Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana is a southern state best known as a cultural melting pot of French, African, American, and Canadian peoples.
These cultures are most notably reflected in the Pelican State’s Creole and Cajun traditions.
One of its most famous cities is New Orleans which is an amalgamation of colonial-era French customs.
The Pelican State is not short on amazing sites, awesome culture, and epic fun.
If you’re looking for fun and unique things to do in Louisiana, you’ve landed in the right spot.
Louisiana attractions such as colorful Mardis Gras celebrations, historical landmarks, vibrant eateries, arts galore, and culture like no other, can be found at every turn.
Beautiful state parks, a picturesque shoreline, and museums by the mile are all fabulous options for tourism in Louisiana.
So strap in, enjoy the ride, and have a fabulous time during your stay in Louisiana.
Things To Do In Louisiana
1. Royal Street
Royal Street is a shopper’s paradise in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Enveloped in the eclecticism of the French Quarter and steeped in southern charm, Royal Street presents shopping galore amid culture aplenty.
Situated just a block from famed Bourbon Street, Royal Street is a haven for antique shopping, small family-owned businesses, and small art galleries.
With so many unique places to visit in Louisiana, Royal Street should top your list for shopping.
Stretching through a few blocks of the French Quarter and a bit of the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods, Royal Street has retail and dining opportunities by the mile.
As you wander in and out of antique shops you’ll encounter some of the finest antiquities in Louisiana.
On Royal Street, you can meander boutique-style gift shops and when you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll be surrounded by famed eateries serving up the best Creole in town.
One of the coolest places to see, Royal Street is a top Louisiana destination.
Address: Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
2. LSU Rural Life Museum
The LSU Rural Life Museum is a truly unique museum situated on the campus of Louisiana State University.
Essentially, the museum documents, preserves, and shares the local history of culture, landscapes, and architecture unique to rural Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi Valley.
With a strong focus on LA’s working class throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the museum shares an interesting local perspective.
One of a handful of free things to do for children, the museum is fun and interesting for the whole family.
The museum is home to culturally rich artifacts such as historic outbuildings, a working plantation section, a folk architecture exhibit, and even a display barn.
Situated on more than 400 acres of donated land, the museum is a peaceful and beautiful place to visit.
If you’re wondering what to do in Louisiana in the way of history-rich and educational sights, be sure to check out LSU Rural Life Museum.
Address: 4560 Essen Ln, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, United States
3. Houmas House Plantation and Gardens
This Greek revival mansion, built in 1840, is a must see historical establishment in Louisiana.
The property is situated on more than 35 acres adjacent to the Mississippi River.
With the mansion at the center of the property, the house is also surrounded by a plantation, gardens, lodgings, and even elegant restaurants.
The Houmas House Plantation and Gardens welcome visitors for sightseeing tours, overnight stays, and wonderful dining experiences.
If planning a visit to Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, tours give visitors a glimpse into plantation life as well as a peek at historical artifacts and structures.
Notably, tour guides are dressed in period costumes that give guests an authentic feel for life on a 19th century Louisiana plantation.
If you choose an overnight stay, the Houmas House Plantation and Gardens has lovely, quaint cottages available for rental.
Moreover, several dining options are available in the array of available dining rooms for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Of all the best Louisiana attractions, a visit to Houmas House Plantation and Gardens is highly recommended.
Address: 40136 LA-942, Darrow, LA 70725, United States
4. Frenchmen Street
If you’re looking for a place to immerse yourself in authentic New Orleans music any time of the day, then you’ll definitely want to visit Frenchmen Street.
Neon lights, jazz music aplenty, and curbside concerts at every turn, this is the place for you.
During a visit to Frenchmen Street, one of many cool things to do in Louisiana, you can expect to be surrounded by tinny sounds, bright lights, buzzing crowds, and beyond.
Frenchmen Street is essentially a cultural and artistic experience for all your senses.
Furthermore, the street is lined with an array of venues that feature live music all day long.
Jazz, blues, reggae, and rock are just a few of the music varieties you can enjoy while on Frenchmen Street.
Beyond the immersive music experience, Frenchmen Street has a slew of amazing restaurants including late-night eateries and bars by the dozen.
A wonderful nightlife for adults, Frenchmen Street is a must do.
Address: Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States
Visiting New Orleans soon? Why not check out some of the things to do in New Orleans?
5. Preservation Hall
Preservation Hall, located in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a modest, bare-bones music venue that’s been hosting jazz and other musical shows for decades.
With concrete walls, wooden floors, and no air-conditioning, Preservation Hall is truly no-frills.
Best of all, the venue provides an intimate setting to enjoy acoustic music to all ages nearly all year long.
This famed French Quarter music hall is one of many cool things to do in LA this weekend or any day of the week.
Operating as a family-owned business, the establishment has been hosting jazz greats since the 1950s.
Today, the tradition of nightly jazz concerts continues.
Before visiting Preservation Hall, check out the events calendar and be sure to purchase tickets in advance.
Following your experience at Preservation Hall, you’ll definitely want to hit the gift shop to pick up some truly amazing merchandise to commemorate your visit.
One of many famous places to visit in Louisiana, Preservation Hall should definitely top your itinerary.
