Located in the Deep South region of the United States, Louisiana is the 31st largest size in regard to area and the 25th most populous. Louisiana is the 24th most densely populated state and has borders with Mississippi, Texas, and Arkansas. The Gulf of Mexico is located off the southern coast of Louisiana and the Mississippi River runs along the eastern side of the state. Nicknamed 'Bayou State' and 'Creole State' Louisiana is well-known for its French heritage, with a unique culture based on French roots combined with Spanish, Native American, and African influences. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.


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The state doesn't have an official language, with a big focus on freedom and multiculturalism being a big part of the Louisiana lifestyle. This state covers an area of 52,378.13 square miles and has a total estimated population of 4.68 million. The capital city of Louisiana is Baton Rouge, but the biggest and best-known city in the state is New Orleans, with Greater New Orleans being the biggest metropolitan area in the state. Here are some additional details and overviews of the largest cities in Louisiana.

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2.Cities in Louisiana: New Orleans

Cities in Louisiana: New Orleans
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Located on the Mississippi River, New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish in the southeastern part of Louisiana. New Orleans is the largest city in the state, with an estimated population of 393,000, and more than 1.2 million living in the surrounding metropolitan area. New Orleans cover an area of 349.85 square miles.

Founded in 1718 and named after Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, New Orleans is one of the most famous cities in America due to its lively, festive culture, Créole cuisine, and special annual festivals. The city is particularly well-known for its annual Mardi Gras festivities, which attract many visitors to New Orleans each year. New Orleans is also unique in that over half of the city's area is made up of water, putting the city at risk of storms and flooding, as witnessed in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina struck the area.

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3.Louisiana Cities: Baton Rouge

Louisiana Cities: Baton Rouge
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Located in the East Baton Rouge Parish, Baton Rouge is the capital city of Louisiana and is also the state's largest city. It is situated in the southeastern part of the state and covers a total area of 88.12 square miles. The estimated population of Baton Rouge is 227,000, with over 830,000 people in the full metropolitan area.

Baton Rouge was founded in 1699 and incorporated many years later in 1817. The name of this city translates to 'Red Stick' in English, which is one of the nicknames some people use when referring to Baton Rouge. As the capital city of Louisiana, Baton Rouge is a major industrial, educational, and tech center for the state, home to the Louisiana State University and Southern University.

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4.Cities in Louisiana: Shreveport

Cities in Louisiana: Shreveport
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Located mostly in the Caddo Parish, of which it is the parish seat, Shreveport is the second largest city in the state of Louisiana. This city is located in the northwestern part of the state and covers a total area of 122.35 square miles. The total estimated population of Shreveport is 192,000, with over 443,000 in the metropolitan area.

Shreveport was founded in 1836 and was named in honor of Captain Henry Miller Shreve, an inventor who helped clear the Red River, as well as the Ohio and Mississippi, for steamboat navigation. The city is the main educational and commercial hub for the northwestern part of Louisiana.

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5.Cities in Louisiana: Lafayette

Cities in Louisiana: Lafayette
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Located in Lafayette Parish on the Vermilion River, Lafayette is the fourth largest city in Louisiana. This city is found in the south central part of the state and covers a total area of 53.91 square miles. Lafayette has an estimated population of 129,000, with over 490,000 in the metropolitan area.

This city was founded in 1821 and originally called Vermilionville in honor of the river that runs through it, but was renamed Lafayette in 1884 to honor General Gilbert du Motier, Marquis De Lafayette, a French military commander who played a key role in the American Revolutionary War.

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6.City in Louisiana: Lake Charles

City in Louisiana: Lake Charles
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Located in Calcasieu Parish, Lake Charles is the fifth largest city in the state of Louisiana. It is situated in the southwestern part of the state on the banks of Lake Charles, with Prien Lake and the Calcasieu River also nearby. Lake Charles covers an area of 42.9 square miles, with an estimated population of 76,000.

The city was founded in 1861 and originally named Charleston, but renamed to Lake Charles in 1867. The area was named after Charles Sallier, one of the first settlers to arrive in the area. Lake Charles is a popular touristic location and important petrochemical center.

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5 of the Largest Cities in Louisiana

Attraction Spotlight: Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, located beside the Mississippi River in New Orleans, LA, is an incredible place to discover the underwater animal kingdom. Opened in 1990, there are over 10,000 animals and 530 species represented in a variety of aquariums, displays, and exhibits. Striving to educate visitors about the aquatic world, the Audubon Aquarium also provides a number of educational programs to teach students about the subaquatic ecosystems as well as the creatures living in these habitats. Through enchanting exhibits, visitors can immerse themselves in the oceanic environment and gain a new respect for the mysterious world below us.

