Take Your Pick
Avery Island, LA
Hot Stuff
Tabasco Factory - Since 1868, the McIlhenny family has been turning out the best selling hot sauce in the world, Tabasco Pepper Sauce. Tabasco is made from only three ingredients, red peppers, vinegar, and salt, and then aged up to 3 years in white oak barrels. The salt is gathered right here on Avery Island where a naturally formed salt dome exists. To get the most of your visit, take a tour of the world famous Tabasco Factory, where you view a short film on the history of Tabasco and see how it is bottled. After the tour, stop in at the Country Store to pick up your favorite sauce in miniatures or monster gallon jugs.
Baton Rouge, LA
USS Kidd
USS Kidd and Nautical Center - The USS Kidd is a WWII Fletcher class destroyer that has been completely restored and today is a national historic landmark on the mighty Mississippi River. Depending on the height of the river, varying over 40 feet, she will either be floating or completely out of water. The USS Kidd was hit in WWII by a Kamikaze that crashed directly into it. Thirty-eight men perished and fifty-five were wounded. Also at the nautical center is a full-scale replica of "Old Ironsides", a P-40 fighter plane and an A-7A Corsair attack aircraft.
Baton Rouge, LA
Museum of Political History
Old State Capitol - After luring the capital away from New Orleans in 1847, the city of Baton Rouge needed to build a new capitol building. Construction of this Gothic style structure began immediately and ended in 1852. The statehouse was then used by the Louisiana government for 10 years until it was captured by Union soldiers. The Union troops used the building as a prison for Confederate soldiers until the interior was destroyed by fire. The Old State Capitol now plays host to the Museum of Political History detailing Louisiana history and featuring hands-on exhibits.
Baton Rouge, LA
The Nation's Tallest Capitol Building
Louisiana State Capital - Welcome to the Louisiana State Capitol, the tallest capitol building in the United States. Completed in 1932, this National Historic Landmark stands an impressive 450 feet tall. Hop aboard two separate elevators to the 27th floor for an impressive view of the "who dat" capital city. The capitol building isn't all about height; there is plenty of history here too. This is the place where Louisiana's charismatic 40th governor and US Senator Huey P. Long was assassinated. His last words were, "God, don't let me die. I have so much left to do."
Bossier City, LA
Texas Street Bridge
Boardwalk - Located on the Red River, the Boardwalk is the place for shopping and family entertainment in Louisiana. The state's first Bass Pro Shop opened here in 2003 and the rest of the stores and restaurants along the river followed in 2005. You can spend the entire day eating and shopping, and then at night enjoy the neon lights of the Texas Street Bridge. And if you care to cross the Texas Street Bridge which connects Bossier City to Shreveport, you will end up in the heart of Shreveport's riverfront casino district.
Delhi, LA
A Cultural Treasure at Poverty Point
Poverty Point - Between 3000 and 3500 years ago an ancient culture inhabited this area of Louisiana and built what is described as "one of the most important archeological sites in North America". The site is roughly 400 acres and contains six rows of earthen mounds forming a semi-circle three-fourths of a mile long. At the western most point is a mound (Mound A) which is estimated to have been 70 feet high when built. Like crop circles in England, Poverty Point is best viewed from the air. In fact, until the 1950s the mounds were thought to be naturally occurring. The intriguing question about this site is, "Why would a civilization spend over 5 million labor hours building something that could only be seen from the sky, when they don't have airplanes?"
Gibland, LA
Bonnie and Clyde Death Site
Bonnie and Clyde - On May 23, 1943 Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were riddled with bullets in Gibsland, Louisiana. After committing some 200 robberies and killing 13 people, a six man posse tracked them for 102 days to this spot in Louisiana. Their bodies had over 50 bullet holes in them and their car over 150. If you get a chance to see the 1967 film "Bonnie and Clyde", Warren Beatty is very good in it. Even though film glamorizes the killers, it does give you a little background on these two notorious gangsters. While in Gibsland check out the Bonnie and Clyde Museum and join the annual Bonnie and Clyde Festival.
Kentwood, LA
Birthplace of Britney Spears
Britney Spears Museum - A section of the Kentwood Historical and Cultural Arts Museum is dedicated to pop princess Britney Spears. Deciding whether she is the history or culture section is quite tricky though. But I still love the girl and came to Kentwood just to see where the cute little Mouseketeer was born. The museum has several posters, a case of awards and a room replicating Britney's childhood bedroom. It was all good and once I was back in the car I popped in a CD and sang along..."Oops I Did It Again".
Lafayette, LA
Architecture of Lafayette
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist - Lafayette was founded on the Vermilion River in 1821 and was originally called Vermilionville. Situated in the heart of Cajun Country, the city attracts visitors for its great food and French-style architecture. The original settlement built around a small church where now stands the picturesque Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. This artfully designed Dutch-Romanesque structure has inspired many with its beauty and sermons since its completion in 1916.
Mansfield, LA
Last Major Confederate Victory
Mansfield Civil War Battlefield - The Mansfield Civil War Battlefield is the site of the last major Confederate victory of the Civil War. Major General Richard Taylor (son of President Zachary Taylor) led the Confederate troops to victory over a larger Union Army led by Major General Nathanial Banks in April 1864. On site is a museum that displays a short film about the battle and exhibits artifacts and memorabilia related to the event. Several events are held throughout the year with costumed reenactments and even candlelight battleground tours.
