Plan your next weekend getaway in the South, where you and your family can sample Cajun food in Shreveport, or learn how Tabasco sauce is made on Avery Island. When you make Louisiana your vacation destination, you have the opportunity to kayak in Venice, where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico; or join in on the Mardi Gras celebration on Bourbon Street in the Big Easy. Book a stay at one of many incredible Louisiana vacation rentals ideal for your next weekend trip.

1. Shreveport

As the third-largest city in Louisiana, Shreveport is the perfect vacation destination for big-city attractions. Satisfy your cravings for masterpieces with a tour of the R.W. Norton Art Gallery, or thrill the sports fan in your group with a hockey game at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. Check out the historic architecture in Shreveport, from the Holy Trinity Catholic Church to the Marlene Yu Museum. Stroll the specialty shops on the riverfront or the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets before retreating to your vacation rental for some rest and relaxation.

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2. Lake Charles

When you’re feeling lucky, Lake Charles is the place to be. Home to four casinos and a racetrack, this Louisiana city comes alive with winning opportunities. Take in the rich Cajun culture of Lake Charles when sampling Southern cuisine at Louisiana’s Outback on the Creole Nature Trail, All-American Road. After you get your fill, explore the 26-mile trail that’s popular for crabbing and fishing. A weekend getaway during the summer gives you opportunities to paddleboard or kayak on Prien Lake, or take a guided fishing excursion on the Calcasieu River with Reel Charters.

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3. Lafayette

Spend a weekend in southwestern Louisiana in the midst of the Creole and Cajun cultures in Lafayette. This Cajun community offers small-town charm and big city appeal, with cultural attractions such as the Alexandre Mouton House Museum and the Cajundome. Treat the kids to a day at the Lafayette Science Museum, or view the art at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum. A dinner full of Cajun favorites awaits you at the Blue Dog Cafe.

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4. Monroe

A vacation rental in Monroe puts you in the educational and economic hub of the state. Known as the birthplace of Delta Airlines, aviation enthusiasts flock to this city to tour the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum and learn about aviation and military history. Explore nature during your weekend getaway in Monroe with a trip to the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo, or treat the family to a leisurely walk through the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens. This small city is also home to Cajun and Southern cuisine unlike any other, with restaurants such as Catfish Charlie’s and the Waterfront Grill.

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5. Baton Rouge

Head to the capital of Louisiana to see historic sites, such as the Magnolia Mound Plantation House and the Baton Rouge Gallery. A weekend getaway in Baton Rouge offers fun in the sun for the entire family when splashing around at the Blue Bayou waterpark or visiting the exotic animals at the Baton Rouge Zoo. Set your sights on the largest swamp in the United States — the Atchafalaya Basin — or learn about the lives of 19th century families on a tour of the Louisiana State University Rural Life Museum.

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6. New Orleans

A vacation rental in the Big Easy offers attractions for singles, couples, and families. As one of the premier nightlife vacation destinations, New Orleans is home to the world-famous Mardi Gras festival each year, featuring street parties and celebrations along Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. For a more family-friendly adventure, take the kids to tour Jackson Square to see artists painting live sketches on the street, or walk through the National WWII Museum for a sobering look at history. When you want to see the water up close and personal, sign up for the Steamboat Natchez Harbor Cruise or the Swamp and Bayou Sightseeing Tour.

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7. Avery Island

Foodies with a taste for spicy meals flock to Avery Island, home of the Tabasco Tour and Tabasco Museum. See the factory and the barrel warehouse up close before stopping in at the country store and restaurant to sample some hot sauce varieties. Once you satisfy your hunger, head to Bird City to see egrets and exotic birds that live on the island. The island is also home to deer and alligators within sight from the swamp shores. Throughout the hiking and walking trails of Jungle Gardens, you may also catch sight of Japanese camellias, Egyptian papyrus, and colorful azaleas in full bloom.

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8. Venice

Book a vacation rental in Venice to enjoy outdoor adventures. This southeastern Louisiana city is located right where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico, offering hot spots for fishing excursions. Sign up for a guided fishing excursion with Louisiana Tuna Charters and try your hand at catching dinner. Make a splash in the water when renting a kayak from Kayak Venice, or rent a boat from Venice Offshore Charters to explore the waters on your own. This Louisiana city is also home to the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, where you can see exotic animals up close.

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