The charming town of Natchitoches, Louisiana.

7 Of The Most Charming Small Towns To Visit In Louisiana

Louisiana, the nation’s 31st-largest and 25th-most most-populous state, is in the south-central United States’ Gulf Coast region. Bordered by the neighboring states of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas, this gorgeous state is best known for its stunning scenery, fascinating history, thriving culture, and gracious Southern hospitality. Although the Bayou State’s prominent cities, like New Orleans, Shreveport, Lafayette, and the state capital, Baton Rouge, draw travelers from far and wide, the innumerable charming small towns scattered throughout the state are vying for attention from the holidayers.

So, what are you waiting for? If you wish to enjoy an authentic Louisiana experience, come and discover these outstanding getaway destinations in the Pelican State.

Breaux Bridge

Statue in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
Statue in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Image credit Victoria Ditkovsky via Shutterstock

Formally designated as the “Crawfish Capital of the World” by Bob Angelle - the former Speaker of the State Legislature, this pleasant town in St. Matin Parish forms a part of the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area. When in town, walk through the downtown streets and browse the many vintage stores, boutiques, and world-class restaurants serving unusual dishes like Crawfish Étouffée. Being a popular stop along the Bayou Teche Scenic Byway, the town offers unparalleled views as well as abundant opportunities to observe the biodiversity of the Atchafalaya Basin.

Moreover, bird-watching enthusiasts are especially drawn to swamp tours at the adjoining Lake Martin, while every May, revelers can partake in the weekend-long Crawfish Festival celebrating Breaux Bridge’s Cajun heritage with Cajun music, Cajun & Zydeco dance contests, parades, artisan craft fairs, and mouthwatering crawfish platters.


Park in spring in Natchitoches, Louisiana
A beautiful park in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

This cute town, christened after the indigenous Natchitoches inhabitants, is located in west-central Louisiana’s Natchitoches Parish, about 68 miles southeast of Shreveport. Founded by the French-Canadian explorer Louis Antoine Juchereau de St. Denis in 1714, Natchitoches is the earliest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory. Covering a major part of the town, the Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District features uncountable Art Deco commercial buildings, Classic Queen Anne-style mansions, and French Creole houses. An array of family-owned stores, clothing boutiques, and eateries, such as Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant, Cane River Candy Company, Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile Store, etc., line the town’s Front Street.

Furthermore, do embark on a self-guided tour of over a dozen shooting locations of the ‘Steel Magnolias’ movie, aside from the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church, Cane River National Heritage Area, Northwest Louisiana History Museum, and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Starting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and concluding on the Epiphany, the Natchitoches Christmas Lighting Festival is one of the oldest community-based holiday celebrations in the country.


Downtown Covington, Louisiana
Downtown Covington, Louisiana. Editorial credit: Wirestock Creators /

Covington, the seat of St. Tammany Parish and a part of the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner metropolitan statistical area, is situated along the fork of the Tchefuncte and Bogue Falaya Rivers, around 41 miles from New Orleans across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. The walkable 100-acre division of the St. John Historic District encompasses the original portion of the town to the east of the U.S. Route 190 highway. It comprises numerous stately mansions, art galleries, museums, shops, and restaurants such as Del Porto Ristorante, English Tearoom, and Mattina Bella.

Covington’s notable points of interest include the Southern Hotel, Insta-Gator Ranch & Hatchery, Bogue Falaya Wayside Park, and the HJ Smith & Sons General Store & Museum. Hikers and bicyclists can easily access the 31-mile-long Tammany Trace, which runs along the northern banks of Lake Pontchartrain and connects Covington with other St. Tammany Parish towns.

Abita Springs

Handpainted Signs in the Abita Springs Mystery House or UCM Museum in Louisiana
Handpainted signs in the Abita Springs Mystery House or UCM Museum in Louisiana.

