15 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Louisiana

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dog is posing at mandeville in a dog friendly vacation in louisiana

Louisiana is a bayou state down south bordered by Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico. With almost five million residents and an estimated 800,000 dogs, this southern state is dog-friendly and pup-popular. It is a unique state that uses parishes instead of counties. A lot of the land is made from rich marshlands and bogs teeming with wildlife such as alligators, snapping turtles, egrets, and even bears.

The varied biota and warm weather year-round make water activities very popular and you will see many of the local pups and their humans at the local lakes, ponds, rivers, and even the Gulf of Mexico. You can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, wildlife watching, and waterskiing all year in the more southern cities. It can get a bit chilly in northern Louisiana though with winter temps dropping into the 50s. 

One thing that Louisiana is known for is its southern food. Creole and Cajun food like jambalaya, gumbo, and crawfish are all popular and you can get certain dog-friendly dishes as well. There are 22 rivers and 30+ lakes to enjoy in Louisiana where you can catch your own food to make Creole and Cajun dishes. Here are 15 of our top vacation spots in Louisiana for pup parents.

New Orleans 

New Orleans is the perfect place for a family vacation with kids because the City Park is packed with two amusement parks. And you can bring your fur baby with you for some of it because they even have a dog park. The 4.6-acre fenced pup play space has a separate space for small dogs, water fountains, doggie pools, and shaded seating for pup parents. 

After you let your pooch play for a while, take him back to the hotel and then take the kids to Storyland where they have fairytales and nursery rhymes that come to life. They can climb on a pirate ship, see inside the whale, and run up Jack & Jill’s hill. If that is not enough for you, they even have Carousel Gardens Amusement Park with 16 rides, including a roller coaster, train, Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and a tilt-a-whirl. 

Then, take Fido and the rest of the family on a tour. They have haunted history tours, NOLA Ghosts tours, and the Nutty NOLA Scavenger Hunt tour to name a few. 

Baton Rouge 

If you are looking for an affordable hotel room for your trip to Louisiana, Baton Rouge has 14 hotels with dog-friendly rooms starting under $100. In fact, Travelodge is only $49 and it has a pool, free Wi-Fi, and a BBQ area. Motel 6 is just $55 and has a pool and free Wi-Fi. OYO Hotel is $65 and has a pool, free Wi-Fi, a microwave, and a fridge. TownePlace Suites by Marriott has a pool, kitchen, BBQ area, breakfast, and a gym.   

For something free to do with your cuddle buddy, take him to one of the local dog parks. Burbank Dog Park has a pond, a small dog area, pavilions, and a dog washing station. Raising Cane’s Dog Park has dog play areas with water and benches. Or you can visit the Ag Center Botanic Gardens as long as your pup is on a leash. 

Take your pup shopping at The Market at Circa 1857. They have all sorts of things like artwork, furniture, and antiques. 

Chicot State Park 

In south-central Louisiana, near the town of Ville Platte, Chicot State Park has a 6,400-acre lake with excellent fishing and boating. It has three boat launches, and you can rent a boat if you do not have one. The most common fishes to be caught here are bass, sunfish, bluegill, and crappie. However, you will need to have a fishing license for anyone over 16 years of age. 

There are 198 campsites for RVs and tents with water and electricity if you want to camp. The campground has restrooms with hot showers, a boardwalk, a dump station, picnic areas, playgrounds, a pool, boat launches, and a fishing pier. The park also has several swimming beaches. What summer trip does not have swimming? They even have a water playground to cool off without getting in the water.

After working up an appetite, take your pupster to The Frosty Inn for some burgers, fries, and sandwiches. They also have several kinds of ice cream and shakes. 


Another fantastic place in Louisiana that has an amusement park in Shreveport. Splash Kingdom Oasis is a huge waterpark with seven giant slides from the small Kids Castle to the huge and thrilling Bonzai. It also has a lazy river, activity pool, and Kingdom Falls play area. They even have sand volleyball, games, food, and shopping. But first, drop off Fido at Lucky’s Yellow Rubber Ducky for doggie daycare. 

Afterward, pick up your pup and take everyone on the Spirit of the River Cruise. The dog-friendly tour takes you down the Red River to Cross Bayou, where you will see gators, herons, and egrets. Then, take your fur buddy to run amok off the leash at Shreveport Dog Park. They have a small dog area, benches, a covered picnic area, a walking path, and a pond. 

No matter where you go with your canine companion, be sure to bring along plenty of dog cleanup baggies and use them. Even when going to the dog park, it is always good to have some just in case. 


The city of Lafayette is in southern Louisiana along the Vermillion River. It has more than 241,000 people with about 40,000 fur babies so you will probably see a few while you are in town. Make your stay a romantic one by booking a room at the cozy Maison Mouton Bed & Breakfast. Each room has its own unique decor with a private bathroom, and coffee machine, and some have microwaves and fridges.

