20 Famous Landmarks in Louisiana You Must Visit

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Sideview of a downtown area with modern buildings against a partly cloudy sky
Louisiana offers a mix of heritage sites, art deco architecture & picturesque streets

If you've ever found yourself wondering, "What is Louisiana famous for?" Then this article about famous landmarks in Louisiana is for you!

While Louisiana is famous for New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and its ghost tours, there's plenty more to see in this corner of the United States. From heritage sites to art museums, there's something for the whole family.

It doesn't matter if you've been to Louisiana state many times or if you are vacationing here for the first time. There will be something on this list that will appeal to most travelers.

By the time you're done with this article, you'll have an itinerary full of attractions you'll be excited to visit in the great state of Louisiana. Continue reading to learn more!

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☂️ Top tours and experiences in Louisiana

20 Famous Louisiana Landmarks

Louisiana Landmarks Video

Check out our highlights video of Louisiana landmarks.

Louisiana Landmarks Map

A map of Louisiana landmarks. Use the map to explore all of the points of interest.

Louisiana Landmarks Map

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Statues of African children standing on a wooden floor
Whitney Plantation showcases the hard-hitting history lesson about slavery

The Whitney Plantation

First built in 1803, the Whitney Plantation is one of the many historical landmarks in Louisiana with its fair share of sordid history as a sugar-cane plantation operated by slave-owners.

While the plantation has undergone different ownerships in its over 200-year history, the attraction has operated as a public museum since 2014.

The museum is the first of its kind. It's dedicated not to the outer beauty of the plantation but to slavery itself, giving visitors an all-encompassing, and sometimes hard to think about, history lesson.

One of the famous landmarks in Louisiana is the New Orleans French Quarter
Bourbon St. in the French Quarter, one of the famous landmarks in Louisiana

The New Orleans French Quarter

The French Quarter is part of the quintessential New Orleans experience. If you're a fan of jazz music, or you're just looking for nighttime things to do in New Orleans, architecture, and some of the best food in Louisiana, then you have to make sure you visit the French Quarter. It's one of the "Louisiana famous landmarks" for a reason!

While the French Quarter is the heart of Mardi Gras, you'll find festivities and excitement all year round here. If you like more alternative activities, some of the city's most historic buildings with uninvited guests are found in this area. This means that you'll find some of New Orleans' best ghost tours around every corner!

☂️ Experience the French Quarter with a tour

A big blue-white naval ship on brownish water, under a partly cloudy sky
The USS KIDD was constructed in 1942 as a naval destroyer, now serving as a museum

USS KIDD Veterans Museum

The USS KIDD Veterans Museum is one of the most historically and culturally significant sites you can visit in Baton Rouge. The USS KIDD was a naval destroyer that was constructed in 1942 and used in World War II.

Since being decommissioned, the ship has been turned into a memorial museum commemorating veterans. Even if you're not a history buff, this ship museum is the last-surviving destroyer of its kind, making your stay a one-of-a-kind experience you can't miss in the East Baton Rouge Parish.

St. Augustine Church

While perhaps not one of the most famous places in Louisiana, the St. Augustine Church in New Orleans is still worth visiting. Part of the old Claude Treme plantation estate, this church has a history that spans 200 years.

The location was not only initially used for the plantation, but later on, it was converted into a school for freed enslaved girls and a church. With an anniversary celebration of its founding every October, St. Augustine Church is well-loved in the community.

A brown-brick art deco building with five windows and doors
Shreveport Municipal Auditorium is a famous venue for its performances & architecture

The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium

Constructed in the mid-late 1920s, the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium has become the state's most famous venue. Not only is this auditorium beautiful with its art-deco architecture, but it's also a highly sought-after location for performances of all types.

In recent decades, the building has undergone renovations so that audiences can continue to enjoy shows here for years to come without sacrificing comfort.

If you need any more incentives to visit, in 2008, the auditorium made it on the United States National Historic Landmarks registry.

Colorful statues of different characters like Spongebob, along with a guitar statue
Mardi Gras happens once a year, so visit Mardi Gras World if you miss it!

Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras has been mentioned a few times on this list already, but the famous Mardi Gras event only happens once a year. A Mardi Gras-related attraction that you can count on being in New Orleans no matter when you're in town is Mardi Gras World.

This museum is a must-see on any New Orleans Itinerary. Taking a tour through Mardi Gras World lets you get an up-close look at the parade floats while they're being created, minus all the crowds!

☂️ Explore Mardi Gras World on a tour

The New Orleans Museum of Art

Opening in 1911, the New Orleans Museum of Art (also known as NOMA) has been the top fine arts institute in New Orleans for over a century. In fact, this museum often tops lists of New Orleans attractions for couples, and it's not hard to see why!

With an ever-changing collection with new pieces constantly being loaned to display for exhibits, there's always something new to see here that will fit any art style preference. You can even explore their over 12-acre gardens to see more artwork.

The Natchitoches Historic District

The entire city of Natchitoches, Louisiana, is worth a visit, but you need to make time to see the Historic District while you're there. After all, it is one of the landmarks of Louisiana!

This district is an important part of the town; it's officially known as the Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District. Home to the oldest continuous settlement of Europeans in Louisiana, you can consider it to be the birthplace of the state itself.

A paddle steamer moored to a dock against a bridge under a partly cloudy evening sky
A New Orleans paddle steamer on the Mississippi River

The Mississippi River

While not exclusive to Louisiana, the state does get to boast of being the spot where the Mighty Mississippi meets the Gulf of Mexico. It's been the backdrop for stories like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well.

The Mississippi River also played a key role in America's expansion West. If you've never had a chance to spend time on the Mississippi, then what better time than when you're in Louisiana? Before you do, brush up on some Mississippi fun facts to make the most out of your visit!

☂️ See the Mississippi River on a tour

A white castle-like building at the top of a green grass hill with trees around
Louisiana's Old State Capitol is now a museum and houses impressive exhibits

Louisiana's Old State Capitol

In 1845, the Louisiana state capitol moved from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, leaving behind one of the governmental historical sites in Louisiana. Though the capitol has moved elsewhere, families of all kinds will still love visiting the museum exhibits.

Some of the museum's newest exhibits showcase George Washington's unification of the colonies in the lead-up and aftermath of the revolutionary war.

Over the years, the building has undergone numerous restorations to bring it back to its former glory so you can feel like you're really walking through history.

A neoclassical building with arched windows and doors
Louisiana State Museum has nine unique buildings across the state

The Louisiana State Museum

The Louisiana State Museum is unlike most other museums you might have encountered. Rather than having one concentrated building to host all the exhibits the museum offers, this museum sends you on an adventure!

That's because the state museum spreads, well, across the state! Made up of landmarks and exhibits all over Louisiana, you can take a vacation just to visit all of them. Since the displays tend to focus on Louisiana history, the New Orleans chapter is a good place to start.

☂️ Visit the Louisiana State Museum on a tour

A pathway to a tall building with art deco architecture surrounded by grass & trees
Louisiana State Capitol was constructed from the late 1920s through the early 1930s

The Louisiana State Capitol

The Louisiana State Capitol is where the state government does its work. Located in downtown Baton Rouge, it's not too far from the State's Old Capitol. The building was constructed from the late 1920s through the early 1930s and is a great example of art deco architecture.

Even though this is the current State Capitol, you can still visit, and if you find yourself in the area, you'll want to make sure you don't miss it! Additionally, touring the old and new State Capitols is a fun couples activity in Baton Rouge if your partner is interested in political history.

Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site

The Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site has become synonymous with showcasing the cultural diversity of the Bayou Teche. Different populations have called the area home, from the Creole people to the French settlers.

Considered one of Louisiana's historic parks since the mid-1930s, this site has attracted visitors from all across the USA for close to a century. You can even feel like you're walking through the past by exploring the reproduction farmstead here!

A modern grey concrete-glass building under a somewhat cloudy sky
The National WWII Museum opened in 2000 in New Orleans

The National WWII Museum

If you find yourself in New Orleans with your kids and you're looking for something educational and fun to do, then consider visiting the National WWII Museum.

