Louisiana lies in the U.S. Southeast, bordering Texas and Mississippi. Think of Louisiana, and you'll probably think of New Orleans, the largest city in the state, but New Orleans isn't the only cultural city in the Deep South. Exploring the state can be a great experience when you're traveling solo and can choose your own adventures.
Known for having a rich and historic heritage, Louisiana has influences of African, French, and Spanish, with a laid-back vibe. Not only will you be singing the blues, but you can enjoy a few beaches or two along the Gulf Coast during your visit.
If you love nature, you'll love Louisiana with its 150 lakes and many opportunities for outdoor adventures. Although famed for the Mississippi River, Louisiana has many other rivers, as well as swamplands and islands in the southern part of the state. Visiting Louisiana is great for nature lovers, with its national parks, as well as history buffs, with historic sites dating back hundreds of years.
If you're set on visiting Louisiana's most famous city, head south for the Mississippi River and the New Orleans.
The French Quarter with its pastel-coloured buildings is a great place to stay when you are looking for New Orleans hotels. Frenchmen Street is where you'll find live jazz clubs to wile away your solo evenings, but make sure to visit Woldenberg Park first for the sunset. During the day, enjoy some solitude in one of the city's historic gardens, admire centuries-old architecture, wander around St. Louis Cemetery, or explore the churches. Instead of walking, you can take one of the city's trams or explore Jackson Square on a horse and carriage.
There's so much to do here as a solo traveler. You can learn how to cook Creole-style or find out more about the legends on a ghostly evening tour. Learn about the ecology of the area on a riverboat tour or swamp tour, discovering the history and wildlife of the region, or spend a day visiting old sugar plantations.
New Orleans holds many festivals, from Jazz in the Park to the New Orleans Film Festival. Visit in February, and you'll be there in time for the famous Mardi Gras, with its colourful parade and celebrations featuring mask-wearing celebrants.
Find Adventure in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and More
Although overshadowed by New Orleans, Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and also sits along the Mississippi River. Here you'll find the Blue Bayou Water Park, the largest amusement park in the area. You can also take a swamp tour or explore the LSU Lakes. The climate here is perfect for spending time outdoors.
Head to Lafayette for spicy Cajun cuisine and places of importance, such as the Acadiana Centre for the Arts and the Alexandre Mouton House Museum, where you'll find antiques and vintage Mardi Gras costumes. With the strong Cajun influence in the region, the Acadian Village is a prime example of a Cajun Bayou community and well worth a visit.
Shreveport is the third-largest city in Louisiana. This is the cultural centre of Ark-La-Tex, the region where Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma intersect, and here you'll find a network of waterways, wetlands, and pine forests. The Mardi Gras is also held here every February, making it a good alternative for those who aren't in New Orleans.
Other places to visit here for your solo adventures are Lake Charles, which offers small-town charm, and Kinder, which is home to the largest casino in Louisiana.
Planning a Trip to Louisiana
Budget – $100 USD + a day
Capital – Baton Rouge
Population – 4.65 million
Language spoken – Louisiana Creole, French, English
Local Currency – US Dollar
The Best Time to Go – April and May
Where can I go from here?
Miami – 1 hour 45 mins
Orlando – 1 hour 45 mins
Chicago – 2.5 hrs
(* All from New Orleans)