* Louisiana is one of the hardest hit parts of the country right now, but it is a wonderful place to visit. When the world starts traveling again, I recommend you put it on your must-see list.
The tourism slogan chosen by the state of Louisiana is perfect, preachable even. FEED YOUR SOUL. Pure genius. Louisiana is, after all, a state that immediately conjures up visions of wonderful food and makes our mouths start watering for gumbo, crawfish, redfish, boudin and bread pudding.
The seasonings and preparation methods are uniquely suited to the setting in which they are produced, and the ingredients come directly from the bayous, farms, swamps, rivers, and Gulf of Mexico.
Fresh boudin at Johnson's Boucaniere
Savory gumbo served at La Cuisine de Maman at Vermillionville.
Redfish prepared by Chef Lyle Broussard at Jack Daniel's Bar and Grill in Lake Charles.
Bread pudding at The Gregory inside the Watermark Hotel in Baton Rouge.
But, even beyond the allure of food, Louisiana has a culture and vibe that can't be found anywhere else. The lilt of the English language as it rolls off of Cajun tongues, which are more comfortable speaking French, tells us a lot about the background of many area natives. The music, too, is a cultural revelation with its Zydeco bands featuring accordions, rub boards, drums, and guitars.
The art also portrays the colors and characters of the region.
An art piece that caught my eye at the West Baton Rouge Museum.
A striking artwork at the Louisiana Museum of Art in Baton Rouge.
And where else can you tread carefully around adult alligators in one setting, eat them in a restaurant and then pet them in a rescue facility? This little beauty currently lives at the Gator Chateau in Jennings, Louisiana. It's a fun stop right off I-10.
Louisiana is extremely hot and humid in the summertime, so I'd advise you to avoid visiting then. But, otherwise, I love it and can't wait to go back. My Silver Fox wants to try his luck fishing in some of the lakes and rivers while he explores another name for Louisiana -- Sportsman's Paradise.
Louisiana is so much more than New Orleans. Go. See for yourselves. Let the people, the food, the music, the art, and the environment feed your soul.