50 Interesting & Fun Facts About Louisiana State You Should Know
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Known for lively music, culture, food, and of course, Mardi Gras, Louisiana is a unique and fascinating place. With world-famous cities like New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana is full of history, mystery, charm, and allegedly even ghosts!
Ghost tours, haunted hotels, and centuries-old cemeteries are among the most visited places in the state. From the Big Easy to the Bayou, there are many interesting and fun facts about Louisiana State.
From jazz to jambalaya and beignets to bananas foster, Louisiana is full of great music and food. In addition to Mardi Gras, the state hosts many other big events throughout the year.
The Louisiana State Fair, Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, and countless other art, music, culture, and food festivals occur. Keep reading to learn 50 interesting facts about the state of Louisiana!
- 50 Louisiana facts
50 Louisiana State Facts
Lousiana Fun Facts
- Louisiana is world famous for Mardi Gras
- Jazz came from New Orleans
- The French Quarter is the oldest and most famous place in New Orleans
- Louisiana has more alligators than any other state
- Louisiana is famous for hot sauce
- You can get coffee and beignets 24 hours a day in New Orleans
- Bananas Foster was created in Louisiana
- Louisiana has trees that are hundreds of years old
- Louisiana is home to Super Bowl Champions New Orleans Saints
- The world's first indoor movie theater was in New Orleans
- Famous author Anne Rice was from Louisiana
- Louisiana is a top strawberry producer in the US
- New Orleans is home to haunted bars
- The first mixed cocktail was created in Louisiana
- Louisiana is the only state outside of Nevada with legalized gambling
Interesting Facts About Louisiana
- The tallest state capitol building in the country is in Louisiana
- Louisiana is the birthplace of Creole Cuisine
- New Orleans was home to famed Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau
- Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest bridge over water in the world
- Louisiana was the 18th state added to the United States
- Louisiana is home to an ancient city, Poverty Point World Heritage Site
- The Whitney Plantation is the only former plantation with a sole focus on slavery
- The Eastern Brown Pelican is the official state bird
- The Magnolia is the Louisiana State Flower
- Louisiana has 23 National Wildlife Refuges
- Cemeteries in New Orleans are above ground
- Louisiana is home to the National WWII Museum
- Louisiana has one of the highest natural gas reserves in the United States
- Louisiana is a popular cruise destination
- Famous actor and musician Harry Connick Jr. is from Louisiana
- Weird Facts About Louisiana
- Facts About Louisiana History
- Scary Facts About Louisiana
- Cool Facts About Louisiana
Lousiana Fun Facts
Louisiana is world famous for Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras has been celebrated since the middle ages in European countries as part of religious customs. French settlers in Louisiana began celebrating Mardi Gras in the late 1600s declaring an area near New Orleans as "Pointe du Mardi Gras."
The tradition of Mardi Gras is still held in New Orleans with days-long festivities, including music, food, art, and cultural celebrations. People come from around the world to experience Mardi Gras. The laid-back party vibes of the city also led to some referring to New Orleans as "The Big Easy."
Jazz came from New Orleans
No one can pinpoint precisely when jazz began, but they know it all started in New Orleans. Some say it grew out of voodoo drumming rituals in the 1800s, while others say it began in the 1900s with the addition of instruments. Regardless, jazz has been and continues to be the lifeblood of New Orleans.
Many famous jazz musicians came from New Orleans, including Louis Armstrong. From the festivals and celebrations to the street music of the French Quarter, jazz is ingrained in the soul and the streets of New Orleans.
The French Quarter is the oldest and most famous place in New Orleans
Founded in 1718, the French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. Many historical facts about Louisiana originated here. The French Quarter is home to Bourbon Street, Café Du Monde, and many other famous historical sites. It is one of the most visited places in Louisiana and offers excellent food, art, culture, music, and celebrations.
Louisiana has more alligators than any other state
While most people think of Florida as the alligator capital of the country, Louisiana outranks the sunshine state by almost a million! Over 2 million alligators live in Louisiana's coastal marshes, swamps, and bayous across the state. Records of alligators in Louisiana go back to the diaries of Spanish explorers in the 1600s, but these reptiles have likely been around much longer.
