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LOUISIANA

When the French signed the paperwork for the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, they gifted America not only its heartlands but also the culturally rich and vibrant area surrounding the Mississippi Delta.

Comprising of the present-day state of Louisiana, this region is very different from the rest of the country: it boasts of a unique culture that evolved from the Acadian, French, Spanish, Deep South, and Creole cultures.

New Orleans may well be Louisiana’s heartbeat; the Crescent City deeply embodies the state’s distinct culture from historic Mardi Gras celebrations and king cake to Cajun boils and jazz music.

Other cities including Baton Rouge (the state capital), Lafayette, Shreveport, and Breaux Bridge also deeply imbibe these traditions.

Louisiana has the largest collection of most well preserved antebellum style plantation homes along the Great River Road. Most of these offer tours and an in-depth look into the pre-civil war era life in the South.

Though it is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Louisiana does not really have good beaches.

The coastal areas are swampy, marshy, and filled with alligators, crawfish, and other wildlife.

The entire coastal region lies in the Mississippi Delta and has a unique ecosystem which can be beautifully explored by hiking, kayaking, and airboat touring the swamps.

Louisiana has many national parks and wildlife refuge where visitors can explore this unique landscape.

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