Evangeline Theather in New Iberia in Louisiana USA. Editorial credit: Bennekom / Shutterstock.com

8 of the Most Hospitable Small Towns in Louisiana

The words hospitality and Louisiana go hand in hand as many communities offer visitors welcoming atmospheres centered around food, culture, and heritage. Famous for its crawfish and shrimp seafood, as well as its music and unique swamplands, Louisiana provides lots of opportunities to see some of the most intriguing natural environments in the country. Many popular movies have been filmed in Louisiana’s small towns as well, putting it on the map as the place to go for lovers of the art of filmmaking. Louisiana is an ideal destination for a little rest and relaxation, and every small town offers its own brand of laid-back charm.

New Iberia

Antique Roseville is a wedding venue in New Iberia, Louisiana. Editorial credit: ccpixx photography / Shutterstock.com
Antique Roseville is a wedding venue in New Iberia, Louisiana. Editorial credit: ccpixx photography / Shutterstock.com

Delicious, world-renowned seafood is what you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy in New Iberia, Louisiana. This small town delivers big on flavor and hospitality at the popular Pelicans on the Bayou, a dining hotspot where visitors can enjoy boiled crawfish and a variety of Cajun-inspired dishes. After warming your belly with a spicey meal, a visit to the New Iberia Community Farm will cool you down as you tour the public garden, learning all about growing healthy foods in an urban setting along the way. A short 15-minute drive from New Iberia will land visitors at the stunning Jungle Gardens, where the 170-acre property showcases exotic botanical specimens from all over the globe. Take a moment to meditate in front of the 900-year-old Buddha statue, one of the many prized attractions within the gardens, or pause to enjoy the variety of wildlife on display, such as egrets, alligators, and deer, to name a few.

New Iberia is also a short 18-minute drive away from the nearby Delcambre Shrimp Festival, which is a 5-day festival that celebrates the region's seafood during the month of August. Live entertainment is provided while guests chow down on signature meals made with fresh shrimp right off the boat. The festival also hosts cook-offs for those who enjoy a little competitive culinary delight, as well as carnival rides for the whole family.


Bayou Lafourche in Thibodaux, Louisiana.
Bayou Lafourche in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Thibodaux, Louisiana, features a multinational heritage with a strong Cajun influence. Situated along the banks of Bayou Lafourche, it’s a great place to bring the whole family for a welcoming experience. Such places as the Bayou Country Children’s Museum pack a mighty wallop when it comes to fun and games. Installations geared to inspire children’s imaginations are there to be discovered, such as the IWall Fitness exhibit or the Sugarcane Combine Harvester exhibit, which kids are not only allowed to climb on but are also encouraged to do so! Even more fun for the entire family is available in spades while taking an adventurous guided swamp tour to see giant cypress trees, abundant flora, and fauna or catching glimpses of alligators, turtles, and snakes in their natural habitat.

Visitors will learn all about the region’s history at the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Centre, located in the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve, where a variety of exhibits are on view, highlighting the Cajun way of life along the water. Live entertainment is provided at the park as well, often featuring some of the region’s best local talent.


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

A trolly tour is a must while visiting Covington, Louisiana. While on board, visitors can take a trip back in time while traveling through various filming locations that put this popular small town on the map. For starters, check out the Icons Museum, the world's only museum dedicated to modern-day icons. For a little outdoor adventure, visitors are welcome at Chimney Park, a space created for all-access opportunities to enjoy an urban woodland area created to inspire appreciation for the environment by enjoying the freedom to romp and play in a natural setting.

Art lovers will be thrilled to partake in the art scene at Covington, where the Three Rivers Art Festival features 200 participating artists with booths that showcase their unique works of art, something folks from this hospitable small town take great pride in. The festival also features a children’s discovery area for the aspiring little artist in your family.


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

Natchitoches welcomes lovers of the beloved movie Steel Magnolias to take a tour through the sites where it, as well as many others, was filmed before stopping at the Kaffie-Frederick General Store. Delightfully maintaining its original appearance of an old general store from generations gone by, don’t let looks deceive you. Filled to the brim with all kinds of goodies, the store offers a wide variety of modern-day merchandise to please any shopper, such as tools and hardware, kitchenware, and gifts for children, for starters.

