First Timer’s Guide to RV Travel Planning

First Timer’s Guide to RV Travel Planning

RV travel is a great way to see the country and experience the freedom of the open road. The most enjoyable and stress-free trips start with good RV travel planning. However, planning an RV trip can be a bit overwhelming, especially for first-time travelers. In this blog, we will provide you with some tips to help you plan the perfect RV trip.

Tips for RV Travel Planning

Choose & Prepare Your RV

When it comes to RV travel planning, the first consideration is the RV! There are several types of RVs to choose from, including travel trailers, fifth-wheels, and motorhomes. Each type of RV has its own advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to do your research and choose the one that is right for you. We have many resources on our blog about how to decide, such as this blog that compares Class A vs. Class C motorhomes. Some factors to consider when choosing an RV include the number of people traveling with you, your budget, and the type of trip you are taking.

And, if you already have an RV, another important step is RV maintenance. At Courvelle’s we have a fully equipped RV service & repair center. Our technicians can handle your maintenance repairs, interior or exterior upgrades, warranty work and insurance claims. Preventative maintenance is vital in keeping your RV in top shape and will give you confidence during your RV trip.

RV Types

Determine Your Budget

The next step in RV travel planning is determining your budget. This includes the cost of fuel, campground fees, activities, and any other expenses you may incur during your trip. To get a rough estimate of the cost of your trip, start by looking at campground prices and tickets for any activities you are interested in experiencing. Next, estimate how much you expect to spend on fuel based in the distance, as well as food, and other expenses. Do you intend to cook in the RV or eat out while you travel? You can also check websites such as National Park Service  or KOA to get an idea of campground fees and availability in the areas you plan to visit.

Decide on Your Destination

Once you have a budget in place, the next step is to decide on your destination. There are countless RV destinations to choose from, so take some time to research and select the one that is right for you. Some popular RV destinations include national parks, scenic drives, and major cities. You can also consider visiting friends or family members along the way or taking a trip to a specific event or festival.

Plan Your Route

Now that you have established your budget and have a destination in mind, it’s time to plan your route. You can use websites such as Google Maps or RV Trip Wizard to plan your route and find the best places to stop along the way. The journey is just as important as the destination so planning out fun detours is essential to RV travel planning. Keep in mind that RVs are larger than regular cars and certain roads or bridges may not be accessible. Hence, be sure to take this into consideration when planning your route.

RV Travel Planning with Maps

Book Your Campgrounds

Once you have a route mapped out, the next thing to check off your RV travel planning list is reservations. You’ll want to book your campgrounds in advance to ensure availability. This is especially important during peak travel season, as campgrounds can fill up quickly. You can usually book campgrounds online or by calling the campground directly. Booking your campgrounds in advance will ensure that you have a place to stay during your trip. Additionally, this will help you coordinate with family and friends and find local events.

Pack Smart

Now that you’ve chosen your RV, destination, route, and campground, it’s time to pack. But before you hit the road, think about what activities you are doing and be sure to pack smart. Make a list of all the items you need for your trip, including food, clothing, bedding, and other essentials. Keep in mind that space is limited in an RV, so be sure to pack only what you need. You can also bring along bicycles, kayaks, or other outdoor gear to make the most of your time at each destination.

Prepare for Emergencies

Finally, it’s important to plan for the unexpected. So, prepare for emergencies while on the road by having money budgeted for unforeseen circumstances and packing extra safety and security items. Make sure you have a first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, and emergency road kit in your RV. You should also bring along a map of the area and a phone charger, in case you need to make a call for help. Additionally, if you are travelling to a cold destination, it is a good idea to bring extra blankets. And if you’re planning to camp remotely, take precautions and bring extra water and canned food.  Lastly, if you’re planning to stay in the wilderness, pack bear spray and take other precautions contingent on the area.

RV Breakdown

Where will you plan to go next?

In conclusion, RV travel is a great way to see the country and experience the freedom of the open road. With the right planning, you can have an unforgettable trip that you will cherish for years to come.

So, if you’re ready to start your RV travel planning, let the experts at Courvelle’s help you! Whether you are looking to upgrade your current camper or do some maintenance on it, we have you covered. At Courvelle’s we have new and used RVs for sale in Opelousas, LA. Our expert sales team is ready to help you get the new RV or used RV that you have been dreaming about! Give us a call today and then you can get started planning your next trip!

