Flavorful food full of spice, soulful music and a grab-bag of cultures make Louisiana one of the most exciting and intriguing states to visit in the U.S. The Pelican State is divided into five regions: Greater New Orleans, Cajun Country, Plantation Country, Crossroads and Sportsman’s Paradise. With such diversity both culturally and topographically, Louisiana is a tourist’s dream.
New Orleans is a hotspot for the indulgent. Night owls belong on Bourbon Street, where the fun rarely, if ever, stops. The French Quarter enthralls history buffs with tales from the city’s oldest neighborhood and original settlement of New Orleans. Music lovers can immerse themselves in the “Birthplace of Jazz” along Frenchmen’s Street and visit the homes of jazz forefathers Jelly Roll Morton and Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. And there is nothing more synonymous with the Big Easy than Mardi Gras parades, complete with colorful costumes, plentiful beads and flowing libations.
To the west of New Orleans lies Plantation Country, home to the state’s capital, Baton Rouge. Historians, beware: Systems may overload when exploring the homes along the storied River Road. If night falls too soon and accommodations are required, spend the evening at the haunted Myrtles Plantation, if you dare.
Further to the west, Cajun Country allows visitors to dive into Louisiana’s bayous, though diving is not actually recommended. If gumbo is on the menu, Cajun Country is the place to get the real deal before moving onto Crossroads, where the El Camino Real and Natchez Trace trails intersect. This central region is only the beginning of what Louisiana has to offer nature lovers. Throughout the Crossroads and into Louisiana’s northernmost Sportsman’s Paradise, visitors can experience nature in a myriad of ways, including hiking, bird watching and fishing.
For a unique way to see Louisiana, golfers need look no further than the state’s fairways. Home to some of the most picturesque courses in the land, 12 ecologically-minded Audubon Golf Trails, which wind through all five of the state’s regions, provide golfers with a prime opportunity to enjoy some time on the links and take in all Louisiana has to offer.