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Boubon Street, New Orleans ©Eric Gross

Lively Louisiana has reclaimed much of its former glory after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina on 30 August 2005. Visitors from around the world are once again flocking to New Orleans, Louisiana's touristic powerhouse, to experience the city's traditional toe-tapping Dixieland jazz music, to dine on Cajun cuisine, and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle where a carnival atmosphere seems to prevail year round.

Louisiana is hedonistic and historic, musical and memorable; the American state that feels European has a distinctive scenic beauty and a cultural uniqueness that makes it more than attractive as a holiday destination. It is the cultural variety in particular that gives Louisiana its special appeal, and this is the result of the legacy of the original Native Americans; the French, Spanish and Creole inhabitants of the major city of New Orleans; the Cajuns of South Louisiana; the African slaves and free blacks who shaped the state's identity; the European plantation owners who once ruled supreme; and the immigrants of many nationalities that have made the state their home in recent years. Many of the locals will tell you they were just passing through for a few days, and now find Louisiana their home.

Louisiana's past is just as colourful and varied as its people. It has been governed under 10 different flags since 1541 when Hernando de Soto claimed the region for Spain. At the outbreak of the Civil War Louisiana even became an independent republic for six weeks, before joining the Confederacy. Louisiana was actually sold to the United States by Napoleon in 1803, the purchase being negotiated by President Thomas Jefferson. The reason for all this chopping and changing was because of the region's importance for trade and security in the American mid-west; the mighty Mississippi River flows through Louisiana and access to the mouth is controlled by the city of New Orleans.

Farther along the Mississippi visitors marvel at the stately plantation houses of Louisiana's rich landowners of old, and enjoy tasting the sights and sounds of the Mississippi Valley, which is one of the most scenic areas in the United States. Just like the renowned Creole dish known as , the State of Louisiana contains a bit of everything.

Climate Info

Louisiana's climate is fairly consistent, with limited seasonal fluctuations and semi-tropical conditions throughout the year. Those parts of the state that are in close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico tend to be very humid with lots of rainfall, and little difference between summer and winter conditions. New Orleans, for example, is hot and humid for the majority of the year, with well over 180 days of sunshine annually. Some snowfall can occur in the state in winter, but very rarely. Louisiana is prone to hurricanes, with hurricane season beginning in June.

Getting Around

When in New Orleans, the vintage electric rail vehicles or 'streetcars' are the way to go. With various lines crossing the city, most destinations are accessible by this means of transport, which costs only $1.25 per ticket. The Jazzy Pass allows unlimited rides on buses and streetcars, for $3 for one day, or $9 for three days. The Canal Street Ferry takes passengers across to the suburb of Algiers and costs $2, offering fine views of the city skyline. Walking, cycling, taxis and rental cars are some of the other options, with many tourist areas, like the French Quarter, being most enjoyable on foot.

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)

LocationThe airport is situated 11 miles (19km) west of downtown New Orleans.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Switchboard: +1 504 464 0831. Information desk: 504 464 2752.

Getting to city

The Airport-Downtown Express (E-2) stop is on the second level of the airport. Express tickets to the city cost $2. The Airport Shuttle offers a service to and from the hotels throughout the Metropolitan area for $24 per person, one way ($44 return). The Airport Shuttle ticket booths are located in the baggage claim area on the lower level.

Car Rental

Numerous car rental companies are represented at the airport, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Dollar, Payless and Thrifty.

Airpor Taxis

There are taxis available on the lower level outside the baggage claim zone. For one to two persons it costs approximately $36 from the airport to the CBD, for three or more passengers it costs $15 per passenger.

Airport Facilities

Banks and business centres offer foreign money exchange, ATMs and a host of other banking and business services. Internet access is available, as well as duty-free shopping, gift shops, a post office, advance baggage check-in and a visitor information service. Facilities for the disabled are good. There are a number of restaurants in the terminal and concourses. Smoking is prohibited in the main terminal building; however, there are designated smoking locations on the upper and lower ramps outside the terminal.

Car Parking

Short-term parking at Louis Armstrong International Airport starts at $2 for the first hour and $2 for every half hour thereafter up to a daily limit of $18.50. Long-term parking charges are similar, but with a daily maximum of $15. A third, ticketless 'credit card' lot charges $11 per 24 hours. All vehicles are subject to a search before parking.


Monroe Regional Airport (MLU)

LocationThe airport is located three miles (6km) east of Monroes central business district.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

There is a bus service between the city and the airport, which runs every 45 minutes, Monday to Saturday. Buses operate between 6.20am and 6.40pm. Airport shuttles, taxis and rental cars are also available.

Car Rental

Major car rental agencies are located on site at Monroe airport, including Avis, Hertz and National.

