Louisiana, a state known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and stunning natural beauty, is a treasure trove of cool and unusual things to do. From exploring the historic city of New Orleans to immersing yourself in the Cajun and Creole culture, there is no shortage of unique experiences to be had in the Pelican State. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or music enthusiast, Louisiana has something for everyone.
In this blog, we will take a deep dive into 25 of the coolest and most unusual things to do in Louisiana, ensuring that your visit to the state is filled with adventure, fun, and unforgettable memories.
1. New Orleans African American Museum
The New Orleans African American Museum is a must-visit for those interested in the rich history and culture of African Americans in Louisiana. It features exhibits on slavery, civil rights, jazz music, and more. Visitors can take guided tours, attend cultural events, and participate in educational programs.
Located in the historic Tremé neighborhood, the museum offers insights into the contributions of African Americans to Louisiana’s unique heritage and identity.
2. New Orleans: Sightseeing Bus Tour
Explore New Orleans on a sightseeing bus tour to uncover its rich history and culture. The knowledgeable guides will take you to iconic landmarks such as the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and the Garden District while sharing intriguing facts and stories.
The air-conditioned bus offers comfort for all ages and includes a stop at a local cemetery to learn about unique burial practices in New Orleans. It’s a captivating way to delve into the city’s past and present.
3. Sunday Riverboat Jazz Cruise
The Sunday Riverboat Jazz Cruise offers a unique blend of traditional New Orleans jazz and a leisurely boat ride along the banks of the Mississippi River. Departing from the Steamboat Natchez every Sunday, this experience treats guests to live jazz music, a delectable brunch buffet, and breathtaking vistas of the city skyline. Ideal for music enthusiasts and those seeking a fresh perspective of New Orleans’ allure. Due to its popularity, reservations are highly recommended.
4. Creole Queen Jazz Brunch
Indulge in a unique jazz brunch experience aboard the classic Creole Queen steamboat. Savor a delectable brunch buffet with local favorites like gumbo and beignets, accompanied by live jazz music. Quench your wanderlust with sightseeing cruises along the majestic Mississippi River, offering breathtaking views of New Orleans. Don’t miss capturing stunning moments from the top deck!
5. Honey Island Swamp Tour
For nature lovers and adventure seekers, a Honey Island Swamp Tour is a must. Venture into the mysterious world of the Louisiana swamp as you embark on a guided tour through the Honey Island Swamp. Glide along the calm waters, surrounded by ancient cypress trees and lush vegetation, while keeping an eye out for alligators, turtles, birds, and other wildlife that call this swamp home.
Learn about the unique ecosystem of the swamp, its importance to the region, and the fascinating history and folklore that surrounds it. A swamp tour is a chance to connect with nature, experience the beauty of Louisiana’s wildlife, and create unforgettable memories.
6. Lafayette Cemetery No 1
Step back in time and explore the historic Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, one of the oldest and most iconic cemeteries in New Orleans. Dating back to the 19th century, this cemetery is renowned for its above-ground tombs, intricate architectural details, and a rich history that reflects the diverse cultural heritage of the city.
Take a guided tour and delve into the stories of the notable individuals buried here, including prominent New Orleanians and icons of the city’s past. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is a place of beauty, history, and reflection, offering a unique glimpse into the city’s rich cultural tapestry.
7. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Explore the stunning natural beauty and rich historical sites of Louisiana at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Named after the famous pirate, Jean Lafitte, this park encompasses six unique sites, including wetlands, forests, and historic buildings. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the bayou state as you hike the nature trails, spot wildlife, or take a canoe trip through the picturesque waterways.
Discover the fascinating history of the region through the park’s exhibits, ranger-led tours, and preserved historical sites. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and those seeking a deeper understanding of Louisiana’s cultural heritage.
8. Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival
No visit to Louisiana is complete without experiencing the vibrant culture and mouthwatering cuisine of the state. And what better way to do that than attending the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival? Celebrating the Cajun culture, this annual festival is a treat for the senses.
Feast on delectable crawfish dishes, listen to the lively rhythms of Cajun and zydeco music, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the festival grounds. From the crawfish boil competition to the Cajun dance lessons, there is something for everyone at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, making it a true Louisiana experience.
9. A Music Lover’s Guide to New Orleans
New Orleans, often referred to as the birthplace of jazz, is a haven for music lovers from around the world. Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant music scene by visiting iconic venues like Preservation Hall, where you can witness live jazz performances by talented musicians.
Catch a show at the legendary Tipitina’s, a historic music venue that has hosted some of the biggest names in the industry.
Explore the lively Frenchmen Street, known for its eclectic mix of live jazz, blues, and soul music pouring out of the numerous bars and clubs. Whether you’re a die-hard jazz fan or simply appreciate good music, New Orleans is a city that will captivate your senses and leave you begging for an encore.
10. LaLaurie Mansion
Nestled in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the LaLaurie Mansion, constructed in the early 1800s, served as the residence of socialite Madame Delphine LaLaurie. Renowned for her brutal treatment of slaves, the mansion is believed to be haunted by their tormented spirits.