A serene hamlet adjacent to Covington in St. Tammany Parish, Abita Springs enchants vacationers who wish to relax away from noisy metropolises. Travelers visiting this picturesque town must not miss its remarkable attractions like the Abita Mystery House/UCM Museum, Abita Springs Art & Farmers Market, Abita Springs Trailhead Museum, and the Splash Pad of Abita Springs Trailhead & Park; aside from noting the performance schedule of the Louisiana roots music’s fall and spring concert series at the Town Hall auditorium.

Throughout the year, the town hosts events like the Push Mow Parade, Abita Springs Water Festival, EarthFest, En Plein Air Art Exhibition, Busker Fest, Louisiana Bicycle Festival, and Whole Town Garage Sale.

St. Francisville

Rosedown Plantation, St Francisville Louisiana
Rosedown Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

The administrative center of West Feliciana Parish, St. Francisville, sits atop a narrow ridge that overlooks the Mississippi River, approximately 30 miles north of Baton Rouge. Founded by John H. Johnson in 1807 and named the “Villa of St. Francis,” this erstwhile expansive antebellum river port between New Orleans, the state’s most populous city and Memphis, Tennessee, has lured heritage enthusiasts and weekenders for several years. Take a stroll through the streets of St. Francisville’s well-preserved historic district and peruse the old residences, Grace Church of West Feliciana Parish, West Feliciana Historical Society Museum, and a handful of carefully restored plantations like Cottage Plantation, Butler Greenwood Plantation, Oakley Plantation, Audubon State Historic Site, Myrtles Plantation, and Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site.

The Afton Villa Gardens, Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area, and Cat Island Natural Wildlife Refuge are must-visits for nature lovers, while the West Feliciana Sports Park, spread over 250 acres, offers various sporting activities in addition to being the home course for the Southern University’s athletic teams.


Savoy Music Center, Eunice, Louisiana.
Savoy Music Center, Eunice, Louisiana. Image credit: Louisiana Travel via

Spread across the Acadia and St. Landry parishes in the south-central part of the state, Eunice, named in honor of Eunice Pharr Duson, the wife of the legendary Louisiana lawman Cornelius C. Duson, is often touted as “Louisiana’s Prairie Cajun Capital.” Eunice’s location near the center of Cajun country has made it a notable hub of Cajun & Creole culture and traditional Cajun & Zydeco music. The town’s noteworthy attractions include the Eunice Depot Museum, Savoy Music Center, Cajun Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Liberty Theater, and the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center at the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park & Preserve. Annually, the town hosts an extravagant Courir de Mardi Gras and a World Championship Crawfish Étouffée Cook-Off.


Beautiful Downtown Bastrop, Louisiana
Beautiful Downtown Bastrop, Louisiana. Image credit: J. Stephen Conn via

Morehouse Parish’s seat of government, Bastrop, is situated in northeastern Louisiana at the crossing of U.S. Highway 165 and U.S. Highway 425, roughly 24 miles northeast of Monroe and 20 miles south of the state boundary with Arkansas. Established by the Dutch nobleman Felipe Enrique Neri - Baron de Bastrop, the town plays a crucial role as the industrial and economic mecca of Morehouse Parish. Bastrop invites tourists to come and check out its Downtown Craftsman and plantation-style properties, aside from other awe-inspiring sites of interest like the Snyder Museum & Creative Arts Center, the beautifully renovated Morehouse Parish Courthouse, and Rose Theater. Adventure lovers must partake in the many outdoor activities at the 503-acre Chemin-A-Haut State Park, about 10 miles north of Bastrop, overlooking the serpentine Bayou Bartholomew.

From Breaux Bridge - the “Crawfish Capital of the World” in St. Martin Parish to Eunice - “Louisiana’s Prairie Cajun Capital” in Acadia and St. Landry parishes, the adorable small towns perfectly showcase the heart and soul of the Pelican State. Esteemed for their exclusive attractions, Cajun heritage & culture, outdoor activities, and friendly locals, these charming towns will make your Louisiana trip worthwhile.

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