Stilt houses with long docks in the low-lying town of Grand Isle, Louisiana.

7 Cutest Small Towns In Louisiana To Visit In 2024

The Pelican State is often viewed as a surprising destination for newcomers and experienced travelers. It is filled to the brim with rich history, supernatural tours out in the Bayou, and plenty of exotic foods seasoned in a particular way that no other geographic area in the world can mimic. Yet despite the claim to fame of cities like New Orleans and Lafayette, there are plenty of cute small towns worth visiting in 2024. For that reason, discover seven cute towns in Louisana worth checking out and experiencing.

Grand Isle

Grand Isle, Louisiana. Editorial credit: Wirestock Creators /
Grand Isle, Louisiana. Editorial credit: Wirestock Creators /

Hidden somewhere along Louisiana's shore, Grand Isle is a grand secret that is well-kept. Being the only inhabited barrier island in the state, the town is a beachside paradise with 7 miles of shoreline, fishing spots, natural beauty, and fresh cuisine provided by the Gulf of Mexico.

For a unique water-fairing experience, provided by cool breezes and a cast of friendly faces, Grand Isle is home to Captain John's Fin-Tastic Charters. Allowing for a variety of services out on the water, Captain John is said to have legendary hospitality and mad cooking skills as part of the charter, including take-home and dinner, and even allows for multiple boats depending on the package. Certainly one of the more unique experiences in Grand Isle that many come to see, its very own state park is a must-see.

A perfect spot for campers, beachgoers, and hardcore fishermen, Grand Isle State Park shares the name with a Vermont twin, but the difference is that the one that belongs to Louisiana blends an aquatic culture with the lovely and serene setting of nature undisturbed. A place by the water, Grand Isle excels in all things on and offshore.


Ponchatoula, Louisiana. In Wikipedia.,_Louisiana By Polka Dots and Pastries -, CC BY 2.0,
Ponchatoula, Louisiana. In Wikipedia. By Polka Dots and Pastries, CC BY 2.0, Wikipedia

Home to the famous Strawberry Festival in Parish County every spring, Ponchtoula is a town that symbolizes a slow and comfortable life. A more relaxing time is to be found in this nearby swamp town, filled with culture and a variety of creatures.

Perhaps the most popular attraction for guests is Kliebert & Sons Gator Tours. Not merely in its name, the attraction is both an animal park and a touring apparatus that dedicates itself to education, not in history but in zoology and herpetology. Putting on spectacles and entertainment while having close-up interaction with tortoises, birds, gators, and more is regular.

To see the town's more antique and artistic touch, however, the Collinswood Museum (built in 1883) and the Revival Art House both share the same objective: to teach the history of the town and its movements, albeit in different ways. Nonetheless, the crazy carpet and walls at the Revival seem to provide the town with a bit more flare.

Morgan City

Morgan City, La, bridges.
Morgan City, Louisiana, bridges.

At one time, the town of focus for the popular reality and paranormal show Ghosts of Morgan City, the local polity prides itself on having a little bit of everything.

The most famous monument the town has to offer is Carillon Tower, a 106-foot-tall structure commissioned by Mrs. Claire Horatio Brownell, a woman who hailed from one of Louisiana's founding families. Situated in Brownell Memorial Park, a measly half mile from Lake End Park (a beauty by the shore in its own right), the fern and palmettos fit right at home here among a plethora of plants and animals inhabiting acres.

For those who are willing to take an educational trip and perhaps some oil propaganda, the Rig Museum in Morgan City is a hot attraction that seeks to educate on offshore oil drilling and its process, all while being able to walk on and learn about the mechanisms of the rig itself (known as Mr. Charlie).


