Family Travel, Things To Do

4 Unforgettable Staycations in Louisiana

Planning a faraway, week-long summer vacation for the entire family may not sound relaxing, or even feasible, this year. If you find yourself sharing that sentiment, consider planning a quick staycation that can be enjoyed over a weekend. Here are four cities to explore that will have you ready to get up and go.


If you find yourself wanting to stay close to home, Baton Rouge may be just the city for you! With a little more than an hour-long drive, there’s so much to do and see in our capital city; we just have to allow ourselves the time to actually enjoy it all.


Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel is the perfect center point for your stay in Baton Rouge. Featuring upscale decor and convenient amenities, this hotel is situated perfectly between shopping, dining, and entertainment.


There’s really no shortage of fun when it comes to experiencing Baton Rouge, and there are plenty of hot spots to check out right around the hotel. Across the street from the Renaissance sits the Mall of Louisiana, offering shopping, dining, and a movie theatre to watch the latest releases. Within the Mall, your family will also find Blue Zoo Aquarium, a hands-on environment where visitors can touch and feed stingrays, birds, and reptiles. There’s even a pirate ship to explore! Before you head out, make sure to stop by Main Event for bowling, laser tag, and VR games.

Perkins Rowe is just a short drive down from the Renaissance. There, you will find even more shopping, delicious food, a theatre, and weekly events the whole family can enjoy. If you’re looking to get outdoors, visit BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. This 103-acre facility houses an award-winning building filled with animal exhibits, natural artifacts and mineral displays, and a waterfowl decoy carving collection. Outdoors, you will find over a mile of gravel paths to explore, including plenty of wildlife to see.


When it comes to food in the capital city, you really can’t miss anywhere you go. There’s something to satisfy every taste bud, and yes, even those picky eaters! If a chain restaurant is more your speed, you’ll find Shake Shack and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers nearby. If you’re looking for a nice restaurant to sit down at, consider Mi Padres Mexican Grill & Catering or Roux 61 Seafood & Grill


Hop in the car for a quick trip to Lafayette for the weekend. The “Happiest City in America” offers an experience for all personalities, whether you’re an outdoors enthusiast or a history buff.


Homewood Suites by Hilton Lafayette is the perfect walking distance from most shopping and dining in the area, and it boasts a wide selection of amenities. Start your morning with a buffet-style complimentary breakfast, or work up a sweat in the fitness center. For those with little ones who eyed the pool as soon as they arrived, there’s one to enjoy featuring comfortable seating and sparkling water–and it’s heated for those chilly mornings.


Lafayette is home to Surge Entertainment by Drew Brees, a cutting-edge entertainment, fitness, and sports facility, offering bowling, karaoke, a trampoline park, a sports simulator, an arcade, a ninja course, jousting, and a zipline–just to name a few activities. This summer, kiddos can bowl for free, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., through August. 

Kid’s World Indoor Play Arena is a two-story, 1,700 total square feet, playground structure, filled with climbing obstacle courses, slides, swings, ball pits, and a ball blaster, providing endless hours of fun so you can beat the Louisiana heat. Looking for a different form of indoor fun? Don’t forget to stop by the Lafayette Science Museum. Offering hands-on experiences for curious minds, the Museum is a “playful portal” featuring exhibits and installations designed to educate and enlighten.


Tacos, burritos, salads, bowls, and more are ready to be dressed to perfection and just the way you like them at Taco Sisters. After your meal, top it off with one of their housemade pops! If you’re looking to tempt your taste buds with something new, venture over to Viva La Waffle for all things waffle–waffle sandwiches, waffle fries, and pizza waffles!


Down here in New Orleans, there’s plenty to do and see. It’s an epicenter of fun for the whole family if you know where to go.


Within walking distance from the Mississippi River, Omni Riverfront Hotel is a luxury hotel offering top-notch amenities for guests to enjoy, including an on-site bistro, room service, a fitness center, and a concierge. The hotel is also kid-friendly and hosts an Omni Junior Chefs Program, offering the youngest guests an enriching experience where they are given a “Say Goodnight to Hunger” postcard to color and turn in at the front desk to donate a meal to Feeding America. Also, through September 29, kiddos staying at the hotel can eat for free!


Attractions in New Orleans could easily be described as endless. Whether you’re heading over to the National World War II Museum to learn more about the “war that changed the world” or diving under the sea at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas to learn about our scaly friends, there’s almost always something new to discover.

Take a walk on over to the Riverwalk Outlets for some shopping, or stop by the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen to take a tour with your crew. If seeing a performance is more your style, the Saenger Theatre cannot be missed.


For delicious food and great service, make sure you stop by Mulate’s while visiting. Whether you prefer seafood, pasta, or a salad, there are multiple tasty options to choose from. However, one cannot visit without indulging in the Famous Bread Pudding and the Nutella Crème Stuffed Beignets.

Looking for a real crowd-pleaser for the kiddos? Try Magazine Pizza! Magazine Pizza offers pizzas, calzones, wraps, salads, and sandwiches, all made with the freshest ingredients. Make it your own or try one of the specials before satisfying your sweet cravings with some cheesecake.


The Shreveport-Bossier City area is two cities that are twice as nice and twice as fun for your next staycation.


A trip to paradise for the weekend sounds nice, right? At Margaritaville Resort Casino Bossier City, you’ll get to experience tropical elegance with luxury resort amenities, including a spa and salon, pool, dining options, and live entertainment.


If you can tear yourself away from the resort and are looking for entertainment in the area, check out Sci-Port Discovery Center. This 92,000-square-foot science and entertainment center houses Louisiana’s Science and Space Center, Power of Play (PoP) Children’s Museum, Gallery of Intrigue, and an IMAX® Dome Theatre.

If you still have kiddos full of energy, visit the Shreveport Aquarium to get up close and personal with sharks, seahorses, turtles, and eels. Or, visit the Louisiana Boardwalk to shop until you drop.


Margaritaville Bossier City offers an assortment of dining options on-site, including Drago’s Seafood, Sportsbook Restaurant, Jimmy’s Seafood & Steak, Bamboo Asian Café, and Banyan Tree. If you want to venture away from the resort, head over to The Blind Tiger to try some of their Cajun specialties or one of their shareable desserts.

This article was originally published in June 2024.

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