Let me say first that I know Louisiana is in the middle of a lot of problems right now. I am certainly sympathetic to the terrible circumstances. But for the purposes of this post I feel I have to look at Louisiana as it should be and not as it is for the present. When their troubles are over, they will still have a great state for us to visit and I want us to see the good stuff.
The Pelican State is the 18th state of the Union. The state tree is the bald cypress and the state dog is The Catahoula Leopard Dog. Louisiana has a distinctive heritage. First the Native Americans were there. Then came French, Spanish, Acadians (who became known as Cajuns), Creoles, Africans, and people from the various islands close by. Add to that the fact that a great many immigrants entered the United States through Louisiana rather than Ellis Island. All of these factors make an interesting mix that is almost a different country.
Historical sites abound in Louisiana. Poverty Point Park shows evidence of human habitation from 12,000 years ago. It is the oldest known evidence of humans on the North American Continent. Chalmette Battlefield is where the Battle of New Orleans was fought. It was the decisive battle of the War of 1812.
Pirates in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Mississippi River were a huge problem for a time. The most famous of those was Jean Lafitte. In 1813 the governor of Louisiana offered a reward of $500 for Lafitte's capture. Lafitte was insulted at such a low bounty and promptly issued a reward of $1,000 for Governor Claiborne.
Near Shreveport, the Garden of the Americas Rose Center displays more than 200 varieties of roses. The Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans features live insects, mounted insects, and interactive displays to help us learn about the insect world. The Mississippi River Birding Trail offers various sites to view the migratory birds as well as the species that stay put. The Tammany Trace is a rails-to-trails path for bikers and hikers. It's about 31 miles long to give you an opportunity to see nature at its best.
When in Louisiana, you need to sample the different foods available from all the cultures of the state. Check out the Orphan Train Museum. Take a tour through the bayous. Pet an alligator (under supervision, of course). The vacation guide tantalizes with so many places to go and things to see. Louisiana is a mixture of so many different cultures. And each has its own unique characteristics. And each is worth sampling. Pack your bags and go. There are links below to help you decide what to try first. When you get home, let me know what you saw.
Louisiana Tour Guide
Louisiana Official Site
Louisiana State Parks
National Park Service
Offbeat Tourist Attractions