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Things to do in Louisiana

Things to do in  Louisiana

“Laissez les bon temps rouler!”

The living is easy in Louisiana, where “joie de vivre,” otherwise known as the good life, is the collective state of mind. New Orleans is the state of bon temps’ biggest draw, but travelers shouldn’t sleep on the likes of Baton Rouge, the Acadiana capital of Lafayette, or Lake Charles. Wherever you go, expect food and music to be at the heart of your trip.

Top 15 attractions in Louisiana

French Quarter

The French Quarter, with its vibrant atmosphere and unique blend of architectural styles, is easily New Orleans’ most famous and most popular area to visit. It's also the city's oldest neighborhood, and its elegant streets are lined with an appealing mix of lively bars—especially along the legendary Bourbon Street—historic monuments, delicious restaurants, and inviting jazz clubs.More

Garden District

New Orleans' Garden District is the epitome of Southern charm. Plantation-style mansions, which are among the most impressive in the city, feature wrap-around porches, verandas, and manicured gardens where there’s always something blooming. Streets are separated by stretches of green parks, and the historic cable car line runs along St. Charles Avenue.More

Mississippi River

A central character in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the mighty Mississippi River has long captured the American imagination. Originating in Minnesota and sweeping across 95 river miles (153 kilometers) south to New Orleans where it spits out into the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi is the largest river system in North America and has gained an almost mythical place in American history.More

LaLaurie Mansion

LaLaurie Mansion is not your regular tourist attraction. Also known as LaLaurie House, this French Quarter spot has a gruesome past involving torture, murder, and acts of brutality. The house is a regular stop on ghost tours of New Orleans and attracts visitors who want to learn more about the property’s spine-chilling history.More

Jackson Square

In the heart of the French Quarter lies Jackson Square, one of New Orleans’ most famous locations. A National Historic Landmark, it is home to St. Louis Cathedral and is often filled with locals and tourists who come to stroll the paths, catch the buskers and street performers in action, or just sit in the shade and watch the world go by.More

Oak Alley Plantation

Famed for the 300-year-old allée of live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss that flank its main entrance, Oak Alley Plantation has more to offer visitors than a quintessential view of a Southern plantation. Highlights include numerous exhibitions exploring the complexities of Southern and Louisiana history, 1,300 acres (526 hectares) of grounds, and the historic house itself—all within easy driving distance of New Orleans.More

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

This vintage apothecary in the French Quarter is a national historic landmark and the site of the first licensed pharmacist in the US. Shelves of potions, perfumes, surgical devices, and other questionable curiosities are on display behind the old-time soda fountain for a fascinating look into medical practices of the past. More

St. Louis Cathedral

A prominent landmark on Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral (officially the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis King of France) stands tall and proud, beckoning French Quarter visitors to take a little time out from drinking and dancing to admire the oldest continuously used cathedral in the United States. The seat of the city's Roman Catholic Archdiocese, the cathedral was built in 1789 and rebuilt in 1850, and today, its all-white, Spanish Colonial façade with three black spires is one of the most instantly recognizable landmarks in the South. The inside is just as beautiful.More

French Market

Located in the heart of New Orleans’ vibrant French Quarter, the French Market is a grand bazaar that serves as much as a cultural meeting place as it does a market space. In addition to hosting stall after stall of vendors hawking handmade goods and artisanal foods, the market doubles as a venue for a daily flea market and a twice-weekly farmers market. The French Market boasts the superlative as the oldest continuously operating open-air market in the United States, making it a part of living Louisiana history.More

Bourbon Street

The infamous Bourbon Street, also known as Rue Bourbon, conjures up images of endless partying, drinks of all shapes and sizes, bachelorette parties, and of course, Mardi Gras. Outside of Mardi Gras season, visitors flock to this playground of the South for its Creole restaurants, live music venues, souvenir shops, and well-known drinking establishments.More

New Orleans City Park

With picturesque stone bridges, botanical gardens, art and sculpture, theme parks, hundreds of centuries-old oak trees, and numerous waterways, City Park in New Orleans offers myriad reasons to spend a day outside. Join locals on the trails, visit the New Orleans Museum of Art, enjoy the 100-year-old carved wooden carousel, and much more.More

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest cemetery in New Orleans. Built in 1833 and ripe with ghost stories and the graves of notable New Orleans residents, this Garden District graveyard serves as the final resting place for more than 7,000 people. The cemetery gets its name from the old city of Lafayette, now part of New Orleans.More

Louis Armstrong Park

Located on the northeastern edge of the French Quarter, Louis Armstrong Park honors the most beloved and influential figure in New Orleans jazz history. With its trees, fountain, sculptures, and winding lagoon, the park offers a lovely respite from the bustle of Bourbon Street.More

Lake Pontchartrain

At 630 square miles (1,632 square kilometers), Lake Pontchartrain is one of the largest bodies of water in the US. It’s beloved by locals as a place to fish, sail, and swim, and its shores and waters shelter a huge variety of wildlife and marine life—look out for blue crabs, Atlantic stingrays, pelicans, ospreys, and even bull sharks.More

Royal Street

Known for its galleries, restaurants, and curio shops, Royal Street is just a block away from the bustle and grit of its famous big brother, Bourbon Street, but it still oozes historic French Quarter character. The iron-lace balconies of French and Spanish colonial buildings overlook upscale stores and courtyard cafés along this charming street. More

Top activities in Louisiana

New Orleans Airboat Ride

New Orleans Airboat Ride

New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter with Small-Group Option
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Oak Alley Plantation and Large Airboat Swamp Tour from New Orleans
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Haunted Pub Crawl in New Orleans

