Aerial drone photo Golden Nugget Casino Resort Lake Charles Louisiana, US. Image credit Felix Mizioznikov via Shutterstock

7 Most Underrated Cities In Louisiana

Louisiana, the Pelican State, has a rich history, unique culture, and delicious food. While New Orleans is a popular destination for travelers, the state is home to several other cities that are just as worthy of exploration. Each city has its own distinct character, from the state capital of Baton Rouge to the Cajun and Creole hub of Lafayette, the vibrant arts scene of Shreveport, the outdoor activities of Alexandria, and the festivals of Lake Charles. Traveling to these cities provides an opportunity to experience the authentic Louisiana way of life and discover the hidden gems that the state has to offer.


A rusty bridge over the river downtown, Monroe, Louisiana
Bridge in Monroe, Louisiana. Image credit Sabrina Janelle Gordon via Shutterstock

A charming city located in the northeastern region of Louisiana, Monroe’s unique beauty is in its scenic location on the banks of the Ouachita River and the city’s lush green surroundings. The city is home to several parks and nature reserves, including the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, which is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers. The downtown area includes historic buildings that date back to the early 20th century, including the stunning Ouachita Parish Courthouse. Visitors can explore the city's rich history at the Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Heritage Museum and the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens. The city also offers plenty of shopping and dining options, from local boutiques to chain stores and a variety of restaurants serving up authentic southern cuisine. Monroe's natural beauty and historic charm work together to make it a delightful destination.

Bossier City

Fountains and stores at night at Louisiana Boardwalk Mall with Shreveport Skyline in background
Downtown Bossier City, Louisiana. Image credit Donna Chance Hall via Shutterstock

With its distinctive waterfront downtown center on the Red River replete with casinos, live entertainment, and resorts, Bossier City is a true destination for travelers looking for a luxurious vacation. A broad range of table games, slots, and other gaming opportunities are available for those seeking a Vegas-style experience with a southern flavor. For shopping, check out the Louisiana Boardwalk and its range of outlet stores and restaurants. Travelers can also appreciate the natural beauty of the state at the Mike Wood Memorial Park, and the nearby Cypress Black Bayou Recreation Area, which is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and hiking.


Kenner, Louisiana weekly Crescent City Farmers Market is held at LaSalle's Landing at William's Blvd, and the Mississippi River.
Kenner, Louisiana Crescent City Farmers Market. Image credit Kathleen K. Parker via Shutterstock

Kenner, an enchanting city located in the heart of Jefferson Parish, has an allure that is hard to resist. Its tree-lined streets, historic buildings, and quaint neighborhoods evoke a sense of nostalgia for simpler times. Visitors can indulge in the city's rich cultural heritage by visiting the Rivertown Historic District, which features museums, art galleries, and beautiful parks. Be sure to visit the site of the first World Heavyweight Championship prizefight, and check out the statues of the boxers that fought in it. Kenner is also a paradise for food lovers, with a wide range of restaurants serving up delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine, fresh seafood, and soulful comfort food. The city's proximity to the Louis Armstrong International Airport makes it an ideal base for exploring the region's other attractions, such as New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

Lake Charles

Aerial drone image of Lake Charles Louisiana
Aerial view of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Located in the southwestern part of the state, Lake Charles boasts stunning natural beauty, a lively entertainment scene, and a vibrant culture. The city is beautifully situated along the shores of its namesake Lake Charles, where visitors can bask in the peaceful serenity of the water and enjoy scenic sunsets. Lake Charles is also home to several parks and nature reserves, including the Sam Houston Jones State Park, which boasts miles of hiking trails and stunning vistas. For those looking for a little excitement, the city offers a range of entertainment options, including casinos, live music, and festivals celebrating the region's unique Cajun and Creole culture. Visitors can also indulge in the city's diverse culinary scene, which features everything from down-home Cajun cooking to upscale fine dining.


Aerial view of downtown Lafayette, Louisiana
Downtown Lafayette, Louisiana.

The spicy tastes of Cajun cooking and the intoxicating harmonies of zydeco music will fill your mind upon a trip to Lafayette. It is a vibrant city located in the heart of Cajun country which exudes a sense of warmth and hospitality that is both genuine and captivating. Find out why the city earned the title of Best Food City in the US with a trip to one of the famous restaurants. Visitors can immerse themselves in the city's rich cultural heritage by exploring the Acadian Cultural Center and the Vermilionville Historic Village, which offer glimpses into the region's unique history and traditions.  Lafayette's natural beauty includes magnificent vistas of the Atchafalaya Basin and the Bayou Teche, that will take your breath away.


Shreveport, Louisiana, skyline over the Red River at dusk
Shreveport, Louisiana, skyline.

Traveling to Shreveport, Louisiana is like stepping into a canvas of vibrant colors and bold brushstrokes. Located across the Red River from Bossier City, there is no shortage of things to do or sights to see in these twin cities. Shreveport, in the northwestern part of the state, is a haven for art lovers, with a thriving arts and culture scene that is both eclectic and inspiring. Visitors can explore the historic Norton Art Gallery, which features an impressive collection of American and European art, or take in the avant-garde exhibits at the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. Shreveport is also home to several theaters and performance venues, where visitors can catch live shows ranging from Broadway musicals to experimental theater. The city's historic architecture and picturesque neighborhoods offer a rich tapestry of inspiration for artists, photographers, and poets alike.

Baton Rouge

Aerial photo Downtown Baton Rouge Louisiana
Downtown Baton Rouge Louisiana.

The capital of Louisiana is not as well-known or widely celebrated as the cultural center of New Orleans, but Baton Rouge has more than enough to offer the traveler looking for a one-of-a-kind visit. This dynamic city located along the banks of the Mississippi River offers a rich blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that is sure to captivate visitors. The city's downtown area features a stunning array of historic buildings, museums, and art galleries, including the iconic Louisiana State Capitol, which boasts impressive architecture and stunning views of the city.

Baton Rouge is also known for its lively music scene, with a range of venues hosting live music ranging from blues and jazz to the local sounds of Cajun and zydeco. The city's culinary scene is equally diverse, with a wide range of restaurants serving up everything from classic Creole dishes to modern fusion cuisine. Visitors can also explore the natural beauty of the city, with scenic parks and nature reserves offering opportunities for hiking, biking, and birdwatching. Whether you are a history buff, a music lover, or someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, Baton Rouge is a destination that offers something for everyone.

One of the most culturally distinct states in America’s deep south, Louisiana has a lot that makes it a unique and desirable travel destination. From the sounds of the jazz and zydeco music that developed here, the culinary worlds of Cajun and creole cooking, to the enchanting flora and fauna that define the plantation south, the state is an endless source of fascination for adventurers and casual travelers alike. However, for a full appreciation of what makes Louisiana what it is, the wise visitor will want to explore outside just the world-famous destination of New Orleans. These underrated cities hold treasures unlike anywhere else on earth.

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. 7 Most Underrated Cities In Louisiana

More in Places