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Top Ten Destination Spots in Louisiana

Updated on August 12, 2015

Would you be interested in visiting the Imperial Calcasieu Museum?

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10. Imperial Calcasieu Museum

The Imperial Calcasieu Museum supports local artists and visual arts and its focus is on preserving regional culture along with education of the arts.

Located in Lake Charles Louisiana, this museum houses three sections which include; The Historic Museum, The Gallery Annex and The Gibson-Barham Gallery.

The Gallery Annex is used as a meeting area as well as exhibit space.

The Gibson-Barham Gallery which is dedicated to contemporary and visual arts by new artists which are students from the area.

This non-profit organization hosts events that include themes involving; fashion design, film, jewelry and more.

This is my kind of place and this is on my list of places to visit when I am in the area.

Military Vehicles at the Museum

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9. National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum consists of several buildings that hold collections from World War II and the exhibits are themes based.

One of the exhibits is the US Freedom Pavilion: Boeing Center. This section of the museum houses a B-17 named, “My Gal Sal” along with other aircraft.

A great experience at the National World War II Museum is the Final Mission: The USS Tang Experience. This gives you an opportunity to board a submarine and learn the history of it.

Located in New Orleans, this museum also holds vehicles of war such as tanks and jeeps.

The Services and Sacrifice exhibit honors high profile politicians who served during the war such as Presidents, Vice Presidents, The Supreme Court Justice and more.

A gallery located in the museum is The Laborde Service Gallery which is dedicated to the 16 million soldiers who served in WWII.

The National WWII Museum holds over 10,000 artifacts and offers interactive exhibits including touchscreen features. There is also a museum store located here.

The Freedom Pavilion

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8. Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo

Located in Monroe Louisiana, The Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo is a non-profit organization which was opened in 1923 but struggled over the years.

Previously known as Bernstein Zoo, The Louisiana Zoo was purchased, renamed and opened in 1971.

One of the attractions at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo are the boat rides. These rides take you around a lake and offer views from the boats which are not visible from the walking path. You will see views of some of the primates while on the boat.

There are also horse drawn carriage tours and a zoo train.

Some of the animals housed at this zoo are; parrots, peacocks, wallaby, hippos, reptiles, black swan and more. .

A Giraffe at the Zoo

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Would you enjoy taking the Abita Beer Tour?

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7. Abita Beer Tour

Founded in 1896, Abita Beer is located in Abita Springs and is a brewing company which offers tours of the brewery along with taste testing the beer brewed there.

Aside from ales and lagers, Abita also makes barrels of root beer.

The tour is an hour long and it is recommended that close toed shoes are worn.

If you are twenty one and interested in this tour, you will start the tour at the tasting room and end in the tasting room.

While visiting this brewery you will be given a wrist band and a cup for tasting the beer located at the taps set up for you to refill as much as you want and the best part is it’s free!


Abita Beer Tour

Nottoway Mansion Interior

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6. Nottoway Plantation

Built in 1859, The Nottoway Plantation is a gorgeous structure built by john Hampden Randolph, a sugar planter, and is located in White Castle, Louisiana.

John Hampden Randolph built the house for his family which includes 11 children and his wife, and was also used to entertain guests.

It has survived the Civil War and sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. The Nottoway Plantation is on the National Register of Historic Places and offers guided tours of the mansion as well as the grounds.

A popular place for weddings and other events, The Nottoway Plantation draws people from all over the world and is used as a resort and inn.

There are 64 rooms some with hand carved Italian marble fireplaces, cottages, a carriage house and even a restaurant.

The rooms, cottages and carriage house are all available to rent while visiting this historical plantation.

Stop by and visit the gift shop and salon or participate in the, Murder Mystery Dinner Theater on Halloween.

Nottoway Plantation

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Magnolia Plantation

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5. Natchitoches

Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis which started through trade with the local Native Americans, Natchitoches is a city in Louisiana full of history and beauty.

Located near Cane River Lake, formerly known as The Red River, It is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territories and home to the Cane River National Historic Park.

The Cane River National Historic Park is home to several plantations with Magnolia Plantation being a popular one.

The landscaping at this historical park is well maintained and the flora and fauna are always a nice treat for visitors.

Natchitoches houses many Pre Civil War homes and there are plenty of photograph opportunities. You will also be able to find places to golf & fish, eateries, shops and lodging.