The site has been prominently featured in various literary works and media, notably American Horror Story: Coven. Although inaccessible to the public, visitors can partake in ghost tours recounting the property’s chilling tales and legends.
11. Garden District
The historic Garden District in New Orleans boasts stunning architecture and lush gardens. A walking tour offers views of the famed St. Charles Avenue streetcars, grand homes, and beautiful oak trees. Explore Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, the city’s oldest cemetery, and a popular shopping and dining destination on Magazine Street. Indulge in delicious Creole cuisine at the iconic Commander’s Palace restaurant.
12. New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
Nestled in the heart of New Orleans, the Pharmacy Museum offers a captivating journey into the history of medicine, showcasing an array of vintage medical tools and exhibits chronicling the evolution of healthcare in Louisiana.
From the vital role of pharmacists in local communities to the advancements in modern medicine, visitors delve deep into the past through guided tours and educational programs suitable for all ages. A must-see for enthusiasts interested in the captivating history of healthcare in Louisiana, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum stands as a remarkable testament to the evolution of medicine.
13. The Singing Oak
Seek out a uniquely interactive art installation at the heart of City Park in New Orleans – the Singing Oak. This majestic oak tree is adorned with wind chimes, creating a melodic symphony of sound when the wind rustles through its branches.
As you linger beneath the tree, you’ll be serenaded by the gentle music, creating a serene and peaceful experience.
The Singing Oak is a testament to the city’s vibrant art scene, showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of local artists. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply seeking a moment of tranquility, the Singing Oak is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
14. A beautiful piece of local art in City Park
City Park in New Orleans is not only a lush and expansive green space but also a hub of creativity and artistic expression. Take a stroll through the park and discover numerous outdoor art installations that dot the landscape, showcasing the talent of local artists.
From whimsical sculptures to thought-provoking installations, the art in City Park adds a touch of magic and intrigue to the park’s natural beauty. Explore the park’s many trails, picnic areas, and gardens, and be sure to keep an eye out for the beautiful pieces of art that enhance the park’s public spaces.
15. Visit the St. Louis Cemeteries
The St. Louis Cemeteries in New Orleans are renowned for their unique above-ground tombs, some dating back to the city’s earliest years. Guided tours offer insights into the rich history and notable burials of personalities such as Marie Laveau and Danny Barker.
These cemeteries have been featured in popular media like “Interview with the Vampire” and “American Horror Story,” adding to their allure as historic landmarks of cultural significance.
16. New Orleans Cemetery Bus Tour After Dark
Experience the city’s history and culture on the New Orleans Cemetery Bus Tour after dark, creating an eerie and mysterious atmosphere. Explore famous cemeteries, including St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, as knowledgeable guides share stories about the city’s inhabitants and burial customs. This tour offers a unique way to learn about New Orleans’ history while enjoying a spooky and fun night out.
17. New Orleans Small-Group City Tour
Discover the rich history, culture, and architecture of New Orleans alongside an informed guide. Explore renowned sites such as the French Quarter, Jackson Square, and St. Louis Cathedral. Delve into lesser-known areas like the Marigny and Bywater to uncover hidden gems. Gain insights into the city’s distinctive cuisine and vibrant music scene. Experience a personalized small-group tour offering an intimate adventure. Benefit from insider recommendations on the top dining, drinking, and shopping spots in New Orleans.
18. New Orleans Inshore Fishing
New Orleans presents exceptional opportunities for inshore fishing in Louisiana, boasting a variety of fish including redfish, speckled trout, and flounder in Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Borgne, and the Mississippi River.
Local guides offer valuable insights to enhance your fishing experience, and charters cater to diverse group sizes and skill levels. While angling, take in the stunning scenery and diverse wildlife, truly immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the region.
19. Iberia Parish Library
Explore Louisiana’s rich history and culture at the Iberia Parish Library, which offers a wide range of books, films, and resources related to the state. Visitors can participate in events like author readings and book clubs, making it an enriching experience for all. With free Wi-Fi and computer access, the library caters to the needs of both tourists and locals. A valuable resource for anyone looking to delve into the cultural heritage of Louisiana.
20. Lincoln Parish Park
Nestled in Ruston, Louisiana, Lincoln Parish Park encompasses 540 acres of natural beauty. The park boasts a serene lake offering fishing, boating, and swimming opportunities, along with scenic hiking and biking trails. Its well-equipped playgrounds and inviting picnic areas make it ideal for family outings and reunions.
Moreover, the park hosts vibrant music festivals and enchanting outdoor movie nights. Visitors have the option to rent cabins, RV sites, or tent camping spaces for a delightful overnight stay, making it a popular choice for weekend getaways.
21. Woldenberg Riverfront Park
Experience the picturesque beauty of the Mississippi River, offering stunning views of the river and city skyline. Unwind amidst the serene surroundings, perfect for a stroll or a tranquil picnic. The park’s riverfront walk provides a peaceful ambiance to relax and soak in the tranquil environment.
