Half a dozen flags have flown over one of the greatest real estate coups in American history, and Louisiana is currently home to thriving communities of Cajun French and Louisiana Creole French speakers, as well as Isleños, descendants of Canary Islanders who migrated in the late 18th century.
Louisiana’s lush, haunting topography is equally romantic and mysterious. The vast alluvial region surrounding New Orleans encompasses more than 25,000 square miles of marshland and bayous, or boggy inlets, of the Mississippi River. The hilly northern part of the state is only slightly more elevated, with the summit of Mount Driskill, the highest point in Louisiana, measuring a rather unintimidating 535 feet above sea level.
New Orleans is Louisiana’s primary draw, but it’s also possible to enjoy rewarding day trips, including to the state capital, Baton Rouge, and former plantation homes along the Mississippi River such as Oak Alley, with its iconic moss-draped live oaks, and Nottoway, which has an atmospheric restaurant for lunch. St. Bernard Parish is home to the Isleño Museum.
Summers are muggy, and autumn can bring hurricanes.