Famed for its sultry weather and melting pot of cultures, Louisiana hugs the Gulf of Mexico in the southeastern region of the United States. It was named in honour of King Louis XIV by the French explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, who canoed the lower Mississippi River in 1682 and claimed the basin for France.
Things to do in Louisiana
Whether you want to experience the festivities of Mardi Gras or escape to the tranquility of the bayous, Louisiana never fails to enchant.
Explore the French Quarter. Clustered with beautiful buildings dating back hundreds of years, the French Quarter is an atmospheric neighbourhood in the heart of New Orleans. It centres around lively Bourbon Street, which is lined with restaurants and bars, while jazz clubs and art galleries dominate Royal Street. Be sure to visit Louis Armstrong Park, which is named after the city’s most famous son and home to Congo Square where slaves gathered in the 19th century.
Sightsee in Baton Rouge. Serving as the capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge boasts a picturesque setting on the banks of the Mississippi River. You can take a step back in time at the Rural Life Museum and marvel at the Old Louisiana State Capitol, a Gothic Revival building that is now open as a museum. A short walk away is the USS Kidd, a World War II destroyer known as the "Pirate of the Pacific."
Venture into the Kisatchie National Forest. Louisiana’s only national forest lies in the heart of the state, encompassing 2,440 square kilometres of longleaf pine forests and bayous. It provides a vital habitat for wild orchids and carnivorous plants, as well as more than 150 species of birds. You can explore along the extensive network of hiking and mountain biking trails or spot woodpeckers and black bears from a canoe.
Getting around Louisiana
New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport is the main aviation gateway to Louisiana and has flights to destinations across North America. Amtrak trains connect to major towns and cities throughout the state while buses serve smaller destinations. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around Louisiana.