Airpor Taxis

A variety of taxi companies service Monroe airport, but it is generally a good idea to book a taxi ahead of time.

Airport Facilities

There is a New Orleans-style sports bar located in the main terminal area and the Central Station serves breakfast and lunch daily. Monroe airport has a variety of facilities to accommodate special needs patrons.

Car Parking

Long and short-term parking, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is located directly opposite the terminal building. Short-term parking is free for the first hour, $3 for the second hour, and $1 to $2 per hour thereafter up to a daily maximum of $9. Long-term parking costs $2 for the first hour and an additional $1 per hour thereafter, up to a daily maximum of $7.


Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR)

LocationThe airport is located eight miles (13km) outside of Baton Rouges central business district.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

Capital Area Transit System (CATS) provides an express airport service to downtown. The bus leaves hourly.

Car Rental

Cars from major car rental companies including Hertz, Avis, National, Enterprise and Budget are available at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

A great number of taxi companies service Baton Rouge Airport.

Airport Facilities

Baton Rouge Airport offers a number of amenities, including a children's play room, a reading room, restrooms, a smoking lounge, a business centre, a food court, gift shops, an arcade, ATMs, cable TVs, courtesy phones, massage chairs, a nursing room, a non-denominational chapel, shoe shine services, vending machines and a conference room.

Car Parking

Two three-storey parking garages are located directly opposite Baton Rouge Airport terminal. For standard parking it costs $1 per half hour or portion thereof, or $2 per hour for economy parking. For a full 24 hours it's $12 in the standard lot, or $9 in the economy lot. Payment is at check out while exiting the lot and most major credit cards are accepted.


Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV)

LocationShreveport Airport is located four miles (7km) out of the centre of the city.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

The local SporTran bus system has routes from the airport to the city centre, including night buses. The routes that go directly to the airport include Pines Road Route 20, Queensboro Route 3 and Fairgrounds Route 4. All of these routes run to the downtown bus terminal, where you can get connections to most areas in the city. They run from around 6am, until around 6pm at approximately 30 to 45-minute intervals, depending on the route. Night bus Route N-301 runs between the downtown bus terminal and Shreveport Regional Airport every hour, from about 7pm until 12.30am. A variety of private shuttle companies are available at the airport, as are taxis.

Car Rental

On-site rental car companies operate at Shreveport Regional Airport, including Avis, Budget and Enterprise,. The companies have rental counters located on the lower level of the terminal building.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis and limousines are available outside the airport.

Airport Facilities

Refreshments are available and there are also a couple of newsstands. An ATM can be found near the baggage claim area. Facilities for disabled passengers are available.

Car Parking

Parking is availble at the airport.

Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT)

LocationThe airport is located two miles (4km) southeast of Lafayette.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

A number of taxi and shuttle services operate from the airport.

Car Rental

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, National and Enterprise.

Airpor Taxis

Dixie Cab and Courtesy Taxi Transportation provide metered taxi service from the airport. It is a good idea to book a taxi in advance.

Airport Facilities

Terminal facilities include an ATM, porters, wheel chair service, duty-free shopping, a cafe and bar, a business centre and travel agencies.

Car Parking

The first 30 minutes are free in all parking lots. The short-term lot charges $1 per 30 minutes, after the initial free period, for the first three and a half hours, $11 for up to four hours, and $12 per day. The long-term lot charges $2 per hour up to $9 per day. The economy lot charges a daily rate of $6. The parking lots are connected to the terminal by covered walkways.


Mardi Gras World

If you're not able to visit New Orleans during its famous annual festival, don't worry, Mardi Gras World offers the Mardi Gras experience year-round. The museum is actually the working studio of foremost carnival float designer, Blaine Kern, for whom producing floats and props for the ci
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Mardi Gras World ©Paul Mannix

Louisiana State Museum

The Cabildo, as the Louisiana State Museum is affectionately called, is an entertaining and informative attraction in the city's vibrant French Quarter. The exhibitions explore the history of Louisiana from the first European explorations to the post-Civil War Reconstruction era from a m
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The Cabildo ©Infrogmation

The National WWII Museum

The unique D-Day National World War II Museum was founded in 2000 by historian and author Dr Stephen Ambrose and is now regarded as a highlight of any New Orleans sightseeing tour. Situated in New Orleans' Warehouse District, the museum depicts the June 6, 1944 invasion of Normandy, the
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National World War II Museum ©Nolabob

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

New Orleans' state-of-the-art Audubon Aquarium, situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, is regarded as one of the best in America, boasting highly entertaining exhibits. Underwater tunnels allow visitors to marvel at a Caribbean Reef and a re-creation of the Gulf of Mexico, compl
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Audubon Aquarium of the Americas ©Gary J. Wood

