Camping Gems - Louisiana
Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve
The preserve’s 20,000 acres include bayous, swamps, marshes, forests, alligators, nutrias, and over 300 species of birds. Boardwalk and dirt trails wind through the preserve and waterways can be explored by canoe or kayak. Park rangers also offer guided walks, canoe treks, and birdwatching hikes.
Bayou Segnette State Park
Set on the narrow neck of land between Lake Cataouatche and Lake Pontchartrain, this park gives you access to superb fishing, canoeing, boating, and wildlife viewing. Catch some bass or catfish, take the kids to the wave pool, or explore the nature trail.
Louisiana Crawfish Festival, Chalmette
Ready to taste Louisiana's famous delicacy, served up right? Then head to Chalmette for the 4-day festival, held each year in late March. Mmm-mmm-mmm!
Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, Baton Rouge
From the exhibits of the Nature Center to the 65-acre cypress-tupelo swamp, this is the perfect place to explore wild Louisiana. Take a hike through the magnolia-beech upland hardwood forest, follow the boardwalks, and watch for wildlife: raccoons, foxes, bobcats, snakes, turtles and alligators.
America's Wetland Birding Trail
This is the last leg of a network of birding trails that runs all across the Gulf of Mexico. In Louisiana, the trail has 115 sites that include a wide variety of habitats -- fresh and saltwater marshes, cheniers, upland pines, cypress-tupelo swamps, bottomland hardwood forests, and open meadows. Keep your binoculars and bird guide handy!
Climb Louisiana's highest mountain! At 535 feet, Driskill is very climbable (it's technically a tall hill, but who's counting?) Driskill Mountain is located southeast of Bryceland in Bienville Parish.
English Turn Golf & Country Club
Golfers take note -- if you dream of playing on the same course as your where the pros play, head to the English Turn course near New Orleans. This is the home of the Zurich Classic, a tournament that draws the very best in the game.
Creole Nature Trail National Scenic Byway
Set in the heel of Louisiana's boot, this beautiful route winds through marshes, prairies, and along the Gulf of Mexico. This is Louisiana's true outback, a land filled with birds, colorful wildflowers, rare cheniers, alligators, and salty breezes.
This living history museum highlights the way people lived in the bayou areas between 1765 and 1890. You'll learn about Cajun and Creole culture, see 18 rebuilt historic buildings, and learn about local crafts and cuisine. Don't miss lunch at La Cuisine de Maman, the full-service Cajun/Creole restaurant.
Festival International de Louisiane
Explore the culture, music, and heritage of France as it has blended with Caribbean, African, and Spanish influences in Louisiana. This is the largest outdoor free concert of its type in the world.
Camping Gems - Places to Go in Louisiana
Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, New Orleans
For generations, this area of New Orleans' historic French Quarter has been a hot-spot for night-time revelers, party seekers, and fun-loving people of all kinds. Originally called "Rue Bourbon," this is home to the beautiful Royal Sonesta Hotel, a brewery, and historic stables. Pay a visit to the 1806 Old Absinthe House where mixologist Cayetano Ferrer created the famous Absinthe House Frappe in 1874.
Wild Azalea Trail
Stroll down Louisiana’s longest trail, admiring the colorful native flowers. This 26-mile trail through the Kisatchie National Forest is filled with beauty and biodiversity.
Audubon Nature Institute, New Orleans
With an aquarium, a zoo, and an Entergy IMAX Theatre, this is more than a quick dip into the world of animals! You'll see exotic animals and lush gardens at the zoo, including white alligators and rare white tigers. Then head to the aquarium to see the otters and sea horses, the turtles, and the sharks.
Set your rod for black crappie, largemouth bass, yellow bass, bullheads, bluegill, and red-ear sunfish at Lake Bistineau -- or just spend your time relaxing on the water or watching birds from the shore. This 17,000-acre lake includes flooded flooded cypress stands, islands, and coontail moss.
Great River Road Plantation Parade, New Orleans to Baton Rouge
This self-guided tour includes seven stops between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, most of which can be reached off of I-10. You'll see the Destrehan Plantation (built in 1786 as a French Colonial Style home and remodeled from 1830-40 to more closely resemble the Greek Revival Style), the famous San Francisco Plantation, and the timeless St. Joseph Plantation.
Chicot State Park, Ville Platte
From bike trips through the beech-magnolia forest to watching for turtles and alligators in Lake Chicot, this park truly has it all. Fish for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and red-ear sunfish or take a dip in the Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Acadian Village, Lafayette
Visit this charming village and learn about 19th-century Acadian life. You'll see craftspeople building boats, weaving, making fiddles, and cooking up local delicacies. The town is a living folk museum, with plenty of guides to explain the crafts and traditions. (200 Greenleaf Road, 337-981-2364)
Voodoo New Orleans
See the spookier side of New Orleans with a visit to two attractions. The Musee Conti Historical Wax Museum (917 Conti Street, French Quarter, 504-525-2605), where you'll see models of Andrew Jackson, Lafitte the Pirate, Marie Laveau and her voodoo dancers, and Chief Montana. Then stop by the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum (724 Dumaine St., 504-523-7685) to learn about Voodooism culture and see true Voodoo artifacts.
Global Wildlife Center, Folsom
This rescue and rehabilitation center is home to over 3,000 exotic, endangered, and threatened animals from all over the world. Learn about animals, take a safari tour, and help name the baby animals.
Bayou Pierre Alligator Park, Natchitoches
After you tour this 5-acre park, you'll know more about alligators than most! In addition to the gators, this park features the full Cajun package -- Canju music, tasty Cajun cuisine, and plenty of good times.
Camping Gems - Places to Eat in Louisiana
Strawn's Eat Shop (125 King's Highway, 318-868-0634)
Julie Anne's Bakery & Cafe (825 Kings Hwy, 318-424-4995)
Boutin's Cajun Restaurant (8322 Bluebonnet Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70810 · 225-819-9862)
Louie's Cafe (209 W State St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802 · 225-346-8221
Worth the Price
Easier on the Wallet
Cafe du Monde
Ralph's on the Park
House of Blues
Camping Gems - Things to Do in Louisiana
See alligators, cypress trees, and hanging Spanish moss in the Honey Island swamps.
Devour a beignet and coffee from Cafe du Monde.
Catch some beads at a Mardi Gras parade.
Do some saltwater fishing for billfish, wahoo, and tuna in Venice.
Tour the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.
Hike the Wild Azalea Trail in the Kisatchie National Forest.
Go freshwater fishing at the Toledo Bend Reservoir in North Toledo Bend State Park.
Look for hyacinths and hydrilla flowers in the Louisiana Delta.
Tour the French Quarter and catch live music during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Watch for roseate spoonbills, storks, egrets, and ibises on America's Wetland Birding Trail.