10. Drive-Thru Daiquiris
Drinking and driving don’t mix well, but that shouldn’t stand in the way of convenience. A testament to the free-spirited atmosphere of the state, many booths around Louisiana let you drive up to the window and order a daiquiri. Be sure to try Maggio’s Package Liquor in Natchitoches.
(image via Chris Watts)
9. Ride the New Orleans Streetcars
New Orleans currently runs four streetcar lines, including the oldest operational line in the United States, the St. Charles Streetcar Line. The famed transit system goes all over the city and has been featured in many classic works, such as the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire.
8. Laura Plantation
A reminder of this nation’s bloody past, Laura Plantation in Vacherie serves as a relic of a troubled time. Built in 1820, the plantation mainly dealt in sugar. Laura Plantation was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1993. Bonus tidbit: Legendary singer Fats Domino’s parents lived and worked on this plantation.
7. Mardi Gras
Much of the culture of New Orleans is steeped in a unique interpretation of religion. Each year before the season of Lent, the people of the city host a huge celebration called Carnival, commonly referred to as Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday"). During the festival, the streets of New Orleans are filled with food, music, and jubilation.
6. Visit Frenchmen Street
Some of the most well-loved music venues on the planet are in the same three blocks. People come from all over to go hear live music at places such as Snug Harbor, the Spotted Cat, and the Maison. Frenchmen Street is also home to wonderful restaurants, displaying the flavors of the Gulf Coast.
5. Lake Martin
Some of the most scenic swamplands in the state are located in and around Lake Martin. The water is bordered by huge cypress trees, covered with flowing Spanish moss. Most visitors enjoy the diverse wildlife, including blue herons, great horned owls, and...you guessed it...alligators.
4. See LSU’s Mike the Tiger
Having a live mascot at a university seems reasonable when it’s a bird or a dog, but it’s a different story when the mascot is a tiger. Luckily, Louisiana State University doesn’t think that way. At the university’s sports games, they bring out Mike the Tiger to frenzied fans' excitement.
(image via brifreephotography)
3. Red River Revel Arts Festival
Louisianans sure do love their celebrations. The Red River Revel Arts Festival in Shreveport pulls in more than 200,000 people each October. Guests of the festival are treated with artisan crafts, deep fried foods, and live music. The week-long celebration has fostered quite a following, being featured on such shows as Good Morning America.
2. The Louisiana State Capitol
At 34 stories tall, the Louisiana State Capitol is the tallest capitol building in the United States. It is often referred to as “Huey Long’s Monument" because of the governor’s efforts to erect the structure. Located right on the mouth of the Mississippi River, the grounds are known for their stunning landscapes, including the famous capitol gardens.