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USA Radio

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

Louisiana Highlights

You'll know you're here when

... you start hearing a Cajun French accent rather than a southern drawl—and there’s music everywhere.

Don't leave without tasting...

Flusskrebse in Louisiana

  • Andouille and boudin sausage in Lafayette
  • A sloppy roast beef po’ boy at Mother’s in New Orleans
  • Boiled crawfish in Breaux Bridge; a bowl of gumbo everywhere (every bowl will be different)
  • Alligator sauce picante in Thibodaux
  • A muffaletta sandwich in the French Quarter
  • Fried catfish at Middendorf’s
  • The pecan waffles at Camelia Grill in New Orleans.

Put these events on your calendar

Festival de jazz

  • February/March: Mardi Gras isn’t just in New Orleans but all over the state and each city puts its own flavour and traditions into Mardi Gras
  • April: New Orleans Jazz Fest, Festival International (Lafayette), Louisiana Strawberry Festival (Pontchatoula), Contraband Days (Lake Charles)
  • May: Mud Bug Madness (Shreveport)
  • September: Shrimp & Petroleum Festival (Morgan City)
  • October: Angola Prison Rodeo and Art Festival, Festival Acadiens (Lafayette)
  • December: Festival of Lights (Natchitoches).

Must-see museum

  • National World War II Museum in New Orleans
  • New Orleans Plantation Country: eight historic antebellum plantation houses telling all of the stories of plantation life along the scenic Mississippi River.

Want to stay up late?

Go anywhere in New Orleans—there are no set closing times, so the bars and clubs stay open until the customers decide to leave.

Your child will always remember…

Pulling the rope that makes the calliope (a musical instrument resembling an organ, but with the notes produced by steam whistles) blow on the Natchez Riverboat.

If you want to fit in…

Don’t say N’Awlins (it’s pronounced New Or-leens) and don’t ask for anything that’s ‘not too spicy’.

Don’t overlook this…

In the town of Eunice, you can visit the Cajun Music Hall of Fame or go to a live Cajun music broadcast at the Liberty Theater.

Feeling romantic?

Many of our plantation homes are fabulously romantic B&Bs (and available for weddings).

For your first visit…

Sit on the ‘Moon Walk’ walkway in the French Quarter eating a muffaletta, drinking a cocktail and watching the boats sail by on the Mississippi River while a street musician plays jazz or blues in the background.

Official Louisiana Travel Site

Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism

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