Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure surrounded by stunning natural landscape or party time in vibrant cities, Louisiana holidays are full of fun and excitement.
If you’re after a wild and frenetic city full of culture, head to New Orleans during Mardi Gras for the ultimate street party, where you’re bound to have the time of your life. It isn’t just about nature and parties in Louisiana, though. There’s plenty of history to discover in the state too. History buffs will find a visit to one of Louisiana’s many ancient plantations, such as the Frogmore Cotton Plantation, fascinating.
The mesmerising village museum of Vermilionville is another place we recommend you visit. You can learn about the history, culture and traditions of the Native Americans, Acadians and Creoles of the Attakapas area during the 1700s to 1800s.
Discover wildlife on Louisiana holidays
Home to rugged wilderness, the long-snaking Mississippi River, and tons of Bayous swamps and rivers, Louisiana state holidays offer plenty of opportunities to discover the wildlife of the region.
If you dare to seek out American alligators and American crocodiles, head to one of Louisiana’s eerie and marshy swamplands on a boat tour. Yu cansearch for the beasts that hide among the gloomy waters. Or, drive along the scenic Creole Nature Trail, which is affectionately known as ‘Louisiana’s outback’. The region is home to wild and rugged terrain where you can keep an eye out for more roaming American alligators and over 400 species of birds. There are also plenty of green parks and gardens where can lounge and soak up the fresh air – without the worry of wandering alligators.
Great sample itineraries
Get inspired by our selection of popular itineraries for Louisiana holidays. With so many options for your Louisiana holiday, we recommend you talk to one of our Destination Specialists to make the perfect tailor-made holiday just for you. Team your trip with a road trip in the Deep South or further out in the USA.
Multi Holiday Nashville Memphis New Orleans
Louisiana offers visitors a wide range of experiences from lively cities such as New Orleans and Baton Rouge where historic architecture meets modern achievement to unique small towns and the untamed beauty of the intricate swamps and bayous. Visit vineyards and local breweries, stop at the Tabasco factory to discover how this word famous sauce is made or learn how to cook a local speciality. Get in touch with nature on a forest trail hike, swamp tour or kayaking along one of the state’s many, lakes, rivers and bayous. Discover the unique history of the region on a guided tour and uncover the mystical legends of the Rougarou, vampires and voodoo which the region is famous for. Sample delicious local cuisine from freshly caught crawfish etouffée and fried oyster po-boys to sugar laden beignets, and enjoy expertly mixed cocktails from the state where they originated. And be sure to join the party. Louisiana is known for its many festivals with over 400 happening annually, from the world-famous Mardi Gras celebrations, countless food festivals like the Louisiana Seafood Festival and musical events like Shreveport’s Mudbug Madness Festival to the Central Louisiana Outdoor Adventure Festival, so no matter when you plan to visit there’s sure to be something going on.
This vibrant city is brimming with attractions, take a stroll through the lively historic French Quarter with its beautiful wrought iron balconies overlooking the cobbled streets brimming with bars, restaurants and jazz joints. Join a walking tour to discover the rich history of this fascinating city. Try a breakfast beignet from the Café du Monde in the French Market or jump on a traditional streetcar to visit the beautiful Garden District.
Visit historic antebellum houses, where the history and culture of Louisiana over the centuries is brought to life, exploring Cajun and Creole cooking, embarking on swamp and river tours of the Mississippi River. Just a short drive from the plantations of the Great River Road area you will find the Louisiana’s capital city, Baton Rouge. Home to the beautiful Old State Capitol building, the LSU Museum of art and some fantastic riverside restaurants and bars.
Located in Southwest Louisiana the unique Cajun country is known as the land of “fais do do” and zydeco music and legend of the Rougarou. Dubbed as the happiest city in America, Lafayette is the capital of Cajun Country. Head downtown and learn some Cajun and Zydeco dance moves or try your hand making a local delicacy, Boudin. Enjoy local brews and live music or escape the city and explore the swamps by kayak or airboat. Lake Charles offers a diverse menu of historic and cultural attractions, world famous cuisine, outdoors adventure and world-class casinos. Explore the stunning scenery along the Creole Nature Trail and keep your camera handy to capture an instragram worthy photo of the local wildlife.