Haunted Pub Crawl in New Orleans

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Louisiana

Great experience! Guide...
Hayley_C, Mar. 2023
New Orleans Swamp Tour Boat Adventure
Guide was fun and informational :) I would recommend this tour to anyone wanting to visit the Louisiana swamp.
Great Trip
Tawnya_C, Feb. 2023
Honey Island Swamp Tour
It’s great to see another side of Louisiana and you never know what critters you’ll see.
Our experience
Jason_R, Jan. 2023
New Orleans Swamp Tour Boat Adventure
We had fun and got to see the swamp.
Whitney Trip
Ronald_T, Jan. 2023
Oak Alley or Laura Plantation Tour from New Orleans
Whole experience was rewarding - great to see other parts of Louisiana.
LA Adventures!
Jhoana_G, Nov. 2022
Oak Alley Plantation and Large Airboat Swamp Tour from New Orleans
Pro-tip: if youre gonna do this tour in the Louisiana winter, bundle up because the winds against your body on thw air boat are no joke!
Highly recommend this Oak...
Stephanie_L, Feb. 2023
Swamp Boat Ride and Oak Alley Plantation Tour from New Orleans
Definitely recommend checking out to get out of the city and experience the other attractions of Louisiana!
Swamp Tour- Not JUST a Gator Tour
Brie_T, Jan. 2023
New Orleans Large Airboat Swamp Tour
Don’t go on the tour during winter if your only was torn to see gators cause it might not happen!
Worthwhile culinary experience
Mary_M, Oct. 2022
New Orleans Demonstration Cooking Class & Meal
Anita Springs beer was later offered.
Must do!
Whitney_J, Oct. 2022
New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Boat Tour with Transportation
It’s a good escape outside of the city to see more of what Louisiana has to offer!
Amazing swamp tour.
Anna_S, Jul. 2022
New Orleans Small Group Airboat Swamp Tour
Watching the summer storm rolling in over the Louisiana marsh was the most amazing experience.
Recommend ZipNOLA
Albert_W, Jul. 2022
New Orleans Zipline Swamp Tour
Excellent experience brought my daughter to New Orleans for summer vacation and this was something different to see and do while in Louisiana.
Connecting with Nature
Steven_J, Apr. 2022
Small-Group Manchac Magic Kayak Swamp Tour with Local Guide
The kayaks allow for silent travel so as not to disturb the gators, snakes, turtles and birds that we were able to see in their natural habitats.
Delightful tour
Nathaniel_M, Apr. 2022
Small-Group Airboat and Plantations Tour with Gourmet Lunch from New Orleans
It gave the opportunity to see rural Louisiana.
Very enjoyable & informative history cruise!
Simona_M, Feb. 2022
Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Historic Mississippi River Cruise
It was great to see parts of the city from a different perspective.
Love the bayou
LoriA_L, May 2021
90-Minute Jean Lafitte Swamp and Bayou Tour
Beautiful area of Louisiana to see and fun to look for alligators!
Capt. Paco ROCKs The Bayou!
Nancy_T, May 2021
New Orleans Small Group Airboat Swamp Tour
It was an incredible experience to get to see the beautiful waterways of Louisiana and hear the tales told in the language of the locals.
Two amazing experiences in one day!
Renee_S, May 2021
Oak Alley Plantation and Large Airboat Swamp Tour from New Orleans
It was also very interesting to visit the plantation.
Fun day ride on an Airboat
Pamela_P, Apr. 2021
New Orleans Airboat Ride
Great way to see the Louisiana Bayou!
Great for the value!
Haley_S, Apr. 2021
Destrehan Plantation and Swamp Tour Combo from New Orleans
The swamp tour was very fun and a great way to see another side of Louisiana!
Fun get-out-of-the-city adventure
Wendy_A, Mar. 2021
Small-Group Bayou Airboat Ride with Transport from New Orleans
Fun to see some of Louisiana outside of New Orleans- lots of gators as promised.
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All about Louisiana

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People Also Ask

What is Louisiana famous for?

Travelers to Louisiana should expect great Cajun and Creole food, blues and jazz music, and an easygoing attitude that enjoys letting the good times roll. The southern state has a major influence on American culture and a rich history that encompasses a wide variety of cultures.

How many days do you need in Louisiana?

Aim to spend at least seven days in Louisiana if you want to see more than just New Orleans. You’ll want to spend at least two or three days in the Big Easy before heading out to explore Cajun Country, the Louisiana Wetlands, Natchitoches, and Lake Charles.

What is there to do in Louisiana for a week?

From touring swamps to historic architecture, there is much to fill one week in Louisiana. Spend a few days in New Orleans, then three or four days soaking up the state’s natural beauty: Explore interesting flora and fauna in Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge or go hiking in the Kisatchie National Forest.

What is the number one attraction in Louisiana?

The French Quarter in New Orleans is arguably the state’s number one attraction. The city’s oldest neighborhood is famed for the rowdy bars that line Bourbon Street as well as unmissable spots like Jackson Square, the French Market, St. Louis Cathedral, and the legendary Café du Monde.

What food should you try in Louisiana?

Foodie travelers are spoiled for choice in Louisiana. Crawfish, gumbo, jambalaya, Shreveport-style stuffed shrimp, po’boys, beignets, and king cake are just a few of Louisiana’s delicious signature dishes. Wash it all down with a sazerac, a rye whiskey-based cocktail that originated in New Orleans.

Is Louisiana tourist friendly?

Yes, Louisiana is very friendly in general. As one of the biggest tourist towns in the United States, New Orleans is especially well set up for visitors. As with any big city, however, crime can be an issue, so always be aware of your surroundings and belongings, especially after dark.


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Frequently Asked Questions
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