After buying something nice at the store, hop aboard the Cane River Carriage Company’s horse-drawn carriage for a guided tour around the Natchitoches historical district. Finish the day at the place where hospitality is always on the menu, the Flying Heart Brewery and Pub, for a cold handcrafted beer or cocktail while enjoying a bite to eat.


Christmas Time Under the Lighted Oaks at Vieux Village in Opelousas, Louisiana.
Christmas Time Under the Lighted Oaks at Vieux Village in Opelousas, Louisiana.

Opelousas is a truly hospitable small town rich in heritage and culture. It is Louisiana’s third oldest city, and as such, it provides brick-lined sidewalks for visitors to stroll along as they make their way to the variety of museums that populate the town’s historical district. The Creole Heritage Folklife Center, for example, is a place where guests will be entertained with stories of the region’s rich Creole heritage by way of music, exhibits, and artifacts that reflect the traditions of the African American residents.

Le Vieux Village Heritage Park provides an entire collection of artifacts and memorabilia amidst some of the town’s oldest structures. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a glimpse into the early life of Opelousas while visiting the park, which features an old schoolhouse, a Methodist Church, and a doctor’s office. The Orphan Train Museum, also located in the park, tells the story of many orphaned and abandoned children rescued from the streets of New York City from 1854 to 1929 and elsewhere.


Minden, Louisiana, United States. Editorial credit: Sabrina Janelle Gordon / Shutterstock.com
Minden, Louisiana, United States. Editorial credit: Sabrina Janelle Gordon / Shutterstock.com

Minden is a small town imbued with plenty of hospitality and old-fashioned appeal. It features brick-lined streets as well as a vibrant Main Street within the Historic Main Street District area. Film aficionados will not want to miss Minden’s portion of the Northwest Louisiana Film Trail, where the locations of movies such as The Mist and Blonde Ambition represent just a couple of the many films shot at this locale, which is why Minden is also known as Hollywood South.  

For a breath of fresh air, stroll through Miller Quarters Community Park, where visitors can soak 11 acres worth of natural beauty, before heading to Crawfish Hole #2 Steak and Seafood Restaurant, where your tastebuds will be delighted with prized seafood dishes in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Breaux Bridge

Lake Martin Swamp and white Egrets in spring near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
Lake Martin Swamp and white Egrets in spring near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

Breaux Bridge is a small town widely known as the Crawfish Capital of the World. This close-knit community knows each other on a first-name basis, and hospitality comes second nature. The annual Breaux Bridges Crawfish Festival is a wildly popular event that draws big crowds for a chance to dine on delicious seafood dishes while enjoying live music and carnival rides over the span of three days. When you’re in the mood for something a little quieter, Lake Martin is the place to visit near Breaux Bridge, where you can take in the mysterious splendor of 580 acres of swamp and wildlife refuge. Prime birdwatching opportunities abound at Lake Martin, and viewers can expect to see great blue herons, spoonbills, and more.

For a flavor explosion, grab a bite to eat at Buck and Johnny’s Italian restaurant, where you’ll be tantalized with prize-winning Italian food with Cajun flair.


Youngsville, Louisiana. Editorial credit: ccpixx photography / Shutterstock.com
Youngsville, Louisiana. Editorial credit: ccpixx photography / Shutterstock.com

Youngsville, Louisiana, takes hospitality and community to a whole new level with The Youngsville Sports Complex, where venues for sporting events are provided for in spades. Visitors and locals alike enjoy acres of sporting venues for playing baseball, soccer, and tennis, and it also features a splash pad for kids of all ages to cool off and play. After a day of activity, there’s no better way to unwind than to grab a cold beer at the highly-rated Morvant’s Bar and Grill while you enjoy their world-famous burgers. If you prefer something a bit lighter, try one of their salads, sandwiches or poboys.

A stop at NuNu’s Market is a must as this 3rd generation shopping venue provides a personal shopping experience like no other, offering fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, beer, wine, and much much more.  

If seeing alligators and cypress trees in their natural habitat appeals to you, Louisiana is definitely the place to go to experience close encounters while on a tour of its swamp lands. If you love a tasty seafood dish with Cajun flavor, you can find it in Louisiana as well. Or, if you are looking for a chance to see the film location for Steel Magnolias, as well as many others, this is the State to visit. Whether you’re seeking only one of these experiences or all of them, Louisiana’s small towns provide the hospitality as well as the delicious food and stunning flora and fauna sure to please every visitor.

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