Ready to find the perfect RV for your next trip?

Fun Festivals in Louisiana in 2023

Fun Festivals in Louisiana in 2023

The Creole state is famous for its bayous, Cajun cuisine, Mardi Gras celebrations, and jazz music. Indeed, Louisiana is a state full of culture, history, and festivities. With all there is to see and experience, attending festivals in Louisiana is a must!  

With so much happening in Louisiana, it is a popular destination for festival-goers year-round. And at Courvelle’s, we did some research on the best festivals in Louisiana to attend this year. In 2023, the Bayou state will host a wide range of events, from food and music festivals to cultural celebrations and outdoor adventures. Here are some of the top festivals happening in Louisiana in 2023: 

Top 8 Festivals in Louisiana 

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras 

Mardi Gras is a staple of Louisiana culture and this year Mardi Gras Day is February 21, 2023. Also known as Fat Tuesday, this is the day to indulge in fatty foods and sweet treats. The festival is a time for people to let loose and have fun before the solemn season of Lent begins. Taking place in the state capital, New Orleans is the heart of Mardi Gras. Every year the streets are packed with parades, live music, food, and drinks. This is such a big festival in fact, that our RV dealership will be closed this year on Mardi Gras! 

Louisiana Crawfish Festival 

Next, taking place in historic St. Bernard Parish, the Louisiana Crawfish Festival began in 1975. With intentions to rebuild the community, it has since become a Louisiana tradition.  As home of the Battle of New Orleans site, St. Bernard Parish over-looks the Mississippi River and the adjoining Crescent City, New Orleans. While at this festival you can enjoy the cultural heritage, moss covered oak trees, and Louisiana Bayous. Additionally, enjoy live entertainment while delighting in Cajun cuisine. Sample all the crawfish dishes, from crawfish boils with all the “fixins” to crawfish pies and jambalaya. And it will include carnival games, cotton candy, candied apples and rides for all ages. Undoubtedly, this event is guaranteed to be fun. Thus, we recommend attending this event which takes place March 23-26, 2023.  

Crawfish Boil<br />

Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival 

Another festival we are excited about is the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. This festival is held each April in the town of Ponchatoula. In fact, this is Louisianna’s largest free festival and is held in honor of the beloved strawberry. This year the festival will be held April 14-16 at Ponchatoula Memorial Park. The festival will host time-honored traditions, local food and drinks, live music, rides, and loads of family fun! 

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 

The New Orleans Jass and Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest, is slated to be held April 28- May 7, 2023. This one of the best festivals in Louisiana to celebrate the music and culture of New Orleans. The festival features a wide range of musicians and performers, including local artists, national acts, and jazz legends. Attendees can enjoy Creole and Cajun food from local vendors, peruse craft booths, and kids can play in the kids’ area. 

Jazz Festival

Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival 

This festival is held in Morgan City, LA in August and honors the two industries that built the community: shrimp and petroleum. The Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival will take place Thursday, September 1st through Monday, September 5th. This festival features a variety of food and drinks, including plenty of shrimp dishes. Attendees can also enjoy live music, a carnival, and a parade. Additionally, visitors can participate in arts and crafts, a coronation ball and a 5k run. 

Louisiana Seafood Festival 

While there are so many amazing Creole dishes, can you ever get enough seafood? The Louisiana Seafood Festival is held on Labor Day weekend in City Park in New Orleans. This festival celebrates the state’s rich seafood industry. Indeed, the festival features various seafood cuisine dishes from Louisiana vendors– oysters, crawfish, shrimp, and more – cooked every which way. From oyster po-boys, barbecue oysters, crawfish etouffee, shrimp remoulade to barbecue shrimp wraps and blackened alligator tacos –you won’t leave hungry! The festival lasts three days and is full of fantastic food, music, dancing and arts and crafts. 

Louisiana Cattle Festival 

The Louisianna Cattle Festival is held annually on the first full weekend of October in Abbeville, LA. The festival celebrates the Bayou state’s cattle industry. The festival features a rodeo, a parade, and a variety of food and drinks. Attendees can immerse themselves in Cajun culture and enjoy beef and Cajun eats, livestock shows, live music and a carnival. 