Address: 726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States
6. Whitney Plantation
The Whitney Plantation is a historic Louisiana museum, situated in the town of Egard, that’s devoted to the preservation of artifacts pursuant to slavery.
The main plantation house as well as the surrounding outbuildings are seated adjacent to the Mississippi River.
Today, the museum welcomes visitors to learn about the local history of slavery as well as its ongoing legacies.
Particularly, the museum shares the narratives of the enslaved individuals who worked the sugar fields as well as the rice paddies and indigo fields on Whitney Plantation.
During your tour of Whitney Plantation, you’ll have the opportunity to tour historic structures such as slave quarters, the main house, roosting houses, and other significant buildings.
Each building has been restored to its original aesthetic and each is outfitted with historic furnishings, fixtures, and other interesting artifacts.
One of many historic places of interest in LA, the Whitney Plantation is a humbling place to visit.
Address: 5099 LA-18, Edgard, LA 70049, United States
7. Oak Alley Plantation
Quite possibly one of the most lovely estates in one of the most beautiful states, Oak Alley Plantation is situated on the banks of the Mississippi River in Vacherie, Louisiana.
The plantation welcomes visitors to tour its many historical buildings and exhibits.
One of Oak Alley Plantation’s most beautiful things to see is the glorious landscaping.
With 28 oak trees, colorful gardens, and tons of open green space, the landscaping alone is quite the sightseeing experience.
In addition to the gorgeous landscaping, the property features an enlightening slavery exhibit that showcases the slaves kept on the plantation as well as their living conditions and their lives following emancipation.
Additionally, a tour of the “Big House” reveals the opulence in which wealthy slave owners lived.
Finally, other structures to be toured include The Sugarcane Theater and The Blacksmith’s Shop, both of which provide further insight into historic plantation life.
One of many historic points of interest to tour in Louisiana, Oak Alley Plantation is highly recommended.
Address: 3645 LA-18, Vacherie, LA 70090, United States
8. Audubon Zoo
Audubon Zoo, located in New Orleans, Louisiana, tends to animals from all over the world.
The zoo thrives on providing enriching, hands-on, and educational experiences about wildlife to all visitors.
If you’re wondering what to see with your family when visiting Louisiana, the Audubon Zoo is a must.
With presentations of recreated natural habitats, daily animal presentations, and live feeds, a visit to the zoo is one of many fun activities to do during your stay in LA.
Some of the amazing wildlife you can hope to encounter while visiting the Audubon Zoo include whooping cranes, Amur leopards, orangutans, a tiger, and even the unusual white alligator.
Other animal exhibits showcase cougars, honey bees, many bird varieties, and beyond.
In addition to all the amazing zoo exhibits, other establishment amenities include concession stands, a gift shop, and so much more.
If you’re looking for stuff to do with children, the Audubon Zoo is a wonderful choice.
Address: 6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118, United States
9. The National WWII Museum
Formerly known as the National D-Day Museum, Louisiana’s National WWII Museum is a history-rich site that war buffs will surely enjoy visiting.
The museum maintains fascinating exhibits that expose personal narratives and artifacts germane to World War II.
Of note, the museum’s exhibits tend to be hands-on and are surely immersive.
With pronounced multi-media exhibits, a vast collection of war artifacts, and oral histories, visitors to the museum feel like they’ve walked in the shoes of real war heroes.
Some of the museum’s memorable exhibits cover the war on a global scale while others explore particular facets of World War II such as the Invasion of Normandy.
Other exhibits focus on the road to Berlin, the role of world leaders, war on the homefront, and other pertinent World War II topics.
The National WWII Museum is overflowing with so much history that it would be a shame to skip one of the top Louisiana attractions.
Address: 945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
10. Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
This contemporary sculpture garden is situated on more than 10 acres just outside New Orleans, Louisiana.
Harmoniously combining both nature and art, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is one of a few romantic things to do for a day date.
Comprising nearly 100 sculptures, the garden is one of the most famous places of its caliber in all of the US.
The sculptures themselves are certainly awe-inspiring, however, the setting is second to none.
While visiting the sculpture garden, visitors are treated to winding paths amid majestically landscaped acreage.
Two hundred-year-old oaks, mature pines, colorful flowers, and more all await you in the garden.
With magical sights at every turn, it’s no wonder the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden draws crowds from all over the country.
Notably, of tourist spots, the sculpture garden is one of the best places to visit in all of Louisiana.
Address: 1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124, United States
Visting other parts of Louisiana? Why not check out some of the things to do in Baton Rouge?
11. Capitol Park Museum
The Capitol Park Museum, seated in the heart of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is an iconic historical and art museum.
Providing visitors with a sweeping insight into the country’s most vibrant state, it’s no wonder the museum draws visitors from far and wide.
With so many things to see in one place, the Capitol Park Museum showcases exhibitions that document local culture and history.
Notably, the museum has exhibits on Louis Armstrong, Mardis Gras, the Mississippi River, life on the Gulf of Mexico, and so much more.
Other museum attributes allow visitors to explore demonstrations on life in the area for Native Americans, European colonists, slave life, and the Cajun lifestyle.
