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{{pagebanner|Louisiana Banner.jpg }}
 
 
{{quickbar
 
|image=ChrisLitherlandLakeMartin.jpg
 
|location=Louisiana in United States.svg
 
|flag=Flag of Louisiana.svg
 
|capital=[[Baton Rouge]]
 
|government=U.S. State
 
|currency=US dollar (USD)
 
|area=135,382 km<sup>2</sup>
 
|population=4,601,893 (2012 est)
 
|language=English, French (No official language)<br/>Regionally Spoken: Spanish
 
|religion= Protestant 60%, Roman Catholic 28%, Non-Religious 8%, Other 4.6%
 
|electricity=120V/60Hz (North American plug)
 
|timezone=UTC -6/-5
 
}}
 
 
'''Louisiana''' is a state in the [[South (United States of America)|South]] of the [[United States of America]].
 
'''Louisiana''' is a state in the [[South (United States of America)|South]] of the [[United States of America]].
  
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==Cities==
 
==Cities==
 
*[[Alexandria (Louisiana)|Alexandria]]: Near the center of the state
 
*[[Alexandria (Louisiana)|Alexandria]]: Near the center of the state
*[[Avery Island]] : Home to the Tabasco factory and a wildlife sanctuary known as Jungle Gardens
 
 
*[[Baton Rouge]]: The state capital
 
*[[Baton Rouge]]: The state capital
 
*[[Lafayette (Louisiana)|Lafayette]]: The center of Cajun Country
 
*[[Lafayette (Louisiana)|Lafayette]]: The center of Cajun Country
*[[Lake Charles]]: Home of "Contraband Days," an annual festival in honor of the pirate, Jean LaFitte.
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*[[Lake Charles]]
 
*[[Mandeville (Louisiana)|Mandeville]]: On the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, across from New Orleans.
 
*[[Mandeville (Louisiana)|Mandeville]]: On the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, across from New Orleans.
 
*[[Monroe (Louisiana)|Monroe]]: The birthplace of Delta Air Lines.
 
*[[Monroe (Louisiana)|Monroe]]: The birthplace of Delta Air Lines.
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==Other destinations==
 
==Other destinations==
 
*[[Saint Bernard Parish]], includes [[Chalmette]],  Site of the Battle of New Orleans National Monument
 
*[[Saint Bernard Parish]], includes [[Chalmette]],  Site of the Battle of New Orleans National Monument
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*[[Great River Road]] - Between New Orleans & Baton Rouge.
 
*[[New Roads]] - Small and Peaceful, yet energetic town on the banks of False River.
 
*[[New Roads]] - Small and Peaceful, yet energetic town on the banks of False River.
*[[Plaquemines Parish]] area furthest down the Mississippi River
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*[[Plaquemines Parish]] area furtherest down the Mississippi River
 
*[[St. Tammany Parish]]
 
*[[St. Tammany Parish]]
 
*[[Terrebonne Parish]]
 
*[[Terrebonne Parish]]
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Louisiana is known for its unique history, its oil/gas and seafood empires, its music, its diverse cultural make-up, including the Cajun culture of Southwest Louisiana and its once dominant Creole culture, its vast wetlands, swamps, bayous, and its sugar & cotton plantations along its waterways. The culture in the northern half of Louisiana is similar to that of Mississippi, Arkansas, and East Texas.
 
Louisiana is known for its unique history, its oil/gas and seafood empires, its music, its diverse cultural make-up, including the Cajun culture of Southwest Louisiana and its once dominant Creole culture, its vast wetlands, swamps, bayous, and its sugar & cotton plantations along its waterways. The culture in the northern half of Louisiana is similar to that of Mississippi, Arkansas, and East Texas.
  
The heat in Louisiana can often become unbearable especially during summer months. People not from the South should understand that the humidity can make it feel much hotter than it actually is. Seek shade, wear loose clothes (preferably white) and remember to drink lots of water to help prevent against heat related illnesses.
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A word to the wise, The heat in Louisiana can often become unbearable especially during summer months. People not from the South should understand that the humidity can make it feel much hotter than it actually is. Seek shade, wear loose clothes (preferably white) and remember to drink lots of water to help prevent against heat related illnesses.
  
