Founded by the French in the 17th century and purchased by Thomas Jefferson in 1803 for over $11 million, Louisiana's cultural heritage is as rich as they come. Named to honor France's "Sun King," Louis XIV, Louisiana's cultural roots are an amalgam of African, French, Spanish and Caribbean influences generally referred to as Creole. Add a little Cajun--French emigrants from Canada called Acadians--to that mix and you have the perfect recipe for a ethnic melting pot of magical proportions.
Louisiana offers travelers a multitude of attractions--from the fine dining and jazz clubs of New Orleans, to the natural beauty of the bayou around Lake Charles and the antebellum charm of plantation life near Natchez and Baton Rouge--plus a year-round mild climate and legendary Southern hospitality. With all this to choose from, it's easy to laissez les bon temps roulez (let the good times roll) in Louisiana.