In Louisiana, pleasant summer weather often extends into the fall months, which you can take advantage of during Labor Day weekend. Whether you want to visit exciting attractions or enjoy a hike through the woods, there’s something great for everyone in Louisiana. As for accommodations, book a stay at a Louisiana vacation rental close to the French Quarter in New Orleans or along a bayou in the countryside. Here’s a quick look at the best Labor Day weekend getaway spots in Louisiana.

1. New Orleans

People in park on a bright day
New Orleans is one of the most visited cities in the state, and it’s a great place to get out and walk in the cooler weather. See all the beautiful homes in the Garden District. Enjoy the final days of Hansen’s Sno-Bliz season with a snowcone drenched in your favorite flavor syrup. At the Audubon Zoo, get your feet wet in the wading pools, go on a safari, and cross the rope bridge. Walk around Bourbon Street in the late afternoon and enjoy beignets from Cafe du Monde. Pick up a unique work of art from one of the local artists hawking their wares at Jackson Square.

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2. Baton Rouge

Front view of capitol building
Louisiana’s capital city, Baton Rouge, sits on the Mississippi River and reminds visitors of the Old South. Take a tour of the Old Louisiana Capitol Building, which resembles a castle, and then see the stately, newer Louisiana Capitol Building. Enjoy one of the final weekends of the year at Blue Bayou and Dixie Landin’. This waterpark features slides, kiddie pools, wave pools, and a lazy river. Take a tour of the USS Kidd, a Fletcher-class destroyer used in World War II and named for a rear admiral who died in the Pearl Harbor attacks.

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3. Lafayette

Rural scenery with cottage and field
Explore the past in Lafayette and visit the LARC’s Acadian Village. Set along the bayou, this recreated settler village features homes and a general store so you can learn more about life during the 19th century in this area. Take the kids to the Children’s Museum of Acadiana to learn more about science and the natural world through play. See things that slither and slide in the bayou by booking a tour through Champagne’s Cajun Swamp Tours.

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4. Shreveport

Colorful mural
Source: Flickr/Paul Sableman

In northwestern Louisiana, Shreveport is a popular vacation destination. Make sure to visit the Sci-Port Discovery Center, where your kids learn about science with the slew of hands-on exhibits and enjoy a show in the massive IMAX theater. While strolling downtown, walk past the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau and notice the colorful mural, “A Call to Action,” painted on the side. With more than 20,000 individual rosebushes on display, the American Rose Center is the largest rose garden in the United States and is worth a visit.

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5. Lake Charles

Man-made pathway through field
Source: Flickr/Louisiana Travel

Another city on the Mississippi River is Lake Charles in the southwestern part of the state. Unwind as you take a leisurely walk along one of the many trails in Prien Lake Park and stop and cool off at the water play area—even if you’re just a kid at heart. Learn more about the famous festival that comes to this state every year at the Mardi Gras Museum and see bright costumes and floats from past parades. Bord Du Lac Park (Millennium Park) gives you an opportunity to feed the ducks before walking along trails that include tunnels, bridges, and even a maze.

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6. Alexandria

Front view of plantation house with trees and fence
Source: Flickr/Louisiana Travel

In the center of the state, Alexandria sits on the Red River. Dating back to 1936, the Alexandria Zoological Park keeps its animals in free-roaming habitats so you can get a feel for what it’s like for these animals to live in the wild. Kids learn about family and communities through play at the T.R.E.E. House museum. The museum hosts frequent events, so check the schedule. Tour the Kent Plantation House to see one of the oldest homes in the state. The estate includes a sugar mill, a blacksmith shop, and a milk house.

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7. New Iberia

View of country house with trees
Source: Flickr/gsloan

New Iberia is in the heart of Cajun country, and everyone in town treats your family like a friend. Tour Shadows-on-the-Teche, a plantation home that was built before the American Civil War, and wander through the attached formal gardens and tombs. Learn more about the past and the local area in the Bayou Teche Museum with its cool exhibits and old photographs. Breathe in the fresh air in the Rip Van Winkle Gardens with its manicured green spaces and frequent benches.

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8. Slidell

Reflection of clouds and sky on lake
Source: Flickr/Olivier Bruchez

On the northeast shores of the Lake Pontchartrain, Slidell has lots of vacation rentals with amazing water views. Take a tour through the swamps and bayous with Honey Island Adventures, which takes out small groups to see the alligators and creepy crawlers. Go fishing and hiking in the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area. This area includes streams and bayous, so keep your eyes open for gators.

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9. Natchitoches

Longleaf pines in national forest
Source: Flickr/Justin Meissen

Slow down and explore the historic district in Natchitoches. This town dates back to the early 1700s and features many original Creole homes. With more than 60 buildings to explore, Oakland Plantation is worth an entire day to tour the main home and explore the outlying buildings. Put on sturdy shoes and pack some water to hike in the Kisatchie National Forest. It is the only national forest in the state and features towering pines and hardwood trees.

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10. Grand Isle

Sunset over water creating orange skies
Soak up the sun in Grand Isle, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. Toss your blanket out on the beach at Grand Isle State Park while the kids build a sandcastle, or spend the day hiking in the park. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Fort Livingston sits in ruins today, but you can explore the surrounding area. Kids love the Grand Isle Butterfly Dome, which houses the 139 butterfly species that call Louisiana home. Before heading inside, pick up one of the brochures that show them all and check them off as you spot the right ones.

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