French Quarter

Regarded as the heart and soul of New Orleans, the French Quarter is the historic part of town covering about 90 square blocks radiating out from Chartres Street and Jackson Square. The Quarter, or Vieux Carre, was established in 1718 as a French military outpost, which was later taken o
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French Quarter ©Michael Bentley

Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens

Situated on the Burden Research Plantation, run by the Louisiana State University, is the Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens. The museum features an extensive collection of tools, household utensils, furniture, vehicles and farming implements, some outdoors and others housed in some
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Rural Life Museum ©Shanna Riley

Old State Capitol

The historic Old State Capitol building, once described by Mark Twain as being 'the ugliest thing on the Mississippi', sits on a bluff overlooking the river and today operates as a museum for political and governmental history. The unusual building was completed in 1849 and housed the Lo
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Louisiana Old State Capitol ©Richard Rutter

USS Kidd Veterans Museum

A highlight of the Baton Rouge Nautical Center and USS Kidd Veterans Museum is the restored 369ft (112m) World War II Fletcher Class Destroyer, USS Kidd (once known as the 'Pirate of the Pacific'), which is the prime exhibit. The ship is a National Historic Landmark and a memorial to the
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USS Kidd Veterans Museum ©Derek Jensen

San Francisco Plantation

Louisiana's most authentically restored 'great house' is the San Francisco Plantation house, situated on the east bank of the Mississippi under centuries-old live oaks, about 40 minutes from downtown Baton Rouge and near the small town of Garyville. The galleried house was built by Edmon
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San Francisco Plantation House ©Bennett-ne

Louisiana Art and Science Museum

Housed in a historic railroad depot, the Louisiana Art and Science Museum offers educational and entertainment opportunities for visitors of all ages. Featured are changing fine art exhibitions, interactive art and science galleries for children, an Egyptian tomb and a simulated space st
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Louisiana Arts and Sciences Museum ©Derek Jensen


The city of Lafayette is the hub of the eight-parish area in the heart of Louisiana's southern Acadian region, famed for its unique Cajun and Creole heritage, where the French language is soft on the ear and French traditions prevail. Lafayette, to the east of Baton Rouge, lies at the in
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Swamp near Lafayette ©Richard Weil

Hurricane Katrina Tour

Since Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans in August 2005, one of the worst hurricanes ever to hit the United States, the city has been rebuilding. The beautiful, vibrant city has largely recovered but remnants of the tragedy remain and in many ways the memory of the hurricane has bec
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New Orleans flooding ©Public Domain

Preservation Hall

Historic Preservation Hall is New Orleans' most popular jazz venue, where Preservation Hall jazz bands serve up first-rate Dixieland Jazz every night in the French Quarter building (originally built as a residence in 1750). There are three performances a night, each lasting about 45 minu
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Preservation Hall ©Infrogmation

New Orleans Museum of Art

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is a world-class facility. The permanent collection at the museum features over 40,000 objects, from the Italian Renaissance to the modern era, and is celebrated for its collection of both American and European works, including art by masters like Deg
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New Orleans Museum of Art ©Infrogmation

Louisiana Childrens Museum

The Louisiana Children's Museum offers kids a vast selection of exhibits, art activities and educational programmes to help make learning fun. The kid-sized Winn-Dixie grocery store is a favourite, as are the climbing wall and the giant bubble that kids can play in. Eye to Eye has fun sh
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Children's Museum ©Samantha Chapnick

Mississippi River Boat Rides

The Mississippi River is really the primary reason New Orleans exists; it is the trade and transport artery which made the situation of the city such an asset over the centuries. New Orleans is therefore a great place to take a boat ride, whether it is simply a fun paddle boat excursion
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Steamboat Natchez ©baldeaglebluff

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is a great place to experience 'bayou life' in Louisiana. The park, which is named after the notorious early-19th century pirate, consists of six physically separate sites and a park headquarters, including the Acadian Cultural Center in
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Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve ©Gary J. Wood

Grand Isle

A great weekend getaway from New Orleans, Grand Isle is a popular holiday town located on an island in the Gulf of Mexico. Formerly a busy port of call for notorious pirates like Jean Lafitte, Grand Isle is now a peaceful haven for relaxation, fishing and birdwatching. Grand Isle State P
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Grand Isle State Park ©Rebecca Milby

Avery Island

Avery Island is located on an eight-mile (13km) deep salt dome located in Iberia Parish, 137 miles (220km) west of New Orleans. A rock salt mine was opened on the island during the American Civil War, producing enormous amounts of salt for the Confederacy. Known as the birthplace of Taba
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Avery Island ©Brad Kebodeaux

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