Louisiana February 27, 2019
Here Are 11 Rites-Of-Passage That Every Louisianian Must Experience Once
There’s no place like Louisiana. From our food to the scenery, Louisiana attracts thousands of visitors every year, everyone looking to get a first-hand experience of this great state. If you’ve lived here your entire life or at least a good chunk of it, you should have completed these 11 rites-of-passage by now.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Hold a gator.
Alligators and Louisiana have a long history together. Alligators have been harvested for their skins, oils, and meat for more than two centuries. According to the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries website, Louisiana has the highest alligator population, at approximately 2 million alligators in the wild and another 300,000 on alligator farms. There are dozens of alligator habitats peppered throughout the state where you can learn all about the importance of these animals and even get to hold a baby gator. Check out these attractions in
Natchitoches, Covington, Gibson, and Greenwood,
just to name a few.
2. Visit Avery Island.
You probably know Avery Island as being the home of that legendary pepper sauce, Tabasco. Louisiana’s most well-known salt dome is a must-see attraction for all Louisianians, and not just because of Tabasco. Make a day of it and tour the factory, dine at Restaurant 1868 and enjoy some authentic Cajun dishes with a bit of a kick to them, and then take a stroll through the beautiful grounds. The Jungle Gardens are a 170-acre semitropical garden that is nestled along Bayou Petite Anse, offering some spectacular scenery and water views. Bird City was founded in the 1890s and has grown to be the largest rookies for egrets and other water birds in the state.
3. Spend some time in a state park.
Louisiana has 21 state parks peppered throughout the state, each one offering outstanding opportunities for outdoor adventures. From hiking trails to fishing holes, chances are you are not far from a state park and you should visit at least one this year to experience what it has to offer.
to check out our previous article highlighting some of our favorite state parks in Louisiana.
4. Devour a po’boy… dressed.
Anywhere else around the country and they’re called hoagies, grinders, or subs, but we all know that there is only one name for this delicious sandwich, and that’s a po’boy. Whether you prefer a stuffed shrimp po’boy or a sloppy roast beef po’boy, grab a stack of napkins and
to learn about all the best places to get one.
5. Go on a swamp tour.
Going on a swamp tour is maybe the number one rite of passage for a Louisianian. Louisiana is home to approximately 3 million acres of wetlands filled with countless wildlife and vegetation. To take a swamp tour is to get up close to some of Louisiana’s most beautiful scenery, so be sure to bring your camera.
to read our previous article to find a swamp tour near you.
6. Stroll through the French Quarter.
The oldest neighborhood in New Orleans has some of the most stunning architecture, shopping opportunities, and restaurants in the state, and there may be a bar or two you could mosey on in. Spend an afternoon strolling through the historic streets, popping in and out of all the businesses for a fun-filled, Louisiana day.
to learn about some little known attractions in the French Quarter to make your day extra special.
7. Hike through the Kisatchie National Forest.
Louisiana’s only national forest should be on everyone’s bucket list. The Kisatchie National Forest is comprised of 604,000 acres are spread across seven parishes in central and northern Louisiana. There are five ranger districts: Calcasieu, Catahoula, Caney, Kisatchie, and Winn and each one has endless trails, beautiful views, and camping opportunities. If you’re a wildlife or nature enthusiast, then you need to check out this incredible forest.
. to discover some of our favorite hiking trails within the Kisatchie National Forest.
8. Make a roux.
Even if you’re not much of a good cook, give it a go. Just be patient!
9. Experience at least one New Orleans Mardi Gras parade.
Mardi Gras is the biggest tourist attraction for the state, and although many other cities in Louisiana celebrate this holiday, none do it quite like New Orleans. For the true experience, see a super krewe like Endymion or Orpheus or spend Mardi Gras Day watching Rex or Zulu. Check out these
of Mardi Gras through the years and see how much has changed (and how much has stayed the same).
10. Eat some gumbo.
Whether you prefer chicken and sausage or seafood, go ahead and grab yourself a bowl. Or take that roux you just made and make your own!
to see our previous article that will take you on a mouthwateringly good gumbo trail that you can find in Louisiana.
11. Go to a crawfish boil.
Crawfish season is just around the corner, so go ahead and rinse off your crawfish pot. Crawfish boils are a Louisiana tradition, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Hanging out in the backyard with your friends and family over a table full of fresh boiled crawfish is just one of those experiences that’s quintessentially Louisianian.
How many of these rites-of-passage have you done? Let us know in the comments below!