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8 real pirate havens worth a visit

By: Josh Lew on Aug. 5, 2014, 10:08 a.m.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Photo: Ken Lund/Flickr

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Barataria, Louisiana

Near New Orleans in the famous Louisiana bayous, Barataria was a base for the famous pirate and smuggler Jean Lafitte. Lafitte's success as a pirate drew many of his peers to Barataria, and it quickly grew from a backwater hideout to a major hub for smuggling.

Lafitte sold his booty to local merchants and middlemen in New Orleans. He even captured Spanish slave ships and sold the slaves to Louisiana's many plantation owners. Lafitte was given a pardon for his piracy after agreeing to help U.S. forces during the War of 1812. Today Barataria is part of the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve. Though pirate artifacts are hard to come by in the park, you can explore the landscapes where Lafitte and his army of smuggling pirates thrived more than 200 years ago.