Audience

Louisiana Film Prize 

Last but certainly not least, we’re wrapping up our list with Prize. This film festival is held in Shreveport in mid-October and is a celebration of the state’s thriving film industry. The Louisiana Film Prize Festival features short films made by filmmakers from around the world, and attendees can vote for their favorite films. 

 Which festivals will you attend this year? 

All in all, in 2023 there are a wide range of fun events and festivals. And with so many different options in Louisiana, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in food, music, film, or history, you’re sure to find a festival that suits your interests. So if you’re a local or a visitor, make sure to check out some of these top festivals in Louisiana in 2023. 

And if you’re travelling in your RV, stop and see us in Opelousas, LA! Because Courvelle’s RV is located on 1-49, we are a convenient stop off if you are needing an RV service & repair work. Additionally, we also have a great selection of RV parts and accessories in stock to get you back on the road quickly when it matters most. 

Ready to find the perfect RV for your travels?

Best Places to Hike in Louisiana during the Spring

Best Places to Hike in Louisiana during the Spring

Louisiana is a stunning state and is known for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. As spring rolls around and the weather warms up, it’s an ideal time to explore the great outdoors. At Courvelle’s RV, we have new and used RVs for sale and an RV service and repair center to get you going.

Spring hikes in Louisiana are our favorite as spring is the perfect time to go camping and hit the trails. In preparation for the season,  here’s a list of some of the best places to hike in Louisiana.

Top 4 Places to Hike in Louisiana this Spring

Bogue Chitto

1. Bogue Chitto State Park – St. Tammany Parish

Bogue Chitto State Park is a popular destination for spring hikes, offering scenic views of the Bogue Chitto River and surrounding swamp. Here you will experience a diversity of natural habitats in the 1,786-acres of rolling landscape. On site you can enjoy small streams, cypress-tupelo swamps, a hardwood forest, and upland forests.

This park is one of the best places to hike in Louisiana because it has several trails. These trails range from easy to challenging, making it a great place for both experienced and novice hikers. The River Trail is one of the most popular trails in the park, offering stunning views of the river and the surrounding bayou. The Bobcat Trail is another great option and takes hikers through the heart of the park’s forests. Meanwhile, the Cypress Point Trail is a more challenging trail. On this trail, hikers traverse along the edge of the swamp. Because it follows the swamp, this trail offers unique opportunities to see wildlife and enjoy the park’s natural beauty.

Lake Pontchartrain

2. Fontainebleau State Park – St. Tammany Parish

Fontainebleau State Park is another great option for spring hikes in Louisiana. This 2,800-acre park is located on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain and visitors can take in the lake views. On a clear day the lake is picturesque as it is dotted with multi-colored sailboats. While the scenic views of Lake Pontchartrain are amazing, so is the sights in the surrounding forests. The park’s nature trail is a favorite of nature lovers. With interpretive signs along the trail, visitors can identify many of the common trees and shrubs. And with over 400 different species of birds and other animals living in and around Fontainebleau, it’s a natural wonderland.

The park has several hiking trails, including the Bayou Trail, the Oak Trail, and the North Loop Trail. The Bayou Trail is one of the most visited trails in the park. This trail follows the shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain and offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding countryside. The Oak Trail is a more challenging trail, taking hikers through denser areas of the park’s forests. And there is also the North Loop Trail. This trail is a great option for families and novice hikers since it is a scenic route through the park’s rolling hills and beautiful landscapes.

Atchafalaya National Heritage Area

3. Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge – St. Mary Parish

Located in Louisiana’s “Cajun Country,” Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge unquestionably one of our favorite places to hike in Louisiana. Conserving over 15,000 acres of Mississippi alluvial bottomland hardwood forest and bald cypress tupelo swamp habitats, this park is diverse. With scenic bayous, oxbow lakes, swamps, and bottomland hardwood forest, there are a ton of ways to enjoy this park. Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to hunt, fish, boat, bird watch, paddle, or just plain enjoy the scenery.

