Traveling in Louisiana
What is now Louisiana was originally part of the Spanish empire that was later passed on to the French. Its name comes after the French King Louis the XIV. After France lost its main colony of Haiti to a slave rebellion they gave up colonizing the new world and sold Louisiana to the Americans in 1803. The French had introduced slaves from West Africa into Louisiana whose culture became a mix of West African and European influences and remains strong to this day. The mix of African, European, and American influences along with one of the largest swamps in the world make this one of the most interesting states in America to visit.
Definitely one of America’s most unique cities, New Orleans is famous for its Mardis Gras parades that take place in the early Spring. Hurricane Katrina, which was the worst disaster in US history, nearly destroyed the city in 2005. Many feared the Mardis Gras tradition would be lost and some even questioned rebuilding New Orleans at the time. Fortunately New Orleans has made full recovery and once again tourists visit for its Caribbean and southern culture, jazz festivals, Louisiana bourbon, and more.
Louisiana has always been known for its hot and humid swamps. The Atchafalaya Wildlife Refuge is America’s largest swamp, covering 15,000 acres of land and is home to several unique plants and wildlife. The Atchafalaya is best explored by boats and rafts, and you can expect to come across alligators, bears, several species of snakes, and even the American bald eagle.
Named “Red Stick” after bloody animal and fish heads that were found mounted on poles in the area by native tribesmen, Baton Rouge has changed from being a primitive land to the state’s second biggest city. The city’s semi-tropical weather makes it an ideal place for sports such as tennis or golfing, and has many nationally recognized golf courses. Baton Rouge is also known for its unique capitol buildings, the former which has a castle like design. Its replacement is a massive tower that is the tallest capitol building in the country.