73 Fun Things to do in Louisiana
Here is a list of things to do in Louisiana should you be looking for something to do. They are not in any particular order, so do not think that they are from worst to best, least to greatest or vice-versa because they are not. The last number could be just as good of a thing do in Louisiana as number 1. I hope you enjoy this list. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
- Spend a haunted night at Myrtle’s Plantation – Myrtle’s Plantation is located in St. Francisville. It is claimed to be one of the most haunted places in Louisiana. Book a night with them, see if you can make it through the night.
- Eat Crawfish – Crawfish are a traditional food in the state of Louisiana. Crawfish are usually eaten in the spring months of the year. Each family or restaurant has their own special seasonings or spices that they put in their recipe for crawfish, but they typically have a similar flavor regardless of who cooks them.
- Deep sea fishing – Deep sea fishing and marsh fishing are two large industries in Louisiana. Part of this is because seafood is a large part of local cuisine, but also because the abundant amount of water access from the Louisiana coast. Louisiana has a fairly sizable coastline in comparison to its geographic size. We also have multiple lakes, swamps, and ponds.
- Hunt duck and geese – Louisiana isn’t called Sportsman’s Paradise for nothing. There are plenty of outdoor activities to do. If you like to fish, then fish; if you like to hunt, you can hunt duck, geese, and more. There are several areas within the state that are known for good hunting.
- Mardi Gras – Mardi Gras is a huge tradition in Louisiana. A visitor can experience Mardi Gras in multiple ways. Obviously, the largest and most famous would be New Orleans. Lafayette also has a good Mardi Gras, which is like a smaller cousin to the one that New Orleans puts on. Most small towns have a Mardi Gras as well. The original Mardi Gras is in Mamou.
- Cajun dancing – Cajun dancing is a style of dancing that is unique to Louisiana. There are several variations of Cajun music. Zydeco is one of these.
- Take a tour of the State Capitol building – The State Capitol of Louisiana is the tallest state capitol building in the United States. It is an interesting building, and it has an even more interesting history.
- Schuck an oyster – Oysters are another popular type of food commonly ordered in the State. You can order oysters on the half-shell. The old rule of thumb, was to eat oysters during months spelled with the letter “r”, but that has changed some due to advances in technology.
- Hold an alligator – Alligators are marvels of the time. They are like modern dinosaurs that still roam the Earth. Witnessing an alligator is like seeing an evolutionary freak in real-life. Alligators are survivors. Holding one is a cool experience.
- LSU Football Game – LSU Football is a cult in Louisiana. People seriously sacrifice everything to go to the “Game” on a Saturday night. They say that there is nothing like a Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. Check one out and find out for yourself.
- Acadian Village – Acadian Village is a piece of property in Lafayette where there are several Acadian-style homes. These homes were created to show how these houses looked back in the day. During Christmas, there is an incredible light show and festival at Acadian Village. There are live bands and entertainment.
- Jazz Festival – Jazz Music and Heritage Festival is the most famous festival in Louisiana. Drawing crowds from across the globe, the festival centers around expressing New Orlean’s culture heritage and jazz music traditions. The Festival not only brings in a diverse crowd, but also hosts different varieties of music.
- Have a drink on Bourbon Street – Bourbon Street, however touristy it may be, is still one of the most famous party streets world-wide. Known for its unending late nights and open attitude, Bourbon Street is annually the party destination for hundreds of thousands of Louisiana visitors.
- Take a trolley down St. Charles Avenue – Tracking through part of the Garden District in New Orleans, St. Charles is one of the most beautiful and famous streets in New Orleans. The street is lined with mansions and beautiful live oak trees. The trolley system services the street. You can hop on the Trolley and take a ride down St. Charles Avenue.
- Attend a Cochon de lait – A cochon de lait is basically a pig roast. Thanks to the Europeans, Louisiana has tons of pigs. Really big pigs to be exact. Pork is also a common ingredient in food from Louisiana. On some days, people will get a pig and roast it all day in a cochon de lait meaning “pig roast” in Cajun French.