4. Steamboat Natchez

Launched in 1975, Steamboat Sanchez is a riverboat which offers cruises up and down the Mississippi River.

Located in New Orleans, you will be able to experience jazz cruises, harbor and dinner cruises and more.

The steam engines that run the Natchez were built in 1925 and The Natchez Is also home to a 32-note calliope.

A calliope is a musical instrument which makes music by using gas, steam and more currently, compressed air. The air is pushed through whistles which make music.

I would love to experience this steamboat someday; along with some dinner and good jazz music!


Walking and Jogging Trail by Cane River Lake

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Steamboat Natchez

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Are you interested in visiting The Acadian Village?

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3. Acadian Village

Acadian Village is located in Lafayette Louisiana and is a recreation of an 1800’s Cajun village.

It was built by the locals and seven of the buildings are original structures from the 19th century, most being donated from locals whose ancestors lived in the homes.

The Acadian people were known for living a simple life. They grew their own crops, spun their own fibers and every bit of material they had was used. Nothing went to waste.

This is a great opportunity to get a taste of Cajun culture and experience the way they lived in the 1800’s.

A look at the Acadian Village

Waterway at Hodges Gardens

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2. Hodges Gardens State Park

Located in West-Central Louisiana, Hodges Gardens State Park was purchase by AJ Hodges, who planted many plants and flowers as well as trees to help make these botanical gardens look the way they look today.

After seeing clear-cutting of the land, AJ Hodges was determined to bring back nature and wildlife to the area, and he did.

It has been preserved to the fullest and its beauty is just breathtaking.

There are also waterfalls in the area as well as cabins and campgrounds, lakes, streams and walking paths.

AJ Hodges also had Lookout Tower built, which overlooks the gardens. A pavilion is located at Lookout Tower and benches to sit on as well.

Many events are hosted here including a fourth of July celebration and more.

Hodges Gardens State Park

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Bourbon Street in The French Quarter

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New Orleans

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1. New Orleans

Founded in 1718 by the French, who were under command by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, New Orleans is probably most famous for its Mardi Gras Celebration.

The main areas to find Mardi Gras are mostly found on St Charles St, Bourbon St and The French Quarter.

The first recording of the holiday dates back to 1699 and was located on the Mississippi River. The big Mardi Gras festivities are unclear as to when they started however; there is documentation from 1730.

The French Quarter is a National Historic Landmark and is home to many historical buildings. Most of these buildings were built during the Spanish rule which are perfect landmarks to take in some of the history from the area.

The oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, The French Quarter is also home to the St Louis Cathedral which is a main attraction in Louisiana itself. This structure was built in 1794 and close by stands the 1856 Andrew Jackson Equestrian Statue located on Jackson Square.

Bourbon Street is a street located in the French Quarter in New Orleans. This street is full of nightlife, festivals, clubs and bars, eateries and souvenir shops. One of the popular spots to grab a bite to eat is Galatories and there are other restaurants in the area with great reviews.

St Louis Cathedral with The Thomas Jefferson Equestrian Statue

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A roadmap to help you get around Louisiana

show route and directions
A markerImperial Cacasieu Museum -
Imperial Calcasieu Museum, 204 West Sallier Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601, USA
get directions

B markerLouisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo -
Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo, 1405 Bernstein Park Road, Monroe, LA 71202, USA
get directions

C markerNatchitoches -
Natchitoches, LA, USA
get directions

D markerAcadian Village -
Acadian Village, 200 Greenleaf Drive, Lafayette, LA 70506, USA
get directions

E markerHodges Gardens State Park -
Hodges Gardens State Park, 1000 Hodges Loop, Florien, LA 71429, USA
get directions

F markerNew Orleans -
New Orleans, LA, USA
get directions

G markerFrench Quarter -
French Quarter, New Orleans, LA, USA
get directions

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Aww, this brings back wonderful memories of when I used to live in Louisiana. One of my other favorite places was the historic Hotel Bentley (a four-star historic hotel in Alexandria, Louisiana that is now closed). It was so beautiful. I was lucky enough to live there for a month when I moved to Alexandria in the 90s. They are reopening it, don't know when.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I've never been, but due to your hub, this is some place I might want to visit. Thanks for posting this information and great pictures! Voted up.