Marksville, LA
Mounds of Marksville
Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site - Between 50 BC and 400 AD Native Americans built seven mounds enclosed by two earthen ridges on what is now known as the Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site. The entire 200 acre area has been excavated revealing some insight into the ancient culture. It was noticed that some of the mounds were used for burial sites; they unearthed decorative pottery and discovered a trade link between the Marksville Indians and the Hopewell Culture in the Ohio Valley. The museum has several exhibits and a short video of the Native American culture.
Natchitoches, LA
Kicking Around in Natchitoches
Fort St. Jean Baptiste - Natchitoches, established in 1714, is the oldest permanent settlement of the Louisiana Purchase. The residents of Natchitoches built Fort St Jean Baptiste in 1716 and it served as a military outpost and trading center with the Caddo Indians, the French and the Spanish. In 1732 a larger fort was built for added protection against Indian attacks. The fort you see today is a full scale replica of the 1932 fort, built from the original plans starting in 1979 and completed in 1982. Here you will find a church, slave quarters, barracks, guardhouse, and several other small wooden huts.
New Iberia, LA
Visit Buddha at Jungle Gardens
Jungle Gardens - Located on the same island as the Tabasco Factory, Jungle Gardens is a 250 acre sanctuary of exotic plants and diverse wildlife. Built by Edward Avery McIlhenny, the second son of Tabasco inventor Edmund McIlhenny, the gardens contain 64 varieties of bamboo, 1000 varieties of camellia plants and attract over 20,000 heron families during the spring. Besides bird watching, one of the big attractions is the Chinese Garden. It contains a 1000 year old cross-legged Buddha described as "the finest ever to reach America".
New Iberia, LA
A Home with No Interior Hallways
Shadows-on-the-Teche - Constructed between 1831 and 1834, by sugarcane planter David Weeks, the Shadows-on-the-Teche is a time machine to the past. This antebellum home contains photographs, furnishings, and over 17,000 documents collected through the years. These documents include invoices, receipts, and personal letters detailing the intimate history of this historic plantation home. The outside of the house is surrounded by 2 1/2 acres of gardens and canopied by oak trees draped with Spanish Moss. 45 minute tours take visitors through the home and detail its history.
New Orleans, LA
The Country's Official WWII Museum
National WWII Museum - Designated by Congress as the "Country's official WWII Museum", the National WWII Museum lives up to its billing. The museum displays films and exhibits on the June 6th 1944 invasion of Normandy, the Pacific Invasion, and the Home Front. One of the most impressive displays shows all the different types of ships and aircraft used in the D-Day invasion. Imagine being a German soldier on the beach of Normandy and seeing an armada of 5,000 ships and fleet of nearly 4,000 aircraft heading right for you. Trouble!!!
New Orleans, LA
Cemetery Tours
New Orleans Cemetery Tours - A trip to New Orleans wouldn't be complete without a Cemetery Tour. The oldest above ground cemetery, the St. Louis Cemetery #1. Commissioned in 1789 and it contains the crypt of Marie Laveau, a famous voodoo priestess. Here you can mark her resting place with a triple X (XXX) in hopes she will grant you one wish. This is the cemetery where "Easy Rider" was filmed (without authorization). Another equally intriguing burial site is the Lafayette Cemetery, where an authorized "Interview with a Vampire" was filmed.
New Orleans, LA
Aquarium in the French Quarter
French Quarter - Every night there is a party in the French Quarter, but there is more to it than that. You can visit Preservation Hall for some great New Orleans Jazz; spend an afternoon at the United States Mint Museum; visit the fish at the Aquarium of the Americas; grab some ritual objects at the Voodoo Museum; and wrap it up with a plate of beignets (French square hole-less doughnuts) at the Cafe du Monde. And if you need more, there is fantastic Cajun food, a casino, riverboat cruises, and don't forget the French architecture. Then we can head back to partying on Bourbon Street.
New Orleans, LA
The Best Party in the USA
Mardi Gras - The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced back to Roman times, but it was first celebrated in Louisiana starting in the early 1700s. The festivities begin on January 6th, the first day of Carnival, with the partying continuing and gaining momentum through Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Groups known as "Krewes" put on lavish masked balls and create floats to disseminate their throws (ornate necklaces, doubloons, beads and medallions). There is no bigger party in America than Mardi Gras' Fat Tues. Hundreds of thousands of people swarm to the French Quarter for one last night of debauchery before giving it all up for Lent. It is amazing. Something that kept this sock monkey away for many years was the fear of crime. Although it is chaos, it is a controlled chaos, with police everywhere keeping it safe. So, be not afraid, and I will see you there party monkey.
Shreveport, LA
Outside the Space Center
Sci-Port Louisiana's Science Center - The Sci-Port Science Center is a 92,000 square foot science museum, entertainment center, and educational experience. Complete with nearly 300 exhibits, an IMAX theater, and laser SPACE DOME Planetarium. The SPACE DOME Planetarium really is fantastic. The 16 million pixel projector paints a night-time sky more vivid than the real thing.
White Castle, LA
One Room of the 53,000 Sq Foot Mansion
Nottoway Plantation - Not just another antebellum home in the south, Nottoway Plantation is the largest and most magnificent of them all. This 53,000 square foot home survived the Civil War and is now a Bed and Breakfast with exquisite dining and fantastic guest rooms. In the restaurant, feast on the Creole Gumbo and delicious bread pudding with rum sauce. Then head to your Bridal Suite which includes three rooms and its own private outdoor swimming pool. A monkey could get used to this southern living. If you stay her or not, be sure to take a tour of the home and grounds.