The bayou marshlands that circle metropolitan areas like New Orleans seem shrouded in mystery for most of us.
Velvety layers of cascading Spanish moss and tall cypress trees enhance the bayou’s secretive appeal. Add in the diverse wildlife like alligators, crawfish, shrimp, and catfish that call these seemingly endless, slow-moving waters their home — and bayou country offers a lot for nature lovers to explore.
Touring the canals
As travelers grow more curious about what's hidden in the bayou, marsh tours have become very popular, giving you a variety of options to consider.
Boat tours like the Spirit of the Red provide you and your furry best mate the opportunity to travel the marshes and see the diverse, unique wildlife along the way.
Numerous walking tours allow dogs as long as the other travelers don't mind. If you wish to do more exploring on your own, consider a kayak or airboat adventure.
Don't hesitate to ask your tour guide about the history of the wetlands. The bayou has an incredibly interesting past, and many of the locals know stories and legends going back hundreds of years.
When taking tours sans furry pal, let him play outdoors at a doggie daycamp. Places like Camp Bow Wow ensure your pup is taken care of while you get to know the bayou a bit better.
N’awlins side trip, anyone?
When you're ready for a change of scenery, head into New Orleans proper for local Cajun and Creole cuisine and some of the best music you’ll ever hear. Enjoy fresh local seafood, and if you feel adventurous, try some fried alligator!
After dinner, stroll through the French Quarter to be energized by the colorful sights and sounds. Built in the early 18th century, the French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. As you walk along, notice the amazing architecture, which often blends Creole, French, Spanish and American styles.
Best times to travel
As you start to plan your bayou escape, keep in mind the best time to visit is usually in the spring. The temperatures are milder and you'll be avoiding hurricane season, which is from June through September. If you don’t mind traveling during the steamy summer, you may find better discounts on accommodations and activities.
Thanks to a largely untouched environment, the bayou captivates both locals and travelers alike. It's an adventure you and your dog can truly appreciate, and it's an experience you'll certainly never forget.