At the aquarium there are many different exhibits that teach visitors about the underwater world through media, touch exhibits, and aquariums. There are hundreds of sea creatures, animals, amphibians, and birds that educate guests about the world that thrives beneath the water's surface. Some of the featured exhibits include the Great Maya Reef, Geaux Fish, Frogs - Beyond Green, Jellies, the Gulf of Mexico Exhibit, Sea Otters, Penguins, and Parakeet Pointe.

To discover the submerged Maya city, visitors must walk through a 30-foot-long tunnel to see the ancient ruins of a metropolis surrounded by colorful sea creatures. Swimming through the coral are a plethora of lionfish, yellowtail snappers, moray eels, and spiny lobsters. To discover an exhibit that focuses on the local fishing industry in Louisiana, explore the Geaux Fish exhibit. Visitors to the aquarium cam learn about the aquatic ecosystem and the importance of the industry in the region by identifying local species, touring a seafood market, and hopping on a fishing boat. There is also a fun interactive station that allows visitors to touch a cownose stingray in the water. The exhibit Frogs - Beyond Green features poison dart and milk frogs as well as other amphibians in beautiful habitats filled with exotic plants. The Jelly Gallery is an exhibit especially designed for jellyfish that functions like a carousal to prevent the animals from damaging their bodies by bumping into solid objects and corners. The largest exhibit in the aquarium is a replica of an offshore oilrig and holds 400,000 gallons of salt water. Within it, sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and schools of fish fill the massive tank as visitors watch them circling the structure. The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is home to two rescued southern sea otters, Clara and Ruby. These protected animals have a large exhibit that gives them plenty of space to play and swim. Another enchanting animal which the aquarium is home to are the African penguins. There are 20 of these delightful birds and all have their own distinct personalities and looks. Both of these playful species are a lot of fun to watch as they dive and splash through their exhibits all day long. Visitors wanting to watch animals that thrive on land should check out Parakeet Pointe, an outdoor environment where visitors can stroll through the exhibit to spot hundreds of colorful parakeets flying above them.

At the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas there are many different events and programs that foster learning of the underwater world. Field trips and summer programs at the aquarium allow children to interact with nature through hand-on experiences. Throughout the year there are various amounts of educational programs and classes to teach students of all ages about animals in the aquarium. In Shark School, students can learn using interactive material about why these animals are vital to the ecosystem of the ocean by examining animal adaptations, food webs, and ocean ecology. For older students who are interested in learning specifically about this oceanic predator, there are classes specializing in the biology of sharks, which even allow students to dissect them. Frog School is a class that teaches visitors about the differences between a toad and a frog as well as the environment in which these amphibians live. Feathers and Fins teaches about how to classify the five different animal groups of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Each weekend there is an opportunity to dive or snorkel the Great Maya Reef to explore the submerged ancient city. This breathtaking experience allows divers to see aquatic animals up-close while admiring the colorful coral. The amount of interactive and personal experiences visitors can have while visiting the Audubon Aquarium develops an understanding of and curiosity for the fascinating world of the ocean.

1 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, Phone: 504-565-3033

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Attraction Spotlight: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve spreads across southern Louisiana in the form of six different sites. Each site is uniquely focused, and all reflect traditions going back generations on land that can change with the weather. The similarity of the sites of the park is that they all have a story where change is the only constant, from a continuous balancing act between new ideas and old ways to new land patterns created by the waterways.

In the time of Jean Lafitte, gold and silver filled the treasure chests of pirates, however, the treasure of today are the region's memories, places, and people. Visitors to the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve have the chance to learn about Cajun traditions from people for whom they're part of their daily lives, see an alligator along the banks of a bayou, and discover the culture mix of New Orleans among several other opportunities. Included in the many experiences spread out across the six sites is the site of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

One of the sites that make up the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is the Barataria Preserve. The preserve offers a Wetlands Walk every morning from Wednesday to Sunday. Visitors can find out which trail the walk will explore at the Visitor Center. The Wetlands Walk, led by a park ranger is a guided walk along a boardwalk trail that journeys through the wild marsh and swamp of Louisiana.