Moreover, the Capitol Park Museum permanently displays exhibits showcasing aviation, Louisiana hurricanes, and a Sports Hall of Fame among others.
If you’re on the lookout for top tourist attractions in LA, be sure to add Capitol Park Museum to your list.
Address: 660 N 4th St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802, United States
12. Ruins of Fort Macomb
This 19th-century brick fort in New Orleans is one of many cool free things to do in Louisiana.
Situated adjacent to Chef Menteur Pass, the old fort is one of the US’s National Historic Sites.
Notably, the fort was constructed in 1822 and was erected to protect the area’s waterways from enemy attacks.
In recent years the fort has been rendered in disrepair thanks to the encroachment of nearby Lake Catherine.
However, the fort is still a unique site to visit.
Although the fort caught fire in 1867 and was decommissioned in 1871, visitors, especially history buffs, come from far and wide each year to visit its ruins.
In fact, the Ruins of Fort Macomb are somewhat famous in that they’ve been featured in HBO’s “True Detective” as well as “NCIS” and “Beyonce’s Lemonade.”
The ruins can be carefully explored and are a bit spooky, but a fun thing to see nonetheless.
Address: New Orleans, LA 70129, United States
13. Musical Legends Park
If you’re looking for unique things to do in LA, be sure to check out Musical Legends Park.
One of the best commemorations of jazz musicians, the park is home to lovely statues of such musicians as Fats Domino, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, Louis Prima, and Irma Thomas among many others.
The park is a lovely place to visit with family; here you can take in historic tributes to musical greats.
In addition to admiring the amazing statues, the park in which they’re set is a cozy place to meander, picnic, and lounge.
In addition to the masterpieces of art and music, the park also hosts live music, a nod to the musicians honored at the park, every day.
Centrally located in the French Quarter, the Musical Legends Park is a lovely place to escape the hubbub of New Orleans.
If you’re wondering what to do during your stay in Louisiana, be sure to add this top attraction to your itinerary.
Address: 311 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
14. Global Wildlife Center
This free-roaming wildlife reserve in Folsom, Louisiana sits on nearly 1,000 acres and is home to more than 3,500 animals.
One of many popular places for families to visit in LA, the center brings visitors face to face with animals in their natural habitat.
Your experience at the center will be interactive, wholesome, and super fun.
One of the largest establishments of its kind, Global Wildlife Center houses exotic and endangered animals from all over the world.
When booking your tour of the Global Wildlife Center, you can choose from wagon tours during which you can feed and touch animals or private tours that bring you even closer to the animals.
The establishment also hosts safari parties which make for great birthday celebrations.
Finally, some of the incredible animals you’ll have the chance to interact with include giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, camels, bison, llamas, and so many others.
One of the most lovely places to check out in LA, be sure to visit the Global Wildlife Center.
Address: 26389 LA-40, Folsom, LA 70437, United States
15. Jungle Gardens
Jungle Gardens is a 170-acre botanical garden and bird sanctuary situated on Avery Island in Louisiana.
Open daily, visitors are welcome to explore the property at their leisure or with a tour guide for a nominal fee.
Jungle Gardens is one of many beautiful points of interest that you should be sure to check out.
Of note, the property is home to semi-tropical gardens that are breathtaking to meander.
Vibrant flowers, verdant greenery, colorful bamboo, and many other botanical treasures stretch as far as the eye can perceive.
The gently rolling topography and abundant wildlife have drawn visitors from far and wide to Jungle Gardens.
Another big draw is the bird sanctuary.
In fact, bird tours can be scheduled by reservation; these tours are a wonderful experience for enthusiasts.
The sanctuary is home to white ibises, great blue herons, and a fantastic assortment of migratory birds.
If you’re a nature or wildlife lover, there’s no doubt that Jungle Gardens answers the pressing question of what to visit in Louisiana.
Address: Louisiana 329 &, Main Rd, Avery Island, LA 70513, United States
16. R.W. Norton Art Gallery
If you’re looking for fun sightseeing opportunities, be sure to check out R.W. Norton Art Gallery.
This museum, located in Shreveport, Louisiana, is set amid a lush and vibrant garden setting.
Of note, the museum houses a collection of quintessential American and European art.
Additionally, the gallery is home to a collection of rare books that any bibliophile will adore.
One of a handful of artsy points of interest in Louisiana, R.W. Norton Art Gallery is a must-see.
Furthermore, the museum is home to more than 400 paintings by over 100 artists, encompassing both renaissance and modernist works.
Additionally, besides paintings, the museum contains mediums such as sculptures, tapestries, decorative arts, and well beyond.
Some of the big names in art that the gallery showcases include Remington, Russell, and Audubon to name a few.
Finally, in addition to touring the gallery, visitors are also welcome to tour the botanical gardens which feature beautiful landscaping, wildlife aplenty, sculptures, and more.
Address: 4747 Creswell Ave, Shreveport, LA 71106, United States
17. Shreveport Aquarium
Situated adjacent to the Red River in Shreveport, Louisiana, this aquarium is a fun place to visit for visitors of all ages.
Notably, admission tickets are reasonably priced, so this is an affordable attraction to boot.