Opened in 2000, this is one of the more modern history museums in the state, which helps give history a contemporary look that engages visitors of all ages.

The National WWII Museum has quickly become one of the most historical places in Louisiana. Initially a D-Day commemoration museum, it has since grown to incorporate exhibits that honor and commemorate World War II as a whole.

☂️ Visit The National WWII Museum on a tour

Fort Jackson

Once essential for defending Louisiana's coastline, Fort Jackson is now one of the most popular landmarks in Louisiana. Both amateur and serious Civil War historians will love visiting this 1862 battle site.

You'll easily spend hours wandering the national landmark where the battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip was fought, resulting in a Union victory.

Due to damage and safety concerns, visitors can no longer enter the fort itself, but you can still wander the grounds and walk around the fort's nearby museum.

Hut-shaped cabins on a pier over water, under a partly cloudy sky
Fontainebleau State Park is located on the coast & offers views of Lake Pontchartrain

Fontainebleau State Park

Once a sugar plantation, the Fontainebleau State Park is now a nearly 3,000-acre expanse of beautiful nature trails and shore. It's located on the coast, which gives you a unique opportunity to see wildlife you'd likely miss if you visited other parks in the state.

You can still see the ruins of the old plantation building here, giving the park a one-of-a-kind mix of natural beauty and history. You can even camp on the grounds, though potential hurricane damage can affect this availability.

Louisiana's Cajun Bayou

You can't visit Louisiana without getting an introduction to the Cajun lifestyle and culture, and Louisiana's Cajun Bayou is the perfect place for that! The state is known for its bayous, but the Cajun Bayou distinguishes itself from the rest.

Bayous are for outdoor lovers who want to fish and tour the swamps. You'll be able to see how beautiful the less polished parts of the state are at this natural landmark of Louisiana, and you'll learn a little about the state's natural history.

Looking across a square with cement, greenery & a white church at the back
Looking out across Jackson Square to the Saint Louis Cathedral

Jackson Square

Jackson Square is a 2.5-acre park located in front of the Saint Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.

The famous 17th-century Place des Vosges in Paris, France, was the inspiration for the architect who designed Jackson Square.

The most significant monument in the park is the flagpole near the entrance, which symbolizes the transfer of ownership of Louisiana from Spain to France, and then finally to the United States.

Looking down a street lined with poles & cars on the left & buildings on the right
The Pharmacy Museum on Charles Street in New Orleans

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Established circa 1823, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and is located within the Vieux Carre Historic District of New Orleans, Louisiana. The museum showcases medical and pharmaceutical practices from the 1800s.

The first floor has exhibits explaining popular drugs (such as opium) and medical practices (many quite questionable) from the previously stated period. The second floor provides a glimpse into the living and medical practice conditions of the time, showing things like a physician's study and sick rooms.

☂️ Experience the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum with a tour

A pathway surrounded by green grass and trees, leading to a neoclassical building
Oakley Plantation House has been considered historically significant since the 1970s

Audubon State Historic Site

The Audubon State Historic Site rounds out this list as being the perfect mix of history, science, and nature. Once the summer home of the naturalist John James Audubon, this location was the inspiration for many bird paintings that later helped render him famous.

This addition to lists of Louisiana historical places also features the Oakley Plantation house, which allows you to truly live through some of the darkest times of American history. It's been considered historically significant since the 1970s.

In Summary

Louisiana is one of America's states with the richest and most diverse history and culture. There's quite literally something for everyone to see and enjoy here.

From the breathtaking natural beauty of the bayous and the Mississippi to the vibrance of the New Orleans French Quarter and the history of the USS KIDD memorial - there's so much to see and learn about in Louisiana. Most importantly, you'll have fun every step of the way!

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Written by Gabrielle T

ggtraveler1213 FORMER WRITER Gabrielle loves all things travel and culture. She is originally from the USA, but she has lived in Italy for over a decade. She's always ready to pack her bags, grab her passport, and head out on an adventure!

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