Water. Pelican. Marsh. Jazz. Swamp. Alligator. Bridge.

One quick lesson during my limited driving in Louisiana: Don’t assume you’ll be able to pull off the road to dry land. Afraid of bridges? Be the passenger instead of the driver.

The history of this state is rich and varied. Early French settlers grew sugar. Ownership of the territory changed from French to Spanish to French to American. Cotton became the top crop with slave labor. Battles were fought during the Civil War for control of the vital Mississippi River. Music flourished.

I’d suggest a tourist study the guide book before arrival. Louisiana is more than New Orleans. The western portion of the state contains it’s own share of American history. Baton Rouge and the plantation country along the Mississippi offer a mix of attractions.

Then again: don’t omit New Orleans. Did you know this bustling port was the first place many immigrants set foot on American soil? Portions of my own family arrived on sailing ship and departed on steamboat — headed North. Stroll in the French Quarter in the evening. Listen to the music. Absorb the sights and sounds of this unique place.


New housing in a traditional style.