State Overview

Only in Louisiana

Louisiana is a place where you can Pick Your Passion—a state with so much diversity that just a short drive takes you to another world within the state’s borders.

No place in America is better known for its music and food. Louisiana is the birthplace of jazz, the home of Cajun and zydeco music and a stage for the evolution of American blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll. The rich musical heritage is the ideal background track for enjoying the state’s unique dishes. Even their names—filé gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée—stir one’s curiosity.

Jazz, like its birthplace, New Orleans, is an eclectic mix of European, African and Caribbean cultures and influences. One hundred years after its birth, jazz still spills into the streets of the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny. To the west are the swamps of bayou country and prairies of Acadiana, where venues featuring Cajun and zydeco music still dot the landscape, ranging from dance halls and hole-in-the-wall clubs to festivals and rural farmhouse porches.

North and central Louisiana remain pivotal regions in American blues, rock ‘n’ roll and country music. Notable artists who have called the region home include Jerry Lee Lewis, Tim McGraw and Kix Brooks. One of the most significant venues in American music history is Shreveport’s Municipal Auditorium.  Its Louisiana Hayride variety show in the 1950s was the launching point for Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

For the culinary enthusiasts, our food is legendary no matter which part of the state you visit. Louisiana cuisine comprises Cajun and Creole delicacies often prepared with the best in seafood—shrimp, oysters, crawfish, crab, fish and even alligator—all caught off or in the shores of sportsman’s paradise.

Louisiana has more festivals than any other state. Try the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival or Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette, the Red River Revel in Shreveport or Contraband Days in Lake Charles, the Peach Festival in Ruston or the Meat Pie Festival in Natchitoches—there’s always a reason to dance and eat in Louisiana. Or enjoy Mardi Gras, which is celebrated throughout the state in late winter to early spring.

All of this joie de vivre grows from our roots, a mixture of French, Spanish, Caribbean, African and Native American cultures that make Louisiana unique. Whatever your passion, you will find it in Louisiana.

To explore all options and plan your Louisiana adventures, visit LouisianaTravel.com.