Louisiana is known for its Southern cuisine and of course Mardi Gras, but there are some places and things here that often get overlooked. The good news? We are on a mission to tell you all about 'em.
It doesn't matter if you were born and raised here or just a passing tourist, there is definitely someplace on this list you won't believe exists right here in this good ol' southern state — and with that, you will definitely be updating your travel bucket list.
I know you're excited, so I won't keep you waiting. Here's the list of 17 surreal places in Louisiana.
Where: 12112-12238 Parker Rd, St Francisville, LA
There is a ton of natural beauty to behold in LA, and Tunica Hills is definitely one of the must-see places. With waterfalls, nature trails, and acres of wildlife, this nature park has everything a nature lover could ask for — and more. The best part? Dogs allowed.
Where: 12310 Six Flags Parkway, New Orleans
We all remember the iconic techno-dancing old man on the Six Flags commercial; you know, the one when this amusement park chain was in its heyday. Well, some time has passed and not all of the Six Flags parks have survived, like Jazzland. This abandoned amusement park now looks like something plucked straight off of a zombie apocalypse movie. On the plus side, the lines are super short and you won't find another Six Flags with such a good discount on admission. Bumper Cars anyone?
The Britney Spears Museum
Where: Kentwood Historical & Cultural Museum, 204 Avenue E, Kentwood
It's Britney B*$%^! You either wanted to be her or wanted to be her lover; everyone's favorite early 2000's pop star is Louisiana homegrown, and the town she grew up in isn't about to let anyone forget that anytime soon. Britney Spears has a whole 4 rooms dedicated to her at the Kentwood Historical & Cultural Museum so you can rekindle your love for her all over again. #blessup
Nicolas Cage's Pyramid Tomb
Where: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, 425 Basin Street, New Orleans
He's not dead, but when he is this will be where the legend himself will be buried - in a tomb just as unique as he is. There is a ton of speculation about his strange burial choice, could it be a symbolism of ties to the Illuminati, or perhaps just a memorial inspired by National Treasure? We don't know, at least not until Nic decides to come forth with an explanation - if ever. For now, we will just enjoy it as a tourist trap. Oh, the things you can mysteriously buy when you're a rich movie star...
The Gates of Guinee
Where: 127 Elk Place, New Orleans
Depending on who you ask some will swear the gates leading straight to the Voodoo underworld can be found right in New Orleans' French Quarter. In order to reach the entrance — if you so dare — you must pass through all seven gates scattered throughout the area. Oh, and don't pass through the gates in the incorrect order or you could unleash harmful spirits into the world.
The Eiffel Tower of New Orleans
Where: 2040 St Charles Street, New Orleans
A little piece of Paris in Louisiana ... Although it doesn't look much like much, Restaurant de La Tour Eiffel is part of the original tower in France, which served as a restaurant and hosted some of history's most notable names like Picasso and Charlie Chaplin. In the 1980s it was taken down from the tower and eventually reassembled in the great US of A. Now it stands as an eatery, venue for events, and a hip spot for love-struck couples.
Chauvin Sculpture Garden
Where: 5337 Bayouside Dr, Chauvin
Who doesn't love a garden full of colorful sculptures? Seriously this place is like a picture from a fairytale story come to life. More than two decades ago, creator and sculpture Kenny Hill transformed this otherwise-bland piece of property into a canvas for his art, mainly focusing on creating sculptures representing a biblical reference or some part of his life. As part of the art center, people today are able to freely continue to admire his work.
Where: Louisiana 329 & Main Road, Avery Island
This 170-acre botanical garden offers visitors more than just plants and local wildlife; here you will find hints of Asian culture thrown into the mix, quite a lot of it, so don't be surprised if you catch yourself wondering if you've somehow warped the space-time continuum and teleported to the other side of the world — plus everyone knows the only way you can quickly get to China is by digging in the sand at the beach.
Where: 214 Royal St, New Orleans
This place gives "getting dizzy" a whole new meaning. Just as the name suggests, the Carousel Bar is a unique one — to say the least — as the only thing we can think of that pairs so well with alcohol has definitely got to be a spinning bar. Thankfully the bar spins slowly, usually giving any inebriated visitors plenty enough chance to hop off before any accidents occur.
Museum of the American Cocktail
Where: 500 Port of Orleans Place, Suite 169
When you hear the word "museum" you automatically think of some boring old history, right? Well, if you didn't guess from the name, the Museum of the American Cocktail is tastefully different. This alcohol-friendly museum features everything mix-drink related from the beginning of when the word "cocktail" was coined ... And of course, the measure would not be complete without the option to sample some delicious cocktails. Talk about the perfect place for a #foodblogger.
Where: Ken Road, Erath
A beautiful lake with an unsettling history (every pun intended). Lake Peigneur started out as a normal freshwater lake, but humans have a history of messing things up especially with nature, and after a drilling incident on November 20, 1980, the lake has never been the same. To make a long story short, a drilling crew that was working in the lake at the time drilled a little too far into the diamond crystal salt mine below, causing a massive vortex which eventually turned the entire lake from freshwater to saltwater and engulfing miles of the surrounding town within it. And you thought you had a bad day at work.
Abita Mystery House
Where: 22275 Hwy 36, Abita Springs
LA is full of unique museums, but the Abita Mystery House perhaps trumps them all. With everything from alien figurines to a half-dog half-alligator and just about everything wacky and strange in between, you can bet this place will leave you questioning the sanity of the human race.
Mardi Gras World
Where: 1380 Port of New Orleans Pl.
The celebration of Mardi Gras is a pretty big deal in Louisiana, so it's not surprising that an entire warehouse full of Mardi Gras floats and decor is one of the main attractions of the area. This workshop is where most of the annual floats are created, so if you time your visit right you might be one of the first to see the new additions for the year!
New Orleans' Historic Voodoo Museum
Where: 724 Dumaine St, New Orleans
Voodoo is to Louisiana as Catholicism is to Rome and the New Orleans' Historic Voodoo Museum is here to tell you all about it. From voodoo dolls to ritualistic items and even Mardi Gras beads, this museum has thousands of items all relating to the religion oh-so-popular in this state.
Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo
Where: 739 Bourbon St, New Orleans
While we are on the topic of Voodoo, just when you need to get some items for your ritual, Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo has you covered. Named after America's most notable Voodoo Queen, this is the go-to spot for anyone in need of anything Voodoo related. Speaking of which I need to get a few Voodoo dolls...for science, I swear.
LIGO Livingston Observatory
Where: 19100 LIGO Lane, Livingston
You don't have to be a science guru to appreciate the LIGO Livingston Observatory. This secluded base is the one and only place with the world's largest precision optical instrument used to detect Einstein's elusive gravity waves, and discoveries are still being made to this day. Tours of the facility can be scheduled.
The Singing Oak
Where: 1701 Wisner Blvd, New Orleans
At first glance, this may appear to be just a normal tree offering passer-bys some rest and reprieve from the sun's harmful rays but if you look (or listen, rather) a little closer you will see it serves even more purpose than that. It's actually been turned into a natural symphony with the help of an array of wind chimes systematically placed throughout the branches to produce a carefully tuned melody.