The park has several trails that offer a chance to explore the diverse habitats of the Atchafalaya Basin. These hiking trails range from easy to challenging, including the Chinquapin Loop Trail and the Alligator Bayou Trail. The Chinquapin Loop Trail is a popular trail in the park, and takes hikers through the middle of the refuge. This trail is a great way to see wildlife and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The Alligator Bayou Trail on the other hand is a more challenging trail. Because this trail takes hikers through the swamp, it offers rare opportunities to see alligators and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

Chicot State Park<br />

4. Chicot State Park – Ville Platte

Chicot State Park covers over 6,400 acres of rolling hills and water in South Central Louisiana. It is a great destination for spring hikes because it offers an extensive hiking trail that completely encircles Lake Chicot. Not only can you enjoy the sight of the clear water of Lake Chicot, but you can also camp. The trail also includes several primitive campsites along the way. Plus, the several miles of nature trails include markers with labeled plant life native to Louisiana.

Indeed, the hiking trails allow visitors to a chance to explore the rolling hills and scenic landscape of the park. From its bottomland hardwood forest to the lake itself, visitors can experience and enjoy all the park’s natural landscape. There are two main trails: the Chicot Loop Trail and the Overlook Trail. The Chicot Loop Trail is an easy trail, taking hikers through the park’s rolling hills and offering great views of the surrounding landscape. The Overlook Trail is a more advanced hiking trail, taking hikers to the top of a hill and offering panoramic views of the park and surrounding area.

And, within this park is the Louisiana State Arboretum. Here visitors can enjoy mature beech-magnolia forests and explore the diverse flora and fauna of the area. The arboretum also has several trails, including the Magnolia Trail and the Piney Woods Trail.

Where Will Hike this Spring?

From lush forests and marshlands to picturesque lake shores and lively bayous, hiking in Louisiana is always an adventure. We hope our list of the best places to hike in Louisiana helps you plan your Spring travel. Whether you plan an awesome day trip hiking or an entire weekend RV trip, there’s so much more to discover in Louisiana! And if you are near Opelousas, Louisiana, we encourage you to stop in at Courvelle’s RV. Whether you need a service or just have questions, we are here to help!

Ready to find the perfect RV the Spring?

RV Kitchen Cajun Cooking & Recipes

RV Kitchen Cajun Cooking & Recipes

Cajun cuisine is a blend of flavors, spices, and cooking styles that have been passed down through generations of Louisiana’s Creole population. It’s a unique style of cooking that is both bold and flavorful and rooted in the historic French culture that influenced Louisiana. Our dealership is proud of our Opelousas location and Cajun and Creole influences. And while you can sample Cajun cooking throughout the state, we wanted to share our culture with our RV family.

So, we’ve compiled a list of recipes that are perfect to cook in your RV kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned RV traveler or just starting out, these Cajun recipes are sure to be a hit on your next road trip.

Cajun recipes to cook in your RV kitchen:

Jambalaya

This classic Cajun dish is a staple in Louisiana cuisine and is perfect for cooking in your RV kitchen. All you need is a large skillet or pot, some sausage, chicken, and seafood, a few vegetables, and a mix of spices. Simply sauté the ingredients, add in the rice, and let it simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the flavors have melded together. And with this Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe you can enjoy this dish in just an hour!

Instant Pot Jambalaya

Photo: Rachel Vanni; Food Styling: Brooke Caison; Image via delish

Gumbo

Gumbo is another popular Cajun dish that is perfect for cooking in your RV kitchen. It’s a hearty soup that is filled with meats, vegetables, and a mixture of spices, and is best served over rice. Simply sauté the meats, vegetables, and spices, add in the broth, and let it simmer until the flavors have melded together. And this Cajun Shrimp Gumbo recipe is perfect to cook over a campfire.

Gumbo

Shrimp Étouffée

Shrimp Étouffée (pronounced ‘eh-too-fay’) is a Louisiana classic and is a French word that translates to “smothered”. This classic Cajun dish is perfect for a romantic dinner in your RV. It’s made with fresh shrimp or crawfish, vegetables, and a mixture of spices, and is best served over rice. Simply sauté the vegetables and spices, add in the shrimp and let it simmer until the flavors have melded together. You can also prepare this dish in an instant pot by following this recipe for New Orleans Instant Pot Shrimp Étouffée.

