In Louisiana, fall is a visually stunning time of year. An overall freshness is in the air that creates the perfect atmosphere for friends and family to come together for seasonal events. Music festivals, art dedications, and recreational outdoor activities are many of the popular fall activities happening around the state. These events bring together amazing food and drinks, and culture so prevalent in the state. Here are the 15 best fall activities to do in Louisiana.
Football in south Louisiana isn’t always about who wins the game. Don’t get us wrong, it’s great when your team wins. But the real party is before the game when fans come out to join in on the biggest celebration on campus. According to LSUsports.net over two-thirds of Tiger Fans come out to tailgate for five hours or more prior to kick-off each game. That is one big party considering Tiger Stadium holds over 102,000 people at capacity. Visiting teams can often be seen doing some tailgating of their own as long as they abide by the campus policies. Bring your own grill, cooler, beverage, and tent. Then, let the good times roll.
Every year, Voodoo Music & Art Experience hosts one of the biggest festivals of the region where local as well as regional acts share the spotlight one weekend in late October. Held in New Orleans City Park this festival is truly an experience where food, music, and art all come together. Some of the finest cuisine of New Orleans is right inside the park, all while people from across the globe dance around in full costume to celebrate Halloween weekend. With past acts such as Rage Against the Machine, OutKast, and Smashing Pumpkins headlining festival goers are able to see the world-class acts of today and yesterday.
This 1,800-acre working cotton plantation hosts many activities and tours throughout the fall season. Beginning in the 1790s, the historical significance is shown and explained to visitors by experienced guides who lead groups through 18 restored antebellum structures. They also host a Delta Music Tour, where your group can sit and listen to songs of the times sung by professionals. You are then led to the Louisiana Delta Music Museum to hear stories about Louisiana music legends like Jerry Lee Lewis, Aaron Neville, Fats Domino, and more. There are many group tours and activities to check out at Frogmore Cotton Plantation and Gins.
Yeah, that’s right. This festival is entirely dedicated to the classic New Orleans creation, the po’boy. Held uptown in the Oak Street corridor of the Carrollton neighborhood, this unique one-day experience brings together some of the classiest restaurants in town to put their own spin on this New Orleans-style sandwich. From fried po’boys, to yaka mein, and specialty mac and cheese there is no limit except the amount your taste buds can take. Some of the favorite are GW Fin’s fried lobster po’boy, Jacque-Imo’s slow roasted duck po’boy, and Red Fish Grill’s barbecue oyster po’boy.
Each fall, Baton Rouge hosts one of the prime destinations to start your weekend off Louisiana style. Held in the downtown area in Repentance Park, this event is held every Friday during the months of September and October from 5-8 p.m. Live After Five fills the park and surrounding streets with people of all ages who come out to enjoy the great cuisine, delicious beverages, and cool breeze off the river all while dancing to the acts rocking the stage. Hosted by the Downtown Business Association, this event has become the largest outdoor event around having about 100,000 attendees every year and was voted “Best Community Event” by the local publication 225 Magazine multiple times.
Louisiana is known as the sportsman’s paradise and the fall is no different. Though the summer months often provide the right conditions for most anglers, the cooler weather makes for better fishing in the shallower waters. Bigger fish such as Red Fish and Flounder stay in the shallower waters of the marsh making for great fishing on kayaks, pirogue’s, and small flat bottom boats. Much of Southwest Louisiana is littered with marshlands that provide unique fishing grounds. Some of the hottest spots are Venice, Grand Isle, and Port Fourchon. It is a beautiful way to get some exercise and soak up the wonderful weather the fall months often provide.
The town of Natchitoches was founded as late as 1714 along the Cane River as an original French Colony. The rich history of the place is still present in its people, heritage, and architecture. So, every fall an annual tour of the historic homes, places, and streets of Natchitoches are open to the public with a variety of tours and showcases.
The Angola Rodeo holds a variety of events that wows the audience as well as provides entertainment for the inmates and staff. Held at a 7,500-capacity arena at the Angola State Prison, this is the longest running prison rodeo in history dating back to 1965. There are over 10 events that range from Wild Horse Racing to Bull Riding and Convict Poker, which is like poker but with a wild bull! For those looking for a good time but less action, the hobby craft space is now an all-day arts and crafts festival every Sunday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Voted as a “Top 20 Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society, this food festival is hosted way down in Larose, Louisiana. Some of the best Cajun food and dancing the state has to offer are all here including performances by regional favorites. However, the festival has so much more to offer. A three-on-three basketball tournament is geld throughout the entire weekend along with an art show, petting zoo, cake decorating contest, and over 40 booths of fun.
The state fair is a sight to behold. The largest carnival midway in the state is in full swing during the over two-week event and free musical entertainment from Louisiana stars. A fan of being part of the show? There are a variety of competitions held during this event, including dance competitions and hail bail decorating events. Get your tickets online or show up to enjoy this beautiful fair in north Louisiana.
Being the longest running free concert series in Lafayette, this concert is a must-see. Past performers at this event include Louisiana-born artists such as Wayne Toups, Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, and the Pine Leaf Boys. Be sure to check their itinerary of events, as its themes and musical acts change each year!
No matter where one lives, hiking and camping are some of the best activities to soak up some nature in the autumn months. Settled in the majestic Tunica Hills area just Northwest of St. Francisville, this hardwood forest has harnessed a few hiking trails and campground areas for nature lovers to enjoy. You can camp in the Tunica Hills Campground that runs adjacent to the Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area and is right near the Clark Creek Trail, which has an abundance of wildlife and beautiful waterfalls. The campgrounds consist of some tent pads, which include access to nearby electrical outlets as well as two fully-furnished cabins for those looking to enjoy the outdoors but not exactly rough it! The dining pavilion located within the grounds also has access to picnic tables, barbecue grill, water, and electricity. One of the best campgrounds in the state littered with wildlife, rolling hills, towering trees and the beautiful Clark Creek waterfalls. A true nature lover’s paradise.
Another way to take advantage of the great outdoors here down south is by using the fertile soil to create elaborate mazes out of rows of corn. These mazes are fun and family friendly, but typically take on a haunted aspect on weekends. This makes for an adventurous outing embracing the Halloween season in a way that’s not your run-of-the-mill haunted house. Guests are invited if they dare, to navigate through huge mazes all while dodging the ghosts and ghouls hiding out in the corn.
Champions Square is located right outside the Superdome in downtown New Orleans. Each home game this massive area lights up as fans from around the nation pre-game with food, delightful beverages, and an array of musical entertainments. There’s fun for kids to with blow up obstacle courses and more kid-friendly activities. The best part is that it is open and free to the public! Inside fans can enjoy the air-conditioned area that is complete with furnishings, flat screen TVs and a premium bar. Don’t have a ticket inside the dome? The Opening Act at Champions Square is another free climate controlled area that opens three hours prior to game time and an hour after the game. Fans may enjoy pre-game shows, the Saints game, purchase unique food items like jambalaya or barbecue root beer chicken nachos, and celebrate with friends for their Saints game experience.
Louisiana is known for its many festivals and some have become so internationally prevalent and traditional they are simply considered historic events. The International Rice Festival in Crowley is just that. This fest has been going on for decades and hosts a variety of rice eating contests, cook-offs and even a poker “rice” run. However, that is just the start of this yearly event. The Queens contest crowns the Festival Queen each year, and the 5K run/walk is always an exciting occasion. The Sound Stage has music playing from noon to 10:30 p.m. with big-name headliners.