When you visit Louisiana, you will be immersed in rich culture, one that is teeming with animals!!! From furry to scaly, Louisiana loves critters of all kinds and offer a diverse array of activities that will let you meet some of them. Start with these unique animal experiences and start building your pawsome adventures. If you are looking for alligators, learn more about swamp tours and where to see and hold alligators.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
New Orleans: At the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, immerse yourself in the underwater worlds of sharks, stingrays, moon jellies, penguins, sea turtles, sea otters, seahorses, piranha, anemones and (whew!) more at this 400,000-gallon aquarium located on the Mississippi River near the French Quarter in the heart of New Orleans. Explore the Audubon Aquarium’s walk-through tunnel, touch a stingray, feed a parakeet and catch one of countless animal programs held throughout the year.
Global Wildlife Center
Folsom: Did you know you can experience an African safari in Louisiana, just an hour north of New Orleans? Global Wildlife Center’s 75-minute Safari Wagon Tour takes you through more than 900 acres of countryside, where you’ll get up-close views of free-roaming giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, camels, bison, llamas and more. Private tours for up to eight in a 4x4 also offer more exclusive access into areas of the preserve where the wagons can’t venture. Read more about this Louisiana safari tour, then plan a trip to experience it yourself. Read indepth about Global Wildlife Center.
Barn Hill Preserve
Ethel: Head to Barn Hill Preserve for animal encounters of the wild kind. Located less than an hour north of Baton Rouge, guided walking tours at Barn Hill Preserve’s seven acres of beautiful property will put you face-to-face with dromedary camels, eurasian lynx, free-flying macaws, servals, eagle owls and more. You’ll meet baby kangaroos in the nursery, lounge with a sloth on your lap, play with baby ant-eaters—even swim with the otters, if you’d like. Kids will have so much fun they won’t realize how much they’re learning about these animals and their habitats in the process.
Mike the Tiger
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge: Mike the Tiger is the famed Bengal-Siberian mix who serves as a live mascot for Louisiana State University’s athletic teams – and you can catch him in a lush 15,000-square-feet oasis that is considered one of the largest and finest tiger habitats in the United States. Featuring live plants and trees, a waterfall, pool and a stream tumbling from a rocky backdrop, this habitat also allows for state-of-the-art animal research, education, conservation and recreation programs. You can catch Mike wandering through his big yard from 8 am to 8 pm daily. But if you want to know what he’s up to right this minute, try catching this tiger on his live cam! Discover the top ways to enjoy the day exploring the LSU campus.
Creole Nature Trail
Lake Charles: More than 400 species of birds call the Creole Nature Trail home, making it one of the top 10 birding destinations in the country. Spot a seemingly endless array of raptors, waterfowl, wading birds, shore birds and more in lush marshlands teeming with alligators and other wildlife, too. This designated All-American Road also boasts 26 miles of natural Gulf of Mexico beaches, fishing, crabbing and plenty of Cajun culture in an area commonly called one of America’s last great wilderness areas. And with a new smartphone app and handheld GPS assistance, this area’s wilderness is easy to navigate, important because you'll want to see all the sights.
Statewide: Whether it’s your first or 50th time on a horse, Louisiana offers a variety of locations statewide where you can go horseback riding. Enjoy your own trail ride or saddle up with an outfitter offering everything you need – including riding lessons – to get you going. Several Louisiana State Parks offer great equine activities, and you can find other equestrian events, rodeos and more throughout the state as well. Learn about some of the popular day-trip horseback rides.