Etouffee

Boudin

Boudin is a type of Cajun sausage that is made with pork, rice, and spices. It’s a great option for a quick and easy breakfast or lunch in your RV and can be served on its own or with some crusty bread. You can cook the boudin in a pan or on a griddle until it is brown and crispy, or over a fire in cast iron. Additionally, you can also put boudin in your jambalaya. Check out this campfire Dutch oven jambalaya recipe that incorporates boudin.

Boudin

Beignets

Beignets are a deliciously fried dough that is traditionally served as a sweet treat in Louisiana. They’re easy to make in your RV kitchen, and are a great option for a sweet dessert or snack. Simply mix together the ingredients, roll out the dough, cut it into squares, and fry until they are golden brown. Serve them when they’re hot and covered in a thick layer of powdered sugar. And you can use a mix to make it easier. Our go to is the Café Du Monde beignet mix.

Beignets

Cooking in your RV

When cooking these Cajun recipes in your RV kitchen, it’s important to have the right tools and ingredients on hand. Invest in some RV kitchen essentials such as high-quality pots and pans, good utensils, and a sharp knife. It’s also a good idea to have a pantry stocked with spices, such as paprika, cayenne pepper, and thyme, as well as staple ingredients like onions, bell peppers, and celery.

In addition to cooking these classic Cajun recipes in your RV, you can also enjoy them at local restaurants and cafes in Louisiana. Many of these places offer a taste of authentic Cajun cuisine and are a great way to experience the unique flavors and cooking styles of this region. Whether you’re cooking in your RV kitchen or dining out, Cajun cuisine is a delicious and memorable part of any road trip through Louisiana.

So, whether you’re a experienced RV traveler or just starting out, these Cajun recipes are sure to be a hit on your next road trip. And if you’re planning your next road trip, let our skilled technicians at Courvelle’s RV handle your RV service & repair work. Our qualified technicians are here Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Contact us for any and all of your questions and needs pertaining to your RV!

Ready to find the perfect RV for your next road trip?

Top 3 Things to Consider When Buying an RV for Family Travel

Top 3 Things to Consider When Buying an RV for Family Travel

Everything you need to know to pick the best family RV

Whether you and your family are seasoned RVers or new to RV life, RV shopping is always an exciting time. But when it comes to RVs, there are so many options. From Class A Motorhomes to towable travel trailers, choosing the best RV for family travel can be daunting. So, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider when searching for the best family RV.

Things to consider when buying an RV for family travel

 

 Full Time RV Life or Weekend Travels

The first and likely most important factor when searching for the best family RV is how you plan to use your RV. Is your rig going to be your home away from home or your full-time casa? This is a vital decision to make prior to shopping. Once you’ve decided your RV trajectory, you can then shop with your family’s needs in mind.  And when searching for a family RV, you can assess what layouts are conducive to full-time RV living or better suited for weekend trips.

While floor plans are significant regardless, they are essential if you intend to live in your RV full time. Keep in mind that there are no shortages of RV manufacturers and varying floorplans. When shopping for an RV for family travel, definitely do your research on different manufacturers, designs, and features.

While RV amenities shouldn’t necessarily be top priority when shopping, they can make or break your happiness with any RV. Make a list of your non-negotiables when it comes to your family’s needs. Things to think about include sleeping capacity, storage space, living area, kitchen size, bathroom accessibility and bedroom location. Additional considerations would be accommodations for workspace and pets.

And if you’re going to live in your RV full-time, space is essential. Many full-timers prefer larger rigs like Class As and fifth wheels simply because they have so much living space. Likewise, if you’re a family of boondockers, you may prefer a Class C or travel trailer with plenty of water storage. Remember, the best RV for family life and travel is one that suits your family’s unique needs.

Full Time RV for Family Travel

Travel Style

After you’ve established if you’re RV lifers or weekend warriors, the next consideration is how your family travels. While RV camping is unquestionably a great way to enjoy nature, it’s also an alternative to hotels near mainstream attractions. Does your family prefer remote off grid locations or RV resorts with pools, activities, and luxury amenities? This is important because it will help you narrow down your search and find the best family RV for your travels.

For instance, if you want to go boondocking or head off the grid, you’ll want an RV that’s designed for rugged terrain. Travel trailers are a great option since they are detachable, thus you can set up camp and go. This allows you to retain the use and maneuverability of your vehicle.

