4 Reasons Louisiana Is So Much More Than New Orleans

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Awesome Tips   Bucket List Worthy  

Cypress Tree and Water Lillies

Photo credit: finchlake2000

If you’ve been to Louisiana, you’ve most likely been to New Orleans. But you probably haven’t traveled far from the shining lights of Bourbon street and the Big Easy. These four reasons to visit Louisiana will convince you to put the Bayou State on your bucket list.

The Beaches Are Spectacular

Many travelers, from Canada and within the United States, don’t even know that Louisiana is home to some of the most pristine beaches in the country. But it’s better for you that the masses head to the Gulf Coast beaches of Texas and Florida instead. Just two hours south of New Orleans, easily a day trip from the Big Easy, is the minute oceanside town of Grand Isle, complete with world class fishing, 10 miles of coastline and a long list of migratory birds. Holly Beach and Cypremort Point Beach are ideal places to beachcomb, throw a line in the water and enjoy the serenity of Louisiana’s sunny beaches in all seasons.

The Bayou Is Other-Worldly

Franny by the Tupelo Gum trees

Photo credit: finchlake2000

The bayou is its own world of wildlife and wetlands, and its what makes Louisiana one of the most distinct states in the U.S. Head to the quaint bayou town of Houma to experience the authentic bayou atmosphere right where History Channel’s popular TV series Swamp People was filmed. Experience the swamp up-close-and-personally by airboat, canoe, pontoon boat, trail or even small plane. The flora and fauna of this unique ecosystem, including black bear, otter and alligators reaching 4 metres in length, are guaranteed to blow even the most experienced adventurers away.

Festivals Are Everywhere

Mardi Gras may be one of the most famous festivals in the world, and while it’s undeniably a must-do for every true party lover, Louisiana is home to hundreds of other festivals that are nearly as impressive without as much publicity (and fewer crowds). The Festival International de Louisiane, Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, Red River Revel, Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival and Franklin Parish Catfish Festival are just a few of the countless annual events that showcase Louisiana’s rich music, culinary and cultural scenes. Whichever time of year you plan to visit, there’s bound to be an unforgettable Louisiana festival nearby.

The Food Will Keep You Coming Back

Fresh Louisiana Crawfish

Photo credit: Food Group

Louisiana Creole cuisine is a style of cooking that originated within the state, but its influences can be found in Spanish, French, Indian, Portuguese, Canarian, West African, Greek, Caribbean, Amerindian, German, Italian and Irish dishes. Needless to say, it’s unlike any other food in the world, and its delicious. Snack on the freshest seafood from the Gulf waters, spicy dishes that can only be traced back to the bayou, homestyle comfort food in the prairies, and of course, attend a Louisiana crawfish boil or two. True foodies should follow some of the state’s culinary trails through numerous distinct regions, showcasing the best dishes of each area.

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About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a freelance writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, learning new cultures and surfing new waves.

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