One of the great things about this wonderful state of ours is all the history that’s right in our own backyard. From plantations to streetcar lines, Louisiana is peppered with endless historic landmarks that the entire country needs to see. In no particular order, here are some of our favorite historic landmarks that top our travel wish list:
1. St. Charles Streetcar Line
The St. Charles Streetcar line has been in operation since 1835, making it the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world. Running along the beautiful St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, taking a ride down the oak tree-lined street is a must for all Louisianians.
For a truly unique experience, head on over to Vermilionville in Lafayette. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported through time as you stroll through this living history museum depicting what life was like for Acadians and Creole in the 1700s-1800s. Address: 300 Fisher Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508
3. The Old State Capitol
Built in 1852, this castle on the Mississippi was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1973 and it’s certainly worth a visit. During your visit, you’ll learn all about the history of this magnificent Gothic-Revival building, including the brief time it was used as a prison during the Civil War. Address: 100 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70801
4. Poverty Point
Located in northeastern Louisiana, Poverty Point is an incredible mystery that archaeologists are still trying to piece together. The collection of prehistoric earthworks were constructed between 1700-1100 BC. During its heyday, it’s assumed that Poverty Point was used as a ceremonial center, trading hub, and settlement. While the original inhabitants left no written record of their day-to-day lives, archaeologists are constantly finding new clues from artifacts buried underground. Poverty Point was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 2014, joining landmarks like Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China. Address: 6859 LA-577, Pioneer, LA 71266
5. Evergreen Plantation
Located in Edgard, Evergreen Plantation is the most intact plantation complex in the South, with 37 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the plantation is a privately owned, working sugar cane plantation but you can still take a tour and learn the fascinating history of this hidden gem. Address: 4677 Hwy. 18, Edgard, LA 70049
6. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
Built in the late 1700s, this charming Creole cottage survived multiple fires and hurricanes throughout the years. It’s the oldest structure currently being used as a bar in the United States, and it’s also one of the most haunted hotspots in the French Quarter. So if you find yourself at the bar and you think you see something out of the corner of your eye, don’t be too quick to assume it’s the cocktail. Address: 941 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70116
Louisiana’s oldest city deserves a spot on this list. Established in 1714, Natchitoches is a charming town filled with history, beautiful views, and amazing restaurants. The National Historic Landmark District is an incredible 33-block area filled with shopping, dining, and bed and breakfast options, and the Cane River is a delightfully scenic attraction you’ll fall in love with.
8. Oak Alley Plantation
Perhaps one of the most iconic plantations in Louisiana, Oak Alley should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Originally named Bon Sejour, Oak Alley was built in 1837 and is best known for its canopy of live oak trees that line an 800-foot-long stretch of road. Fun fact: the oak trees were planted long before the house was ever built. The plantation was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and offers tours daily. Address: 3645 Highway 18, Vacherie, LA 70090
How many of these historic landmarks in Louisiana have you visited? Which one if your favorite? Are there others you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!