New Orlean, Louisiana

LOUISIANA Many people, when they want to go to an exotic spot within the continental U.S.A., think of Louisiana. This land on the delta of North America's greatest river is a polyglot of cultures surrounded by beautiful and dramatic wild areas. Louisiana is a point where cultures have met, melded and interacted for centuries. The French, Spanish, Caribbean, African, British and Native Americans have expressed themselves and contributed, and everyone seems to have a reason to celebrate, especially in New Orleans. This influx and blending is happily experienced in the food and music - Cajun, Creole, zydeco, jazz, high French and traditional Southern...And sometimes it seems like food and music are either interchangeable or necessary companions. History surrounds you in most areas of Louisiana, whether it's the old French pirates, the Confederacy, Mississippi riverboat life, or the freedom riders of this century. It is a fascinating and very visual state in which to explore your roots or interests. Mardi Gras draws huge numbers to New Orleans for the Shrove Tuesday pre-Lenten festivities. Be certain to carefully make your plans, and be certain such a trip is appropriate for all members of the family. The excess and craziness is legendary - which may or may not be what you are seeking. Whether Mardi Gras is the right time for you to visit or not, you will definitely find much to keep you occupied, curious, well-fed and entertained. Here are some resources to help you get started on your trip planning in Louisiana: Louisiana State Parks P.O. Drawer 1111 Baton Rouge, LA 70821 (504) 342-8111 Kisatchie National Forest 2600 Shreveport Highway Pineville, LA 71360 Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries P.O. Box 98000 Baton Rouge, LA 70898 (504) 765-2800 Louisiana Office of Tourism P.O. Box 94291 Baton Rouge, LA 70804 (800) 334-8626

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