertainment.
As a sampling of activities, visit iconic Bourbon Street, famed for its rowdy scene with many nightclubs and bars. Enjoy Jackson Square, and historical landmark built in 1721 and lined with historic buildings. It’s also a hotspot of artists and performers. Then, visit some notable museums including the National WWII Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Be sure to stop for some chicory coffee and beignets at Café Du Monde. While in the city, go for an old-fashioned steamboat ride offering a delicious dining experience and inspiring jazz music on board. New Orleans’ Audubon Park is a great family attraction as it is home of the world-renowned Audubon Zoo, featuring animals from around the globe. Thus, the state offers delightful entertainment for all.
Up next: Maine