We’re changing things up a bit this week, in honor of Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday). Where else do you celebrate Mardi Gras than Louisiana? That’s right, you have to celebrate Mardi Gras in Louisiana.
To help me share a little more about Louisiana, I asked my BFF, Lisa to share a little about where she lives. (Doesn’t she have the cutest family?)
If you told me seven years ago I would be asked to write a highlight of Louisiana from personal experience, I would have chuckled, especially if you asked me about Shreveport, Louisiana. Where in the world is Shreveport, La??
After living here 6+ years I can honestly say it was hard for me to narrow down the “must see” list for the Pelican State.
Accordingly to Wiki, Louisiana has a “humid sub-tropical climate”. Which makes it almost sound resort like and lovely but trust me July-September does not feel resort like or lovely. It’s just HOT and STICKY! Louisiana has a wonderful Fall and Spring and typically a mild winter although an occasional a snow or ice storm isn’t unheard of. So pack your bags for LA between October and May and there’s a good chance for nice weather.
If you want the true Cajun/French Creole experience, southern LA is where it’s at. We live in Shreveport which is in the North West corner of the state. We are 25 minutes shy of the Texas border. We do have a lot of Cajun culture here but they lay it on thick down south. I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Baton Rouge and New Orleans on a handful of occasions and this is one of my favorites:
Talk about a fun way to meet some alligators. Near New Orleans we boarded a boat and with a witty captain leading the way it was a great 90 minutes. We went in late November which means the temperatures were very mild but that also meant many of the alligators were hibernating or at least not eating much but we were still able to see quite a few in the water. Just in case it was a quiet trip the captain brought a tiny alligator on board to pass around. Fun for all!
I fully realize most people don’t plan to vacation in Shreveport, LA. But if you find yourself driving on Interstate 20 between Dallas, Tx and Jackson, MS take a few hours/days to see a few attractions.
My kids love Sci-Port Science Center. They have a great toddler area as well as activities for older kids. They also have an IMAX if you want to catch a cool show.
Check out the prices and hours here.
Gator and Friends
This exotic petting zoo let’s you feed most of the animals. There were quite a few alligators sunbathing the day we went. I hear the summer is much more active season for the alligators. It was still fun to try and feed the kangaroos, camels and capybaras (pictured below). They also have a zip line now for added excitement!
See the website for more interesting things to do here.
Mardi Gras Parades
In honor of Fat Tuesday I must highlight the Mardi Gras season. Shreveport is very purple, gold and green during February. It took me a few years to embrace Mardi Gras and to realize it has family friendly fun as well. (Unlike what you hear about in New Orleans..)
There are multiple parades to choose from. The kids will love dancing to the fun music and watching tons of beaded necklaces, toys, Mardi Gras cups and more fly through the air. We have quite the stash this year.
Check out this website for Mardi Gras info as well as other great thing in the North West section of Louisiana.
Don’t you love wonderful friends who are willing to help you out! I know I need to go down and visit her in Louisiana, and I will, soon, but I wanted to share this fun state during one of its most fun holidays!
Check out some of our other state highlights:
Have we highlighted your state yet? What state should we highlight next? Let us know in the comments below, or through social media, use #usabytpe