 
==Talk==
 
==Talk==
While both English and '''[[French phrasebook|French]]''' are the two ''de facto'' official languages of the state, English is the more dominant language. Parts of the south of the state and New Orleans have a long French speaking history; however, in the early 20th century, it was discouraged by the state school system in favor of English. Today, English is spoken by nearly all; however, it is not uncommon to hear conversations in French in the southern and rural parts of the state. Furthermore, there is still a small number of elderly in those parts of the state who can only speak French. '''[[Spanish phrasebook|Spanish]]''' is also spoken too.
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English is the dominant language. Parts of the south of the state have a long French speaking history; however, in the early 20th century, it was discouraged by the state school system in favor of English. Today, English is spoken by nearly all; however, it is not uncommon to hear conversations in French in the southern and rural parts of the state.
 
 
In honor of the state's French heritage, local street signage in the French Quarter of New Orleans and many downtowns of cities in the Acadiana region are bilingual in both French and English, with French being more visibly prominent in the latter. However, locals will often refer to a street by its English name rather than French name. As of 2013, the Louisiana legislature has also approved of a bill requiring highway signs to be bilingual in both French and English.
 
  
 
Unlike northern and central Louisiana, the Southern "drawl" is very rare in the southern part of the state.  The native English accent in Acadiana has many distinct sounds due to the people's collective French heritage.  In addition, the accent of New Orleans is similar to that of [[Brooklyn]].
 
Unlike northern and central Louisiana, the Southern "drawl" is very rare in the southern part of the state.  The native English accent in Acadiana has many distinct sounds due to the people's collective French heritage.  In addition, the accent of New Orleans is similar to that of [[Brooklyn]].
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*'''Wildlife Gardens''', 5306 North Black Bayou Drive, Gibson, http://www.wildlifegardens.com. 30 acres of preserved swamp where you can walk around a nature trail on shady paths. Apart from the natural wildlife there are ostriches, bobcats, nutria and alligators on display in cages and paddocks and peacocks roam the grounds. Bed and breakfast accommodation is available in four small 'trapper's cabins', adjacent to a small swamp. Each has its own front porch overlooking the water and ideal for gator watching. Staying overnight is a unique experience that kids will love.  
 
*'''Wildlife Gardens''', 5306 North Black Bayou Drive, Gibson, http://www.wildlifegardens.com. 30 acres of preserved swamp where you can walk around a nature trail on shady paths. Apart from the natural wildlife there are ostriches, bobcats, nutria and alligators on display in cages and paddocks and peacocks roam the grounds. Bed and breakfast accommodation is available in four small 'trapper's cabins', adjacent to a small swamp. Each has its own front porch overlooking the water and ideal for gator watching. Staying overnight is a unique experience that kids will love.  
 
*[[New Orleans]] '''French Quarter''' is a world famous destination year round, but especially during '''Mardi Gras'''.  Unique architecture, excellent restaurants, and interesting people make this a great destination in the city.
 
*[[New Orleans]] '''French Quarter''' is a world famous destination year round, but especially during '''Mardi Gras'''.  Unique architecture, excellent restaurants, and interesting people make this a great destination in the city.
*'''[[Natchitoches]]''', the oldest town in Louisiana, is a unique small city in north central Louisiana.  It was the backdrop of the movie "Steel Magnolias" and has architecture reminiscent of the French Quarter in its Historic District in front of the Cane River Lake.  Graceful mansions line the river as well as Bed and Breakfasts.  A great destination to visit if you're in the northern part of the state and a hub for nearby Creole plantations along Cane River.
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*'''Natchitoches''', the oldest town in Louisiana, is a unique small city in north central Louisiana.  It was the backdrop of the movie "Steel Magnolias" and has architecture reminiscent of the French Quarter in its Historic District in front of the Cane River Lake.  Graceful mansions line the river as well as Bed and Breakfasts.  A great destination to visit if you're in the northern part of the state and a hub for nearby Creole plantations along Cane River.
 
*'''Great River Road-Plantation Country''', the 70-mile stretch between New Orleans & Baton Rouge along the Mississippi River with Creole and Ante-Bellum sugar plantations, rural settlements, B&Bs, Cajun & Creole restaurants. After the French Quarter, plantations on "Great River Road" represent Louisiana's most visited destination.
 