22. Chauvin Sculpture Garden
Embark on a whimsical and artistic journey through the Chauvin Sculpture Garden, an outdoor gallery that showcases the creative works of local artists. Located in Chauvin, Louisiana, this captivating space is a testament to the imaginative spirit of the region.
Wander among the colorful sculptures, quirky installations, and thought-provoking art pieces that dot the landscape, immersing yourself in a world of creativity and self-expression. The Chauvin Sculpture Garden is a hidden gem that offers a unique and enchanting outdoor art experience, reflecting the vibrant artistic culture of Louisiana.
23. Fontainebleau State Park
Delight in outdoor pursuits like hiking and birdwatching, immersing yourself in the park’s natural beauty. Explore scenic trails and tranquil waterfront vistas for a serene retreat amidst lush landscapes. Fontainebleau State Park offers a peaceful haven for nature lovers, providing a picturesque escape and a perfect getaway.
24. Avery Island
Discover the natural beauty and spicy history of Avery Island, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Louisiana. This picturesque island is not only home to lush gardens and the unique flora of the bayou, but it is also the birthplace of the world-famous Tabasco sauce.
Visit the Tabasco Factory, where you can learn about the history of the iconic hot sauce, tour the process of its creation, and even sample some of the flavors.
Take a nature walk through the Jungle Gardens, a stunning 170-acre botanical sanctuary, and marvel at the breathtaking sights of the tranquil bayous. Avery Island is a destination that combines the best of nature, history, and culinary delights, offering a truly unforgettable experience.
25. Daytime Riverboat Jazz Cruise
Indulge in a delightful daytime excursion aboard a riverboat, immersed in rhythmic jazz melodies. Soak in the vibrant atmosphere as you revel in live jazz music while cruising the river. Experience the perfect blend of jazz, stunning river views, and pure relaxation.
This leisurely riverboat cruise offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the lively tunes of jazz against the backdrop of the beautiful Louisiana scenery. Embrace the joie de vivre with a touch of jazz on this daytime riverboat jazz cruise.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some lesser-known attractions in Louisiana that are worth visiting?
Things to do in Louisiana, While Louisiana is well-known for its popular attractions, several hidden gems are worth exploring. Here are some of the lesser-known attractions in Louisiana:
-Bita Springs Mystery House, a quirky folk art museum in Bita Springs.
-Chauvin Sculpture Garden, featuring over 100 concrete sculptures in Chauvin.
-Monkey Trail Bridge, a suspension bridge offering stunning views of Lake Pontchartrain.
-Melrose Plantation, is a historic site with beautiful gardens and unique architecture.
Are there any unique cultural experiences to be had in Louisiana?
Things to do in Louisiana, Louisiana is a melting pot of cultures, and there are plenty of unique experiences to be had. Here are a few:
-Immerse yourself in the vibrant Cajun culture of southwest Louisiana, known for its lively music, spicy cuisine, and joie de vivre.
-Explore the distinct Creole culture of New Orleans, characterized by its blend of French, African, Spanish, and Caribbean influences, evident in the city’s food, music, and architecture.
-Attend a zydeco dance, a lively and infectious fusion of Cajun, blues, and rhythm and blues music, accompanied by energetic dancing.
-Participate in a Mardi Gras celebration, a grand and exuberant festival that showcases the best of Louisiana’s culture, music, and parades.
What are some outdoor activities to do in Louisiana?
Things to do in Louisiana, Louisiana is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with a wealth of outdoor activities to choose from. Here are a few options:
-Explore the bayous and swamps on a guided kayak tour, where you can spot alligators, turtles, and a variety of bird species.
-Hike or bike through the scenic trails of the state parks, such as Kisatchie National Forest or Fontainebleau State Park.
-Go birdwatching in the many bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges scattered throughout the state.
-Experience the thrill of inshore or offshore fishing, with opportunities to catch a variety of fish species, including redfish, speckled trout, and flounder.
-Embark on a camping adventure in the state parks, where you can enjoy the beauty of nature, and stargaze, and bond with family and friends around a campfire.
In conclusion, Things to do in Louisiana, Louisiana offers a plethora of unique and exciting experiences that are worth exploring. From immersing yourself in the rich cultural history of New Orleans to venturing into the beautiful swamps and parks, there is something for everyone in this vibrant state.
Don’t miss out on visiting lesser-known attractions such as the New Orleans African American Museum and the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.
Indulge in the local cuisine and try delicious crawfish at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. For a truly unforgettable experience, embark on a riverboat jazz cruise or explore the stunning sculptures at the Chauvin Sculpture Garden. Louisiana is a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. So pack your bags and embark on an adventure like no other!
Ferona Jose is a passionate travel writer and blogger at Travelistia. She has traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her writing focuses on cheap travel destinations, travel experiences, cultural insights, and travel hacks.