Then, drop off your pup with a pup daycare and visit the Vermilionville Historic Village. The Living History Museum takes you back to the 1800s to see the history of the Louisiana African Americans, Native Americans, Creoles, and Acadians. They also have a restaurant and gift shop. Go pick your pooch back up and bring him to Beaver Park nearby where you can enjoy some great barbecue. 

There are also three off-leash dog parks where you can watch him run around and play with the other fur babies. The Brown Memorial Dog Park has one large open space with benches, and Beaulieu Park Dog Park has agility stations with tunnels, jumps, and ramps.                                                                                                                

Fontainebleau State Park 

Located in St. Tammany Parish, which is in southeastern Louisiana, Fontainebleau State Park is a place where you and your fur buddy can camp, hike, fish, swim, and even do some boating. They have 163 dog-friendly campsites for RVs and tents, 126 with utilities, and 37 others with just picnic tables and fire rings. There are also 12 cabins but they are not pet-friendly at this time. The campground has restrooms with hot showers, playgrounds, and trails you can explore. 

The park is on Lake Pontchartrain, the Bayou Castine, and Bayou Cane, so there is plenty of opportunity for swimming, fishing, boating, and wildlife watching. There is even a fishing pond and pier for public use. If you want to get out on the water but do not have a boat, you can rent one from the park store.

For some off-leash fun, the city has two dog parks. The Bark Park at Pelican Park has four acres with benches, pools, and water. The Pretty Acres Dog Park also has several acres on Andrew Drive by Highway 190.

Lake Charles 

Couples with dogs really love Lake Charles, especially if they like to play the slots! There are several casinos in the city and one casino resort that welcomes dogs. The Golden Nugget has more than 1,600 slots, almost 90 table games, and seven poker tables. They also have eight restaurants, including two steak houses and the Landry’s Seafood House, as well as several bars. You can also take your honey to see a show like the Little River Band, Cooper Alan, and Michael Bolton.

Then, pick up your pup and take everyone to Sam Houston Jones State Park, where the Calcasieu River meets the Houston River. Fido is welcome as long as he is leashed and you can explore over a thousand acres of woods, water, and wildlife. 

Take your canine compadre on the Cypress Tupelo Trail, Longleaf Pine Trail, or the Swamp Walk Trail while you are there. Just remember to bring lots of doggie bags to pick up after your pup.

Bossier City 

Just south of Shreveport, Bossier City is right by the downtown waterfront on the Red River. Located in northwestern Louisiana, the city is one of the most populated, with over 62,000 people and their 10,000 fur babies. It is a nice place to spend a weekend with your little buddy playing in the river, hanging out in downtown Walker Place, or checking out the fishing opportunities at Red River National Wildlife Refuge. 

During your weekend stay, you can explore more than 2,100 miles of trails at the wildlife refuge including interactive walks and challenging hikes. Fishing is good here, with the most common fish being catfish, bluegill, and largemouth bass. Be sure to get a fishing license, though. Your cuddle buddy will love visiting the dog park as well. It is right on the river at Clyde Fant Parkway. 

While Fido can play off the leash at the dog park, remember to keep him leashed everywhere else. And always bring plenty of doggie bags. 

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge 

In southern Louisiana on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Sabine National Wildlife Refuge is surrounded by lakes. Sabine Lake is the main attraction but there are also Five Lakes, Greens Lake, Brown’s Lake, Calcasieu Lake, Wild Cow Lake, and about 10 more. So, if you and your fur buddy want a lake vacation, this is where to go! With all the water, you can explore what is the largest coastal marsh on the Gulf Coast.

Keep your pup leashed at all times because there are lots of alligators living in the waters. They usually stay away but it is best to keep your dog right next to you at all times just to be on the safe side. There are a few trails you can enjoy like the 1.5-mile Wetland Walkway, which has a boardwalk and observation tower. 

Fishing, hunting, and hiking are the three most popular activities here. Although some are brave enough to swim at Sabine Lake, you should be alert for gators. 


Another incredibly affordable city to take your best buddy is Monroe. There are quite a few hotel rooms starting at under $100 for pup parents. In fact, Motel 6 is only $59 and has a pool, free Wi-Fi, and no extra fee for dogs. Studio 6’s Extended Stay rooms have kitchenettes, free Wi-Fi, and a coffee maker for $60. For $85, you and your pooch can stay at the Days Inn by Wyndham where they have BBQ facilities, free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, and family rooms. 

If you really like saving money, take your canine compadre to Five Below where everything is $5 and under. They have a huge variety of items. Then, take him to Raising Cane’s Dog Park at Kiroli Park. It only costs one dollar to get in and it has a special section for small dogs under 25 pounds, a pavilion, and a pond with a waterfall. 

The rest of Kiroli Park is also dog-friendly for leashed dogs. It boasts 150 acres with picnic areas, trails, fishing ponds, and gardens. 


