Pat Garin French Quarter images 491New Orleans CVB/Pat Garin

What’s New

• Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden: Re-opened in March following a seven-month, US $2.7 million renovation. Featuring works by 58 artists, including several of the 20th century’s great master sculptors. Open daily. Free admission. New Orleans.
• Courtyard Shreveport-Bossier City/Louisiana Boardwalk: Located within the Lousiana Boardwalk and steps from shopping, dinning and entertainment. Features state-of-the-art lobby, free wi-fi, and 128 guestrooms that are equipped with a large desk, ergonomic chair, and a 37” flat panel TV. Bossier City.

• Alexandria Zoological Park: Nine shady hectares, 600 animals, 20 endangered species. Award-winning Louisiana Habitat Exhibit. Train, seasonal snack bar, gift shop.
• Mulate’s, The Original Cajun Restaurant and Dance Hall: Authentic Cajun cuisine, live Cajun music and dancing nightly, weekend lunch. New Orleans.
• National WW II Museum: Opened as the D-Day Museum, this New Orleans facility has been designated the country’s official museum of the Second World War.
• Louisiana Art and Science Museum: Fine art exhibitions; children’s interactive galleries, Ancient Egypt Gallery; simulated space travel in the Challenger Learning Center. Baton Rouge.
• Bayou Pierre Gator Park: Alligator farm that’s been converted into an alligator, reptile and Louisiana wildlife theme park. Natchitoches.
• Frogmore Plantation & Gins: Working cotton plantation with 18 antebellum buildings and authentically furnished cabins dating back to 1810. Frogmore.
Insecterium 0095New Orleans CVB/Pat Garin• Audubon Insectarium: Learn global insect customs, sample exotic insect cuisine and find out the latest technologies used in pest control management. New Orleans.

• Courir De Mardi Gras (February), Church Point.
• Festival International de Louisiane (April), Lafayette.
• New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (late April to early May), New Orleans.
• Mudbug Madness (May), Shreveport.
• Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival (May), Breaux Bridge.
• Louisiana Catfish Festival (July), Des Allemands.
• Satchmo Summerfest (August), New Orleans.
• State Fair of Louisiana (October -November), Shreveport.

• Cajun Coast: Travel the 200-kilometre Bayou Teche Scenic Byway to more than 100 historic properties, many on the National Register of Historic Properties. Attractions include the Cypress Bayou Casino, International Petroleum Museum & Exposition, Morgan City Historic District Riverfront and golfing at Atchafalaya, Idlewild.
• West Baton Rouge: Plantations and the stories of life on the river abound in the Baton Rouge area. View the mighty Mississippi up close and personal at the Riverfront Scenic Overlook. The River Road Plantation Tour starts just blocks away at the West Baton Rouge Museum. View authentic pre-Civil War slave cabins and the 1830 Aillet House, a French Creole home on the National Register.
• Greater New Orleans: The French Quarter: Start at the Old U.S. Mint and tour a world-renowned exhibit that goes back to the days when jazz was born. Tour Gallier House, 1850 House and the Hermann-Grima House. Check out the constantly changing exhibits at the Aquarium of the Americas, or Louis Armstrong at the wax museum. Beyond the Vieux Carre: Chic galleries at the Warehouse District. Take the St. Charles Streetcar to the Garden District and Uptown area. Tour the Cities of the Dead, the above-ground cemeteries.
• Lafayette: The heart of Acadiana is filled with cultural attractions including the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center; Vermilionville, a Cajun/Creole Heritage and Folklife Park; and Downtown Alive!, featuring free outdoor live music from rock and roll to reggae, zydeco to Cajun on Friday nights. Garden lovers can enjoy the spring colours along the 32-kilometre Lafayette Azalea Trail.
Acme Oyster HouseLouisiana Office Of Tourism• Culinary Trails: Seven regional trails highlight the diversity and authenticity of Louisiana's cuisine: Bayou Bounty Trail, Capital Cuisine Trail, Creole Fusion Trail, Delta Delights Trail, Prairie Home Cooking Trail, Red River Riches Trail and Seafood Sensation Trail.

Hidden Gems
• Wildlife Gardens: This little zoo lies buried in a natural swamp setting on the outskirts of Houma. Visitors can get up close to alligators and other swamp reptiles, small mammals and birds.
• Cane River National Heritage Area: This area south of Natchitoches preserves the history and culture of the rural antebellum Creoles, the French and the Native Americans.
• Atchafalaya Basin: The largest river basin swamp in the U.S. comprises over a dozen south central Louisiana parishes and is home to hundreds of species of fish, birds, mammals and reptiles.
• Louisiana’s African-American Heritage Trail: A collection of 26 venues statewide that includes museums and galleries, churches and a university campus, antebellum plantations and historic homes.
• America's Wetland Birding Trail: The Trail has expanded to include the corridors of the Mississippi and Red Rivers, and the Zachary Taylor Parkway in central and eastern Louisiana. There are now 264 birdwatching sites in the state with 26 loops on 10 scenic paths.

Did You Know?
State Motto: Union, Justice and Confidence
State Flower: Magnolia
State Bird: Eastern Brown Pelican

Fast Facts
America’s Byways: Creole Nature Trail
Connecting Flights Via: Washington D.C., Chicago
Cruise Lines: Carnival, Norwegian, Princess
Sales Tools: Louisiana Specialist Program, Travel Planning Kit, e-mail newsletter
Info: Louisiana Office of Tourism