Adventures await families visiting Louisiana and they can be fun for your four-legged family members too. The Pelican State offers lodging, activities and even tasty treats for both man and his best friends.
Some bars and restaurants welcome pets in outdoor seating, perfect during spring and fall to enjoy mild weather and people watching. At The Bulldog Uptown in New Orleans sip one of 50 beers on tap (including plenty of Louisiana craft beers) on their patio on Magazine Street. Stroll a block down to Petcetera NOLA for a selection of canine bakery treats and accessories. It also offers hotel sitting and grooming. Or, take a walk in the French Quarter on a pet-friendly, guided tour of the famed neighborhood’s history.
Mardi Gras visitors should look up The Mystic Krewe de Barkus, a canine krewe. It parades a 15-block French Quarter route, with costumes and a canine royal court. Other pet parades include Baton Rouge’s Mystic Krewe of Mutts, Shreveport’s Mardi Paw Pet Parade, Lafayette's Krewe des Chiens and Monroe’s Krewe of Paws.
National pet-friendly hotel chains such as La Quinta, Super 8, Motel 6 and Holiday Inn are in most Louisiana cities. For local character, search for pet-friendly stays on The Bed and Breakfast Inns of New Orleans website.
In central Louisiana, the pet-friendly cottages at Cheneyville’s historic (and reportedly haunted) Loyd Hall Plantation are nestled on a working farm. Alexandria’s downtown is just 30 minutes away and perfect for a stroll. Crave on 3rd Street sells homemade dog biscuits and offers water for parched pooches. Down the street, picnic at Alexander Fulton Mini Park with a pizza from nearby Embers, then follow The Green Belt Trail for an urban hike or drive up to Kisatchie National Forest and wander some of its 400 pine-shaded trails.
Stay in Shreveport or Bossier City for easy access to activities in north Louisiana. The American Rose Society headquartered in Shreveport features 20,000 rose bushes. Blooms peak in the end of April, early May and in mid-October and pets can share the outdoor picnic facilities. The Bossier City Farmers Market also welcomes shoppers’ pets from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday, April – December at the Pierre Bossier Mall. There’s even a dog treat vendor—Totally Barkin’ Treats. The area’s Boom or Bust Byway along La. Hwy. 2 leads to scenic walks, recreation areas and quaint Main Streets across four parishes. For guidance, download the free “N LA Byways” app or pick up a handheld GPS Ranger®.
Down south, Grand Isle is great for fishing and, as the public beach is pet-friendly, romping through sand and surf. Local fishing charters can help you catch some of the 280 species inhabiting the island’s waters. Camping, horseback riding, kayaking and birding are also popular. For pet-friendly lodging, check out Cajun Tide, Blue Moon over Grand Isle or many of the private rentals. Pets are also welcome to camp at Grand Isle State Park, but are not allowed on the park’s beach, which are wild bird nesting habitats.
Louisiana-made Marsh Dog nutria dog treats are unique souvenirs that helps ethically curb the nutria population ruining coastal marshland. NOLA Couture sells collars and leashes patterned with red beans and rice, fleur de lis and even po’boys at its two New Orleans locations.
Whether on two legs or four, Louisiana has an exciting experience waiting.