Spot alligators on a swamp tour, hook a redfish on a chartered fishing trip, and explore breathtaking plantations. These are among the many things to do in Houma, a dynamic city full of heritage and hospitality located just an hour southwest of New Orleans. Situated along Bayou Terrebonne, Houma is a great starting point for experiencing the best that southern Louisiana has to offer. So, what are you waiting for? Check out some of the best ways you can enjoy your time here below and start planning your next visit today.

Go on an Epic Swamp Tour

Cruise through marshes and swamps; see alligators, herons, nutrias, and owls in their natural habitats; and journey into the remote reaches of southern Louisiana’s wetlands.

If you’ve never been on a swamp tour, Houma is the place to do it.

Start with a tour by Annie Miller’s Son’s Swamp and Marsh Tours led by the son of area legend, Annie Miller. Meander through swamps and canals, watch the wildlife, and learn about alligator and snake hunting along the way. Meanwhile, Atchafalaya Basin Backwater Tours has an immersive three-hour boat tour that covers 15,000 years of area history and ecology.

Going on a swamp tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and Houma has some of the best around.

Take in the Wildlife

Settled in Louisiana’s Bayou Country, the terre bonne that surrounds Houma is home to more than 400 species of birds and countless other animals. As such, Houma is a great starting point to your next outdoor adventure. From birding and boating to exploring, you’ll find it all here. Spy wood ducks, barred owls, Carolina wrens, and many other birds as you visit the refuges and sanctuaries along the Terrebonne Loop.

For a different kind of experience, head over to Greenwood Gator Farm and Tours, a family-friendly spot where you can see alligators during a live show and even hold a baby gator. Other spots to immerse yourself with the area’s wildlife are the Pointe-Aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area, comprised of 35,000 acres of wetland and ideal for exploring, or the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge, only accessible by boat but features excellent viewing of waterfowl, wading birds, and other creatures.

Bring Home the Catch of the Day

Louisiana has one of the largest fisheries in the United States, and Houma’s near-coastal location makes it the perfect starting point to bagging a few catches of your own.

Take your pick from several charter companies to find the perfect outing. Fightin Minnow Fishing Charters takes you out on coastal or inland fishing expeditions upon which you can snag a speckled trout or redfish that you can be proud of.

Custom excursions are on the menu at The Redfish Charter Co., led by a seasoned captain with more than 20 years of fishing and hunting guide experience.

Hook a bull redfish and admire all the beauty of coastal Louisiana.

Immerse Yourself in Houma’s Art & Culture

If you love art or history, you’ll find plenty to discover in Houma. Soak up all there is to know about Houma’s wetland history at the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum, where interactive displays and exhibits teach you about the industries, traditions, and stories that make up the unique culture of the area. This family-friendly spot even hosts weekly Cajun music on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Ready to try your luck at Cajun dancing? Take a class at the Terrebonne Folklife Culture Center, which also provides hands-on courses in Cajun cooking, crafts, and even decoy carving.

One of the most notable art stops in the area is the Chauvin Sculpture Garden + Art Studio, where you can admire more than 100 concrete sculptures.

Explore a Plantation

With their grand architecture and depth of history, each of southern Louisiana’s plantations has its own story to tell. Start at the Southdown Plantation & Terrebonne Museum, a 19th-century manor with restored slave quarters, a worker’s cabin, and a gift shop.

Go on the guided tour to learn what life was like at this former sugar plantation, as well as other facets of Louisiana’s history as told by its many exhibits.

There aren’t many plantations that are as captivating as the Ardoyne Plantation. Settled among towering live oaks, the home’s triangular arches and 75-foot tower make it an eye-catching example of Victorian Gothic architecture. The plantation, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been growing sugarcane since 1838 and is still owned by the Shaffer family, who built the house in 1888.

Book a guided tour of the home to uncover its history as you marvel at the carved fireplace, cove-molded ceilings, and the family’s original furniture, China, and more memorabilia.

Both plantations tell different chapters of southern Louisiana’s past, so visit both to get the most out of your time in Houma.

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