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    Louisiana is known for its incredible mix of cultures and fascinating history. The historic southern state has charming colonial settlements,  delectable Cajun and Creole cuisine, as well as a thrilling party atmosphere in New Orleans.

    However, the state is also home to a variety of unique natural features. From the mighty Mississippi River to the Atchafalaya Basin and Grand Isle State Park, you’ll find plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. No matter what your interests are, Louisiana will surprise you with what it has to offer. Check out this guide for the best things to do in Louisiana.

    1

    French Quarter

    Check out free art exhibitions at Jackson Square

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    Many people know think of the French Quarter as the heart of New Orleans, thanks to its many 18th-century buildings, townhouses, and art galleries. Jackson Square is a nice place for a stroll and is often lined with street artists, jazz musicians, and fortune tellers. Head to the romantic Garden District to enjoy views of beautiful gardens and grand mansions. If you’re a horror fan, you can visit spooky historical landmarks such as New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum and LaLaurie Mansion. 

    Beliggenhet: 700 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

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    2

    Downtown Natchitoches

    Explore the oldest permanent settlement in the region

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    Natchitoches is the oldest permanent settlement in Louisiana. It was founded in the early 18th century as a French colony, and the historic Downtown district is still home to beautiful French Creole townhouses. It's an excellent place to explore some of the state's colonial architecture.

    Downtown Natchitoches has been declared a National Historic Landmark District. Some of the important buildings you can find there include the Minor Basilica of Immaculate Conception Church and the Kaffie-Frederick General Store, run by the same family since it first opened in the 19th century. The Cane River, which runs through the middle of town, continues south to nearby plantations.

    Åpent: Natchitoches, LA 71457, USA

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    3

    Atchafalaya Basin

    Explore the largest wetland and swamp in the country

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    Atchafalaya Basin is the largest wetland and swamp in the USA. It's located in the south-central part of the state, covering an area of around 860,000 acres. The wetland is also an important habitat for more than 300 species of wildlife and 100 species of marine life.

    Atchafalaya Basin has been declared a National Heritage Area for its rich cultural and ecological heritage. It's most commonly accessed from small towns between the cities of Lafayette and Baton Rouge. From these towns, you can join swamp boat tours, which are a popular way to explore more of the wetlands and wildlife.

    Beliggenhet: Atchafalaya Basin, Parish Governing Authority District 8, LA 70517, USA

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    4

    The Old Louisiana State Capitol

    Visit this impressive historic landmark in Baton Rouge

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    The Old State Capitol was Louisiana’s seat of government from the mid-19th century until the 1930s. The impressive Gothic and Victorian-style building sits overlooking the Mississippi River in the middle of Baton Rouge.

    The former statehouse appears almost like a medieval castle perched on the small hill. It has now been transformed into a museum that explains Louisiana's political history. It's worth a visit for both the interesting educational displays as well as the beautiful interior. The cast-iron staircase and stained-glass dome are especially impressive. It’s free to enter the building and explore the museum, with just a small optional fee to watch a theatrical presentation.

    Beliggenhet: 100 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70801, USA

    Åpent: Tuesday–Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Telefon: +1 225-342-0500

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    5

    Oak Alley Plantation

    Visit this historic plantation and its 300-year-old oak trees

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    Oak Alley Plantation is a historic plantation estate on the banks of the Mississippi River, an hour’s drive west of New Orleans. The plantation dates back to the early 19th century and operated in the sugarcane business. It’s a sobering place to visit for people who want to learn more about the history of the state and the role of plantations in slavery.

    Oak Alley’s most prominent feature is the incredible double row of 300-year-old oak trees that provide a far-reaching canopy across the driveway. On a visit to the plantation, you can tour the grounds and exhibits, stay overnight in the inn or have a traditional Southern meal at the onsite café.

    Beliggenhet: 3645 LA-18, Vacherie, LA 70090, USA

    Åpent: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Telefon: +1 225-265-2151

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    6

    National WWII Museum

    Take the whole family to this interactive war museum

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    The National WWII Museum is a multi-building interactive museum dedicated to sharing the involvement of the United States in the Second World War. The museum complex is located in the middle of downtown New Orleans.

    It has a range of permanent collections and special temporary exhibits on different battles of the war. Some of the highlights of the museum include an interactive submarine exhibition and a 4D theatre. There’s also the “Dog Tag Experience” which lets you feel the sensation of going to war. Discounted tickets are available for students, seniors and war veterans.

    Beliggenhet: 945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

    Åpent: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Telefon: +1 504-528-1944

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    Foto: Jeremy Thompson (CC BY 2.0) retusjert

    7

    Vermilionville Historic Village

    A living history museum with 18th- and 19th-century homes

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    The Vermilionville Historic Village is a living history museum on a 23-acre property in Lafayette. The site exhibits the traditions and heritage of the Acadian settlers of the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s a highly underrated historical and cultural experience in Louisiana.

