Millions of people throng to Louisiana to have a great time in the French Quarter, sports fishing on the Gulf, and enjoying warm, convivial hospitality everywhere. But visitors should extend their stay—or plan to come back soon—to enjoy these 9 best underrated and largely unknown tourist destinations in the Pelican State!
Tourists looking for a wedding or reunion destination fit for royalty can book their event at the Louisiana Castle in Franklinton, about an hour north of New Orleans.
In 1971, Dr. Mark Belcher watched a movie called “The War Lord.” From that moment on, he knew he wanted to live in a castle.
Belcher spent the 70s touring castles in England. In 1983, he bought some land near Franklinton and then spent six years clearing it. Two more years and 85,000 bricks later, Belcher had a replica of an English normal keep castle, with soaring ceilings, spacious meeting rooms, and stunning landscaping with room for 350 guests.
Liberty Lagoon is an epic water park located just off the 190 Freeway in Baton Rouge.
Louisiana’s newest water park has all the standard offerings of water parks everywhere, plus a lazy river, a lily pad obstacle course where your kids can practice their balancing skills, a surf simulator, swimming lessons, and lots and lots of places for families to retreat to the shade during the hottest part of the day.
The Rock Chapel
Carmelite monks built the Rock Chapel in De Soto Parish, about 40 miles south of Shreveport, in 1891. You will wind down country roads to reach the beautiful stone chapel surviving the monetary, which burned in 1904.
Restored murals and frescoes invite hours of delight.
The Rock Chapel is located at 1746 Smithport Rd, Mansfield, LA 71052. But to get inside visitors need to call the De Soto Tourist Bureau at (318) 872-1177 to get a key to open the gate. Visitors can also drop by the tourist bureau at 115 N Washington Ave, Mansfield.
Abandoned Jazzland (New Orleans)
Visitors who like apocalyptic landscapes will love the abandoned Six Flags Jazzland site in New Orleans.
For five years, Jazzland was a thriving theme park, part of the Six Flags Corporation. It was inundated by flood waters during Hurricane Katrina, and the owners deemed it too expensive to rebuild.
The Abandoned Jazzland site does not officially welcome visitors. It can be viewed from Interstate Highway 5-10. Entry may be considered trespassing.
Saint Roch Chapel (New Orleans)
Yellow fever struck the Gulf Coast in 1817, killing over 40,000 Louisianans. Father Peter Thevis couldn’t stand the losses anymore, so he decided to devote his ministry to praying to St. Roch, patron saint of dogs, falsely accused people, bachelors, medications, and people who have yellow fever.
Then Thevis himself caught the plague and was banished from his rectory. He retreated to the woods, where dogs came to lick his wounds. The legend says neither Thevis nor any of his parish died of yellow favor or any other plague of the time.
Saint Roch Chapel remains a site for prayer to the venerable English saint. Tourists and the faithful can find the chapel and an eccentric collection of items left by the faithful.
Avery Island Tabasco Museum and Factory
Avery Island is known for two things. It is an island made of salt. And it is the only place in the world where the Tabasco peppers used in McIlhenry’s Tabasco Sauce are grown.
The McIlhenry family welcomes visitors to their factory, museum, and general store. The Tabasco Museum is located at 329 Avery Island Rd, Avery Island.
Fort Livingston (Grand Isle)
Grand Isle was a hub of pirate activity for decades, including the famous French pirate captain Jean Lafitte. Both the Union and the Confederacy attempted to build a for there, and the unfinished citadel was abandoned in 1872.
Louisiana Swamps in The Fall Season
Embarking on a stand-up paddle adventure through the enchanting Louisiana swamps during the Fall season is a truly mesmerizing experience. As the vibrant foliage begins to paint the landscape with warm hues, the tranquil waters of the swamps offer a serene escape into nature’s beauty.
Jim Bowie’s Relay Station
It’s not possible to visit the original site stunningly beautiful Louisiana destination named after the Alamo hero and inventor of the Bowie knife Jim Bowie anymore. It burned down in 2012.
But tourists still come to the site for Gospel music concerts on Friday nights and County or Bluegrass Music on Saturday nights.
Chauvin Sculpture Garden and Art
The shores of Bayou Petit Caillou host the Chauvin Sculpture Garden, home of an annual folk art festival and the Blessing of the Fleet.
Exploring underrated gems in Louisiana unveils a world of hidden treasures. Beyond the bustling cities, charming small towns like St. Francisville beckon with historic architecture and a relaxed pace.