From Mardis Gras to tours of the swamps, there’s always something fun to do in Louisiana. When the daily grind of work and other obligations begin to take its toll on your relationship, it’s time to reconnect with your sweetie. When you book a stay at a Louisiana vacation rental, you can look forward to exploring charming small communities, as well as big cities throughout the state — each boasting its own unique vibe. Check out the top romantic weekend getaway spots in Louisiana.

1. New Orleans

When it comes to vacation destinations, New Orleans is one of the most popular. It’s a great spot to rekindle your romance, dancing in clubs in the French quarter or enjoying beignets in Cafe du Monde while talking for hours. Take a cruise on the Mighty Mississippi and enjoy a Cajun-influenced meal on the Steamboat Natchez, a vintage steamboat from a bygone era. Stroll the area in and around Jackson Square to enjoy the variety of street performers and live music. Wander through the gardens and inhale the sweet scents while you hold hands. Walk through the Garden District with its gorgeous homes and dream of owning one together someday.

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2. Lafayette

Spend a weekend heating up your relationship in the heart of Cajun country with a vacation rental in Lafayette. If you can visit the area in fall, aim for late September when the Festival Acadians occurs. You spend the weekend tapping your toes to live music, eating more food than you thought you could, and picking out unique items from the vendors. At Vermilionville Historic Village, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time at this living museum with its restored buildings and docents in period costumes showing daily life in the 1800s. For a fun evening together, stop by the Blue Moon Saloon for the live Cajun music.

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3. Lake Charles

Soak up the sun with a weekend in Lake Charles and get out on the water. Spend a day hiking together on the Creole Nature Trail, and bring binoculars to catch sight of one of the more than 400 species of birds that live in the area. Before heading out on the hiking trails, stop by the Creole Nature Trail Visitors Center to learn more about the critters that live in the wetlands. If you’re feeling lucky, take your honey to the L’Auberge Casino for an evening of gambling at the tables or competing to see who can win the most nickels at the slot machines. Eat at Rabideaux’s at least once for its amazing Cajun seafood.

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4. New Iberia

Slow down and enjoy life more with that special someone in New Iberia. Take a tour of the Bayou Teche Museum to learn more about the history of the area and life on the bayou. Spend all day Saturday exploring Avery Island, and take a tour of the Tabasco plant. The island also offers Jungle Gardens and miles of hiking paths that cover this small island. If the two of you enjoy golfing together, book a tee time at the Squirrel Run Golf Club with its gorgeous 18-hole course. While strolling through the historic downtown area, make time to see the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

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5. Baton Rouge

Learn more about the state’s capital with a visit to Baton Rouge. Take a tour of the Louisiana Capital Building to get an up-close look at this stately building, and then meander over to the former capitol building turned museum to learn more about the state’s history. Find out more about military history and life at sea with a tour of the USS Kidd, a former Navy destroyer. Walk hand in hand as you see the gorgeous furnishings and beautiful gardens at the Magnolia Mound Plantation House. For a romantic dinner, book a table at Mansurs on the Boulevard to enjoy the sounds of a live piano player as you dig into your upscale Cajun dishes.

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6. Bossier City

If you’ve been lucky in love, you may be lucky in the casinos that make Bossier City a hotspot for weekend visitors. Spend an evening at the Horseshoe Bossier City casino resort where you can try your luck at the gaming tables or nickel and dime it at the slot machines. The casino also has a lovely buffet for a quick meal. Explore the history of airplanes in the military at the 8th Air Force Museum located on the Barksdale Air Force Base. They have a nice collection of vintage airplanes from past conflicts. Choose a booth to sit close together when you eat at Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland’s with its selection of Cajun dishes and scrumptious cocktails.

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7. Shreveport

Enjoy all the advantages of city life while reconnecting with a stay in Shreveport on the Red River. Reserve seats for a play or evening of classical music at the Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium, or opt for tickets for a hockey game or pop music concert at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. Stroll around the Shreveport Riverfront in the evenings to see the historic building, check out the eclectic blend of shops, and watch the boats on the river as the sun goes down. Make sure to stop by the stunning Holy Trinity Catholic Church built in the Romanesque Revival style architecture. Throughout town, you walk past gorgeous historic homes.

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8. Alexandria

Located on the banks of the Red River, Alexandria is the best small town when you want to spend a weekend relaxing together and enjoying low-key fun. Wander through the Alexandria Zoological Park to see all of the animals in habitats designed to look like those that they enjoy in the wild, or learn more about the area’s history at the small Louisiana History Museum. Take a tour of Arna Bontemps’ birthplace. Bontemps was a poet and novelist who rose to fame during the Harlem Renaissance in New York City.

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