1. New Orleans knows a thing or two about alcohol. After all, it’ home to America’s first cocktail, the Sazerac.
2. Speaking of alcohol, drive-through daiquiris are a reality in Louisiana. Yep, you heard me correctly. You can head to Daiquiris and Creams whenever you please and get some daiquiris to go.
3. Due to the amount of bays and sounds in Louisiana, the state actually has the longest coastline of any US state (15,000 miles) and makes up 41% of the nation’s wetlands.
4. Britney Spears was born in Kentwood, LA. Their Welcome Center and Museum features an exhibit dedicated to Britney, complete with her albums, awards, and even some of her clothes.
5. A Six Flags location in Louisiana, which was abandoned after damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, was recently used to film many of the scenes in the new Jurassic World movie.
6. The infamous Lil’ Wayne was born in Louisiana.
7. When Nicolas Cage dies, he’ll be buried in a pyramid tomb that he had specially built for himself in a famous New Orleans graveyard.
8. A specific law was passed in Louisiana to penalize people who steal crawfish. So if you’re planning a crawfish heist, maybe you should reconsider.
9. Crawfish are so ubiquitous in Louisiana that the people of Louisiana even make Crawfish Jelly. For serious. And the Crawfish Capital of the World, Breaux Bridge, hosts an annual Crawfish festival to celebrate all things crawfish.
10. Speaking of seafood, more shrimp are caught in Louisiana waters than in any other place in America.
11. And Louisiana’s waters are home to 117,518 oyster reefs.
12. In 2010, Chef Folse, a legendary Louisiana chef, broke the world record and made the largest pot of gumbo. The pot of gumbo served 10,000 people and contained 750 pounds of shrimp, 450 pounds of catfish, 100 pounds of crab claw meat, 50 pounds of white crab meat, 200 pounds of alligator meat, and 85 pounds of oysters.
13. In Louisiana, LA ≠ Los Angeles. It just means Louisiana. And if you get this wrong, Louisianans will shun you.
14. In Louisiana, stealing an alligator could land a person in jail for up to ten years. So if you see a giant, predatory alligator, don’t even think about stealthily trying to take it home and make it your pet.
15. That being said, stealing an alligator may be more tempting than you think. Especially considering the fact that there are almost half as many alligators as there are people in Louisiana.
16. In Louisiana, don’t ever try to surprise your friend with a pizza. It’s a $500 fine to instruct a pizza deliveryman to deliver a pizza to your friend without them knowing.
17. 95% of hotels in New Orleans are at capacity during Mardi Gras.
18. Speaking of Mardi Gras, an economic impact study released by the University of New Orleans estimates that Mardi Gras generates over $840 million annually.
19. Many are familiar with the traditional Mardi Gras King Cake, however did you know that 500,000 king cakes are sold each year in New Orleans between January 6 and Fat Tuesday, and another 50,000 are shipped out-of-state via overnight courier?
20. And the largest Mardi Gras supply house in New Orleans sells an estimated one BILLION pairs of beads for Mardi Gras each year.
21. Almost 500,000 people attend the Louisiana State Fair annually to enjoy the zoo and the circus, but also to appreciate the variety of high-calorie foods, like Pecan Cretes, cheese curds, or cookie dough on a stick.
22. Louisiana vending machines have been known to sell Big Az Burgers, boudin, and disposable bowls of shrimp stew.
23. Louisiana is home to a 3-day mud festival, the Louisiana Mudfest.
24. In the heart of City Park in New Orleans, there’s an oak tree that sings to you. Hidden wind chimes (some up to 14 feet long) were placed in the tree by a local artist. The chimes actually produce a carefully tuned melody, making for a magical experience.
25. At night, the famous Jackson Square becomes a playground for hundreds of stray kittens and cats who roam the square each night.
26. Gibson, LA is home to the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum a few miles away from where the famous crime couple met their demise.
27. Fort Proctor, an abandoned Civil War fortress, is slowly (and eerily) being swallowed by the waters of Lake Borgne in St. Bernard Parish, LA.
28. Many know that the Manchac Swamp Bridge is the second longest water bridge in the world, however many do not know that the bridge was constructed over a supposedly haunted swamp. Hard to enjoy the nice long drive over the bridge when you’re never really sure if the ghosts will let you make it across alive…
29. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, in Southern Louisiana, is the longest continuous bridge over water in the world, spanning 23.83 miles. At least this bridge isn’t haunted…
30. Speaking of ghosts, the entrance to Guinee, the Voodoo underworld, can be found in New Orleans. According to local tradition, the seven gates to Guinee are scattered throughout the city’s French Quarter.
31. There’s a 200-year-old bar in the French Quarter that was built to be Napoleon’s home in the New World. Now it serves as a local watering hole for thirsty history buffs.
32. In Louisiana, it’s not a BLT. It’s a BLFGT (Bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomatoes!) Emeril Laqasse’s famous restaurant in New Orleans has paved the way for this new and delicious sandwich creation.
33. Louisiana is the birthplace of Jazz. It’s home to some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, like Louis Armstrong who was born in New Orleans.
34. The town of Jean Lafitte was once a hideaway town for pirates. It was also named after the French-born Louisiana pirate of the same name.
35. Many people know that Louisiana was deeply affected by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, the largest and third strongest hurricane to make landfall in the US. But many people do not know that Hurricane Rita, the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico, hit Louisiana just one month after Hurricane Katrina. The combined effect of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was the destruction of an estimated 562 square kilometers (217 sq mi) of coastal wetlands in Louisiana.
36. New Orleans has a lot of history: the St. Charles Avenue streetcar in New Orleans is the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world. It’s been running for over 150 years.
37. Counties? Psh, please. Louisiana is all about its “parishes”. Louisiana is one of only two states in the U.S. that does not use the term “counties” to describe political subdivisions.
38. Louisiana has the tallest state capitol building in the US. It is 450 feet tall, with 34 stories.
39. Louisiana is one of the most patriotic states in the US. In fact, Winnsboro, LA calls itself the “Stars and Stripes Capital of Louisiana” and has been named one of the most patriotic cities in all of America. On special occasions, the city flies 350 flags along its Highway 15.
40. If you’re the kind of person who puts Tabasco sauce on everything, you have Louisiana to thank. It’s the birthplace of Tabasco sauce, first created in the 1860s on Avery Island, where it is still produced today.
41. The Nottoway Plantation Home in White Castle, LA is the largest antebellum mansion in the entire South. It also served as the inspiration for the mansion in Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.”
42. Canal Street, one of New Orleans’ busiest streets, was named after a canal that was supposed to be built there. However, the waterway was never dug. Oops…
43. Most people think that the Creole French dialect is a mix of the original French spoken by settlers and Acadian French, but many do not know that the dialect also includes words of African, Spanish, Native American and English descent.
44. Louisiana cares: the state had the first charity hospital in America and its present charity hospital system is one of the most comprehensive in the U.S. today.
45. The Ligo Livingston Observatory in Livingston, LA is home to the world’s largest precision optical instrument that was used to detect Einstein’s elusive gravity waves.