With over 41 million unique visitors to the State of Louisiana in 2021, it's safe to say that tourism is the life blood of our state. This, according to Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser's website, puts us well ahead of most states in terms of tourism recovery since the pandemic. Over 250,000 people work in tourism in the state, making it our 4th largest employer. With so many things to see and do over 64 parishes, it's hard to pin down a list, so we thought we'd help. Our mini guide to the State Parks of Southwest Louisiana will help you more efficiently plan your trip here and will ensure that you pack as much as you can into your time. (Source: https://www.crt.state.la.us/news?NewsID=518 )
Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours is located in St. Martin Parish, on the inside of the Atchafalaya Basin levee. We entertain thousands of guests each year from around the world, and they all ask us the same question: "What else is there to do around here?" St. Martin Parish is home to Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, a fisherman's haven occupying 6,000 acres of land in the heart of the Atchafalaya swamp. Lakefront cabins with boat docks make coming and going a breeze.
Lake Fausse Pointe is close to several tours of the area by boat, vehicle, and foot. Our 1.5 hour airboat swamp tours are perfect for anyone wanting to see the full flora and fauna of the Atchafalaya Basin. St. Martinville and Breaux Bridge have historic walking tours, and Cajun Food Tours out of nearby Lafayette, LA conducts group tours focusing on the culinary surprises that Cajuns incorporate into their cuisine.
A little further south and west of St. Martin Parish lies one of our state's most popular parks, Cypremore Point, often referred to by locals as simply "The Point," is a 185 acre plot along the Gulf of Mexico with a half mile stretch of man made beach, picnic tables and pavilions open to the public, and a 100 foot long fishing pier that anyone can use.
Wildlife spotting is very common at Cypremore Point. It's not uncommon to see nutria rats, muskrats, alligators, alligator garfish, deer, black bears, rabbits, possums, and red foxes. Many people in South Louisiana make the drive down to Cypremore Point on weekends to watch the sunset over the calm Gulf of Mexico watershed.
If you're looking for freshwater fishing, Chicot State Park in Ville Platte, Louisiana has some of the best crappie and bluegill fishing in the state. The cool, clear water stretches out over a 6,400 acre park with hiking trails, biking trails, cabins, campsites and so much more. The Southernmost landing at Chicot has boat rentals, a small water playground for the kids and the fishing pier. Tree lovers will enjoy the Louisiana State Arboretum, which is located inside Chicot State Park.
No matter what you are looking for, if you love being outdoors, Louisiana is a bucket list item for families of all ages, sizes and tastes. Our 18 gorgeous state parks spread out across the land bring in thousands of tourists a year, and make up a large percentage of our success in luring visitors from every corner of the globe. To see a full list of state parks, visit the Louisiana Lieutenant Governor's website here: https://www.crt.state.la.us/lt-governor/