A visit to Shreveport Aquarium will bring you face to face with underwater creatures you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to see so closely.
Home to more than 300 species and roughly 1,000 animals, there is so much sea life to experience in one place.
The Shreveport Aquarium will bring you just inches away from sharks, turtles, seahorses, eels, and a wide assortment of other underwater beings.
The museum has awesome interactive exhibits as well.
Hands-on feeding experiences allow visitors to touch animals like rays, moon jellies, and others.
The aquarium is also home to an indoor gem, fossil, and gold mining experience.
With so much to do under one roof, it’s on wonderful visitors to Louisiana adore Shreveport Aquarium.
Address: 601 Clyde Fant Pkwy, Shreveport, LA 71101, United States
18. Millennium Park
If you’re looking for free things to do with children, Millennium Park is your answer.
This beautiful lakeside park sits amid a lovely well-landscaped setting and has lots of fun for little ones.
Located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the park is a wonderful place for children to stretch their legs, make new friends, enjoy outdoor recreation, and get some fresh air.
Millennium Park has lots of on-site activities for children, so pack a lunch and enjoy some sunshine.
Millennium Park has a fun fenced-in playground with colorful, pirate-themed equipment.
Swing sets, slides, climbing equipment, and more await your little one.
Furthermore, the park has a splash pad for children to cool off in on hot days.
The sprawling playground equipment is surrounded by open green space for further recreational activities.
If you’re wondering what to do with children this weekend or any time of the week, Millennium Park is a great spot to visit.
Address: 900 Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States
19. Creole Nature Trail
The Creole Nature Trail in Lake Charles, Louisiana is a great way to get some exercise, explore new trails, and see new sights.
One of many top free things to do in the Pelican State, the Creole Nature Trail is situated along a 26-mile stretch of the Gulf of Mexico.
Diverse nature constructs as well as more than 400 species of wildlife can be seen along the trail.
Essentially, the trail consists of marshlands rife with wildlife, plantlife, sealife, and more.
Along the trail, visitors can hike, nature watch, fish, and crab.
In addition to fishing, bird hunting is also permitted during designated seasons.
Furthermore, the Creole Nature Trail is surrounded by lots of local eateries and accommodations.
However, visitors are also welcome to pack picnic lunches which are a lovely way to enjoy the trail.
One of many outdoor tourist attractions that visitors and locals alike adore, the Creole Nature Trail should definitely make your shortlist.
Address: 1205 N Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States
Vermillionville is a living museum and folklife park in the city of LaFayette, Louisiana.
Dedicated to the preservation and sharing of historic Native American, African American, Creole, and Acadian culture, Vermilionville brings the cultures of these peoples to life.
Specifically, the histories of these groups are retold through and including the 1800s.
Through interpretation, conservation, and interactive exhibits, visitors to Vermilionville enjoy a step back in time.
If you’re looking for unique places to see, Vermilionville is surely one of a kind.
Situated on 23 acres along the banks of the Bayou, Vermillionville is set in one of the most beautiful Louisiana settings imaginable.
Open six days a week, this fun destination has tons of thematic things to do each day.
From dining to shopping and shows to educational programming, Vermilionville is an all-encompassing experience that is one of the coolest things to see in the whole state.
Address: 300 Fisher Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508, United States
21. Steamboat Natchez
This old-fashioned steamboat sailing out of New Orleans, Louisiana, is a super fun way for couples to spend a romantic evening.
Named for the Natchez people, this steamboat has been in operation since 1975.
The undisputed fastest steamboat on the Mississippi River, this vessel offers scenic, dinner, and entertainment tours daily.
If you’re looking for fun Louisiana attractions, Steamboat Natchez is surely worth a go.
The Steamboat Natchez is a grand paddle wheeler that takes visitors on leisurely two-hour tours of the river.
Many of the tours provide live entertainment such as Jazz Music.
Other tours include a Brunch Tour or Dinner Tour.
No matter the time of day you board Steamboat Natchez, one thing’s for sure: you’re guaranteed a good time.
An authentic New Orleans experience in all ways, the brunch/dinner cruises serve authentic Creole food, cocktails, and an all-around good time.
Address: 400 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
22. Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets
One of Louisiana’s prime travel destinations for shopping, Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets is a great spot for some retail therapy.
This outdoor shopping center is located in Bossier City, Louisiana and is one of the largest shopping malls in the whole state.
Seated adjacent to the Red River, the center’s setting is as appealing as the shopping.
If you’re wondering what to do during your visit to the Pelican State, be sure to check out Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets.
Besides all of the amazing shopping, the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets also have wonderful dining opportunities.
Restaurants for every palette and price point line the boardwalk as well as bars, coffee shops, and more.
Additionally, the boardwalk has tons of entertainment like nightclubs, a cinema, a nearby casino, and even children’s amusements.
Fun for the whole family and the perfect spot to visit today or this weekend, Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets is a top Louisiana spot.
Address: 540 Boardwalk Blvd, Bossier City, LA 71111, United States
23. Shreveport Water Works Museum
One of many interesting places to see in the Pelican State, the Shreveport Water Works Museum is a historic water pumping station.