- St. Francisville – St. Francisville is slightly north of Baton Rouge. It is a quant and small town area where you can really get the feel of Old South Louisiana. St. Francisville is a historic main street Louisiana town.
- Cafe des amis – Cafe des Amis, located in Breaux Bridge Louisiana, is the ultimate Cajun breakfast experience. Breaux Bridge, known for its strong Cajun Heritage, gives Cafe des amis the feel of Louisiana while serving delicious Cajun cuisine. While eating, you can enjoy the sounds of live Cajun music from a local band. Saturday mornings are the best, be sure to get there early!
- Vermillionville – Vermillionville is a unique place to visit in Lafayette Louisiana. You can really gain an appreciation for the Cajun culture by visiting Vermillionville. Vermillionville is near the Lafayette Airport. There are several Acadian-style homes set up like a village and you can take the time to watch a video on the history of the Cajuns.
- Chicot State Park – Chichot State Park is one of the major state parks in Louisiana. There is a large lake, hiking, boating, and other outdoor events for the entire family to enjoy.
- Walk LSU Campus (Baton Rouge) – LSU’s campus in Baton Rouge is definitely one of the more picturesque campuses that I have visited. There are many large live oak trees with hanging moss as well as large grassy fields and styled buildings.
- Ghost Tours – Take a walk on the dark side in New Orleans by participating in a ghost tour. New Orleans is a perfect place for people who are interested in other realms because of its colorful history.
- Check out an old cemetery – Louisiana has old cemeteries as it is one of the older European settlements in the United States. New Orleans in particular has many of these, but there are plenty of others spread out around the state. Cemeteries are typically above ground in southern Louisiana due to the high water table in the ground.
- Eat alligator – Alligator meat is considered to be a delicacy in Louisiana. It is most commonly served as an appetizer blackened or fried. You can also get alligator in a sauce piccante. Recipes will vary by family. Alligator meat is not commonly sold in supermarkets, but it can be found at most Cajun restaurants.
- Joy ride down river road – River road is the road that follows the levee, which guides the Mississippi River. Bikers and joy riders will be happily surprised at the drive down south as it can be quite scenic and it is rarely traveled. Most major plantations between Baton Rouge and New Orleans are near river road.
- Spend the night at Tfrere’s – Tfrere’s in Lafayette is a haunted bed and breakfast. Is it really haunted? Stay for the night and find out for yourself. Here is a link to them.
- Visit an Indian reservation – Before the arrival of the Europeans, several major Indian tribes existed in Louisiana. The Atakapa, Houma, and Choctaw are among the major groups, but there are several more. Most of the reservations house casinos, but you can still find tribesman living in society around the southern part of the state.
- Gamble at a casino – Casinos are big business in Louisiana. Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Marksville, Lake Charles, and Shreveport host the largest casinos. Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans is just outside of the French Quarter on Canal Street. Baton Rouge recently built L’Auberge. Marksville is also a known destination for gamblers and entertainers.
- Halloween on Frenchman Street – Frenchman Street in New Orleans, is a place where locals go to party. Contrary to popular belief, Bourbon Street is not the answer to most people in Louisiana. Frenchman Street is a fun place to pass a Halloween, and it is right around the corner, hmm…
- Take a river boat cruise – Taking a river boat cruise is like putting yourself back into the 18th-19th Century and experiencing all of those stories like Huckleberry Finn first hand. River boat cruises are frequently taken from New Orleans. You can take short excursions between the zoo and the aquarium.
- Walk the levees – Walking the levees can be a fun way to get some exercise while appreciating the power and might of the Mississippi River. On most levee tops, there is a nice track for running, biking, walking, and occasionally skating.
- Visit the Aquarium – There is only one major aquarium in Louisiana, which is The Aquarium of Americas in New Orleans. Located at the edge of the French Quarter, it is a Louisiana landmark of a sorts. They have some really exotic exhibits and fish from across the globe. For an all day event, you can catch an IMAX film and take a riverboat cruise to the Audubon Zoo.
