Louisiana Music Top Picks
Each region of the state offers its own unique contribution to Louisiana's musical heritage. It's the birthplace of Jazz, Zydeco, and Cajun Music. But it's also home to many other diverse musical genres - such as Blues, Country, Hip-Hop, Gospel, Brass-Hop, Rockabilly, and Rock 'n' Roll. With so much to choose from, rounding up the best music attractions hasn't been easy!
- Unsurprisingly, top of our list is New Orleans Mardi Gras. A 'bucket list' favourite, this is the festival to top all festivals. A wonderful street party of colour and sound, there are more than 60 parades during the festival, featuring a variety of krewes which each have a unique history and theme.
- Also in New Orleans is the hugely popular Jazz & Heritage Festival (also known as Jazz Fest). Whilst Jazz artists do feature at this festival, there's much more to it - with music encompassing all genres connected to the Louisiana.
- For Jazz aficionados, Preservation Hall in New Orleans' French Quarter is somewhere not to be missed. This live Jazz Music venue is host to traditional New Orleans jazz acts, with multiple shows each night.
- Fans of Louis Armstrong should check out the Satchmo Festival in August - Satchmo Summerfest is a 3-day jazz festival that centres around Louis Armstrong's birthday. Great music, great food, amazing atmosphere - the perfect New Orleans experience!
- Although primarily a food festival, celebrating Louisiana crawfish and Cajun cuisine, the Mudbug Madness Festival is also worth attending for the great live music acts. Zydeco, Cajun, Blues, and Jazz music gives this festival an authentic Louisiana soundtrack. Live music and delicious authentic Louisiana food - what's not to love?!
- If you're visiting Louisiana in mid-April, the French Quarter Festival is a must! This is the largest free music event in the US, with over 400 hours of live entertainment - NOLA sure knows how to throw a party!
Please get in touch with our expert Louisiana team if you want more detail or have any questions; we're here to make sure that your Deep South trip is perfect.
Louisiana's Historical Attractions Top 10
Louisiana really does have it all - this most diverse of states has so much history and heritage to offer visitors, it's hard to know where to start. Our Top 10 is a round-up of the historical attractions in Louisiana we recommend you try to include in your bustling itinerary. In no particular order...
- Nothing is quite as quintessentially Louisiana as the plantations, so this is a must-do during your trip. There are many to choose from, each brimming with Deep South history. Either take a plantation trail, like our New Orleans Plantation Trail, or take your pick of the many individual plantation sites and tours on offer.
- The Louisiana African American Heritage Trail consists of 26 sites of African American historical prominence. For those interested in social history, this trail is unmissable. It encompasses museums, churches, universities, and plantation complexes. Undertake the whole trail, or cherry-pick the sites which are of most interest.
- Atchafalaya Heritage Area is the nation's largest river swamp (Atchafalaya is American-Indian for 'long river'), and is among the most culturally rich and ecologically diverse regions in the US. For lovers of the outdoors and culture, this needs to be on the itinerary.
- Making it on just about every Top 10 list for Louisiana, and for good reasons, is the French Quarter! This neighbourhood in New Orleans is one of the most historical and is packed with intrigue. Walking tours are highly recommended, and why not pop into the Voodoo museum while you're there?!
- Baton Rouge is home to Louisiana's Old State Capitol building, a 160 year-old Gothic Revival structure which lovers of architecture will admire. The building is now a prominent political history museum, with highly recommended tours available.
- For a taste of peaceful Acadian life, Lafayette's Acadian Village is the perfect place to visit. Tours are available, with a number of historic buildings to view.
- 'Our Sacred Stories' New Orleans tours are the talk of the town, and so popular you'd be advised to book in advance to secure your place. Various tours on offer, but they are all packed with historical facts and plenty of personality!
- Civil War enthusiasts will be enthralled by Louisiana's Civil War Museum at Confederate Memorial Hall. The oldest active museum in the state, it is home to the second largest collection of Confederate artefacts in the world.