Celebrating more than 130 years of service, the Shreveport Water Works Museum was constructed in 1887 as one of the first of its kind in the South.
Although the plant itself has evolved over the last century, its heritage is encapsulated at the Shreveport Water Works Museum.
The Shreveport Water Works Museum is not only housed in a historic building but as its name suggests, it preserves and shares historical artifacts associated with the original pumping plant.
Visitors to the museum are welcome to tour the 100-year-old building as well as the exhibits it houses.
During your tour, you’ll see the antique steam system equipment as well as water purification systems of yesteryear and today.
Notably, the museum is one of a few awesome free things to do in the Pelican State.
Address: 142 N Common St, Shreveport, LA 71101, United States
24. Museum of Death
The Museum of Death has three US locations, one of which resides in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Established in 1955 as a place intended “to make people happy to be alive,” the museum is a truly unique place to visit.
Significantly, the museum has evolved from a controversial art gallery to what it is today: the largest collection of death-related artwork and artifacts in the world.
Tours of the museum are self-guided and take about an hour to complete.
Some of the interesting artifacts you’ll encounter during your tour include artwork, antique funeral equipment, coroner instruments, taxidermy, crime scene photographs, and much more.
Additionally, the museum houses serial killer and murderer memorabilia such as artifacts related to the Manson Family.
Lastly, the Museum of Death has an awesome gift shop where you can pick up true crime merchandise.
One of Louisiana’s truly unique tourist attractions, the Museum of Death is definitely worth a visit.
Address: 227 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112, United States
25. Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo
Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo is a tiny, boutique-style gift shop that sells oddities, rarities, and unique Louisiana souvenirs.
Specializing in talismans, voodoo dolls, and spell books, the shop is a cool place to browse and pick up interesting souvenirs.
Oils, jewelry, animal parts, books, and more can all be found donning the shelves of Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo.
Other merchandise includes apparel, magnets, shot glasses, and other gifts.
In addition to the cool selection of merchandise, Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo also specializes in psychic readings.
In fact, spiritual, psychic, and tarot card readings are all available on-site by appointment.
Gifted and reputable readers staff Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo and can provide you with a one-of-a-kind experience.
Finally, in addition to psychic services, Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo can help visitors to practice spiritual and ritual ceremonies.
One of the most unique places to see in New Orleans, you should definitely visit Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo.
Address: 739 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States
26. Carousel Bar
Residing in the famous Hotel Monteleone, the Carousel Bar is a famous New Orleans watering hole.
If you’re looking for fun tourist attractions in Louisiana, be sure to check out this one.
The centerpiece of the bar, as its name suggests, is a slow-moving antique carousel; you literally belly up to the somewhat haunting carousel to enjoy spirits and good company.
Serving up great cocktails, excellent food, and live music, the bar and lounge have been a top attraction for many moons.
One of the most recognizable figures at Carousel Bar is Marvin, the resident mixologist, historian, and beloved bartender.
He, like other bartenders at this establishment, treat visitors to superb services, fabulously crafted cocktails, and a splash of local lore and history.
Since its inception in the early 1940s, the carousel Bar has certainly evolved, but its antique charm and attention to detail are what make this place something special.
One of many cool Louisiana attractions, Carousel Bar is a must-see for adults.
Address: 214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
27. Old Absinthe House
Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House has been a New Orleans institution since 1807.
Situated right on Bourbon Street, it’s open seven days per week in its old white historic building.
One of the top places to see in Louisiana, Old Absinthe House spent its first 40 years as an establishment concerned with the bartering of food, tobacco, and liquor.
Since its inception, it’s evolved into one of Louisiana’s greatest saloons.
Once a corner grocery store, then a coffee house, Old Absinthe House is now a New Orleans tradition that shows no signs of stopping.
Today, the Old Absinthe House stands as a speakeasy-style saloon that welcomes visitors from far and wide.
Unique cocktails, bar bites, and a full lunch/dinner menu are all available to enjoy in the historic Bourbon Street setting.
Whether you’re looking for something to do tonight or this weekend, Old Absinthe House is a fun option.
Address: 240 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70112, United States
28. Avery Island
Avery Island is a famous salt dome best known for its contribution to the widely consumed Tobasco products.
Situated in Iberia Parish, Louisiana, Avery Island is one of many unique things to see in the Pelican State.
Seated about three miles offshore from the Mississippi River, the island has a small year-round population of mostly Tobasco workers.
Astoundingly, Avery island comprises over 2,000 acres sitting directly atop a salt rock.
Other unique facets of Avery Island include lush vegetation, unique geological formations, and Spanish moss.
Thought to be what remains of an ancient buried seabed, the island’s salt deposit is said to be as deep as 29,000 feet below the Earth’s surface.
Besides the island’s unique topography and ecology, it’s also home to a wildfowl refuge.
All of these interesting features can be toured by the public throughout the year.
One of the top things to do in Louisiana, a visit to Avery Island is a must.
Address: Louisiana, United States
29. Abita Mystery House
This roadside attraction located in Abita Springs is one of many interesting places to visit in Louisiana.
This truly unique museum houses a collection of “found” art and artifacts, unique to Louisiana, that tourists come from far and wide to peruse.
