Louisiana has lots of love to go around and much to enjoy. Here you will find links to help you plan the perfect day, weekend or extended stay as well as some of our favorite places to visit, along with some of my favorite Louisiana artist and artisans.
Louisiana Travel & Culture
Guide to Louisiana’s Farmers Markets fresh locally grown food, many with music & artisan crafts, all across Louisiana
Tax free Shopping International Visitors
Calendar of Events year round entertainment and places to discover
Mardi Gras the biggest two-week party in the world
Visit Baton Rouge state capitol and home to LSU and Southern University
Visit New Orleans the Big Easy and home of the world’s best food and music
South Louisiana Festivals celebrating food and music
Cajun Country South Louisiana
Crossroads Central Louisiana
Plantation Country Greater Capitol Region
Sportsman’s Paradise North Louisiana
Some Of Our Favorite Places For Day Trips
Audubon Institute: Zoo, Aquarium, Theater & Insectarium a world like no other where you can explore and experience life above ground, under ground and under water through the eye of nature’s most beautiful creations. Insectarium and Aquarium as just block away. Consider the Zoo cruise down the Mississippi River to visit the Zoo and enjoy life on the river there and back.
Cafe Amelie the most beautiful and exquisite courtyard dining in New Orleans. Amazing food is equally as enchaining as the lush and romantic setting. Indoor seating is available, but opt for the courtyard if available. Located on Royal street in the French Quarter, across from the Jackson Hotel. Menus changes regularly to reflect locally sourced ingredients and reservations are strongly recommended. Use the online system for added convenience.
French Market offers 300 years of history and 6 block of shopping, 7 days a week! You can fill a day in this area also. Just past Jackson Square, you will find numerous restaurants, confections, cafes, music, farmer’s market, flea market, and boutique & gift shopping. Some of can’t miss places to visit are Cafe Du Monde, The Gazebo Cafe, World Famous N’awlins Cafe and Spice Emporium, The Organic Banana, and of course the Open Air Flea Market.
Mardi Gras World puts you in the middle of Mardi Gras 7 days a week! Learn about the history & traditions of Mardi Gras and see the massive and incredible floats as you are guided through the float den as artisans work on their monstrous carnival creations. Enjoy some king cake too!! Take a sneak peek into what to expect.
New Orleans City Park 1,300-acre outdoor magical oasis with 800 year old love oak trees offers something for everyone. Visit the Botanical Garden & Sculpture Garden. Fishing, biking, jogging, and walking paths, 26 tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course make healthy family outdoor activities easily accessible. Ride the the famous 100 year old wooden carousel horses in the Carousel Gardens. Enjoy the Amusement park, Storyland and the Train Garden. Celebration in the Oaks is perhaps one of the most anticipated traditions in the entire city. The experience is enchanting and many magically memories await. Christmas lights, decorations and trees and weeks of activies will captivate the young and old alike. Advanced tickets are strongly encouraged and remember to get your train tickets too!
New Orleans French Market District 300 year old shopping district covering six blocks and open 7 days a week. Restaurants, canes & confections; farmer’s market, shops, flea market and local craft vendors; live music on every corner. Complimentary 40- minute history and culture walking tour on Mondays and Wednesday.
Avery Island is home of Tabasco Pepper Sauce and the enchanting Jungle Gardens & Bird City. Tour the factory, dine at the cafe and shop for souvenirs. Take a relaxing drive through 170-acre garden and stop along the winding roads to enjoy the abundant with wildlife, centuries old botanical gardens, Japanese inspired gardens and landmarks and the stunning egret bird refuge.
Rip Van Winkle Gardens 25-acre semi tropical gardens on Lake Peigneur, with roaming peacocks, winding paths among bamboo, camelias and enchanting discoveries at each turn. If you love historic homes, tour and marvel at 1870’s Joseph Jefferson Mansion or simply walk the picturesque grounds as we do. There is not much around so be sure to plan to dine in the indoor glass framed Jefferson Cafe or choose their outdoor dining area nestled in a grove of ancient live oak trees as my husband and I love to enjoy. Looking to rest and restore, consider one of the bed & breakfast cottages which is perfect for weekend get away or bridal events.
