Our favorite time of year is upon us! For most of us, when we think of summer, a few things come to mind: catching up on sleep, finally taking advantage of that gym membership, racking up volunteer hours and looking at internships and other opportunities for the fall semester. Many of us crave travel, getting away for just a few days to spend some time getting to know oneself again. However, there is the typical college student dilemma: we have no money. Visiting the rainforest in South America and hiking the Himalayas may be out of reach for us, but, fortunately, Louisiana has its own fair share of fun summer destinations that are easy on the wallet. Take advantage of all the fun things our state has to offer this summer!
1. Tiki Tubing in Denham Springs, LA
Open Saturdays and Sundays every week (during the season) from 8 a.m. - 3p.m., Tiki Tubing is located just six miles north of Denham Springs. $25 plus tax will get you a tube for the duration of your visit, while an extra $9 will get you an ice chest. There is nothing more relaxing than floating down the river while tanning and admiring the scenery. This is a great activity to enjoy with a larger party!
2. New Orleans Movies Tour in New Orleans, LA
Are you a huge movie buff? Did you know that some popular motion picture titles like "Jurassic World" and "American Horror Story" were filmed in New Orleans? Experience a unique movie tour aboard a passenger van, which will take you to popular filming locations. Tours start at $29.
3. Blue Bayou/Dixie Landin' in Baton Rouge, LA
Baton Rouge is home to not one but TWO amusement parks, Blue Bayou and Dixie Landin'. A day pass is $36.99, a season pass is $69.99, which includes unlimited summer access to both parks. Blue Bayou is home to famous attractions like Azuka, Conja and Hurricane Bay. Dixie Landin' has rides like Ragin' Cajun, Hot Shot and Side Winder. If you're craving cotton candy and roller coasters this summer, this theme park is a great place to start.
4. Audubon Golf Trails in various cities, LA
Do you enjoy playing golf with your buddies? Look no further, because Louisiana is home to 16 of the finest golf courses. The best part? They are located throughout the state in cities like New Orleans, Lake Charles, Alexandria and Baton Rouge, so there is bound to be one close to you. Of course, there are green fees, and you must book a course in advance.
5. Dansereau House in Thibodaux, LA
This bed and breakfast is more on the pricier end of attractions (starting rates of $140/ per night). However, it might be worth saving up to enjoy a nice night out with your significant other! There are also family suites available. The house boasts classic luxury that has also been restored with modern amenities. The bed and breakfast is located within walking distance to shops and restaurants. This is definitely worth looking into this summer!
6. Shrimp Festival in Delcambre, LA
Located in Delcambre, Louisiana (which is 20 miles southwest of Lafayette) is the annual shrimp festival, a five day event celebrating everything shrimp. If for whatever strange reason you dislike shrimp, there are other foods and cold beers. Souvenirs are sold. There is music, too! This year it will take place from August 17 - 21. There are tons of competitions you can participate in as well, so sign up early!
7. Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, LA
If you have a love for animals, then the safari tour at the Global Wildlife Center is the summer destination for you. One and a half hours of guided tour across 900 acres gives you up-close access to animals like giraffes, zebras and camels. Only $17 gets you on this safari tour, and children from 2 to 11 cost $11. This is a fun experience, especially if you have a small child.
8. Kisatchie National Forest in Pineville, LA
Hiking in Louisiana's only national forest is another great getaway for this summer. Whether you want to go solo or with friends, the scenery has much to behold: bald cypress groves, bayous and rolling hills. There are many varieties of activities, too, depending on your interests: biking, camping, fishing, horseback riding and water activities. You won't want to miss this one-of-a-kind place this summer!