Things to do in Louisiana
1. New Orleans School of Cooking
Welcome to the Fun, Food & Folklore of The New Orleans School of Cooking! Our entertaining classes and the Louisiana General Store are located in a renovated molasses warehouse built in the early 1800s in the heart of the French Quarter. We teach the basics of Louisiana Cooking in a way you’ll never forget. Fun is a primary ingredient in our kitchen! Our Creole/Cajun experts teach New Orleans specialities such as Gumbo, Jambalaya and Pralines, and season them with history, trivia and tall tales. It’s a “ga-ron-teed” good time for all.
Since 1980, the New Orleans School of Cooking has introduced countless visitors from around the world to the wonderful food and rich culture of Louisiana and New Orleans. Classes are held seven days a week in our beautifully renovated 1830′s molasses warehouse, located at 524 St. Louis Street, between Chartres and Decatur in the French Quarter.
The cooking classes are taught by well known local chefs; skilled in the arts and traditions of Cajun and Creole cuisine. Visitors will be treated to a wide range of local classics such as Jambalaya, Gumbo, Corn & Crab Bisque, and Pralines. Please see our daily menu for more information. We also accommodate hands on classes, special events , and group classes.
Our Louisiana General Store is open for business 9am-4pm, seven days a week; located at 524 St. Louis Street. We carry a full line of Cajun and Creole products, cookbooks, spices, gift baskets, cookware, and our famous seasoning Joe’s Stuffâ„¢. If you’re out of town and can’t stop by; please shop with us here on-line! We look forward to having you as our guest!
2. National World War II Museum (National D-Day Museum)
Type: History Museums, Military Museums, Museums, Specialty Museums
Activities: Group Tours/Walking Tour, Leisure Education
945 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70130
The mission of this museum focuses on the remembrance and celebration of the American Spirit, teamwork, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who served during World War II.
The National World War II Museum, formerly known as the National D-Day Museum, is a museum located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana, at the corner of Andrew Higgins and Magazine Street. It focuses on the contribution made by the United States to victory by the Allies in World War II, and the Battle of Normandy in particular. It was designated by the U.S. Congress as “America’s National World War II Museum” in 2003.
The museum opened its doors to the public on June 6, 2000, the 56th anniversary of D-Day. The museum has a large lobby where aircraft and other items are suspended from the ceiling. The building is several stories high; elevators are available but the stairs are more accessible and are quicker. Visitors begin their self-guided tour of the museum on the top floor and work their way down toward the ground floor. The museum goes in chronological order; that is, the top floor assesses the political, social, and economic conditions that led up to World War II and D-Day. For example, the museum compares the relative military strengths of major nations entering the war. Later visitors see a model of the beaches of Normandy with the relative positions of the number of aircraft and amphibious vehicles. However, the museum does not solely discuss the invasion; visitors may also view an electronic map of the Pacific Ocean that lights up to illustrate the Allied strategy of island hopping, culminating with nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
3. USS KIDD Veterans Memorial Museum
Built adjacent to the KIDD on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Baton Rouge, the Veterans Memorial Museum houses many special attractions for the history or military enthusiast. It features many one-of-a-kind artifacts, offering an expansive view of the mighty river and is located in the heart of the downtown historical district, just walking distance from Louisiana’s Old State Capital, the Louisiana Arts & Sciences Museum, the Irene Pennington Planetarium, the LSU Museum of Art, and the Shaw Center for the Performing Arts.
The Louisiana Veterans Hall of Honor
The most popular exhibit found in the museum is the Louisiana Veterans Hall of Honor, dedicated to those servicemen and women who have had outstanding or unique military careers. Each person is a Louisiana native and each has a remarkable story to tell: two Medal of Honor recipients; a participant of the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo; a former “Flying Tiger” of World War II; a defender of Corregidor who survived the Bataan Death March; an infantryman who was wounded four different times during the invasion of Normandy; a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne who was twice wounded during the Battle of the Bulge; two Air Force pilots who were held for six and a half years as POWs (Prisoners of War) in Vietnam’s infamous Hoa Lo Central Prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton; and one of the first women to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Each story is of courage, valor, and personal sacrifice.
4. Magnolia Mound Plantation
14.8 Acres – Located in Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, BREC’s Magnolia Mound Plantation is a rare survivor of the vernacular architecture influenced by early settlers from France and the West Indies. This venerable landmark is unique in southern Louisiana not simply because of its age, quality of restoration, or outstanding collections, but because it is still a vital part of the community. Through educational programs, workshops, lectures, festivals, and other special events, Magnolia Mound’s mission is to illustrate and interpret the lifestyle of the French Creoles who formed the fascinating culture which still influences and pervades life in southern Louisiana. Of the 900 original land-grant acres, we retain 16 acres.
The property includes: a historic museum house (closed for renovations), an open-hearth kitchen, overseer’s house, quarter house, crop garden pigeonnier and carriage house.
This project is also part of BREC’s Imagine Your Parks, a project funded by a parish-wide $3.25 million property tax that voters approved in Nov. 2004. The following improvements are being made to the historic house: installing a new roof and HVAC system; conducting floor repairs; refurbishing all of the paint and wallpaper. BREC and the Friends of Magnolia Mound Plantation had several nationally recognized historic property experts examine, assess and report recommendations for improvement to the more than 200-year-old historic house. Once construction is completed the house is periodically dressed c. 1800-1820 for occasions, such as weddings, funerals, Christmas, Lent and summer.
5. The Atchafalaya Experience
This swamp tour is for photographers, birders and lovers of nature who appreciate seeing Louisiana’s answer to the Grand Canyon, “The Atchafalaya”. Louisiana’s Atchafalaya is North America’s largest river swamp and ranks among the top 10 wilderness areas in the United States. The vistas have the appearance of pristine cypress and mixed wood swamp.
