Header photo: @southern_natureshots
Today is National Louisiana Day – as if we ever needed an excuse to celebrate! Recognized on November 9, National Louisiana Day is observed in celebration of our great state and all the wonderful things associated with it. Commonly known for being the home of jazz, Creole culture and Mardi Gras, Louisiana is also known for being a melting pot of many different cultures, as displayed in the cuisine, music and style. Join us as we celebrate Louisiana and some of the state symbols and attractions that make it so unique!
State Capital – Baton Rouge
Louisiana was admitted into the Union on April 8, 1812, and Baton Rouge was incorporated shortly after in 1817. In 1849, the state capital of Louisiana was moved from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. With a centralized location in between Lafayette and New Orleans, you can explore our state’s colorful history by visiting notable landmarks, such as the tallest state capitol in the United States or the Old State Capitol, which now serves as the Museum of Political History. If you want to delve even further into the history of Louisiana, you can do so at Capitol Park Museum.
State Cuisine – Gumbo
It comes as no surprise that the state cuisine is gumbo! Commonly found on menus at restaurants throughout Baton Rouge, you can even taste what makes our state so unique. Whether you prefer chicken and sausage or seafood or if you prefer potato salad over rice, you’ll find that what makes our state cuisine so special are the many different ways it can be served and enjoyed.
State Doughnut – Beignet
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the state doughnut – the beignet! Beignets are French doughnuts that are deep-fried, creating a fluffy pastry that is then sprinkled with powdered sugar. If you’re looking to try the best, then Baton Rouge is the place for you – the best beignets can be found at local favorite, Coffee Call.
State Tree and State Reptile – Bald Cypress and Alligator
Louisiana is known for being home to quite a bit of swampland, which makes the bald cypress and the alligator an easy guess for the state tree and state reptile, respectively. You can experience these state symbols firsthand by exploring Baton Rouge’s hiking trails, such as BREC’s 103-acre Bluebonnet Swamp, where you can hike the trails or explore the 9500-square-foot educational building containing live animal displays, photographs of native flora and fauna, and natural artifact and mineral displays, or by taking a swamp tour.
Photo credit: Luce Tremblay-Gaudette
State Crustacean - Crawfish
Here in Louisiana, our seasons revolve around which seafood is in season, and the state crustacean, crawfish, may be the biggest claim to fame. It’s not only a delicacy, but it is also an experience. Afternoons in the spring are dedicated to freshly boiled crawfish, and it brings friends and families together to celebrate. If you don’t want the hassle of peeling a crawfish, you can also enjoy them in an etouffee or fried on a po’boy at many Baton Rouge restaurants.