Louisiana is famous for hot sauce
The original Louisiana hot sauce launched in 1928 has been a staple in Louisiana kitchens ever since. The famous Louisiana hot sauce is still made with the same recipe and remains a favorite.
Tabasco hot sauce also originated in Louisiana. The Tabasco factory opened in 1868 and is still operational. Hot sauce lovers can tour the factory and see how the sauce is made.
You can get coffee and beignets 24 hours a day in New Orleans
The world-famous Café Du Monde has been a New Orleans staple since 1862. This historic café serves traditional New Orleans chicory coffee and beignets 24 hours a day.
People come from all over to try their signature sugar-dusted French donuts. Café Du Monde's beignets are so famous that they've even begun shipping their beignet mix worldwide.
Bananas Foster was created in Louisiana
Another interesting fact about Louisiana food, Bananas Foster was born there! This classic dessert made with bananas cooked in brown sugar and rum was created at the historic Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans in the 1950s.
The creation stemmed from a surplus of bananas and was an instant success. Bananas Foster remains a popular dessert in Louisiana and the United States.
Louisiana has trees that are hundreds of years old
Bald Cypress Trees, which grow in the swamps of Louisiana, can be hundreds of years old, with a few even dating over 1000 years. These trees recently came under protection to stop overcutting and give the current trees time to regrow. The Bald Cypress is also the official Louisiana State Tree.
Louisiana is home to Super Bowl Champions New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints football team was established in 1967. Their name was derived from the famous jazz song "When the Saints Go Marching In." The Saints won the 2010 Super Bowl, launching quarterback Drew Brees into instant stardom for his record-breaking six touchdown passes during the game.
The world's first indoor movie theater was in New Orleans
Built in 1896, Vitascope Hall was the first indoor movie theater in the world. The theater was established by businessman William Rock and Walter Wainwright and named for the vitascope film projector that played the movies. Vitascope Hall is now part of a hotel and holds a historic marker commemorating its place in Louisiana facts and history.
Famous author Anne Rice was from Louisiana
Famous for her novel series, The Vampire Chronicles, author Anne Rice was from New Orleans credited the city for her artistic inspiration. Many of her books were set in New Orleans, including Interview with a Vampire, which became a movie filmed in New Orleans. Rice also wrote the screenplay for the movie, which starred Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise and became a cult classic.
Louisiana is a top strawberry producer in the US
Strawberries are a top commodity in Louisiana and have been since 1876. Louisiana is one of the top 10 exporters of strawberries in the US. Every April, a strawberry festival is held in the town of Ponchatoula, one of the largest strawberry growers in the state.
New Orleans is home to haunted bars
New Orleans is home to several bars that claim to be haunted, but none are as famous as Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar. Lafitte's is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It dates back to the 1770s and is said to house the ghost of its original owner Jean Lafitte.
The first mixed cocktail was created in Louisiana
Legend has it that Antoine Amédé Peychaud created the first mixed cocktail, known as the Sazerac, in the 1830s. The Sazarac is made with whiskey, bitters, herbsaint, and sugar. The Sazerac is still a local favorite and was even designated as the official cocktail of New Orleans.
Louisiana is the only state outside of Nevada with legalized gambling
Most people don't think of Louisiana for gambling, but the state has over 130 casinos. In 1991, Louisiana legalized statewide gambling, making it the only other state to do so outside of Nevada.
It started with riverboat casinos on the Mississippi River and quickly grew to the large casino resorts seen around big cities in Louisiana today. Information on Louisiana casinos is a big draw for many visitors to the state.
Interesting Facts About Louisiana
The tallest state capitol building in the country is in Louisiana
Towering over 450 feet, Louisiana has the tallest state capitol in the United States. The Capitol building was constructed in 1931 after the previous Capitol building was deemed unfit due to an aging facility and growing government body. The Capitol sits on the National Register of Historic Places.
Louisiana is the birthplace of Creole Cuisine
Louisiana is known for its vibrant culture and cuisine, notably Creole. Creole Cuisine is said to have originated in New Orleans over hundreds of years with influences of French, Spanish, African, and Indigenous cultures.
Many Creole restaurants can be found in New Orleans and across the state. Visitors to Louisiana revel in trying all of the rich and flavorful Creole dishes like jambalayas, gumbos, and étouffées the state is famous for.