- St. Patrick’s Day parade in Baton Rouge – St. Patrick’s Day has become a huge tradition in the United States. Perhaps because it is just another excuse to party, the glorified holiday celebrates the life of St. Patrick the Irishmen. In true Irish spirit, the parade in Baton Rouge has grown quite substantially and is well-known as a party day.
- Voodoo Festival – Voodoo Festival is one of the largest music festivals in Louisiana. Common referred to as Voodoo fest by locals, the fest is a fun time bringing in some popular and hip bands.
- See the damage left by Katrina – Katrina still affects Louisianans as well as other people from the Gulf Coast. Although, New Orleans has moved on, damage is still prevalent in several areas around the city. There are great reconstruction efforts going on, but there is still work to do.
- Learn the true meaning of Laissez les bon temps rouler – Cajun French was the premier language of southern Louisiana Cajuns up until about 50 years ago. Several phrases are commonly said by locals, one of these laissez les bon temp rouler. This phrase, literally translates into “let the good times roll.”
- Visit the swamp at ULL and see a sporting event – The University of Louisiana Lafayette, or ULL, is the university that serves the Lafayette community. The school is home to the only on campus swamp in the country as well as being the center for education for the Cajun people. Have some Ragin Cajun Pride and stop by.
- Oak Alley – Oak Alley is a really neat plantation. Its picturesque live oaks seem as if they are right out of a movie. Oak Alley remains one of the most well-preserved and scenic plantations in the State of Louisiana.
- Take an air boat ride – Air boat rides are something that you would not likely find in too many places. They are popular in Louisiana because the terrain allows for frequent use of them. Air boat rides are a great excuse to go cruising through the swamps. Some people use them for commercial purposes such as swamp tours, crawfish farming, and alligator hunting, but many use them for recreational purposes as well.
- Speak Cajun French – Cajun French is a dialect of French that is unique to Louisiana. Its closest relative derives from Quebec Canada. You can still find people in Louisiana whose native language is French.
- Eat gumbo – Gumbo is a stew that is commonly cooked by families and restaurants in Louisiana. The recipes differ depending on who is cooking, but you can typically get seafood or chicken and sausage gumbo. It can be spicy, but is also cooked mild in flavoring.
- Visit a zoo – The largest zoo in Louisiana is the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. It was the most famous for many years until the rise of the Zoo of Acadiana in Broussard near Lafayette. The Zoo of Acadiana has been under great management and leadership over the past few years and has been making a large impact in the local community. If you are in either area, they are definitely worth the visit.
- Walk the French Quarter – The French Quarter is the most famous district in New Orleans. One cannot get more European in America than the French Quarter. The architecture is mostly 18th century Spanish.
- Festival international – Festival International de Louisiane is the most popular festival in Lafayette. Every year the Festival takes place in April. The Festival brings in music and people from around the world, and embraces the connection between the Cajun people and their French heritage.
- Drive across Causeway – Currently,the second longest bridge in the world standing at 24 miles long, Causeway bridge was formerly the largest over water bridge in the world. Driving across from the North shore, you can begin to see the silhouette of Downtown New Orleans from a few miles out.
- Nottoway Plantation – Nottoway plantation is not as famous as Oak Alley, but it is still a nice plantation. They have set it up as a bed and breakfast, and it is a great place to stop by for a weekend outing. It may be a good option for you the next time that you want a quick getaway.
- Festival of Lights Natchitoches – Every Christmas Natchitoches (pronounced Na-coh-dish in Louisiana) has the Festival of Lights. It is a really nice place to visit during this time, and a great family event. Also the setting of the Steel Magnolias movie.
- Have a Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s piano bar in New Orleans – Pat O’Brien’s piano bar in New Orleans is classic New Orleans. Pat O’s is famous for its Hurricane, which is a local drink named in honor of the storms that frequent the Gulf Coast region.
- Avery Island – Avery Island is home to McIlhenny’s farm, the producer of Tabasco hot sauce. There are a lot of activities to do on the island, and it is well worth the visit. The island has the factory, botanical gardens, a bird sanctuary as well as many species of wild animal. You can take a tour of the plant to see how Tabasco is made.
