Azaleas in bloom at the entrance to Afton Villa Gardens

See Louisiana's Native Azaleas all Spring Long

These floral-filled destinations boast the state's brightest blooms.

Every spring, like clockwork, botanical gardens, parks and front yards throughout Louisiana become colored with rich pink, white, purple and fuchsia blooms of azaleas. The flowering bush, a native of Asia, was imported to the U.S. almost 200 years ago and and has become one of the most recognizable fixtures in southern landscaping.

From about early March through late May, azaleas abound in colorful flowers. Here are just a few of the best places to find azaleas in bloom in Louisiana.

1. Kisatchie National Forest

Near Woodworth

The appropriately named Wild Azalea Trail in Kisatchie National Forest is a backcountry getaway for nature lovers of all kinds. Approximately 31 miles long, the Wild Azalea Trail was designed with outdoorsmen in mind, so short trips and overnight stays are easy to make happen. Head to this remote landscape of bottomland hardwood forests and rolling hills to discover Louisiana’s natural side.

2. Afton Villa Gardens

St. Francisville

Afton Villa Gardens is named for Afton Villa Plantation, a gothic antebellum mansion that was destroyed in 1963. The long driveway leading to the ruins of the plantation’s “big house” is filled with azaleas underneath wide, shady oak trees. Visit at just the right time of year in springtime, and you’ll see a sea of color at Afton Villa Gardens. 

3. Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site

St. Francisville

This Louisiana State Historic Site, where you’ll learn about the lives of wealthy planters Daniel and Martha Barrow Turnbull, offers a glimpse into Louisiana’s early 19th-century history. It’s also where you’ll find Martha’s “pleasure gardens,” a vast 28-acre landscape of greenery that includes crape myrtles, cryptomeria and many azaleas.

Fountain at Rosedown Plantation and Gardens State Historic Site

Rosedown State Historic Site

Blooming wisteria and butterfly bench in at Afton Villa Gardens

Afton Villa Gardens

Jungle Gardens on Avery Island

Jungle Gardens on Avery Island

Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Rip Van Winkle Gardens

4. Jackson Square  

New Orleans

Jackson Square is an awe-inspiring destination, even for longtime New Orleanians. A city square built in the same style as French place d’armes, it’s surrounded by St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo and Presbytère (part of the Louisiana State Museums system), the Pontalba apartments and Washington Artillery Park, which overlooks the Mississippi River. The centerpiece of Jackson Square is its garden, within which you’ll find azaleas blooming during the spring season.

5. New Orleans Botanical Garden

New Orleans

The Zemurray Azalea and Camellia Garden is an inspiring, peaceful part of the New Orleans Botanical Garden, where winding paths take visitors past meticulously placed azaleas. You’ll find more azaleas in bloom throughout the Botanical Garden, and outside it, too — this destination is encircled by New Orleans City Park.

6. Jungle Gardens & Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Avery Island & New Iberia

Head to the New Iberia area and head a little bit south to find Avery Island, home to the famed TABASCO® hot sauce and nearby Jungle Gardens. The gardens, founded by the same family that founded TABASCO®, is a 170-acre tropical paradise filled with greenery. While Jungle Gardens is open year-round, springtime is your best bet to find many of its colorful plants (including azaleas) in bloom. Don't miss nearby Rip Van Winkle Gardens & The Joseph Jefferson House. This lush landscape is bucket-list worthy!

7. Lafayette Azalea Trail


Known as the capital of Cajun Country, Lafayette is an easygoing south Louisiana city with a thriving culture and endless reasons to visit. One such reason is the Lafayette Azalea Trail, a 25-mile network of streets where you’ll find azaleas outside historical homes. The trail begins at Lafayette Travel’s visitor’s center and goes past Mouton Plantation and the Sterling Grove Historic District, into downtown Lafayette, around Mouton Gardens and Girard Park, and numerous magnificent homes.