Alexandria may not have beaches or swimming holes, but it sure is a great place to have a winter vacation with your cuddly canine. Since it stays warm all year with temps in the 60s even in January, you can take your pooch out to the parks to enjoy the winter sun. You will not have to worry about snow here! 

The best park in the city, according to the local pups, is Hynson Bark Dog Park. Located on Lee Street and Masonic Drive across from Bringhurst City Park, the fenced off-leash park has a small dog section for pups under 35 pounds as well as waste stations with baggies and gloves for easier cleanup. There are even tunnels, ramps, a fire hydrant, and water fountains for the dogs to enjoy.

Afterward, take Fido for a walk along Tims Canyon Trail. It is an easy trip of just over two miles in the Kisatchie Forest. There is also another easy trail, the Compton Park Loop, that is about a half-mile in Compton Park.

South Toledo Bend State Park

If you like to fish, head to Anacoco, Louisiana, for a weekend getaway. Bass anglers flock to South Toledo Bend State Park every year for the bass fishing tournament in the Toledo Bend Reservoir. However, you and Fido can fish for whatever you like any time of the year. The lake is known for its largemouth bass, but it also has perch, bream, and catfish, as well as crappie, sunfish, and drum.

If you want to stay at the park, they only have 60 spots so make sure you reserve yours way in advance. There are 55 RV/tent premium sites with water and electricity and five tent sites with no hookups or utilities. During your visit, put your pup on his leash and take a walk on the half-mile Lakeview Nature Trail or the 1.5-mile Hippie Point Trail. 

Be sure to keep your dog close by you at all times. There are a lot of gators living in the lake as well as other wild animals. 


Located in southeastern Louisiana, Houma is a small town with about 33,000 people and an estimated 5,000 dogs. There are several great hotels to choose from that are dog-friendly including the Plantation Inn, which is only $89 and has a pool, restaurant, free Wi-Fi, and room service. The Microtel Inn also has a pool but they also have a fitness center and free breakfast for only $80. 

Nearby, you can take your fur baby to the Mandalay Refuge where they have a great trail system. Or, take your pup to Southdown Plantation Terrebonne Museum. Although he cannot go inside, you can explore the sugar plantation from the outside. For something different, Zam’s Swamp Tour is also pet-friendly so get a real Cajun swamp tour. 

Afterward, take your poochie to Norman Swanner Dog Park where he can run and play with other dogs leash-free. There is 32,000 square feet with a separate small dog space, agility equipment, and seating for the pup parents. 


One of the largest cities in Louisiana, with 143,000 residents and about 20,000 dogs, is Metairie. Being on the southern end of Lake Pontchartrain, the city is a popular spot for water sports like boating, fishing, and swimming. And since it is so close to New Orleans, it also attracts tourists from all over who want to enjoy NOLA and all it has to offer. For something different, take Fido to the Metairie Cemetery, where there are graves of six Supreme Court justices, 23 mayors, and nine governors. 

Then, take your pooch to the Dog Park at Bonnabel Boat Launch. The off-leash park has a huge fenced area with agility equipment like jumpovers, jumpthroughs, tunnels, and a walkway. Pup parents can enjoy covered seating and waste stations with baggies. 

Lafreniere Park also has a dog park. This one is five acres with a separate small dog area, pet waste stations, shaded seating, and a paved path. 

Kisatchie National Forest 

The Kisatchie National Forest stretches out over 604,000 acres in Louisiana covering most of the northwestern and middle of the state and into southern Arkansas. There are five districts including Calcasieu, Caney, Catahoula, Kisatchie, and Winn. The northern section, the Caney Ranger District, is the smallest with 32,000 acres including Caney and Corney Lakes. The largest, Calcasieu Ranger District, has 183,000 acres with the Evangeline and Vernon Units. 

Within the forest, you will find 36 different campgrounds with more than 500 campsites in total. Some are premium RV and tent sites with utilities, some are basic with restrooms and showers, and some are rugged with just tables and fire rings. The trails are incredible and range from a half-mile to almost 30 miles. There are 40 trails spread out into different districts with easy, moderate, and difficult terrains. 

Wherever you are headed with your pooch, always bring plenty of water for both of you and doggie bags to pick up anything he drops. 

The Final Woof

The southern state of Louisiana has a plethora of things to do with your fur baby, whether you are into swimming, hiking, camping, or whatever. Being such a dog-friendly state, you should not be surprised to know that there are over 1,600 hotels, almost 1,000 pup-popular restaurants, 40+ dog parks, and seven dog beaches. If you want to bring the family along, New Orleans has a City Park with two amusement parks, and Shreveport has Splash Kingdom Oasis Waterpark. Couples with dogs can enjoy romance in Lafayette or Lake Charles. If you want to camp or hike, try Fontainebleau State Park, Chicot State Park, or Kisatchie National Forest.

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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