- The National World War II Museum is New Orleans' top-rated tourist destination. Packed with immersive exhibits, including a 4D cinematic experience, this attraction will keep the whole family informed and entertained.
- Tired of all the walking? Take a ride on the St.Charles Streetcar Line, New Orleans' oldest electric streetcar which covers 7 miles of the city.
Need to know more? Then please get in touch with us; our expert teams are always happy to help you with Deep South enquiries!
Vieux Carre Cocktail Recipe
This is the signature cocktail of the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans where Tales of the Cocktail was held. The Vieux Carré was created in 1938 by Walter Bergeron, who was then the head bartender. The name comes from the French name for the Old Quarter.
3/4 ounce rye whiskey
3/4 ounce cognac
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
1/8 teaspoon Benedictine liqueur
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1 lemon twist, for garnish
Fill an 8- to 10-ounce old-fashioned, or rocks, glass with ice. Add the rye, cognac, vermouth, Benedictine and both bitters and stir well. Garnish with the lemon twist.....enjoy!
Top 10 Things to do in Baton Rouge
From museums celebrating Louisiana's storied past to brand new distilleries and restaurants, Louisiana's capital city of Baton Rouge has plenty to keep you busy.
1. Louisiana State Capitol and Old State Capitol
Two state capitols and countless stories is what you’ll find when visiting the Louisiana State Capitol and Old State Capitol in downtown Baton Rouge. The Old State Capitol’s museum houses artwork and exhibits that tell the story of Baton Rouge and Louisiana. The so-called “Castle on the River” is an example of Gothic and Victorian architecture and was the state’s seat of government until the 1930s. Visit the stained-glass dome inside — it’s one of the most Instagram-worthy sights in all of Baton Rouge plus admission is free. The Louisiana State Capitol is the tallest state capitol building in the nation standing at 450 feet and is a monument to Louisiana’s history. Be sure to visit the 27th-floor for the Observation Deck overlooking Baton Rouge.
2. LSU Rural Life Museum
Louisiana State University’s reputation looms large over Baton Rouge and that’s not just football either. The LSU Rural Life outdoor museum takes visitors on a time-traveling journey through the state’s history, with hundreds of artifacts, plantation quarters and a variety of architectural styles unique to the region.
3. Mid-City and Southdowns Restaurants
Baton Rouge’s Mid-City neighbourhood is a prime destination for food lovers with numerous restaurants that put the city on the culinary map. Some standouts include Curbside - a burger joint that adds a gourmet twist on cooked beef patties; The Overpass Merchant - which has an awesome brunch menu that includes a killer Pork Benedict; and Kalurah Street Grill - an upscale Garden District restaurant located in a quirky and historic 1930s building that's literally under an overpass.
4. Magnolia Mound Plantation House
Magnolia Mound ranks among Louisiana’s oldest intact plantation homes, dating all the way back to 1791. What began as a small-scale settler’s home blossomed into a 900-acre farming operation that lasted until Louisiana became a state in 1812. You will see locally made, Colonial-era furniture, decorative arts that came by ship through the Port of New Orleans, local textiles and some of the most authentic French Creole architecture in the region.
5. Baton Rouge Zoo
Baton Rouge Zoo ranks among the top family attractions in the city. This is a place where kids’ imaginations can run as wild as the animals and explore exotic environments.
6. Louisiana Art & Science Museum
Housed in a 1925 historic railway station, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum is an inspiring collection of creative works, interactive exhibits and fascinating artifacts. Permanent science-oriented displays include the Ancient Egypt Gallery and planetarium.
7. BREC Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
BREC Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a wetlands wonderland right in the middle of Louisiana’s second-largest city. The 103-acre facility offers visitors a quick getaway from urban Baton Rouge and offers a taste of the south Louisiana wilds with more than a mile of boardwalks and gravel paths that take visitors through a cypress-tupelo swamp and beech-magnolia and hardwood forests. Don’t be surprised if you see some of the local residents as well, including critters such as armadillos, deer and otter.