We accommodate the photographer, birders and lovers of nature who would appreciate seeing Louisiana’s answer to the Grand Canyon, “The Atchafalaya”. Louisiana’s Atchafalaya is North America’s largest river swamp and ranks among the top 10 wilderness areas in the United States. The vistas have the appearance of pristine cypress and mixed wood swamp.
6. Acadian Village
Acadian Village is located on the 32-acres of LARC (Lafayette Association for Retarded Citizens). In the early 1970′s, officials were looking for an opportunity to improve tourism in Lafayette, Louisiana. Dr. Norman Heard, Bob Lowe, and Glen Conrad are credited with the idea. The Village was created to serve three purposes. It preserves a piece of early Acadian heritage. Also, its revenues benefit LARC by helping to offset government cuts to the programand by providing employment for LARC clients.
In order to recreate a typical 1800′s Cajun village the design team had to transform 10 acres of farmland into a shaded community with a bayou running through it. The massive undertaking of construction, dredging of bayous, and home restoration was accomplished through local carpenters, businessmen, civic organizations, and community volunteers. Even the Army Reservists of the Lafayette area pitched in by building the general store. The result captured a specific moment in time. Perhaps 1978 Village Director, Mrs. Marti Gutierrez, said it best in a Times Picayune article, â€œThe old ways are worth keeping alive, worth handing down, worth remembering.â€
Seven of the 11 buildings are authentic homes of the 19th century donated by the families whose ancestors once occupied them. All homes show the passing of time and are remarkable examples of the ingenuity of the early Acadian homebuilders, complete with wooden pegs, mud walls, hand-hewn cypress timbers, and high-peaked roofs. Each was moved piece by piece and carefully restored.
7. Arna Wendell Bontemps Museum
Welcome To Arna Wendell Bontemps Museum
Arna Bontemps – a noted Black poet, author, anthologist, librarian – was born in Alexandria, Louisiana on October 13, 1902.Â He is credited with writing over 20 books, plays, and anthologies and was considered the leading authority on the Harlem Renaissance.
He was part of a core of young Black writers who led the “New Negro” movement. Bontemps wanted a front row seat to view and participate in the stirrings of jazz, theater and literature taking place in Harlem.Â His scholarly interest in fostering a new appraisal of his race and re-evaluation of the Black man’s place in American history is just a part of his legacy.
His children’s books are unique and his poetry and writings convey the rhythms and richness of the African American culture which was to influence a number of writers who followed him. (Edwin Blair. “Literary Habitats.” Preservation in Print. September 1996.)
Bontemps is credited with writing over 20 books, plays, and anthologies and was considered the leading authority on the Harlem Renaissance. He was part of a core of young Black writers who led the “New Negro” movement. Bontemps wanted a front row seat to view and participate in the stirrings of jazz, theater and literature taking place in Harlem.
8. Southern Forest Heritage Museum & Research Center
The Southern Forest Heritage Museum, located in Long Leaf, Louisiana, is the oldest complete sawmill facility in the South. This complex is unique in that it is a complete sawmill complex dating from the early 20th century, and that it has the most complete collection of steam-powered logging and milling equipment known to exist.
The museum is spread over a 57 acre area. On the property is the commissary, providing an entrance to the museum, the Planer Mill, the Planer Mill Power Plant, the Water Pumping Station, the Round House, the Machine Shop, the Carknocker Shop, the Sawmill, the Sawmill Power Plant, and Storage Sheds. Railroad equipment that can be seen at the museum includes three locomotives, a McGiffert Loader, and a rare Clyde Rehaul Skidder. In addition, one can see many artifacts that were left in place when the mill closed February 14, 1969.
9. Louisiana Boardwalk
The Red River is the picturesque setting for Bossier City’s unique shopping and entertainment destination, Louisiana Boardwalk. Across the Red River from downtown Shreveport, the project’s first phase opened in spectacular fashion in November, 2003, with the state’s first Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. The remainder of Boardwalk opened in May 2005 and joined a vibrant casino district nestled along the majestic riverfront for nearly a half-mile. Louisiana Boardwalk is the first lifestyle center to open in the state of Louisiana offering outlet shopping, an entertainment district and riverfront dining.
Louisiana Boardwalk is located on the Red River in Bossier City, between East Texas Street and I-20.
The neon excitement of the Shreveport-Bossier skyline is a fitting introduction to our area’s vibrant personality. Millions of visitors from across the country and around the globe are drawn to Bossier-Shreveport for the eclectic mix of culture, entertainment, sports and shopping. And with our exciting, spicy cuisine and the best in riverboat casinos and thoroughbred racing, you’ll want to return to Shreveport-Bossier again and again!
10. Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum
The Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum preserves and promotes the areaâ€™s long, colorful and historically important cultural and economic ties with the seafood and water transportation industries, as well as other wetlands and water-based hunting, gathering and mining occupations. The entire museum showcases the relationship between water and the local people who make their living from the water.
The site where the museum now stands has undergone many incarnations over the years. Originally developed in the 1880â€™s to serve as a warehouse for Daigle Barge Lines, the building served as a focal point for Houmaâ€™s growing freight industry. Towards the turn of the century, the existing warehouse was purchased by the Cenac family and used in their oyster packing business. It was during this period that Houma assumed the unofficial title of â€œoyster capital of the world.â€ Later (circa 1917), the building was transformed by Armand St. Martin, who made it into a labeling and transshipment facility for the Indian Ridge Canning Company, as shrimp began to overtake oysters in economic importance. The building stood empty for years after refrigeration and flash-freezing made canning obsolete.