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Auto Transport to Louisiana:

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Louisiana information

More than any other state in the South, Louisiana has an appetite for food, music, and fun that is best summed up in the Cajun phrase laissez les bons temps rouler--or let the good times roll. While different areas of the state put different spins on that motto, the sense of it is felt everywhere.

Appropriately shaped like a capital L, Louisiana is bordered by Mississippi on the east, the Gulf of Mexico on the south, Texas on the west, and Arkansas on the north. The Spanish were the first Europeans to explore the area in the 1500s, but it was not until the late 1600s that French settlers named the region Louisiane in honor of the French king Louis XIV and claimed it for France. The British acquired parts of the state in 1763 but returned those to the French in 1800. Then in 1803, the United States made the Louisiana Purchase, which included Louisiana, from Napoleon for $15 million. Statehood came in 1812 and during the War of 1812, British ships moved up the Mississippi River to New Orleans. On January 8, 1815, General Andrew Jackson's troops defeated the British at New Orleans. Today, a statue of the general on horseback is the focal point of Jackson Square in New Orleans's famed French Quarter.

The port of New Orleans and Louisiana's strategic position on the Mississippi made it an early Union target during the Civil War. The state went into an economic decline as a result of the war and hard times continued during the Reconstruction. After World War II, the petroleum industry became one of the primary contributors to Louisiana's economy.

The Louisiana counterpart to other states' counties are its 64 parishes, each with a colorful and unusual name. The state's northern region is the largest, highest, and oldest part of the state. Rolling hills, pine forests, and lakes make the terrain here very different from the rest of the state. The north's major city is Shreveport, where casinos and horse racing help bolster the economy. In the central part of the state, the geography flattens and begins to slope lower and lower towards the marshy regions near the Gulf of Mexico. The state capital of Baton Rouge, in southeastern Louisiana, is home to Louisiana State University and the lingering legends and legacy of 1930s politician Huey P. Long. Cajun country lies to the west of Baton Rouge and its unofficial capital is the town of Lafayette. Filled with historic homes and a unique musical and culinary heritage, Cajun country has become a major center for tourism.

Further west lies the city of Lake Charles, another gaming center whose riverboat casinos draw folks in from neighboring Texas. Riverboat gambling has long been associated with the state and its mighty Mississippi River. Modern-day games of chance can be played throughout the state on one of 11 floating casinos or on any of the three land-based casinos on Native American reservations. Horse racing and betting can also be found in Bossier City, Lafayette and New Orleans.

While Louisiana borders the Gulf of Mexico, there are no real beach destinations and the murky water and gray sands here make it easy to see why. Fishing, however, is a big draw.

New Orleans dominates national and international perceptions of the state, even though the city itself sits off in the extreme southwest corner of the state on the banks of the Mississippi River and the vast Lake Pontchartrain. Crowded with exceptional restaurants, charming cafes, architectural treasures, history and music, New Orleans is perhaps the most European of all U.S. cities.

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