8. USS Kidd Veterans Museum
The USS Kidd is a relic of the nation’s World War II past and today stands as a monument to those who fought in the Pacific theater. The destroyer, restored to its 1945 configuration and docked at the Mississippi River in downtown Baton Rouge, was nicknamed the “Pirate of the Pacific.” Walk in the footsteps of servicemen and women aboard the decks of this fascinating ship and learn the stories of soldiers living through one of the most pivotal moments of American history.
9. LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens
Walk among the greenery that comprises LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens, a Louisiana State University facility that welcomes visitors and researchers including numerous gardens for visitors to enjoy. The Steele Burden Memorial Orangerie has citrus trees which, when in bloom, give off some of the sweetest smells you’ll find in any garden. Also worth exploring are the Children’s Garden, Tropical Garden and other gardens devoted to roses, camellias and swamp plants.
10. Brewery and Distillery Tours
Louisiana’s home-grown liquor and beer industries have flourished in recent years, and in Baton Rouge you can get a first-hand look at how it’s all made. Cane Land Distilling Company offers behind-the-scenes tastings and tours, where visitors can learn about how Louisiana sugarcane juice is turned into Cane Land’s phenomenal rums, vodka and whiskey. Tin Roof Brewing Co., just about a mile from downtown Baton Rouge, offers free brewery tours every Friday and Saturday. Baton Rouge Distilling has both private and group tours at its facility and Southern Craft gives free tours, including a special Saturday brewmaster tour.
SOMETHING EXTRA: Animal lovers won't want to miss a visit to the LSU campus to see Mike the Tiger, the live mascot for the state's flagship university. And if you've always wanted to pet a sloth or swim with an otter, you're in luck. Just a half hour from Baton Rouge in Clinton, you'll find Barnhill Preserve, where you can check up-close encounters off your bucket list.
NEW: The capital city is home to two new venues that are guaranteed to quench your thirst for entertainment. Located between the Mid-City neighbourhood and downtown, Red Stick Social features bowling, live music and inventive food and drinks in an eclectic mix of indoor and outdoor spaces. Whether you're a seasoned player or you've never taken a swing, TopGolf Baton Rouge is the newest destination for active entertainment and events. Reserve a bay, grab a drink and let the games begin.
Top 10 things to do in Louisiana
Louisiana is a 'gumbo' created in the 1700's with a dash of French, Spanish, English, Irish, Cajun, Creole and Afro-Carribean influences. These 'cultural ingredients' have added great flavours to make Louisiana the exotic state of the South.
Here's our pick of the best things to do in Louisiana:
New Orleans Mardi Gras: Soak up the vibrancy of the Mardi Gras parades, New Orleans' most spectacular carnival.
Visit Plantation Country: Step back into the history of the South and the importance of these oh-so grand homes.
Cocktail Tour: Take a walking Cocktail Tour in New Orleans, the birthplace of the cocktail. French 75 or Sazerac, the choice is yours.
Courir de Mardi Gras: Experience the traditional Cajun Mardi Gras in Lafayette.
Take in an American Football game at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge home of Louisiana State University.
Creole Nature Trail: Explore the breathtaking Creole Nature Trail in Lake Charles, over 180 miles on 1 of 43 designated Scenic Byways in the USA.
French Quarter: Steeped in history and Louisiana atmosphere, the French Quarter draws its fair share of visitors! Famed for its vibrant nightlife too.
Kayak on the Bayous and waterways of Louisiana, viewing Louisiana’s wildlife up close. Alternatively an airboat or swamp boat are options for those feeling less energetic.
Music! Visit a Jazz club in the city that gave birth to the Jazz sound, why not visit Preservation Hall one of the most famous music venues in the US.
Eat! You will not go hungry in Louisiana from Shreveport in the North with its BBQ influences to New Orleans in the South, Cajun and Creole culinary experiences and flavours abound.
Please do get in touch with our Louisiana State experts if you have any questions or need some advice to help you plan your Louisiana holiday - we are always on hand to help!