With more than 1,000 works of folk art, Abita Mystery House is both intriguing and provocative.
A mixture of antiquities, rarities, oddities, and everything in between, Abita Mystery House is worth checking out.
Visitors to Abita Mystery House can explore the massive collection at their leisure.
Some of the house’s unique exhibits include a miniature Southern town operated by push-button, animated displays, old arcade machines, odd collections, and more.
The house itself is an odd aesthetic that further perpetuates the mysterious experience that visitors enjoy at Abita Mystery House.
If you’re looking for a quick and fun attraction along your route, this is the place for you.
Address: 22275 LA-36, Abita Springs, LA 70420, United States
30. Honey Island Swamp Tours
Established in 1972, Honey Island Swamp Tours provides visitors with demonstrative boat tours of the Cypress Swamp.
Located in Slidell, Louisiana, Honey Island Swamp Tours is loved by locals and tourists alike.
If you’re interested in fun water activities for the whole family, Honey Island Swamp Tours is the answer.
So named for the honey bees that swarm near the island, these tours bring visitors face to face with swamp life and ecology.
During your tour, you can expect to see rich wildlife along beautiful stretches of the river and the island.
The state has a growing population of alligators, with more than one million already residing in Louisiana, some of which can be perceived during a Honey Island Swamp Tour.
Of note, tours are professionally narrated, provide ample opportunity for photography, and some of the company’s smaller boats allow for exploration in the deepest parts of the swamp.
Whether a nature-lover at heart or looking for something new and unique to experience, a Honey Island Swamp Tour is one of the coolest things to do in Louisiana.
Address: 41490 Crawford Landing Rd, Slidell, LA 70461, United States
31. Fontainebleau State Park
Located in Saint Tammany Parish, Louisiana, Fontainebleau State Park provides an epic setting for tons of recreational activities.
One of many gorgeous places to visit in Louisiana, Fontainebleau State Park sits adjacent to Lake Pontchartrain and is nearly 3,000 acres in size.
Not only does the park provide an excellent setting for daily activities, but visitors also have the option of “glamping” at premium campsites or erecting tents of their own.
Either way, the diverse ecology and epic lake views are worth a stay at Fontainebleau State Park.
It’s worth mentioning that Lake Pontchartrain, at the park’s center, can be used for swimming, paddling, boating, and an assortment of other water activities.
Moreover, an old railroad track has been converted to a rail and trail system.
Best of all, interpretive signs along the trail point out tree, shrub, and plant names.
With so much to do in one beautiful setting, it’s no wonder locals and travelers alike swarm to Fontainebleau State Park all year long.
Address: 62883 LA-1089, Mandeville, LA 70448, United States
32. Grand Isle State Park
Situated on a barrier island in Jefferson Parish, Grand Isle State Park is one of the most gorgeous places to visit in Louisiana.
Notably, the park is a wonderful place to spend a few hours or even a few days.
Overlooking the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Grand Isle State Park is a real hotspot during the summer months.
The park serves as a popular launching point for many fishing adventures so if you’re looking to get out on the water, Grand Isle State Park is your spot.
Swimming, sunbathing, and beach lounging are also favorite activities to enjoy at the park.
If you’re a nature enthusiast, you can revel in birdwatching, hiking, boating, crabbing, and a wide array of other outdoor recreational activities.
With the beautiful park and adjacent waterways as your setting, any activity turns into a scenic one at Grand Isle State Park.
Address: 108 Admiral Craik Dr, Grand Isle, LA 70358, United States
33. Atchafalaya Basin
Noted as the largest swamp and wetlands area in all of the US, Atchafalaya Basin is located in south-central Louisiana.
Stretching for nearly 150 miles along the Gulf of Mexico, Atchafalaya Basin is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Louisiana.
While exploring the Atchafalaya Basin you’ll have the opportunity to encounter 65 species of reptiles and amphibians who call the basin home.
Other species of animals that make their home in the Atchafalaya Basin include black bears, foxes, and beavers among many others.
In addition to the land animals, many species of sea life and birds call the basin their home too.
Furthermore, the basin is rife with opportunities for fun outdoor activities.
To name a few, visitors can engage in things like boating, biking, birding, camping, swamp tours, hunting, fishing, and beyond.
If you’re interested in spending some peaceful outdoor time on the Bayou, be sure to check out Atchafalaya Basin.
Address: LA 70517, United States
34. Chicot State Park
One of the best things to do in Louisiana is to pay a visit to Chicot State Park, especially if you love the outdoors.
Located just outside Ville Platte, Louisiana, Chicot State Park is a wildlife reserve that sprawls across more than 6,000 acres of protected land.
Surrounded by rolling hills, a man-made lake, and breathtaking forestry, Chicot State Park is a must-see if you’re traveling with nature-lovers.
Notably, visitors to the park can even plan to spend a few days on one of the many available campsites.
The cool, clear waters of the overstocked lake are a great place to enjoy fishing for trout, largemouth bass, and bluegill among other varieties.
Other possible activities at Chicot State Park include hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, boating, swimming, and beyond.
Additionally, the park is home to child-friendly features such as a splash pad and playground.