    You’ll find restored Acadian homes from the 18th century and costumed artisans demonstrating skills that have been preserved and passed down through generations. The property also has rotating exhibitions on Louisiana’s indigenous people, the Acadian culture and language and the civil rights movement. A popular addition to the grounds is the La Cuisine de Maman serving traditional food with occasional live music.

    Beliggenhet: 300 Fisher Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508, USA

    Åpent: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Telefon: +1 337-233-4077

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    Foto: Elisa.rolle (CC BY-SA 4.0) retusjert

    8

    Grand Isle State Park

    A breakwater beach perfect for plenty of outdoor activities

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    Grand Isle is what’s known as a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. The long skinny island is connected to the mainland by a motorable bridge just 100 miles south of New Orleans.

    The island is a dedicated state park with plenty of outdoor activities to keep the whole family entertained. Swimming, canoeing and hiking are common with the warm Gulf waters. It’s also known for excellent deep-water fishing, with an annual fishing rodeo and frequent fishing charters offering the best chance for a good catch. The small inhabited village on the island is a charming spot to base yourself while you explore the park.

    Beliggenhet: 108 Admiral Craik Dr, Grand Isle, LA 70358, USA

    Åpent: Friday–Saturday from 7 am to 10 pm, Sunday–Thursday from 7 am to 9 pm

    Telefon: +1 985-787-2559

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    9

    Avery Island

    Visit the salt dome known as the home of tabasco sauce

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    Avery Island is a salt dome or island of rock salt in the coastal marshes of Iberia Parish. The area is a unique geological formation with lush marshland and oak trees. However, the island is most famous for being home to the Tabasco Sauce Factory, which is a must-do activity in Louisiana.

    The factory is open for visits, where you can enjoy a self-guided tour and learn more about the iconic hot sauce. Of course, there’s also a fully stocked gift shop so you can pick up all the tabasco products. The company also owns a botanical garden and bird sanctuary within the grounds, which you can visit as part of your tour.

    Beliggenhet: Avery Island, LA 70513, USA

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    10

    Mississippi River

    Explore the longest river in North America

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    The Mississippi River is the longest in North America, running through 10 states until it meets the Gulf of Mexico in southern Louisiana. There are a variety of ways to enjoy the river in Louisiana, whether you're looking to kick back and relax, so a little sightseeing or have some adventure.

    The Great River Road is a national collection of roads that follows the course of the river. It's known as one of the best drives in the country and allows you to pass by many historic river towns in Louisiana along the way. Another popular way to explore the river is on a riverboat cruise. In New Orleans, restored steamboats offer a fun way to enjoy the mighty river.

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    11

    St. Louis Cemeteries

    See the tomb of voodoo queen Marie Laveau

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    The St. Louis Cemeteries, located half a mile northwest of Bourbon Street, is where you can visit the tombs of many New Orleans icons. These 3 labyrinth-like graveyards date back to the late-18th century, with most of the intricate tombs set above ground. 

    One of its most popular residents is Marie Laveau, also known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. Many claim to have seen her spirit wandering the St. Louis Cemetery, which attracts plenty of paranormal enthusiasts.

    Beliggenhet: 425 Basin St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA

    Åpent: Daily from 9 am to 3 pm

    Telefon: +1 504-596-3050

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    Foto: Tim Wilson (CC BY 2.0) retusjert

    12

    New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

    Join the walking tour to St. Louis Cemetery and the tomb of Marie Laveau

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    The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum displays creepy artefacts relating to the practice, including altars, candles, dolls, and paintings. Here, you can learn about New Orleans’ Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau by joining a walking tour to her tomb. There’s also a gift shop selling voodoo dolls and potions (that may or may not work, depending on your belief).

    Beliggenhet: 724 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

    Åpent: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

    Telefon: +1 504-680-0128

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    Foto: Claudia Brooke (CC BY-SA 2.0) retusjert

    13

    Chauvin Sculpture Garden

    Discover the incredible artwork in this garden

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    The Chauvin Sculpture Garden is an incredible display of modern folk art on the banks of Bayou Petit Caillou in the south of the state. Kenny Hill, a bricklayer and artist, began creating incredible sculptures on the property in the early 1980s. Since 2000 when he vacated the land, the place has been open to the public so you can explore some of his whimsical and bizarre artwork.

    The property has over 100 concrete sculptures of biblical characters, soldiers, cowboys and celestial creatures. However, its most standout feature is the 45-ft-tall lighthouse, which was built with 7,000 bricks and has numerous figures clinging to the side.

    Beliggenhet: 5337 Bayouside Dr, Chauvin, LA 70344, USA

    Åpent: Daily from 8 am to 8 pm

    Telefon: +1 985-594-2546

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