Light trails captured at the Minor Basilica in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

8 Most Inviting Towns in Louisiana

Featuring towns dating back to 1714, wetlands composing over 32% of the state, and the well-known Mardi Gras festival, Louisiana has it all: history, nature, and culture. To experience the state’s full array of experiences, however, visitors must venture out into the smaller, lesser-known towns awaiting visitors with incredible food, beautiful architecture, and breathtaking nature. So, explore the charm and hidden delights of Louisiana's most inviting towns and discover why these spots are celebrated by visitors and locals alike.

Abita Springs

 Abita Springs Pavilion Park in Louisiana.
Abita Springs Pavilion Park in Louisiana. By GreaterPonce665, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Despite its small population of approximately 2,700 people, Abita Springs has been a hot tourist destination since the 19th century due to its wells containing pristine, healing waters. Today, visitors flock from around the country to enjoy its craft beer made with the same pure water. The Abita Brewing Company is one of the best in the country and is an excellent stop to learn about the town’s history as well as the brewery’s unique brewing process. Visitors will also find that Abita Springs has a special energy surrounding it, with an artsy, eclectic atmosphere and local music scene. The Abita Springs Opry always has a great calendar full of Louisiana Roots music that visitors should check out to enjoy local music!

The Tammany Trace Bike Trail allows visitors to see the surrounding natural areas and is a rails-to-trails path that connects five towns in the area. It is great for bikers, hikers, and runners alike! Speaking of bikers, Abita Springs is home to the annual Louisiana Bicycle Festival, which hosts both vintage and art bikes and features a bicycle cruise through the town.


Aerial view of the pavilion and buildings with shingle roofs at the welcome center and rest area in Greenwood, Louisiana, along highway I-10. The scene includes a concrete pathway, well-trimmed yard, and outdoor post lights for car and truck stops.

Aerial view of the pavilion and buildings with shingle roofs at the welcome center and rest area in Greenwood, Louisiana.

Greenwood, known as the “Gateway to Louisiana” due to its proximity to the Texas border, is a charming town that will certainly welcome visitors to the state. The small town is filled with activities for all ages. The nearby Wonder Oasis Waterpark will provide a fun day out for families, while the Crooked Hollow Golf Club will enchant golf lovers with its scenic course surrounded by tall pines. The American Rose Center features 118 acres of impressive gardens, making it the largest rose center in the country. For travelers visiting on the weekend, make sure to check out the town’s Saturday morning farmers market, filled with local produce and artisan goods.

Golden Meadow

Golden Meadow Middle School, formerly known as Golden Meadow High School, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the United States of America.
Golden Meadow Middle School, formerly known as Golden Meadow High School. By Z28scrambler, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Golden Meadow has an exciting history, as it is home to a centuries-old Cajun community that did not become an official city until 1950. This coastal town does not disappoint with its tasty, fresh seafood and is a tranquil destination for wildlife enthusiasts and fishers alike. Fishers can rent a cabin along Catfish Lake and enjoy a calm day out on the waters. The nearby Pointe-Aux-Chenes Wildlife Refuge, abundant in wildlife, will take visitors’ breath away with its variety of fish, waterfowl, and alligators. The refuge also has areas to camp, fish, and boat. Fishers should also check out the Golden Meadow-Fourchon International Tarpon Rodeo, an annual fishing event that brings in fishers from all over to participate.

Saint Francisville

Creole cottage style historic home and former antebellum Myrtles Plantation, built in 1796, in St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.
Creole cottage-style historic home, built in 1796, in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Editorial credit: Nina Alizada /

In the rolling hills, about a half hour north of Baton Rouge lays the charming town of Saint Francisville. Travelers will feel immersed in the town’s southern charm, home to many historical sites and unique shops. The West Feliciana Historical Society Museum will make visitors feel inspired by the town’s history. The Royal Inn is also located in St. Francisville’s old town and is a truly luxurious bed and breakfast, even including a butler for its guests. For hikers, the Clark Creek Natural Area is a must-visit. Affectionately known as the “Little Grand Canyon” by locals, Clark Creek features seven beautiful waterfalls and trails for hikers of all levels.


Jeanerette, Louisiana - St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church.

Jeanerette, Louisiana - St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church. By Dieter Karner, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Jeanerette certainly lives up to its nickname as the “Sugar City”, featuring a sweet atmosphere filled with music, food, and historic architecture. History lovers will appreciate the town’s sugarcane history and can visit the Jeanerette Bicentennial Park and Museum to learn about the sugarcane industry and its effect on the town over the past 200 years. Cooper Street Coffee is a great place to make a pitstop, where customers can appreciate the cafe’s cozy brick walls and live music sessions. Plan your trip to Jeanerette during Mardi Gras to experience the town’s colorful parades and participate in traditional balls.


Light trails at the Minor Basilica in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Light trails at the Minor Basilica in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Founded in 1714, Natchitoches provides visitors with an immersive historical and cultural experience as the oldest city in Louisiana. Visitors can stroll down the 33-block historic district, lined with beautiful architecture and various businesses, including candy shops, boutiques, art galleries, and more. The American Cemetery is another magnificent historical stop, featuring graves dating back to colonial times. Cane River Padel and Peddle Sports provides an afternoon full of water adventures, with canoe, kayak, and pedal boat rentals. To end an eventful day, travelers can visit Maglieux’s Riverfront Restaurant for gorgeous views of the river and fantastic, traditional Cajun food and seafood.

Breaux Bridge

Statue near the public library building in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, USA, installed in honor of the Green Berets, highly skilled and motivated veterans who became part of the U.S. Army.
The public library building in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, USA. Editorial credit: Victoria Ditkovsky /

Known as the Crawfish Capital of the World, Breaux Bridge is another must-visit town for seafood lovers. The town’s cuisine, history, and cajun zydeco music give it a warm, inviting environment that visitors from all over the country will love! The town’s center features cozy boutiques and antique shops. Travelers who venture to the outskirts of the town will find beautiful natural areas such as Lake Martin, home to an abundance of wildlife as well as moss-draped cypress trees. Breaux Bridge is also filled with cozy, quaint inns and bed and breakfasts. Check out Bayou Teche Bed and Breakfast, a restored hotel from the 19th century with an excellent location near various seafood restaurants. But make sure to save your appetite for the town’s annual Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival if you will be in town!


Aerial view of Minden, Louisiana.

Aerial view of Minden, Louisiana.

Minden is a charming town filled with history, culture, and nature. Its downtown area features a memorable red-bricked main street and a historic district dotted with beautiful Victorian-era homes. A short trip out of town will lead to the Germantown Colony and Museum, a preserved settlement in the wilderness that immerses visitors in life during the German-based Utopian Movement. Also on the outskirts lies Lake Bistineau State Park, a natural oasis filled with the state’s Tupelo and Cypress trees as well as an impressive variety of fish species. The state park includes five hiking trails, campsites, and cabins to immerse naturegoers in the outdoors. Travelers with a flexible calendar should visit the Webster Parish Fair, which features a parade through the downtown area, as well as rides and games for the family.

Discover Louisiana's Hidden Gems

Although these eight towns may not be the most well-known in Louisiana, visitors who make the trek out to them will not be disappointed due to their rich blend of history, culture, and natural wonders. From the healing waters and tasty beer of Abita Springs to the vibrant charm and nature of Breaux Bridge, each town offers something unique to its visitors. So, consider adding these destinations to your itinerary and immerse yourself in the warmth and hospitality that define Louisiana's small-town charm.

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