Travel Back in Time: Experience Louisiana's Unique History
These historic and unique sites and attractions around Louisiana offer visitors a glimpse into the past.
Experience Louisiana's history through these fascinating attractions.
Take a tour of Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow where each visitor is thought of as a houseguest. The tours are kept at a small number to properly display the beauty and intricacies of the plantation, which was called “The Sugar Palace” during its antebellum days. Wander the gardens and enjoy an afternoon refreshment at the on-site restaurant or Turtle Bar.
The 40,000-square-foot Tunica-Biloxi Museum houses 200,000 artifacts that are considered to be the best physical evidence of the interrelationship between the Tunica and French during the Colonial period. Special artifacts in the exhibit are the original bowls, jars and plates that the Tunica Indians used along with trading goods that the French gave to the Tunica in exchange for horses and salt: glass beads, bowls, plates, cooking utensils, tools and guns. Throughout the year, the local Tunica-Biloxi tribe hosts Pow Wow events in the area. Tribal members, dressed in full regalia, dance and sing to the beat of drums, while crafts and Native American foods are featured.
Louisiana State Museum
There are a total of nine museums statewide in the Louisiana State Museum collection, but visitors to New Orleans should include these French Quarter gems to their must-visit list: The Cabildo, The Presbytere, 1850 House, and the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint. These National Historic Landmarks are home to intriguing exhibits with thousands of artifacts and artwork reflecting Louisiana's historic and cultural legacy.
Visit Preservation Hall and listen to the sounds of traditional New Orleans jazz played within the halls of the 1750s French Quarter building dedicated to preserving traditional jazz. Both veteran and younger musicians play at the hall continuing the effort to preserve and maintain the sounds of traditional jazz. Nightly music begins at 5 p.m. with shows on the hour until 10 p.m.
Biedenharn Museum and Gardens
If you are in Monroe, you must stop into the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens to travel back in time to the early 20th century at the home of Joseph A. Biedenharn, the first bottler of Coca-Cola. Take a tour of the museum, residence and the beautiful gardens. The museum also offers a large collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia including a replica soda fountain with a genuine soda jerk retelling the Biedenharn story.
Vermilionville Living History Museum
Vermilionville Living History Museum in Lafayette is a picturesque representation of a late 1700s-1800s village reenacting how Acadians and Creoles created a new life in the Attakapas Region of the new Louisiana territory. The museum sprawls across 23 acres filled with costumed artisans and musicians acting out the chores and activities of their daily lives.
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is an unusual museum located in the Vieux Carre Historic District was called “one of the best” by Rand McNally. The historic building houses an extensive collection of pharmaceutical items from a time when pharmacists compounded their own medicines without the structure or knowledge of modern medicine. From showcasing the history of America’s first licensed pharmacist, Louis J. Dufilho Jr., to antique surgical instruments, hand blown apothecary jars filled with crude medicines, to perfumes and cosmetics and more—the museum preserves the history of pharmacy and healthcare in Louisiana.
St. Charles Streetcar Line
Take a ride on New Orleans’ oldest electric streetcar line. The route covers seven miles of the city with the majority of the tracks running in the center median on St. Charles Avenue. Riding the historic streetcar line shows off the gorgeous historic homes and buildings, and tree-lined streets from the Garden District to Tulane and Loyola Universities. Learn more about the New Orleans streetcars.
Old State Capitol
The Old State Capitol is an 160-year-old National Historic Landmark, located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in downtown Baton Rouge is a preserved treasure of architecture. The Gothic Revival structure has withstood war, fire, scandal and bitter debates. In 1990 the building went under a major restoration project and is now the Museum of Political History. Schedule a tour, visit The Ghost in The Castle theatrical presentation or just wander the museum for free.
Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins
Head to the Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins to discover how the cotton industry developed from the techniques of the 1700s to the modern processes found today, while exploring the deep history of slavery, slave customs, secret music, and the relationships with the plantation masters. Frogmore is a Rand McNally "Must See Site" with tour options that take you through the cotton gin evolution, walks through authentically furnished slave quarters, view a rare steam gin, and other plantation dependencies. And don't miss the Delta Music Tour which chronicles the history of the area via the authentic music that was played through the Delta.
Learn more about Louisiana's diverse culture, State Historic Sites, plantations and more.