- Watch horse races – Evangeline Downs racetrack is Louisiana’s finest horse racing track. Located just north of Lafayette near Opelousas, the facility is brand new. Get your racing kick at the track.
- Blue Dog Cafe – Blue Dog Cafe in Lafayette is known for its Sunday morning brunch. The theme “blue dog” originated from a local artist who has become quite famous. His name, George Rodrigue, from New Iberia Louisiana, and he is very famous for drawing a small blue dog in many different settings. The blue dog is famous in Louisiana.
- Savoy’s – Famous for its Mamou two-step, Savoy’s headed by local Cajun music legend Marc Savoy and his wife is a staple in south Louisiana. Marc and his wife do a lot to preserve the culture of Louisiana and their culture heritage by keeping the music and Cajun french alive. For an authentic feel and real good taste of the music check them out.
- Shadows on the Teche – Shadow’s on the Teche is an antebellum house in New Iberia Louisiana. The house is well-preserved and gives a great historical picture of the 19th century in southern Louisiana. You can check them out here.
- Bird Watching at Lake Martin – Lake Martin is one of my favorite things to do in Louisiana when I am near home just joy riding. I like to go to Lake Martin because it is a close swamp-like lake full of wildlife. There are tons of turtles, alligators, and a variety of species of birds. If you like to bird watch and want to knock off a few species consider Lake Martin as a stopping point.
- Jefferson Island – Jefferson Island is another scenic place to visit in Louisiana. Jefferson Island, home to Rip Van Winkle Gardens, is available for tours and cottage rentals.
- Antique shopping in Washington – If you like to see a bunch of random things for sale with a small town Louisiana feel, then you’d probably enjoy shopping on a Sunday afternoon in Washington at the Antique market. There are multiple vendors and the market takes place at the old school-house. Washington is a main-street town. Once you have worked up your appetite be sure to check out the little café with delicious Cajun cuisine. Check out an article on the event here.
- Chase the chickens in Mamou – Mamou is where the original Mardi Gras came from. Not exactly the Mardi Gras that you think of. Not the commercial Mardi Gras with big floats and balls. The Mardi Gras where a bunch of people get dressed up with masks and clothes, get boozed up, and chase chickens while mounting horses. That’s right, you can actually see this still going on.
- Eat oysters at Acme – The most famous restaurant to eat oysters in Louisiana is Acme Oyster house. Acme Oyster house, originally in New Orleans, now has restaurants in Baton Rouge and on the north shore in downtown Covington.
- Fred’s Lounge – Another landmark in Mamou is Fred’s lounge. Fred’s Lounge has been featured on many different networks and is even listed as a must visit. Cajun music is sure to be present. Dance , dance, dance!
- Eat Boudin – Boudin is another interesting and unique food that you should try in Louisiana. Originally, boudin was sausage-like objects filled with rice, meat, and seasonings. The lining that they used was typically the intestines of some animal, such as a pig. This is no longer the case. Boudin is now made with a synthetic lining, but it is still filled with a bunch of goodness. I am not sure exactly what kind of goodness, but it is some sort of meat, with rice and seasoning. Boudin has evolved into boudin balls (fried boudin), boudin stuffed foods, and even boudin pizza.
- Chalmette Battle fields – In Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve, there are some famous battlefields from the War of 1812. You can go and take the tour to see how important the City of New Orleans was in the War with the British.
- Central grocery muffaletta -Yet another delicious food item in Louisiana would be a muffaletta in New Orleans. New Orleans Italians have left quite an impact on local cuisine. Cafe Maspero and other restaurants are notably remnants of the Sicilian’s who settled in Louisiana and New Orleans.
- Governor Leche house – Much like Chicago, Louisiana politics are famous for their farcical and corrupt politicians of old. Several famous places, even Tiger Stadium, emerged out of shady Louisiana politics, Governor Leche’s house was no exception. The house, or what remains of it, is located in Mandeville just outside of Covington. There isn’t too much left of the house, but there is a nature walk behind the house with alligators, birds, and other wildlife that is quite nice for an afternoon walk.
