The Regions of Louisiana
Louisiana is separated into five regions, Greater New Orleans, Plantation Country, Cajun Country, Crossroads and Sportsman's Paradise. The five regions reveal how Louisiana's culture is so diverse, but with similarities among them all, and each region adds a unique note to Louisiana's musical heritage.
Greater New Orleans
The sight of an alligator swimming by your swamp tour boat; the sounds of children laughing as they pedal their bikes along a rail trail; the feel of Mardi Gras beads and feathers; the smell of coffee with chicory and taste of delicious beignets - a visit to Greater New Orleans is truly a treat for all the senses!
Greater New Orleans is a dynamic region and one with a personality all of its own. That's no doubt due to the variety of people first drawn to the area centuries ago for the resources and trade route provided by the Mississippi River. French, Spanish, Irish, Germans, Haitians and others mingled here and their influences are still evident today in the music, food and architecture of the area.
Experience it all you travel from charming small towns to rowdy, music-filled streets and south toward rich fishing grounds. You'll leave with a love for this only-in-Louisiana destination.
In River Parishes, where the Mississippi River winds its way to the Gulf and football enthusiasm registers on the Ritcher scale, visitors can turn an ordinary drive into a time warp. Along the famous River Road and in the Felicianas, antebellum mansions recall an age when wealthy planters ruled, the fertile grounds along the river delivering enormous wealth. Today many of the plantations, featuring Greek Revival, Italianate and Victorian homes, are open daily for digging deeper into this period in Louisiana history.
Beyond mint juleps and live oaks of River Road, River Parishes also offers a view of modern Louisiana. Find fine and performing arts venues, golf courses and casinos, outdoor adventures and shoppers getaways. Familiies, politicians and college students alike have discovered that the best of Louisiana past and present is easily found in River Parishes - see for yourself!
It isn't know for sure the origin of the now-famous phrase "laissez les bons temps rouler" (let the good times roll), but surely its roots lie in Cajun Country. Most likely it was exclaimed at a crawfish boil, as another batch of mudbugs was poured on the table, or during a boucherie, those traditional Cajun hog butcherings that feed an entire community and end in a fais-dodo (a dance party). Good times are plenty here, usually happening over a meal - maybe of gumbo, shrimp or étouffée - but just as often taking place on a zydeco club dance floor or a festival parade float.
Life among the swamps, cypress trees and spoonbills inspires an appreciation for the land and the culture it has spawned. And those things are celebrated at every turn. The people here are hospitable. The experience is authentic. You'll find your good time in Cajun Country.
Some people like to refer to Louisianan as a gumbo - a delicious mix of cultures that have been simmering for centuries. The ingredients? A dash of French, Spanish, African-American and Anglo-American traditions. A dollop of Native American tribes and a splash of Cajun ingenuity.
There's perhaps no better place to feast upon this rich tradition than the Crossroads. It is here that the cultures of north and south Louisiana collide. And the result is a region known for pork-filled tamales, impressive Creole architecture and annual powwows. Musical icons and political heavyweights have called the Crossroads home. Civil War battles were fought in this region and, before that, Spanish traders travelled through on their route to Mexico along El Camino Real de los Tejas, noe park of a National Historic Trail.
For centuries, this stretch of central Louisiana has drawn travellers and adventure seekers, and you will find that it still does today!
This is a place where a perfect mix of soil and sun produces peaches so sweet you'll hope summer never ends. A place where tranquil waters flush with bass, catfish and bream lure amateur anglers and pros alike. A place where a date with Lady Luck can happen any night of the week at one of the casinos.
Located in north Louisiana, Sportsman's Paradise has more than enough attractions - a winery, antique shops, a film centre, casinos & museums - to keep everyone entertained.
There are year-round celebrations that highlight a culture which embraces food and fun. Holiday lights twinkle from the Red River to the Ouachita River. There is also family-focussed Mardi Gras with parades that roll throughout Carnival, and arts and music festivals draw crowds in the spring and summer.