The Historic 1910 Vernon Parish Courthouse taken in Leesville, Louisiana, United States. Editorial credit: Printin Mckenzie /
The Historic 1910 Vernon Parish Courthouse taken in Leesville, Louisiana, United States. Editorial credit: Printin Mckenzie /

Consisting of only 9.03 sq mi, Leesville is very much a small town stuck in the past—one of antique shops, museums, and art. Those who are very committed to exploring a time that is very different from their own will find Leesville exceptional.

Among its notable locations, the Museum of West Louisiana is a standout. Documenting the very beginnings of Leesville all the way to the modern day, this unique museum even houses paintings done by German prisoners of war from WWII.

As antiquity and art flow through the town's veins, a short walk through the small but eye-catching Leesville Art Park will do the soul good, and a day finished at Gallery 111 will be even better. As the art gallery is created and infused with the passion of local artists and enthusiasts, with rotating exhibits on a monthly schedule, much is always changing.


Natchitoches City in Louisiana, United Staes.
Natchitoches City in Louisiana, United States.

Pronounced na*kuh*tuhsh , this energetic town of slightly larger size has a wealth of historical spots and intrigue.

Established in 1714 during the time of French Louisiana, one of the key points of this growing town can be found on the grounds of a once-humbling fort. A replica straight from the past, Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site tells the tale of a trading post and base for the French, who at one time occupied vast swaths of land. A must for history buffs, Natchitoches has another great claim to fame.

For modern and contemporary history, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame is sure to attract any sports fan, ranging from American football to baseball. The best of the best are enclosed within glass cases, art, and other objects. Offering yet again tours and a deep dive into the legends of sports, Natchitoches proves itself to be a place of new and olden sites in service of the past.

Saint Francisville

Historical Grace Episcopal Church built in 1860 on Ferdinand Street in St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Editorial credit: Nina Alizada /
Historical Grace Episcopal Church built in 1860 on Ferdinand Street in St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Editorial credit: Nina Alizada /

Picture this: An Antebellum home sits at a distance, and as one approaches by horse-drawn carriage, the outlines of a reflective white manor disappear, and the details begin to fill in as a large and broad porch come into view while mossy oak trees drape over the pearly white perfection. Such is the style and surrounding area of Saint Francisville, a town where its nature and architecture are appreciated.

The Audubon State Historic Site is a perfect example of this, blending 100 acres of magnolias, birds, clearings, and hills. On its premises rest the Oakley House (circa 1806), an original colonial-style building that serves as both the anchor and main structure on the land. Inspiring many to visit, the Audobon site is the town's crowning jewel.

But a close second is likely Afton Villa Gardens, a botanical garden that is so much more and even contains a historic cemetery, the famous "Ruins Gardens," and even a daffodil valley—all while fragrant scents fill the air. Many old plantations are also still available for viewing, such as the Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site.


Mandeville, Louisiana: Families in silhouette play on the swings overlooking Lake Pontchartrain at sunset.
Mandeville, Louisiana: Families in silhouette play on the swings overlooking Lake Pontchartrain at sunset.

To finish, Mandeville is a small town built on coziness and relaxation as opposed to wild adventure. Renowned for its museums and state parks, the entire town is a collection of warm feelings and a time-slowed.

What once was a sugar mill is now a park that kisses the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Fontainebleau State Park took a beating from Hurricane Ida, but now it is back and stronger than ever. With nearly 3,000 acres of trees, trails, and beaches, the state park is a symbol of renewal, strength, and beauty.

On a more historical note, the Jean Baptiste Lang Creole House Museum. One of the last Anglo-Creole houses, the grounds of this exact museum and house survived the Civil War and the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina. Learn about an almost now completely gone time from the source itself, and along the way, catch a glimpse of Mandeville's spirit.

Why These Towns?

Lousiana is one of those states that needs no introduction; its culture is widely regarded as unique, whether that be in the form of its wild parties and alcohol, its cuisine, its rich and bloody history, or even the strange tales and natural wonders produced from the Bayou. All these towns represent but a slice of what the Pelican State has to offer in 2024, and thus all of them are worth visiting at least once.

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