New Orleans was home to famed Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau
None of New Orleans' mystery and folklore is more widely discussed than Marie Laveau. Known as the "Voodoo Queen of New Orleans", Marie Laveau was a prominent figure in the French Quarter in the 1800s.
A hairdresser by day and voodoo priestess by night, Laveau led many spiritual ceremonies and celebrations and was an icon to her followers. Marie Laveau died in 1881, and to this day, her tomb is still the most visited in New Orleans. She also remains one of the most talked about in Louisiana history facts.
Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest bridge over water in the world
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway spans 23 miles at its longest point and takes about 25 minutes to drive across. It is the longest bridge over water in the world.
The causeway was constructed in 1955 to connect cities on the opposite ends of Lake Pontchartrain, which were previously accessed via ferry only. The causeway has undergone many reconstructions over the years and is now one of the most traveled roads in Louisiana.
Louisiana was the 18th state added to the United States
While the United States had already acquired the area of Louisiana and some surrounding states in 1803, it didn't become a recognized state until 1812. On April 30th, 1812, Louisiana was admitted into the union and became the 18th state in the United States of America.
Louisiana is home to an ancient city, Poverty Point World Heritage Site
Believed to be over 3,400 years old, Poverty Point is a massive area of archaeological ruins in northeast Louisiana. The remains of several sculpted mounds and millions of artifacts have been found at Poverty Point. Archaeologists speculate that it was once a city consisting of homes, a trade center, and a proper place for an ancient indigenous culture.
The Whitney Plantation is the only former plantation with a sole focus on slavery
There are many former plantations across the south that gloss over or completely omit their history of slavery from tours and events. The Whitney Plantation prioritizes educating the public about the horrors of slavery. The Whitney Plantation was amongst many slave plantations in Louisiana in the 1700s and 1800s, one of the uglier historical facts of Louisiana.
When slavery ended in 1865, the plantation moved to a wage-working system. First-hand accounts and records from formerly enslaved people helped outline the present-day exhibits. The Whitney Plantation now serves as a museum and memorial to the over 100,000 enslaved people in Louisiana history.
The Eastern Brown Pelican is the official state bird
The Eastern Brown Pelican can be found along almost all the waterways in Louisiana. These majestic diving birds have been admired since the 1700s when French explorers journaled about them during their time on the Gulf Coast.
The Eastern Brown Pelican is not only the official Louisiana State Bird; these birds also grace the Louisiana State Flag and Seal. Surrounding the pelican on the Flag and Seal are three pelican chicks that represent the Louisiana State Motto of "Union, Justice, and Confidence." Thus earning the nickname for Louisiana, the "Pelican State."
The Magnolia is the Louisiana State Flower
Magnolia trees are found throughout Louisiana and are known for their beautiful and fragrant blooms. They are one of the oldest flowering trees and a staple in Louisiana landscapes. In 1900, the magnolia was established as the Louisiana State Flower.
Louisiana has 23 National Wildlife Refuges
Louisiana has a diverse wildlife population, and over 1.6 million acres of land are protected throughout 23 wildlife refuge areas. From pinelands to swamps, the state is home to deer, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, bats, armadillos, alligators, and black bears. The Louisiana Black Bear, recently recovered from the threatened list due to conservation efforts is also the Louisiana State Animal.
Cemeteries in New Orleans are above ground
The city of New Orleans sits on historical swamp lands and is below sea level. When the first cemeteries were constructed hundreds of years ago, it was discovered they could become flooded or displaced due to the high water table. Thus began the tradition of above-ground tombs in New Orleans and one of the most inquired about historical facts of Louisiana.
Louisiana is home to the National WWII Museum
The National WWII Museum in New Orleans showcases exhibits and artifacts relating to the second world war. The museum opened on June 6th, 2000, the 56th anniversary of D-Day. In addition to all the educational exhibits, the museum regularly hosts educational events and commemorations of the heroes of WWII.
Louisiana has one of the highest natural gas reserves in the United States
Louisiana holds the 3rd place for the highest natural gas production in the US. Natural gas exportation from Louisiana has grown almost 50% since 2020, making the state a new leader in cleaner fuel technology. Most of Louisiana's natural gas comes from the Haynesville Shale, discovered in 2008.