Audubon State Historic Site offers tours of Oakley House & gardens, barns, slave cabins and plantation kitchen. Nature lovers can also enjoy the nature trails and picnic areas. Oakley House is well know for it’s most famous guest, John James Audubon. His naturalist art work is legendary and found throughout both historic and modern Louisiana homes and businesses.
Grace Episcopal Church is the second oldest Episcopal church in Louisiana, dating back to 1827. If you love to take pictures, bring your camera! This historic church was built in the 1860 & features Gothic architecture and stunning interiors. Inside you will find the country’s oldest working pipe organ which is still played during services. The congregation that built this church were of meager means and you will be amazed to see and learn that much of what you see inside is not really what you think. The stained glass windows are not glass and wooded pews are not what you think either! Truly a work of art and innovation to see. The historic cemetery is peaceful and majestic with antique iron fences, centuries old oaks and classic Louisiana botanicals such as the gardenia pictured above.
Magnolia Cafe is our favorite place to eat! It is casual but amazing! From burgers to grilled tuna; they offer something for everyone in the family. It is open daily and in the quaintest little old wooden house than seems to go on and on with additions to include a bar and dance floor plus an enormous screen in porch. Patio dining under the party lights and oak tree in cooler months cannot be beat. There is also a quaint 1940’s motor hotel for those looking for overnight or weekend accommodations. It is a row of cute little shotgun homes with a covered carport and a chair to great you at the front steps.
The Myrtles is one of America’s most haunted houses and a bed and breakfast for the truly brave! Tour the home, eat in the casual dining restaurant and shop the general store for a lovely day visit. We have been there a few times during the day and thankfully not seen any ghost or suspicious things, but a world famous haunted plantation house over night is not my thing!
Some of My Favorite Louisiana Artists & Artisans
Louisiana Sunshine Soap Company, as featured on my blog, is a small family-based soap making company in Sunshine, Louisiana. They offer mild, vegan friendly, cruelty-free, paraben and phthalate free, eco-friendly, handcrafted, cold pressed soaps. Made with natural ingredients such as coffee, cloves, ground oatmeal, cocoa powder, rosewater, bentonite clay, juniper berries, real Louisiana honey, ground cinnamon and ginger, and powdered turmeric and parsley and branded with Louisiana inspired names such as Acadia, Evangeline, Plaquemines, Noire, L’Abre de Noel & Geaux Saints, they are an Urban Cajun Girl’s top pick for gifts! Order on line or find at local retailers.
Mimosa Handcrafted brings us amazing and original pieces straight from the heart of Louisiana! Designer and artisan Madeline Ellis works full-time to turn out these incredible iconic and custom pieces. Find designs symbolic of all things Louisiana such as the iconic “Pelican Cuff” and “You are My Sunshine” pendant. Browse the extensive collection of bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings & cufflinks to find them adorned with pecans, magnolias, mermaids, skylines, oysters, crawfish, tigers, alligators, and more! Bridal section, aromatherapy diffuser jewelry, home decor and custom pieces also available. Find at popular boutiques, artisan events or shop on-line and get FREE shipping with code: FREESHIP2016. Sign up for the newsletter to receive special offers and discounts. Watch demos of this amazing jewelry come to life on their YouTube Channel and check out my blog feature of this “jewel” of a Louisiana company!
Petite Louisiana, as featured on my blog, offers original paintings and drawings on mini canvases, ornaments, coasters, frames, and other mediums. They make wonderful corporate gifts for out of state clients and customers as well as beautiful souvenirs (French for “remember’). Laura BelIone is the gifted artist behind these tiny beauties. Laura is a landscape architect who combines her passion for painting with her love of Louisiana to create small, affordable pieces of art with Louisiana flavor. Shop her Etsy shop 24/7 or message her to see the full collection or for commissioned work.
Do you have a favorite Louisiana Love to share? Tell me about it so I can check it out.