Whether visiting with children or adults, the fact remains that Chicot State Park is a wonderful place to check out.
Address: 3469 Chicot Park Rd, Ville Platte, LA 70586, United States
35. Jackson Square
Jackson Square is a historic park in New Orleans’s French Quarter.
Named a National Historic Landmark in 1960, Jackson Square is the site where the Louisiana Purchase was settled in 1803.
Historically, the park has been a gathering place for both amateur and renowned musicians and painters.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Jackson Square emerged as a center for business.
Today, however, this historic landmark is one of the best things to see in Louisiana.
Notably, the square is flanked on all sides by historic buildings the likes of which add to the charm of Jackson Square.
Near to the park are famous breweries, restaurants, and markets.
Furthermore, Jackson Square has been the setting for many famous movie and television scenes.
A place to gather, a place to rest, a place to appreciate, a place close to so much history and culture, Jackson Square is a great place to add to your itinerary.
Address: 701 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States
36. Cypress Island Preserve
Cypress Island Preserve is a nearly 10,000-acre preserve in St. Martinville, Louisiana.
Surrounded by Lake Martin which is situated amid a cypress-tupelo preserve, the island is a place for nature observance and exploration.
The island represents a fish and game preserve that is open to the public all year long.
In fact, Cypress Island Preserve is the area’s largest tract of preserved hardwood forest.
If you’re looking for things to do in Louisiana that get you outdoors and enjoying nature, be sure to visit Cypress Island Preserve.
Cypress Island Preserve is characterized by spectacular views, wildlife aplenty, and even a rookery view.
Moreover, the preserve has a two-and-a-half-mile walking trail that’s suitable for all experience levels.
A boardwalk, a visitor center, and a picnic pavilion are all Cypress Island Preserve amenities that you can enjoy during your visit.
A gathering place with numerous opportunities to enjoy nature at its finest, Cypress Island Preserve is a must-see.
Address: 1264 Prairie Hwy, St Martinville, LA 70582, United States
37. Kisatchie National Forest
The only natural forest in all of Louisiana, Kisatchie National Forest is part of the Cenozoic uplands and features large areas of pine forest.
Established in 1930, Kisatchie National Forest is a wonderful place to enjoy time with family, friends, and best of all, nature.
If you’re looking for things to do in Louisiana, Kisatchie National Forest is a great destination to add to your list.
Of note, Kisatchie National Forest is lauded as having some of the best hunting in the whole state.
Additionally, the Kisatchie National Forest is a great place to camp, be it a tent or RV camping, for a few days or even more.
A vast hiking trail awaits hikers and bikers, a centrally located lake provides a great place for swimming, fishing, and boating.
Other fine activities that you might partake in include horseback riding, traversing scenic byways, and more.
Address: Louisiana, United States
38. St. Louis Cathedral
The oldest cathedral in all of North America, St. Louis Cathedral was established as a Catholic parish in 1720.
Situated along the banks of the Mississippi River, it is recognized as one of Louisiana’s most significant landmarks.
The cathedral’s iconic triple steeples are a marvel that towers over New Orleans, creating one of the most astounding views you’ll encounter whilst visiting the Pelican State.
What’s more, the cathedral is an architectural wonder that visitors come from all over the world to appreciate.
Remarkably, the cathedral is open to the public for daily masses.
Additionally, self-guided tours are permitted and tour brochures are available for a $1 donation.
Occasionally, cathedral staff members are available for impromptu guided tours, but these are by sheer luck.
Finally, if you’d prefer a full-guided tour, these are available by reservation only.
One of the most beautiful attractions to tour, a visit to St. Louis Cathedral is surely worth a place on your itinerary.
Address: 615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States
39. Kentwood Historical and Cultural Arts Museum
This small town museum is a strange coupling of historical events and pop culture nostalgia.
Located in Kentwood, Louisiana, the establishment is a no-frills establishment that pays homage to all things Louisiana, whether they seem to fit together or not.
Situated in a small, dilapidated residential home, the museum is unassuming yet intriguing.
Although the small population of Kentwood comes in at roughly 2,200 people, there are even a few celebrities who are honored at the museum.
From World War II veterans to Britney Spears, the Kentwood Historical and Cultural Arts Museum has an odd collection of historical artifacts such as a model battleship with Britney cutouts in the next room.
A visit to the museum isn’t very long but entry is free of charge so why not take a quick gander at this fun little local museum.
A curious little Louisiana museum, Kentwood Historical and Cultural Arts Museum is worth a quick visit.
Address: 204 Avenue E, Kentwood, LA 70444, United States
40. French Quarter
Known as the heart of New Orleans, this Louisiana neighborhood is a must-see when visiting the Pelican State.
Famous for its lively nightlife, colorful buildings, historical establishments, and incredible music scene, there is literally something new to see and do at every turn.
A cultural mecca for Cajun, Creole, and Bayou culture, it’s no wonder the French Quarter is the Louisiana mecca it is.
If you’re looking for incredible cultural immersion as well as memories to last a lifetime, be sure to visit the French Quarter.
