Everybody thinks they know about Louisiana. After all, the state is the site of the world's largest Mardi Gras celebration and HBO's newest TV hit "True Detective" - what else is there to know?

However, one of the best things about the Pelican state is just how diverse and eclectic it is. From creepy museums to riverboat gambling, Louisiana has a whole lot more than most people know, making it one of the most interesting, eclectic, and ultimately entertaining states in the Union.

It is because of that fact that we, here at Traveler's Today, have listed below 5 things you didn't know you could do in Louisiana, fun activities that will take you beyond the French Quarter and plunge you into the unbelievable character the state has to offer.

5. Voodoo Museum 

One of the thing's almost everybody knows about Louisiana is the rich, Creole folk tradition that consumes so much of its heritage and history. But what many people don't know is that there's actually a whole museum dedicated to that tradition.

Indeed, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum is the only place in the country that fully dedicates itself to the magic and supernatural qualities of New Orleans tradition, with collections of old voodoo puppets, occult ritual garb, and all the other accoutrements of a so-called "swamp" witch. But don't worry - while the museum might be a little creepy, it's more historical than scary, meaning even the most cowardly among you will enjoy a visit here.

4. Louisiana's "Other Side" - Shreveport-Bossier

Known as Louisiana' s "Other Side," the towns of Shreveport and Bossier are best known for their gambling facilities, with some of the best casinos (both on land and on the river) in the South.

However, for those interested in something a little more family-friendly, the Shreveport-Bossier area is also home to the Sci-Port Louisiana Science Center, a 92,000 square foot facility meant to provide education in STEM programs for all ages, the R.W. Norton Art Museum, one of the greatest art collections in the South, and the Splash Kingdom Water Park, an amusement park which is sure to cool you and your family down after a long day of exploring. All that's to say that Louisiana's "Other Side" is one of the most diverse places in the state - certainly worth a visit if you're ever able to drag yourself out of New Orleans.

3. NOLA History 

New Orleans is certainly a fun place. However, what often goes unappreciated is that all of that fun is rooted in a history of national, and sometimes international import. From the famous Cabildo, the location where the Louisiana Purchase was signed, to the St. Louis Cathedral, the United States' oldest Cathedral still-in-use, to the New Orleans Cemetery, an enormous field housing the bodies of Homer Plessy and Marie Leveau, practically every corner of the Creole City houses some interesting or unique historical artifact.

Better yet, by taking one of the city's many bus-tours, you can get not only a firmer grasp on the history of the place you're staying in, but also an escape from the city's often-oppressive heat, an advantage that you won't be able to afford missing out on.

2. Swamp Tours

The penultimate item on the list is also one of the most bizarre and unusual qualities of Louisiana for those not native to the South. Indeed, the unbelievable wildlife you can see on a tour of the swamp - including alligators, who approach, and sometimes even try and board the airboats that provide tours - is almost entirely unique to the Cajun wetlands. Furthermore, if a traditional swamp-tour doesn't satisfy your craving for animal-life, consider visiting Insta-Gator Ranch and Hatchery with your little ones, a farm where you can actually touch baby gators and the eggs they come out of. In short, if nature is even slightly your thing, a Cajun swamp tour should be on your bucket-list, one of the most interesting and unusual insights into an ecological system you're likely to find anywhere in the world. 

1. Jazz

However, the number one spot is reserved for something maybe even more iconic than Mardi Gras - Jazz. From Louis Armstrong to Steamboat Willie, some of the most important and legendary jazz musicians in the country have called New Orleans home. Add to that iconic venues like Preservation Hall and the Steamboat Natchez, and you've got the jazz capital of the world, a place where almost every corner and alley is filled with the classic Dixieland music. Which is why, ultimately, the jazz scene of Louisiana is the best thing about the state that you didn't know, a rich cultural heritage just ready to be explored by you and your family on your next big trip.