10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in Louisiana You Must Explore

Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Nikki Jain

Known famously by its bustling cultural center of New Orleans, and the popular Baton Rouge, Louisiana is also a state of hidden gems. It is a sprawling land of rich agriculture, vibrant culture, and some of the best food in the bayou. And although these towns don’t have the kind of name recognition the Mardi Gras capitals might harbor, they’re well worthy of the praise. These are the top 10 best small towns in Louisiana.

Best Small Towns in Louisiana

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The crawfish capital of the world is calling! If you’re a foodie or just a general fan of all things tasty: Breaux Bridge is the place for you. It may be small, but it’s got a big personality. And maybe more importantly a big menu. Be sure to check out some of the top-rated walking food tours or go all in and visit during the annual Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. Either way, you can’t go wrong! You’ll have that raging Cajun craving for years to come, so prepare to fill up.

Other Breaux Bridge activities for those who want their small town with a little bit more serenity include the plethora of options outdoors. Louisiana is one of the best states to explore swamps, lakes, and all the wonderful wildlife that calls it home. Try a Swamp Tour and you’ll be sped to the best locations for it all. Or, lace up your shoes and take to one of the paths on Lake Martin. Be sure to bring a camera and keep an eye out: Alligators, herons, and many more can be spotted frequently. Outdoor, indoor, this beautiful small town does it all.

Address: Breaux Bridge, LA

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R&R done right! Covington is the perfect place to slow things down for a weekend. Enjoy the kind of relaxation typically found in dreams with the assortment of chill activities to choose from. Cycle through the green paradise that is Tammany Trace Bike Trail, or checkout the Fairview-Riverside State Park.

At the park, patrons can enjoy everything from fishing to hiking and do it all in the quiet calm of nature. It’ll feature the kind of wildlife only Louisiana can feature. And if you want something a few more walls, don’t forget to stop at the Covington Brewery for a taste you won’t forget.

Address: Covington, LA

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3: Ville Platte

Ville Platte
Flickr/Richard Byrd

Ville Platte is another one of Louisiana’s hidden gems. It is known primarily by the number of outdoor activities that drop jaws and inspire the visitors. Time it right and be at the Louisiana State Arboretum Preservation Area and watch the butterflies flutter on vividly gorgeous flowers. Or, take it up a notch and check out the Crooked Creek Recreation Area.

Hike, camp, fish, boat, ski, sail, picnic, bird-watch, sunset-watch… do it all! And to finish off your weekend spent with your head in the fresh air, make a stop at Chicot State Park. It’s one of those adventures you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Address: Ville Platte, LA

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4: Natchitoches

Flickr/Randy Heinitz

This city you might have seen before, but likely haven’t visited. It’s the set of filming for Steel Magnolias and has graced the big screen in big ways. It is also known popularly as the “City of Lights” maybe most notably so for the Christmas Festival featured on the first Saturday every December. No one does Christmas quite like this small Louisiana town, and they’re proud of it. Holidays are made community events with the number of attractions, shops, and stops brought to town by this event.

Even if you aren’t a winter weather traveler, there are still many reasons to visit Natchitoches. It has acres of historical land from its Creole culture that welcome visitors to their informational and beautiful gates. The Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site is a well-maintained French fort settlement nestled in the heart of this town’s nature. It transports its guest all the way to 1716, with the wide world of resources embraced by the team. The Cane River National Heritage Area and the Kisatchie National Forest are two other extraordinary destinations that call Natchitoches home. Take the whole family on an exploration of the Louisiana forest, or solo trip to serendipity.

Address: Natchitoches, LA

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5: Minden


Minden is one of those places you might dream about when you think of a small-town getaway. Red-brick streets lining the kind of shops where owners know their patrons by name. Where you’ll be greeted by the kind of locals who point you towards the best parks and recommend the best of restaurants Minden has to offer. And, the kind of town that has a history all its own. Best described by the efforts of the Dorcheat Historical Museum, detailing Minden through the ages.

As it is in Louisiana, the great outdoors is calling in Minden too. The Caney Lakes Recreation Area is favored by tourists and locals alike to partake in some of those free day, relaxing waterside hobbies. Like fishing on the lake with your best friend or camping under the stars with that special someone. If you want to incorporate both nature and history, try Germantown Colony Museum. Nestled by the greenery of Minden and loved by the years.

Address: Minden, LA

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6: St. Francisville

St. Francisville
Flickr/Ken Lund

For any and all history buffs looking to getaway to Louisiana: St. Francisville is the place for you! Historical sites are the norm here, and you could spend more than just a weekend exploring them all. To name a few: The Myrtles Plantation, the Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, and the Audubon State Historic Site are absolutely essential stops.

These are preserved sites loved and maintained by the community that surrounds them to upkeep that St. Francisville spirit. It is complete with homes to tour, inns to stay at, and plenty of historic items to peruse and ponder.

Address: St. Francisville, LA

Abita Springs is the family vacation you’ve been waiting for. It is the perfect place to bring all ages: young, old, tall, small, there’s more than enough to keep everyone entertained. Even the museum’s here are tailored to the experience. Check out the Abita Mystery House/UCM Museum for the kind of eccentric fun only a small town could provide. Or, take the kids to the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany to get some of that young energy out.

Looking for something with a bit more chill for everyone? Take a picnic out to Abita Springs Park! Or, rent bikes and take to the paths on Tammany Trace Bike Trail. Whatever you do, don’t forget to embrace that Louisiana fun and soak up the sun in Abita Springs.

Address: Abita Springs, LA

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Thibodaux is the kind of small town you never want to leave! The kind of community you’d like to join, and with such a welcoming crowd you’ll feel like you’ve been there for days starting at day one. Watch the golden sun dip below the horizon at the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center and spend the day learning Thibodaux history at the Laurel Valley Village Museum. It is a city that encourages you to explore your interests, whatever they may be.

But if you want some pointers: you can’t go wrong with admiring the architecture at St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral. The gold and brick create such a picturesque scene in the Louisiana sky you’ll want to see it in person. And for families traveling, be sure to check out the Bayou Country Children’s Museum. Where education is encouraged through the kind of hands-on learning children thrive on. Whatever your itinerary includes, Thibodaux is sure to enchant!

Address: Thibodaux, LA

For all the southern comforts! Farmville is a picturesque scene of all things small town South, with just the right amount of Louisiana flavor. Try some Cajun and make some Farmerville friends. If you ask around, there are a few sites that are considered absolute must’s when in the area.

For one: Lake D’Arbonne State Park. The place where everyone goes to getaway. To find answers only the water’s calm can provide, and the kind of peace only the rustle of trees can inspire. As a whole, D’Arbonne Pointe is considered a center point of Farmerville. Be sure to find out what makes the area such a staple mark in the community. And at the end of the day, lay your head down at the Edgewood Plantation Bed and Breakfast. The perfect night to perfect days!

Address: Farmerville, LA

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10: Grand Isle

Grand Isle
Flickr/Rebecca Milby

Great things in the Grand Isle! As one of Louisiana’s best small towns, Grand Isle comes jam packed with reasons to visit. If you think beach when you think vacation, Grand Isle is a name to remember. You can stroll the beach, hike, bird-watch, fish, and so much more all on the sandy shores of this Isle. Or, you can shop in the kind of comfort only a small town could provide.

Feel the warmth of the sun grace your skin as you peruse downtown or check out some of the local favorites. Visit the Bridge Side Marina for all things bait and ocean living. And be sure to stop at some of the restaurants nearby. Nobody does seafood quite like the Grand Isle.

Address: Grand Isle, LA

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