Tigers and gators thrive in the Florida parishes region of southern Louisiana. Baton Rouge is home to the beloved Louisiana State University Tigers football team, and you’ll feel like a local if you join in for some tailgating and a game. A real tiger serves as the mascot, and you can visit its multimillion dollar habitat at the university. For a wilder animal encounter, grab your camera and head out on an alligator tour of the swamps. Visit Slidell in spring for a Mardi Gras celebration that’s every bit as fun as its New Orleans counterpart.