Louisiana is a popular cruise destination
The port of New Orleans is one of the largest cruise ports in the US and one of the most popular stops. Major cruise lines such as Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Disney all sail in and out of New Orleans. Smaller cruise lines offering Mississippi River Cruises also operate from the port, including American Queen Steamboat and Viking River Cruises.
Famous actor and musician Harry Connick Jr. is from Louisiana
Harry Connick Jr. was born and grew up in New Orleans and began playing instruments at age 3. Now a famed jazz musician and actor, Harry Connick Jr. is very active in New Orleans music and culture. He regularly plays at jazz festivals and is the founder of the Krewe of Orpheus, a Mardi Gras event.
Weird Facts About Louisiana
New Orleans has modern-day "vampires"
While Louisiana has a long history of vampire legends and folklore, there is a "real-life community of vampires" residing in present-day New Orleans. This group of self-identifying vampires periodically consume human blood from willing participants they refer to as "donors." Some members of this vampire community have even had their teeth altered into fang shapes. It is estimated there are about 50 active members of this vampire community in New Orleans.
Louisiana is the only state in America to have parishes
One of the most unique state facts about Louisiana is its division of regions. While most states have their lands separated into counties, Louisiana does things differently.
Louisiana is separated into parishes rather than counties due to the old Roman Catholic customs they were founded upon. Boundaries within the state once had to coincide with church parishes when they were under French rule. Maps were drawn based on these boundaries and have stayed intact ever since.
The Saint Louis Cemetery draws over 100,000 visitors a year
Known as "the city of the dead'', the Saint Louis Cemetery in New Orleans is one of the oldest and most visited cemeteries in the country. Dating back to 1789, the Saint Louis Cemetery has many famous and historical gravesites, including Marie Laveau, the "Voodoo Queen of New Orleans." The cemetery intrigues over 100,000 visitors a year with its history and unique above-ground tomb structure.
New Orleans has a Museum of Death
Not for the faint of heart, the Museum of Death showcases macabre exhibits and artifacts. Many of their presentations relate to gruesome murders and notorious serial killers. Visitors interested in true crime find it fascinating, while others report the museum goes too far. Regardless, the Museum of Death remains a popular attraction for those interested in all the creepy happenings in New Orleans.
Louisiana is nicknamed the Pelican State
Louisiana is known for the brown pelicans that frequent the state's waterways and are the official state bird. The pelican is also prominently featured on many Louisiana State Symbols, including the Flag, Seal, and brochures offering information on Louisiana. This has led to the Louisiana state nickname of the Pelican State.
Facts About Louisiana History
Louisiana was named for French King Louis XIV
During French control of the area in the 1600s, the state was named Louisiana in honor of France's King Louis XIV. It was part of a district known as "New France''. The state was sold to the United States during the Louisiana Purchase, cutting all ties with the French government, but the name remained.
Louisiana Capital Baton Rouge was the only Revolution Battle outside of the colonies
On September 21st, 1779, the Battle of Baton Rouge took place at Fort New Richmond, which was held by the British. It was the only American Revolution Battle outside of the original 13 colonies. Upon overtaking the Fort and ending the British's occupation of the Gulf Coast, the Fort was renamed, Fort San Carlos.
The Louisiana Purchase ended France's control over the region
In 1803, the United States purchased the "territory of Louisiana", which encompassed modern-day Louisiana and some surrounding states that settlers had not yet named. The land acquisition became known as the "Louisiana Purchase" and ended France's attempt at reestablishing a French Colonial Empire in North America. The Louisiana Purchase also gave the United States critical trade access to the Mississippi River.
27 Civil War Battles took place in Louisiana
In 1861 Louisiana seceded from the union and became a confederate state. During the Civil War, 27 battles took place in Louisiana before the state surrendered. New Orleans was an important trading port, and its capture by the union was a significant turning point for the Civil War in Louisiana.
Louisiana was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005
One of the most painfully notable times in Louisiana facts and history was the landfall of Hurricane Katrina on August 29th, 2005. Levees breached during the hurricane causing thousands of people to be trapped in their homes with rising flood waters.
Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic flooding and loss of life in New Orleans and other neighboring areas. It was one of the most deadly hurricanes in US history.
Scary Facts About Louisiana
The most haunted city in America is considered to be New Orleans
With many sites being hundreds of years old and many atrocities committed there, New Orleans is known to be the most haunted city in America. From cemeteries to occult shops and a variety of ghost tours throughout the city, it's easy to see why paranormal investigators flock to New Orleans.
New Orleans has 15 haunted hotels
With New Orleans being known as the most haunted city, it's no surprise there are many haunted hotels. A whopping 15 different hotels in New Orleans are allegedly haunted. Many were built in the 1700s and have seen many deaths over the years, including the infamous 1919 New Orleans Axe murderer.
The most haunted house in Louisiana is LaLaurie Mansion
One of the most horrifying in Louisiana history facts lies within LaLaurie Mansion. The Mansion was the site of unspeakable crimes by Madame LaLaurie, a New Orleans socialite of the early 1800s. Madame LaLaurie held captive enslaved people for torture and experimentation.
Hauntings have been reported by previous tenants, visitors, and employees of the building for almost 200 years. It is said that psychic mediums have visited the house and reported paranormal findings. It is now a popular stop on New Orleans city ghost tours and is considered by many to be the most haunted house in Louisiana.
Myrtles Plantation is known as "One of America's Most Haunted Homes"
Myrtles Plantation has a sordid past and is a site of much paranormal speculation. In the 1800s, it was a slave plantation in which heinous acts were committed. Numerous deaths have occurred on the property, which is also rumored to have been built on ancient burial grounds.
Visitors have reported strange occurrences, and ghostly figures have appeared in photographs taken on-site. Myrtles Plantation has been the subject of books and television shows documenting paranormal activity and is often referred to as "One of America's Most Haunted Homes."
Louisiana has the highest homicide rate in the United States
While Louisiana has many positive aspects, there are also some negatives. One of the most unfortunate state facts about Louisiana is that they hold the highest homicide rate of any state in the US.
Most of these occurred in big cities like New Orleans and Baton Rouge, which have the highest populations in the state. Although Louisiana holds this unfavorable title, the tourist areas are generally still considered safe as most homicides tend to occur in residential areas.
Cool Facts About Louisiana
Louisiana has an official State Dog
Named for the Catahoula Parish, the Catahoula Leopard Dog was proclaimed the Louisiana State Dog in 1979. Originally used for hunting and herding, these intelligent, iconic dogs are known for their rare merle patterns. Catahoulas originated in Louisiana believed to have been crossbred from the dogs of Native Americans to the dogs of Spanish Explorers in the 1500s.
Louisiana is home to Louis Armstrong Park
Jazz legend Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1901. Armstrong later became a world-famous jazz musician and cultural icon.
The park dedicated to Louis Armstrong now sits at the edge of the French Quarter and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the site of local festivals and music throughout the year.
Legendary Pianist Fats Domino was from Louisiana
Antoine Dominique Domino Jr., better known by his stage name, Fats Domino, was born in 1928 in New Orleans. Domino went on to have a decades-long music career and won many accolades.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Fats Domino passed away in 2017 in Harvey, Louisiana. He remains a musical icon.
Famous Jazz Musician Jelly Roll Morton was from Louisiana
Born in New Orleans as Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe, Jelly Roll Morton was a famous jazz musician who claimed to have invented the genre. Much debate exists around this, with other musicians claiming otherwise and so many different versions of information on Louisiana jazz. Whether he was or wasn't the inventor of jazz, Morton did compose some of its biggest hits like the Jelly Roll Blues and King Porter Stomp.
Louisiana State University has many famous alumni
Louisiana State University has been a staple of education in the state since its establishment in 1860. Since that time, many students have called LSU their alma mater, including some famous ones. Famous NBA player Shaquille O'Neal, Olympian Lolo Jones, US Vice President Herbert Humphrey, and Journalist Don Lemon are just a few of LSU's famed alumni.
With all these interesting Louisiana facts, it's easy to see why the state is a top tourist destination. From big cities like Baton Rouge to small towns like Breaux Bridge and everything in between, Louisiana is full of captivating history and interesting landmarks.
This article was edited by Henry Grahame.
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