Louisiana has so many great destinations that often go overlooked. Sure, everyone should put places like the French Quarter and Chicot State Park on their bucket lists, but there are countless destinations that are hidden gems just waiting to be explored. Check out these eight awesome, overlooked spots:
1. Kiroli Park
This amazing park in West Monroe is an incredible hidden gem that’s worth the drive. The attractions here are endless, including great fishing, walking trails, tennis courts, playgrounds for the little ones, and so much more. In the spring, the gardens are simply spectacular!
Address: 820 Kiroli Rd., West Monroe, LA 71291
Hidden in the heart of the Kisatchie National Forest, Briarwood was once the home of world renown naturalist Caroline Dormon. You’ll learn about the history of the area and get to check out all of the indigenous plant life on your tour, plus learn about the history of the fist woman hired in the United States Forest Service. Briarwood is only open during March, April, May, October, and November, so be sure to mark this destination on your calendar for the springtime.
Address: 216 Caroline Dorman Rd., Saline, LA 71070
3. Rip Van Winkle Gardens
Tucked away on Jefferson Island, Rip Van Winkle Gardens is a delightful afternoon adventure that you’re sure to love. From the breathtaking grounds to the charming restaurant, you’ll have a memorable experience at this peaceful destination.
Address: 5505 Rip Van Winkle Rd., New Iberia, LA 70560
4. Lake End Park
Head on over to Bayou Country for a weekend of epic adventure you won’t soon forget. Nestled along the beautiful Lake Palourde, this tranquil park offers a peaceful setting for a relaxing weekend.
Address: 2300 LA Hwy. 70N, Morgan City, LA 70380
5. Creole Nature Trail
For nature enthusiasts, there’s no better destination than the Creole Nature Trail. You’ll come across alligators, crabs, and more than 400 species of birds as you make your way along the 180-mile All-American Road in southwestern Louisiana. Not only are their 26 miles of natural Gulf beaches, but you’ll also be surrounded by some of the most amazing scenery Louisiana has to offer.
6. Longue Vue House and Gardens
Perhaps one of the greatest hidden gems in New Orleans, Longue Vue House and Gardens was built in 1942 and was the dream house of Edgar and Edith Stern. Along your tour, you’ll learn about the history of the three-story house, the Stern’s incredible collections of antiques and artwork, and of course the impressive gardens.
Address: 7 Bamboo Rd., New Orleans, LA 70124
7. Holly Beach
Holly Beach is located down in Cameron, and it’s perfect for those days you just want a little beach time but can’t drive over to Alabama or Florida. Great for seashell-searching, Holly Beach is an amazing destination that you’re sure to love. You can even camp on the beach if you’d like, so you can spend your days with your toes in the sand and the nights falling asleep to the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore.
Vermilionville is a hands-on living history museum that focuses on the Acadian, Creole, and Native American cultures in the region. As you stroll through the 23 acres along Bayou Vermilion, you’ll get an opportunity to catch a glimpse of what life was like for these folks living from 1765-1890 in this one-of-a-kind attraction the whole family will enjoy.
Address: 300 Fisher Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508
How many of these overlooked destinations have you been to? Are there others that should be added to this list? Let us know in the comments below!