Louisiana is as respected for its music as it is for its food and has more festivals than any other state in the USA. This is the birthplace of jazz, where zydeco, swamp-pop and brass-hop can be heard at regular intervals on the streets of New Orleans. Further north Louisiana Blues is a key influencer on the world music scene. This is also Rock 'n Roll country where Jerry Lee Lewis rose to fame and the Louisiana Hayride launched the careers of Hank Williams and Elvis Presley.
Explore the great outdoors
Answer the call of the wild in Louisiana - Discover an authentic Louisiana and its wildlife on a Cajun swamp tour through the remarkable bayous, wetlands and swamps, where ancient cypress trees bearded with Spanish moss create a mysterious landscape that has captivated visitors for centuries. Discover alligators and turtles, snakes and egrets as well as blue herons and raccoons, white tailed deer and bald eagles. This is a landscape where change is the only constant from the shifting waters of the Mississippi that shape the land. New Orleans, for example, is surrounded by marshland, fed from the Mississippi River and these waterways form some of its most treasured natural habitats.
Mardi Gras happens all over Louisiana - not just New Orleans. The origins of the festival can be traced to medieval Europe. Its literal translation is ‘Fat Tuesday’; the last day for eating food before fasting for Lent begins. Visitors to the city often remark how similar New Orleans is to European cities, most notably the French Quarter. The Mardi Gras epitomises Louisiana’s unique character. From the bayous in the south to the savannahs of the north and encompassing Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette - Louisiana is a fascinating layer cake of charm, food and music with a cultural heritage that runs as deep as the Mississippi.
Try the local cuisine
Louisiana cuisine is home to two types of exciting culinary styles – Cajun and creole. Creole is a mix of Portuguese, Native American, and African whereas Cajun cooking travelled south with the Canadian French-speaking Arcadians who settled in Louisiana. These signature dishes are typical of the mix of cultures in Louisiana, recipes have been evolving in kitchens throughout the state for hundreds of years and are as popular now as they have ever been. Gumbo - When it comes to Louisiana cuisine, names are a big clue to the different cultural origins. Gumbo (possibly from the Choctaw word kombo) is a type of stew containing meat or fish and vegetables. Jambalaya - A Creole dish of Spanish origin this delicious Louisiana speciality is similar to paella served with shellfish or meat. Etouffée (ay-too-fay) - Etouffée refers to a Cajun cooking process called ‘smothering’ and usually involves shellfish served over rice. Beignets - These little deep-fried choux pastry treats dusted with icing sugar are perfect with coffee to kick start your mornings in New Orleans.
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“If you want to take a swamp tour to see the snakes and alligators, visit during the summer months of July through until September. Alligators prefer to hide away during the cold weather.”
“Visiting a plantation is a harrowing and beautiful experience. It’s a must experience on any holiday to the Deep South to truly understand history.”
Events & Festivals
Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Louisiana holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.
Louisiana Pirate Festival
Taking place around the end of April and beginning of May, experience music, carnival rides, Southern food and pirates at the Louisiana Pirate Festival. This family-friendly event offers plenty of fun and games for everyone, including cannon demonstrations, costume contests and arts and crafts.
The Original Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival
The Original Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival is held at the end of March every year and celebrates all things crawfish. This themed festival promotes the significance of the crawfish season and how the seafood industry has benefited Louisiana. You'll be entertained with delicious seafood, local Cajun music, a vibrant parade and lots more fun.
Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Louisiana holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.
Po’ Boy Sandwich
Louisiana is renowned for its hearty and meaty Cajun and Creole cuisine that’s steeped with historical influences. On your Louisiana holiday, tuck into a mouth=watering po’ boy sandwich. This consists of a hearty sub that is jam-packed with fried shrimp, crawfish, oysters or roast beef.
Another dish to try while in Louisiana is jambalaya. This is andouille sausage, shrimp or chicken served over a concoction of chillies, onions, garlic and Creole-spiced rice.
Our Louisiana destinations
Types of Louisiana holidays
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