Meanwhile, larger motorhomes and fifth wheels aren’t ideal for boondockers as comparatively they aren’t as capable of handling dirt roads. However, if you’re going to stay camp at sites with full hook ups, then a Class A or a fifth wheel might be a better option. Again, if you’re planning to spend extended time in your rig, larger RVs are great simply because they have so much living space.

Additionally, if you’re looking for an RV for family travel that is versatile, a Class C is an excellent option. Class C motorhomes are one of the most purchased motorhome types on the market because they are family-friendly and compact. Moreover, they tend to provide larger holding tanks to accommodate off grid camping and are more maneuverable than travel trailers.

Family RV Travel

Length of Travel

The next thing to consider when looking for the right rig for your family is trip duration. Whether you are planning to be full-timers or occasionally travel, how long do you plan to stay at each site? Are you going to set up camp for a few weeks or move quickly and camp at several places?

If you hope to stay for longer periods of time, you will likely enjoy bigger living spaces. Because your family will be able to spread out and settle in, you’d want your rig to feel like home. A larger and more spacious RV is ideal as they luxury amenities that can make your family the most comfortable. Keeping that in mind, perhaps your best family RV is a spacious fifth wheel or large motorhome.

But if you’re going to move every few days, a large rig probably isn’t as easy or convenient. If you want to move quickly from place to place or only as place to sleep, a smaller rig with less setup may be the way to go. Ultimately, you should take into account space and livability for how you plan to camp and stay. And think about set up and break down time of each RV for how you plan to travel. Testing out these features before buying will ensure you select the right RV for family travel specific to your needs.

RV for family travel with father and son.

Where to buy the best family RV

We hope our insights and tips can help you figure out which rig is right for you and your family. While it may be overwhelming to search for the best RV for family travel, you can narrow down the search to fit your needs. Though some families opt for a Class A or a fifth wheel due to size, the truth is that it really depends on your wants and needs. The RV that suits one family may not be the best for you!

Take some time to assess your needs, reflect on your travel style and proactively ponder your future trips.  Then do some research and decide what the best RV for your family is. And if you need some help narrowing down the list, we’re here for you! We can help you work through what type of RV is best for you and help you find an RV that fits your family’s needs. Come in or call us today to let our team at Courvelle’s help you find YOUR best family RV!

Ready to find the perfect RV for your family?

Top 9 Winter Holiday Events in Louisiana

Top 9 Winter Holiday Events in Louisiana

Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most magical seasons of the year. It is a time of togetherness, celebration, and indulgence. And while most people envision a white Christmas and mulled cider, in Louisiana, Christmas magic takes on a new meaning.

Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind and while there won’t be a snowflake in sight and Santa might arrive by boat versus sleigh, there is so much to love about a Cajun Christmas. From crackling Christmas bonfires – to lights and fireworks that light up the night sky in December, we’ve compiled a list of the best holiday events in Louisiana this year.

 

Our Favorite Holiday Events in Louisiana

 

Opelousas Christmas Festival

First on our list, we have to start with Opelousas Christmas Festival because it is right in our backyard! We are so excited for this event as this year marks the first inaugural Christmas Festival in Opelousas. On the docket is a ton of fun events including an ugly sweater contest, cookies and story time with Mrs. Clause, a holiday raffle, and photos with Santa. The event is free to the public and will take place on Saturday, December 17, 2022, from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM CST. And, if you’re in the area, stop in and see our showroom at our dealership in Opelousas.

Festival of the Bonfires

Next on our list of must attend holiday events in Louisiana is the Festival of the Bonfires. Enjoy a Cajun style Christmas on the river with food, live entertainment, crafts, Santa’s Very Merry Forest and carnival rides throughout the weekend. The festival takes place December 9, 10, and 11, 2022 and each night will be highlighted with a single bonfire lighting!

Festival of Bonfires - LA
Image courtesy of www.louisianatravel.com

Bonfires on the Levee

Similarly, the Festival of Bonfires is only a prelude to this famous Christmas Eve bonfire celebration. Perhaps one of the most famous Louisiana traditions, the river is lit up, not by lights but by fire! While this may not be traditional, bonfires up to 30ft tall can be found along the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Notably, the highest concentration of bonfires is found in St. James Parish and this unique tradition is known worldwide. This is one of the most famous winter events in Louisiana and truly an experience not to miss!