Jazz clubs, speakeasy-like bars, Cajun eateries, cast-iron balconies, quiet French markets, and so many other delightful establishments line the streets of the French Quarter.
Local artists, gourmet food, boutique shopping, supernatural readers, performers galore, and beyond can all be encountered as you stroll the streets.
With so much vivacity in one central location, it’s no wonder the French Quarter is dubbed the heart of New Orleans.
Address: New Orleans, LA, United States
41. New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
An old apothecary dating back to 1823, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is now the home of a collection of antique pharmaceuticals.
Early medicines, wild superstitions, and outlandish cures have all made a home in this rather odd establishment.
Situated in New Orleans, Louisiana, the museum resides in a historic building in the well-known Vieux Carre Historic District.
Showcasing an extensive collection as well as providing educational programming, the museum is a fun place to tour.
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum does a fine job of preserving and presenting the intriguing history of pharmaceuticals and healthcare in Louisiana.
Some of the exhibits showcase old methods of administering medicine, voodoo potions, surgical instruments, questionable practices, and a lot of other interesting tidbits.
Other exhibits show excavated medicine bottles, a spectacles collection, and even architectural specifications about the historical building itself.
Lastly, after your tour, be sure to visit the museum’s gift shop where you can purchase cool pharmacy souvenirs.
Address: 514 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
42. Mardis Gras World
This New Orleans tourist attraction brings visitors up close and personal with real Mardis Gras artifacts from the many years of use in the festival.
Mardis Gras World is a 300,000 square foot warehouse that stores Mardis Gras floats, balloons, and more.
The bright, colorful, and larger-than-life equipment used to make Mardis Gras so special, can be interactively enjoyed.
Located adjacent to the Mississippi River, the warehouse is just a tad off the beaten path however a free shuttle to and from is available from anywhere in the city.
Home to some of the oldest, largest, and most colorful floats in the world, the warehouse is a breathtaking place to tour.
Guided tours include an overview of the history of Mardis Gras in New Orleans and are followed by a showcasing of the float den as well as the artists’ workshop.
With hundreds of floats to enjoy from a direct vantage point, it’s no wonder Mardis Gras World is a Louisiana institution.
Address: 1380 Port of New Orleans Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
43. Backstreet Cultural Museum
Located in Louisiana’s Treme neighborhood, the Backstreet Cultural Museum is the only African American museum in the US.
Established in 1999, the museum showcases cultural exhibits germane to local African Americans.
It’s both a gathering place and a place to learn and appreciate Black culture and heritage.
Of note, the museum was founded by Sylvester Francis, a local legend who recognized the need for ethnic appreciation.
Significantly, the museum focuses on the many different sects of African American people living in New Orleans; some of these sects include Mandigo, Mardis Gras Indians, The Baby Dolls, Bone Gang, and others.
Within the museum, visitors are treated to artifacts such as costumes, memorabilia, photographs, films, and other items relative to African American history in New Orleans.
This colorful and unique collection is one of a kind.
If you’d enjoy learning more about this significant faction of locals, check out the Backstreet Cultural Museum.
Address: 1116 Henriette Delille St, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States
44. Faulkner House Books
If you’re a bibliophile who enjoys the tactile experience of brick and mortar bookstores, this one is truly special.
The Faulkner House Books resides in the former home of famed American writer, William Faulkner.
A haven for rare editions, fine selections, and real tangible books, the Faulkner House Books is one of a dying breed of small bookshops.
What’s more, the building itself was built in 1837 and is now considered a historic building.
If you’ll be strolling the French Quarter (as you likely will be if you’re in New Orleans), a lovely place to take a short time out from the hubbub of the city is the Faulkner House Books.
One of Louisiana’s hidden gems, the bookstore is a historic landmark in its own right.
The store sells both new and used literature and is a great pit stop before heading out of town on your departing flight.
Address: 624 Pirates Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States
45. Chauvin Sculpture Garden & Art
Chauvin Sculpture Garden & Art is a strange place indeed.
Located in Chauvin, Louisiana, the garden is home to the curious sculptures of one Kenny Hill.
Hill, a once devout zealot, erected his sculptures on a rented tract of land.
Established in the early 1990s, Chauvin Sculpture Garden & Art is a representation of Hill’s eclectic art sensibilities and his curious belief system.
One of Hill’s most confounding habits was inserting himself as the subject of his many sculptures.
Although for many years Hill resisted tourism and photography at the site, a religious crisis in the early 2000s caused him to abandon the garden and his art.
Since that time, the garden and the sculptures have been restored.
The town, probably much to Hill’s dismay, has opened the Chauvin Sculpture Garden & Art to the public.
A curious tidbit of Louisiana heritage, the garden is a unique place to visit.
Start Planning Your Trip To Louisiana
Louisiana is undoubtedly a good time.
Majestic sights, nature in all of its magnificence, loads of fun, rich history, and a vibrant culture are just a few of the many reasons you’re likely planning a trip to the Pelican State.
As evidenced herein, exciting Louisiana attractions are not hard to come by.
If nothing else, you can rest assured that if you add a few of these amazing attractions to your itinerary, you’ll certainly have the best time.
So pack your bags, round up your family and friends, and get ready to make memories to last a lifetime.