Best Louisiana attraction? Houmas House Plantation!
Oak Alley Plantation, Steamboat Natchez & The Mississippi River, Abita Mystery House and Honey Island Swamp in top five
A melting pot of geological and cultural influences, Louisiana presents the traveler with unique experiences found nowhere else on the planet. Stunning landscapes – pristine swamps, sprawling farmlands and the Gulf of Mexico – pair with classic jazz halls, Creole villages, French-influenced architecture and a healthy appreciation for two of life's most important pleasures, food and music.
Houmas House Plantation (Darrow)
Oak Alley Plantation (Vacherie)
As stately as the plantation home of imagination, this Greek Revival structure features an oak alley leading to the entrance and is a magnificent presence amid the grounds. Dating from 1839, Oak Alley was built after the planting of the oaks and was situated to maximize the approach to the home. Costumed guides offer tours, and on the grounds are a restaurant, cafe, gift shop, and blacksmith's shop. Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
Steamboat Natchez & The Mississippi River (New Orleans)
The Mighty Mississippi flows through Louisiana, into New Orleans and out into the Gulf of Mexico, making it a central element of daily life in the state. One of the best ways to experience the famed river is aboard the Steamboat Natchez
, where guests dine on Creole dishes to the sounds of jazz as they float along. Photo courtesy of Romtomtom / Flickr
Abita Mystery House (Abita Springs)
Located just outside of New Orleans in the town of Abita Springs, the Abita Mystery House is a museum dedicated to the unusual. John Preble, a local artist, has created an eclectic collection of found objects, handmade inventions and a series of miniature towns depicting everything from a BBQ to a jazz funeral. Photo courtesy of Julia Gillen / Flickr
Honey Island Swamp (Slidell)
Visitors to St. Tammany Parish have the opportunity to tour one of the wildest, most pristine swamps in Louisiana, the Honey Island Swamp. A tour of this lush wetland area is also a great way to spot wildlife, including gators, white egrets, turtles, woodpeckers and the occasional golden eagle. Photo courtesy of Cajun Encounters
The National WWII Museum (New Orleans)
The extensive and often interactive exhibits at the National WWII Museum
bring to life the events of the latest World War and its aftermath. The collection includes vintage propaganda posters, oral histories from more than 7,000 military personnel, a 4D theater and a collection of wartime aircraft. Photo courtesy of National WWII Museum
Vermilionville Living History Museum (Lafayette)
Vermilionville opened in 1990 as a living history museum highlighting the history and culture of the Acadian, Creole and Native American populations of the Lafayette region from 1765 to 1890. Depending on the day, visitors might see a blacksmith or weaving demonstration, tour one of seven restored original homes or hear some live zydeco music at the Performance Center. Photo courtesy of Coburn A. Dukehart, USA TODAY
Mardi Gras World (New Orleans)
For those who can't make it to the Big Easy for Mardi Gras, a visit to Mardi Gras World
is the next best thing. This attraction takes guests behind the scenes of an operating workshop where colorful Mardi Gras floats are created from the ground up. These hour long tours end with a Mardi Gras treat, a slice of King Cake. Photo courtesy of Paul Mannix / Flickr
Atchafalaya Basin (Henderson)
Atchafalaya Basin, the largest wetland swamp in the United States, comprises over a million acres of bayous, swamps, backwater lakes and bottomland hardwoods stretching all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Airboat tours of the swamp bring visitors up close to moss-covered cypress trees, calm waters and one of Louisiana's most famous residents, the alligator. Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
City Park (New Orleans)
The largest green space in New Orleans
, City Park
boasts 1,300 acres featuring dozens of colorful original art installations, excellent sports facilities and beloved attractions, such as the New Orleans Botanical Garden and the New Orleans Museum of Art, all surrounded by picturesque lagoons and sprawling lawns. Park goers can walk, run or bike along the endless paths shaded by draping Spanish moss and ancient live oak trees. Photo courtesy of Britt Reints / Flickr
So what's Louisiana's best attraction? We asked our readers to vote for their favorites from a pool of 20 nominees, and the results are in.
The top 10 winners in the category Best Louisiana Attraction are as follows:
- Houmas House Plantation - Darrow
- Oak Alley Plantation - Vacherie
- Steamboat Natchez & The Mississippi River - New Orleans
- Abita Mystery House - Abita Springs
- Honey Island Swamp - Slidell
- The National WWII Museum - New Orleans
- Vermilionville Living History Museum - Lafayette
- Mardi Gras World - New Orleans
- Atchafalaya Basin - Henderson
- City Park - New Orleans
A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Beth D'Addono (100 Things To Do in New Orleans Before You Die), Andi Eaton (New Orleans Style) and Frank Relle were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Louisiana.
Congratulations to all these winning attractions!