Experience southern charm at bed and breakfasts in Louisiana--ranging from charming country cottages to funky and colorful city residences. No place is quite the same: whether you prefer the lush rural regions near the state’s northern borders, or the vibrant fun of a historic Victorian in New Orleans, you’ll be able to sample the wonders of the state.
When you stay in a Louisiana bed and breakfast, you can expect to meet friendly innkeepers, explore a rich natural landscape, and enjoy Southern delicacies--all in a single night.
Louisiana’s coastal regions are known for their bayous and flora--perfect for a romantic getaway, or a busy trip for lovers of the outdoors. For those seeking to stay in New Orleans, a variety of bed and breakfasts are tucked into the city’s most exciting streets and districts. Visitors can opt to stay in a restored mansion within the historic district, or spend the night at a bed and breakfast close to the city’s main attractions--the bustling French Quarter, bar-packed Bourbon Street. A trip to New Orleans is perfect to celebrate Mardi Gras in unforgettable style. Urban Louisiana fun also awaits in the cities of Lafayette and Baton Rouge, where cultural attractions and famed nightlife make for the ideal vacation.
Visitors to Louisiana can expect to sample delicious and diverse cuisines while there. Cajun cuisine-- named after a French-speaking Canadian culture--is ubiquitous in New Orleans. This style of cooking incorporates West African, French, and Spanish techniques; guests can often find it cooked fresh from locally available ingredients. They can expect “three pot” meals--one main dish, one steamed rice or seafood, and the third vegetables. Cajun cuisine often includes crawfish, shrimp, and sausage, along with the “trinity” of vegetable ingredients: green pepper, onion, and celery.
Creole cuisine is also a famed staple of the Louisiana dining scene. It originated in the state, and blends West African, Spanish, French, and Amerindian cooking elements, making it a key part of southern cuisine more generally. Guests can enjoy Creole dishes such as jambalaya, a dish consisting of meat or seafood and vegetables mixed with rice, and prepared fresh in signature Louisiana Creole style.
Louisiana is known for its flora and fauna--the state’s coastal regions were shaped by the course of the Mississippi River, which carved out sprawling deltas and enormous areas of swamp and coastal march. These regions are crowded with distinctive animals and plants, from swamp birds like egrets to paddlefish and tree frogs. Other natural features in the state include rare flowers, stretches of longleaf pine forest, and rippling savannas. Salt domes, including a famed one in Avery Island, Louisiana, exist throughout the state; they formed as a result of evaporation from the Gulf of Mexico, which borders the state along its southern edge.
The weather in Louisiana is generally warm, particularly during the longer summer months, with short and mild winters. The region receives higher rainfall than most other parts of the country, with a “wet season” spanning from April to September. Southern Louisiana in particular experiences famed humidity and heat. The state is also affected by hurricanes, including the famously devastating Hurricane Katrina, from which the city of New Orleans is still rebuilding.
The state of Louisiana has a rich multicultural heritage. It is the site of the country’s first burial mounds, created by Native Americans who dwelled in the region for millenia. In the seventeenth century, the state was a colony of the French and the Spanish. It became the seat of the southern slave trade; those looking to learn more about the history of American slavery can find educational museums in New Orleans and other areas in the state.
The region has been shaped by its coastal weather and by its eighteenth-century legacy of diverse cultures mingling. A stroll down one street in New Orleans might evince the blend of cultural backgrounds that has changed the state’s settlement patterns, its music and its food, including French, Haitian, Spanish, African, and Native American heritages.
These historical influences contribute to the highly multilingual environment to be found in modern Louisiana. In New Orleans, for example, visitors can find Spanish Creole architecture alongside historic French buildings.
Louisiana features a wide array of recreational activities--from nature tours to nightlife options, from distinct cuisine options to large state parks.
Visitors to Louisiana can book swamp tours to explore the coastal region from the water, glimpsing alligators, herons, rare plants and an enormous variety of marine life. State parks offer hiking options that will plunge visitors into a natural world of greenery.
