Louisiana is ripe with history and culture, two things that make a small town special. Here are 9 of the most stand-out small towns from throughout the state.
1) Donaldsonville, LA
An amazing historic town, the district of Donaldsonville is said to have the finest collection of buildings from the antebellum era, including Fort Butler, the site of a civil war battle. In 1868 the residents of Donaldsonville elected Pierre Caliste Landry, the first African American mayor in the United States. The town’s newspaper, the Donaldsonville Chief, has been in print since 1871.
2) DeRidder, LA
Incorporated in 1902, DeRidder is known for its beautiful architecture, including the notable Old Beauregard Parish Jail. This town is home to a number of historical sites and is also said to have the most churches per capita than any other place in the entire country!
3) Eunice, LA
Home of the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum as well as the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, this town hosts one of the largest Courir de Mardi Gras celebrations in the state. It’s also the home of the World Championship Crawfish Etouffee cook-off!
4) Natchitoches, LA
The biggest ‘small town’ on this list, Natchitoches is one of the cutest spots in the state.The setting for the smash hit Steel Magnolias and home of the Nachitoches meat pie, this adorable town is known for its downtown walk on the Cane River.
5) Ville Platte, LA
Home of Louisiana’s largest state park, Chicot State Park, Ville Platte is one of the birthplaces of the Afro-creole Zydeco music tradition. It’s also one of the best places to eat ‘viande boucanee’ or smoked meat.
6) Abita Springs, LA
The medicinal springs nearby this town offer water as well as the popular Abita Beer to people across Louisiana. For fun and entertainment, this sweet town, north of Lake Pontchartrain, offers the UCM museum as well as the Abita Springs Opry.
7) Zwolle, LA
Home of the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta, this town near Toledo Bend has historic buildings and years of cultural history.
8) St. Martinville, LA
Over 8,000,000 pounds of wild crawfish are harvested from St. Martin Parish, where St. Martinville is the parish seat. Known as the heart of Cajun Country, this is the 3rd oldest town in Louisiana and has many beautiful historic homes as and cultural landmarks.
9) St. Francisville, LA
Nestled north of Baton Rouge, this town was founded in 1809 and was once the capital of the Republic of West Florida. This town is home to a number of restored plantation homes and beautiful antebellum gardens.
Lists like this are always hard to determine–what makes a small town? And what makes it special? Let us know if there are places that we missed on this list!