When my family moved to America, they settled in Louisiana for my father's job. I lived in Louisiana for about 9 months after I finished my undergrad in South Africa, before my home country called me back. Louisiana is definitely a unique state. Louisiana is a very friendly state and for the most part, everyone is polite, well-mannered and incredibly friendly and hospitable. They have some good food as well such as jambalaya and gumbo. I just couldn't stomach the deep-fried food on a continuous basis!
My family lived in Baton Rouge, the state capital, about an hour from New Orleans. New Orleans is another adventure altogether, and I still love the city. It is crazy town. There is a distinct vibe and feel to the city. It's like some kind of magic. It's hard to describe what it is, but I always found this strange, magical under current whenever I visited. Maybe I'm just crazy, or maybe it's all the stories I've read and heard about of New Orleans. Whatever it is, it is definitely a city to visit. Whether you're going for Mardi Gras or the epic parties on Bourbon St (if you love live music, this is your haven), or to wander around the French Quarter, you will have a wonderful time in New Orleans.
If you have the chance, a swamp tour or a visit to Oak Alley is a must. Oak Alley Plantation is my favorite spot in Louisiana. There is an alley of oak trees that were planted there in the 18th Century, before the plantation home itself was even built. The oak tree alley runs from the house to the banks of the Mississippi river. It is absolutely stunning!
If there is one thing that I learned quickly in Louisiana, it was that football is not just a sport or past time. It's a religion. You always see a lot of purple and gold (Tiger colors) in Louisiana, and I think they are some of the most hardcore supporters. They are not kidding when they say they bleed purple and gold. I've met or bumped into many Tigers fans in South Africa! I had a cap that I had bought in Louisiana for a game day and whenever I happened to wear it in a more touristy area, I would always have someone come up to me to talk Louisiana or Tigers. And yes, occasionally I have struck up a conversation with a Tigers fan in South Africa! It's a state with a blending of unique food, friendly people, and an obsession with football and music. Definitely an interesting state to visit!