The city of Shreveport is a Louisiana gem, featuring cultural festivals and fine dining options for visitors. It sits next to a swamp--famed for its alligators--and offers a relaxed option to explore the state from. St. Francisville, a popular city for visitors located in West Feliciana Parish, an area of plantation country, is known for its history and wildlife. Natchitoches is another key Louisiana destination. It overlaps with the National Historical Park and is rife with historic landmarks, from a cathedral with famous stained-glass to an eighteenth-century general store and rows of French Creole townhouses. For sports fans, a trip to Baton Rouge complements game day, when the LSU Tigers take to the field and tailgates abound.
New Orleans is known worldwide for its exuberant Mardi Gras celebrations, and the city also features a diverse array of dining options for visitors to sample the cuisines of Cajun Country. New Orleans nightlife offers an unforgettable experience; guests can taste Louisiana whiskeys and enjoy musical performances.
Louisiana features a wealth of recreational activities. Visitors can go for hikes in the state’s national parks, and they can enjoy speedboat tours of the marsh, possibly catching glimpses of alligators sunning themselves in the rivers.
The state’s cities are generally known for their busy nightlife, the range of southern cuisines, and the entertainment possibilities in bars, theaters, and clubs. In New Orleans, the historic French Quarter is the site of musical performances and numerous historic buildings, making it a can’t-miss destination for visitors to the area. Across town, the upscale Canal Street presents an array of shopping and entertainment venues. The Garden District is also a popular destination for visitors; its avenues are shaded by oaks and feature ornate homes of varying sizes, cultivated gardens, and a nineteenth-century cemetery, as well as antique shops and boutiques that line the Mardi Gras parade route.
In addition, visitors to the state would do well to visit the bustling cities of Baton Rouge and Lafayette, as well as the smaller, charming towns of Breaux Bridge and Covington. In each of these destinations, dining and shopping options await alongside natural beauty and an array of museums.
In the typical Louisiana bed and breakfast, guests can expect a full range of amenities. These include free WiFi and cable in in-room televisions. Bed and breakfasts include full kitchens, and many guestrooms come with a private bath--Jacuzzi tubs are common--that is connected to the main room. Many bed and breakfasts also feature charming details, from local artwork and specialty soaps to fresh linens. Guests can expect home-cooked meals, from innkeepers who provide recommendations for local activities and hidden gems--along with recipes to take Louisiana cuisine home.
Guests to Louisiana bed and breakfasts can trade the impersonal atmosphere of a chain hotel for a quaint guesthouse. With friendly and welcoming innkeepers--embodying southern hospitality--and charming interiors, Louisiana bed and breakfasts are ideal for a weekend getaway. Quaint breakfast inns make popular locations for romantic trips or girls’ nights out, whether in the heart of New Orleans or the relaxed atmosphere of a quieter town. Guests can check in to an unforgettable home that allows them to experience what the state has to offer while comfortable.
When staying in a city--including New Orleans, Lafayette and Baton Rouge-visitors have access to well-developed public transportation systems, including buses. Louisiana bed and breakfasts are often located close to tourist attractions--from the French Quarter to the Garden District and urban historic districts--so guests to these homes will find attractions within walking distance. Ride-sharing and rental cars are accessible from these major cities as well as smaller towns throughout the state. Louisiana also has three international airports, in the cities of Alexandria, Lake Charles and New Orleans.
Louisiana features many different types of bed and breakfasts. La Belle Esplanade--ranked the #2 bed and breakfast in the country and the best bed and breakfast in Louisiana--is a quirky and colorful mansion on a historic street in New Orleans. The home is located close to the major city must-sees while also providing access to a quaint and quiet neighborhood rich with city culture. For a more rural and charming option, the Maison D’Memoire bed and breakfast in Rayne, Louisiana offers a Cajun ambience--and Cajun food--on twenty acres of private land, making it a good option for a secluded and romantic bed and breakfast in Louisiana.
Guests can also stay in plantation bed and breakfasts in Louisiana, such as the Butler Greenwood Plantation B&B, located in St. Francisville. It offers cottages with porches overlooking a pond, barbecue grills, and four-poster beds, among other amenities.
Haunted bed and breakfasts are also popular in the state, along with Victorian bed and breakfasts, cottages, and historic, restored mansions. Stay in a bed and breakfast in south Louisiana to experience urban activity and natural sights--the Pierre Coulon Guest House in New Orleans, for example, offers a private apartment in a vibrant quarter that works well as a base for sightseeing or part of a larger trip around the state.