The Chalmette Battlefield, another one of the six sites, is where the Battle of New Orleans occurred on January 8, 1815. Visitors can take part in the Battle of New Orleans ranger talk, which takes place twice daily, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The talk occurs when the excursion boat, Creole Queen, docks at the battlefield. The battle was the War of 1812's last great battle, however, many believe that it was unnecessary considering the treaty that ended the war was signed late in the previous year. The resounding victory of the Americans soon symbolized a new idea: the democracy of American triumphing over the old ideas of entitlement and aristocracy of Europe.

The Creole Queen, a paddle-wheeler, travel from the French Quarter in New Orleans to the Chalmette Battlefield. Visitors can find ticket information and sailing times at the Creole Queen website. Another attraction of the battlefield is the Chalmette Monument, an obelisk 100 feet high that honors the soldiers of the Battle of New Orleans. The monument is only open for visitors to climb on Fridays and Saturdays. Up 122 steps is a viewing platform at the top of the obelisk. The maximum capacity is ten adults, due to the narrow stairs with not much room to pass others or turn around. In the battlefield's visitor center are exhibits and films that tell about the War of 1812. A map of the site, including movements of troops during the battle, helps guide visitors on their self-guided tour.

419 Decatur Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, Phone: 504-589-3882

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Attraction Spotlight: The National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans tells the story of one of the most significant wars, one that drastically changed the world. The 6-acre museum has a variety of renowned collections and world-class exhibits that both inspire and engage visitors. Formerly known as the D-Day Museum, it changed its name to the National WWII Museum in 2000. The focus of the institution is on striving to tell the American experience from a US military perspective.

Through the exhibits displayed, visitors can learn about the American involvement, beginning in 1941. Displays focus on the reasons for entering the war, how WWII was fought on the home front and abroad, how the Axis powers were defeated, and the lasting impact that WWII has had on the world. One of these lasting impacts is emphasized in the museum: The price of freedom. The National WWII Museum aims to inspire visitors of all ages to understand the history of the war and what soldiers endured to preserve liberty. The National WWII Museum not only promotes an understanding of history to museumgoers, it also reinforces the significance of the war in today's society through many different exhibits, galleries, and displays.

The exhibitions in the National WWII Museum are a combination of immersive multimedia displays and collections that include many personal accounts of the war. The purpose of the exhibits is to educate visitors about the history of WWII by teaching them about political leaders and everyday people of the time. Collections in the museum convey how all Americans worked together to do their part to help defeat the Axis powers. Some of these exhibits on display are The Arsenal of Democracy, The Pelican State goes to War: Louisiana in World War II, Road to Tokyo, and Road to Berlin.

The exhibit titled The Pelican State goes to War: Louisiana in World War II tells the story of the road to victory through galleries that focus on how World War II changed Louisiana. The collection begins with the day after the Pearl Harbor attacks on December 8, 1941. This was that day that the United States officially entered the war and Louisiana became the location of the largest industrial base. The pre-existing base underwent massive changes, and became the home to the largest operations in US military history. The war transformed Louisiana by creating new opportunities for residents, and these economic changes that were developed in the Pelican State created a new reality for citizens following the Great Depression and WWII.

The exhibit Road to Tokyo is a retelling of the events beginning at Pearl Harbor and explores the American strategies for fighting Japan. The relationship between the US and the Japan during WWII is displayed using short films, oral histories, artifacts, and replicas of environments. Here, visitors can understand the logistical challenges, cultural differences, and range of conditions that American soldiers confronted while fighting in Asia and the Pacific. The history of the struggle against Japan includes the perspectives of the engineers, marines, soldiers, and scientists who worked to pave the way for a foreign style of combat on tropical islands. The Road to Tokyo exhibit is filled with the sacrifice and courage of the Americans in their battle and ultimate defeat of Japan.

The Road to Berlin is an exhibit filled with a combination of personal stories, sacrifices, and war strategies used by the Americans to defeat the Axis powers. It is a multimedia experience that allows visitors to walk through realistic settings to have an immersive understanding of the war.

Every week the history institution offers different event and attractions besides the permanent exhibition collection to educate visitors on WWII. Some of these include Lunchbox Lectures, Behind the Line Tours, Sunday Swing, and a tour of a PT-305 boat. Lunchbox Lectures and Behind the Line Tours allows museumgoers to learn more about a specific aspect of history through a curator either giving a lecture or guiding a tour. The Sunday Swing is a summer-long live music event that provides dance instructors to teach people how to swing dance. The PT-305 boat attraction is a 45-minute tour of the deck of the fully restored combat boat used during WWII. These different ways of learning about the war through interactive events and exhibits are a fun way for visitors to better understand the time period and circumstances surrounding WWII.

945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, Phone: 504-528-1944

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