*'''Great River Road-Plantation Country''', the 70-mile stretch between New Orleans & Baton Rouge along the Mississippi River with Creole and Ante-Bellum sugar plantations, rural settlements, B&Bs, Cajun & Creole restaurants. After the French Quarter, plantations on "Great River Road" represent Louisiana's most visited destination.
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
* '''The French Quarter''' is an exciting place to visit.  There is so much to see and experience.  Tour the Cemetery and visit the grave of Marie Leveau the voodoo priestess. Take a riverboat ride on the Mississippi river aboard the Natchez. St. Louis Cathedral near Jackson Square is an amazing piece of architecture along with the Pontalba building. There is also plenty of shopping to be found starting with the famous French Market. Don't forget to stop by "Cafe Du Monde" for your beignet and cafe au lait.
 
* Although you might think that going to Louisiana for a '''beach vacation''' may sound counter-intuitive, Louisiana has a few really fine beaches that are definitely worth visiting, especially if you are into fishing, birding:
 
** Cypremort Point
 
** Rutherford Beach
 
** Holly Beach (aka the "Cajun Riviera")
 
** Little Florida Beach
 
 
Unlike your regular beach-getaways, beaches in Louisiana have a spirit of their own, a spirit of America, that's why they are popular amongst RV owners.
 
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
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Some vistors have recently expressed concern about the safety of local seafood due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Seafood that makes it to the markets and restaurants is '''safe'''. Oil affected areas are closed to fishing, and catches from unaffected areas are being inspected in even more detail than usual.  The oil spill may result in shortages of some species or higher prices in the future. Now is still a good time to enjoy Louisiana seafood.
 
Some vistors have recently expressed concern about the safety of local seafood due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Seafood that makes it to the markets and restaurants is '''safe'''. Oil affected areas are closed to fishing, and catches from unaffected areas are being inspected in even more detail than usual.  The oil spill may result in shortages of some species or higher prices in the future. Now is still a good time to enjoy Louisiana seafood.
  
Louisiana loves good food. Cuisine includes the famous Cajun cooking of Acadiana, Creole cuisine and the continental traditions with innovative additions in New Orleans. Some items that may seem exotic to visitors from elsewhere may appear on menus, including crawfish and alligator.
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Louisiana loves good food. Cuisine includes the famous Cajun cooking of Acadiana and the continental traditions with innovative additions in New Orleans. Some items that may seem exotic to visitors from elsewhere may appear on menus, including crawfish and alligator.
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
  
'''The legal drinking/purchasing age is 21'''. However in '''New Orleans''' and parts of '''Acadiana''' this drinking age is not rigorously enforced. In March 1996, the Supreme Court of Louisiana upheld a previous ruling by Judge Aucoin that the 21 year old drinking age was unconstitutional, violating the Constitution's equal protection clause. However, it later overturned this ruling. Within hours of the first ruling, the state law enforcement community vowed to enforce the current law, until the loophole in the Constitution was closed. More than 10 years later that loophole is still there. Rule of thumb for anyone wanting to party in Louisiana, regardless of age: don't drink and drive. If you are over 18 but under 21, you generally won't have much problem in New Orleans. Just play your cards right, act like the adult that you are, drink responsibly and you'll have a good time. Don't argue with bartenders, police officers or liquor store owners.
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'''The legal drinking age is 21'''. However in '''New Orleans''' and parts of '''Acadiana''' this drinking age is not rigorously enforced. In March 1996, the Supreme Court of Louisiana upheld a previous ruling by Judge Aucoin that the 21 year old drinking age was unconstitutional, violating the Constitution's equal protection clause. However, it later overturned this ruling. Within hours of the first ruling, the state law enforcement community vowed to enforce the current law, until the loophole in the Constitution was closed. More than 10 years later that loophole is still there. Rule of thumb for anyone wanting to party in Louisiana, regardless of age: don't drink and drive. If you are over 18 but under 21, you generally won't have much problem in New Orleans. Just play your cards right, act like the adult that you are, drink responsibly and you'll have a good time. Don't argue with bartenders, police officers or liquor store owners.
  
 
Laws regarding alcohol are more restrictive in parts of northern Louisiana.
 
Laws regarding alcohol are more restrictive in parts of northern Louisiana.
  
While known for its high crime rate, these issues continue to decline in severity. Louisiana is a mostly safe state for the average traveller to get around, but like in most places, one should apply common sense where necessary.
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== Stay safe ==
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Louisiana by far is the worst state for lethal violence, in addition to having one of the highest murder rates of a state of America. While these issues continue to decline in severity, Louisiana is a mostly safe state for the average traveller to get around, but like in most places, you should apply common sense where necessary.  
  
 
==Respect==  
 
==Respect==  

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