- Take a leisurely paddle in a canoe – Canoes are boats that were created by the Indians. Canoes, which were originally handmade, are still quite useful in the bayous of Louisiana. Although most of the major rivers are navigable, some bayous and creeks are not navigable by larger boats. Therefore, it is essential to have a smaller and lighter boat.
- Meddle with Swashbuckling pirates and Voodoo on Pirate’s Alley – Pirate’s Alley to the side of Jackson Square in New Orleans was the old stomping grounds of the Caribbean pirates. These pirates used to trade their illegal goods on this street. Presently, you can find artists, card readers, musicians, and yes maybe even a hint of Voodoo.
- Fountainbleau State Park – Located on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, the park is a nice place to spend a relaxing afternoon overlooking the lake or basking in the sun. The park is located in Mandeville just off of the Causeway.
- Eat Beignets at Cafe du Monde – Cafe du Monde is famous world-wide for its beignets. Beignets are like fried puffy dough with a mountain of powdered sugar on them. They are typically the late night go to food in New Orleans as it is open until late and conveniently located in the French Quarter.
- Go crabbing at Rockafeller’s Refuge – Crabbing is a nice past time with a positive result. You can go crabbing at Rockafeller’s Refuge, among others, and bring home a nice catch for a crab cooking.
- Tour Abita Brewing Company – Abita Brewing Company, is responsible for the brewing of Abita Beer. Abita has multiple types of beer that are produced throughout the year as well as a few seasonal beers. Abita Beer has grown substantially over the last decade and it is now much more than a micro brewery. It is Louisiana’s most famous beer!
- Attend one of the many festivals of Louisiana – Outside of the music festivals and festival international, Louisiana has a festival for just about everything. There is a Rice Festival, Frog Festival, Sugar Cane Festival, Crawfish Festival, Strawberry Festival, Oktoberfest, and many more. Find out when they are going on and get on board for a good time. (Thanks to Toby for the suggestion)
- Tiki Tubing – Tiki-tubing consists of floating down a river in a donut hole tube. There is usually copious amounts of drinking and relaxing that takes place, and it can be a great family event. There are a few places that you can tiki tube in Louisiana. The most famous two that I know of are: Tiki tubing in Denham Springs and the other is Tiki tubing Bogue Chitto in Bogalusa. For a small fee you can spend a couple of hours floating down a river. It might be a great way to beat the heat on a summer day.
- Bike or jog the Tammany Trace – The Tammany Trace is a famous concreted trail that runs through a 31 mile segment in St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana. It passes through several towns in Tammany including Abita Springs (The home of Abita brewing company). It is definitely a nice thing to do in Louisiana.
- Visit the Global Wildlife Center – The Global Wildlife Center located in Folsom Louisiana is one of the under talked about things to do in Louisiana. The Global Wildlife Center is similar to a zoo, but more like a range. The animals are not typically caged as they are in a zoo, and they are roaming free together. You get to see the animals in a more realistic habitat.
- Take a tour of Parish Brewing Company – Another great local brewery is Parish Brewing Company in Lafayette. Every Friday, Parish Brewing gives free tours and tasting from 4-6pm (16:00-18:00). Parish Brewing is located in Broussard, just a short ride from Lafayette. Support local businesses by checking out Parish Brewing for yet another fun thing to do in Louisiana.
Your turn, tell me what you think!
What are your favorite things to do in Louisiana? What do you want to visit most in Louisiana?
**Tags: things to do in Louisiana, fun things to do in Louisiana**
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One of my favorite things to do in Louisiana is go to the festivals. They are great fun as those Louisianan people are always looking to pass a good time. Great list!
You are right Barry, the festivals of Louisiana are definitely worth attending. Always a good time! Thanks for stopping by!
Great List! I just started a 30 day stay in New Orleans and you have added to my list of Things to Do!
Awesome Teri! I hope you have a blast. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions about Louisiana.
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