NOLA Christmasfest

If you’re looking for festive indoor events in Louisiana, spend Christmas in New Orleans. NOLA Christmasfest, presented by Coca-Cola, is a dazzling, family-friendly holiday attraction. With almost 300,000 square feet of rides, giant ice slides, a real ice-skating rink and holiday décor, you will feel the holiday magic here! Plus, you are close to a ton of RV parks and campgrounds, making this an ideal destination for an RV trip.

Celebration of The Oaks - LA<br />
Image courtesy of www.celebrationintheoaks.com

The Celebration in the Oaks

Also in New Orleans, the Celebration in the Oaks is another one of the events in Louisiana that you should not miss.  With the’ City Park’s ancient oak trees aglow in twinkling lights and other colorful light displays, it’s beautiful. You can choose between a walking tour or a driving tour of the park. You can meander through the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. Additionally, this is City Park’s largest fundraiser and has enchanted park visitors since the 1980s. The proceeds go towards the Park’s maintenance, care, and beautification year-round. So, support the park and make memories with your loved ones in City Park this holiday season.

Natchitoches Christmas Festival

Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish ) is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory and Natchitoches Christmas Festival is one of the longest running Christmas events in Louisiana. In fact, the festival was started in 1927 and is one of the oldest community-based holiday celebrations in the country. This year’s event begins the Saturday before Thanksgiving and concludes on January the 6th, 2023. Downtown Natchitoches transforms into a holiday wonderland and is decorated with hundreds of thousands of colored lights and set pieces. The festival is known for its holiday lights display and we think it’s an absolute must-see event!

Darkwoods Christmas - LA
Image courtesy of www.darkwoodschristmas.com

Darkwoods Adventure Park

And if you’re in Natchitoches, another one of our favorite holiday events in Louisianna is a visit to Dark Woods® Christmas. From strolling the twinkling light displays in the woods to sitting firepit side and making s’mores, this is the perfect place to make family memories. And you can even get your pictures with Santa. Focusing on family activities, this event is filled with love and promotes the true meaning of Christmas. This event opens on November 25th and 26th for its official “turn on the lights” weekend, then resumes December 2nd and runs through December 25th. The park is open Wednesday – Sunday from 6:00pm – 9:00pm weekdays and 6:00pm – 10:00pm on weekends.

 

Candy Cane Lane

Again, if you are looking for a scenic drive to take in Christmas lights, this one’s for you! Located in Calhoun, LA, Candy Cane Lane is a mile-long wooded drive that’s decorated with over one million Christmas lights. It is open daily November 11-December 31 from 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. However, it is important to note that trailers are not allowed. Additionally, vehicles longer than 30 Ft must have prior approval. However, if you are roaming the country in a small Class C, this is a perfect pit stop to make!

 

Holiday Trail of Lights

Similarly, if you enjoyed Candy Cane Lane and wanted to enjoy another road trip, check out the Holiday trail of lights. The Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights is a great way to enjoy the holidays for locals and visitors alike. The trail runs along I-20 and I-49 in north Louisiana and includes the areas of Shreveport and Bossier, Minden, Monroe-West Monroe, Natchitoches, and Alexandria/Pineville. Because each city is within driving distance of one another, this makes for a convenient hour-long trip from city to city.

You can enjoy the downtown lights, local restaurants, shops, and festivals. You can visit the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets in Shreveport-Bossier and enjoy shopping and dining in Antique Alley in Monroe-West Monroe. Additionally, you can experience the Fasching Fifth Season Celebration and Old-World Christmas Lights Spectacular in Minden and the Christmas parades and safari zoo tour in Alexandria/Pineville. There is so much to see and do from one end of the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights to the other!

 

Which Holiday Events in Louisiana Will You Attend?

Whether you attend one event or attend them all, we hope our lists helps you plan your next Louisiana adventure. And if you’re planning an RV Christmas, here is our Complete guide to celebrating the holidays in an RV. Christmas is as they say, the most wonderful time of the year! We wish you all the best for the holiday and all year!

Ready to find the perfect RV this Winter?