Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Louisiana is known for many things, from New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations to its bayous. However, one thing that tends to get overlooked is the state’s beaches. Its proximity to other southern vacation destinations tends to lead to it getting overlooked when it comes to planning a coastal getaway. However, Louisiana has some of the best shores in the entire country.
Whether you’re a freshwater lover or you prefer swimming in the ocean, there’s a place for you to spend a sunny day by the water in the “Bayou State.”
Map of the 8 Best Beaches in Louisiana
1. Bogue Chitto State Park
As one of the most recent areas to be added to Louisiana’s State Park System, Bogue Chitto State Park is a bit of a hidden gem.
The park spans an impressive 1,786 acres that offer you the chance to partake in a number of outdoor activities, from camping to hiking. However, no trip to the park would be complete without going for a swim in the Bogue Chitto River which gives the park its name.
The river is lined with trees, so there are plenty of shady spots where you can splash around. Swimmable areas are also clearly marked, so you can be sure the current won’t be too strong if you’re visiting with young children.Hot Tip:
If you’d prefer to stay dry, you can also go for a nice stroll on the shore or even try kayaking or canoeing.
2. Cypremort Point State Park
Cypremort Point may be relatively small, spanning just 185 acres, but it’s beloved by both locals and tourists.
The park’s most popular feature is its 0.5-mile beach shore that’s perfect for swimming thanks to its gradually deepening water and gentle current. When the weather conditions are just right, like if there’s a consistent breeze, you can even try kitesurfing or windsurfing.
Though this is a popular family destination, the beach rarely gets crowded, especially if you visit in the mornings or evenings during the week. That means you won’t have any trouble finding a place to lay out your towel for a relaxing day by the water.
The beach isn’t very developed, with locals preferring its more natural ambiance, but there are on-site showers and restrooms you can use, and other amenities you might need are nearby.
3. Fontainebleau State Park
Once the site of a sugarcane plantation, Fontainebleau State Park is now a natural recreational area on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. With beaches covered in soft white sand and shallow water with virtually no current, Fontainebleau is one of the best places in the state to head to for beach day with your whole family.
In fact, you can do everything from relaxing to hiking. However, keep in mind that since the water here is part of a lake, it won’t warm the way the state’s coastal waters do. So even in August, the water will be a bit cool at first.
On the bright side, that makes it a great relief from Louisiana’s hot and humid summer temperatures. The park also has a kid-friendly water playground that’s open from Tuesday to Sunday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
4. Grand Isle State Park
Louisiana is home to multiple barrier islands that help protect the mainland shore from the Gulf’s currents. Of these small islands, Grand Isle is the only one with a permanent population. It also happens to be the most popular among visitors.
Due to its separation from the rest of the state, Grand Isle State Park is able to maintain a more natural and pristine landscape. So, if you’re interested in bird watching or just admiring the local flora and fauna when you travel, this is a great place to visit.
The park is run and maintained by a group of expert rangers who are able to answer all your questions, and the beach provides shallow, calm waters for wading and leisurely swimming. If you’d like to get a better view of the horizon, take a stroll on its pier as well.
5. Holly Beach
Also known affectionately as the “Cajun Riviera,” Holly Beach is a laid-back stretch of Louisiana’s coast that will make you fall in love with the state.
The beach has suffered damage from past hurricanes over the years. However, locals quickly came together to rebuild it back up to its normal glory, so the beaches are open and perfectly safe for swimming, fishing, crabbing, and more.
Holly Beach is perhaps best known for its wide expanses of sand, which allow beachgoers to relax and get some much-needed separation from the bustle of city life. Of course, the clean, smooth shoreline and the blue water don’t hurt either when it comes to having a fun day by the water. Keep in mind, though, the water here is usually calm, but it can get choppy on windy days.
6. Jimmie Davis State Park
Jimmie Davis State Park is a versatile vacation spot with something for everyone. Located on the Caney Lake Peninsula, the park is especially popular among water lovers.
With 2 boat launches and even a pier built with fishing in mind, it’s a great spot to head out with your tackle gear to see what the catch of the day is. If you’d prefer to go for a dip, you can do that here, too. The park has splash pads for young children to run around on, but you can also go for a stress-free swim just off the shore as well.
Since the fishing boats in this part of the lake are small and usually kept away from the swimming areas, you don’t have to worry about water pollution. You also don’t have to worry about boating traffic while you’re having fun in the water.
7. North Beach
Lake Charles’ North Beach is often considered one of the most picturesque places on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
It’s the only white-sand inland beach between Texas and Florida, which helps give it a tropical feel, despite being a freshwater destination. Since the beach has steadily gained popularity over the years, more amenities have been added to ensure guests have a fun day, no matter what they’d prefer to do.
You can go for a swim, of course, and enjoy the area’s clean, gentle water. However, you can also set up a picnic away from the sand at one of the designated eating areas. You can even set up a game of beach volleyball if you’d prefer to stay active on dry land. There are also on-site showers available for all guests to use.
8. White Sands Lake Day Beach
According to locals, White Sands Beach is one of the most family-friendly Louisiana destinations for a day of fun in the sun. With cabanas available for rent and a friendly beach staff that’s ready to answer any questions you have, it’s a great place to go if you want to relax and unwind.
The water here isn’t very deep, usually no more than a few feet in the swimming areas, and there’s virtually no current near the shore, so you’ll be able to let young kids splash around safely. However, this is a popular spot. Between Memorial and Labor Day, the beach can get busy, especially on the weekends and around holidays like Independence Day.Hot Tip:
Make sure you head out early to get a good place on the sand before the local and tourist crowds start to come in.
Louisiana is a state that’s full of spots to spend a beach vacation. From secluded places to lively stretches that are within walking distance of any amenities you might need, there’s a place in Louisiana for you. We hope that this list has helped you narrow down your options so you’re one step closer to heading out on your getaway.
Featured Image Credit: Billy Metcalf Photography via Flickr
Frequently Asked Questions
Though Louisiana is famous for its marshes, the state also has numerous beaches that are worth visiting. Its Gulf Coast allows access to warm waters, which can be comfortably enjoyed between April and October. The state also has numerous swimmable lake beaches.
Swimming in Louisiana’s ocean waters is generally considered safe for most types of visitors. If a coastal stretch doesn’t allow or advise swimming, you’ll be able to see a sign warning against it, but you can also ask locals if you’re unsure.
You can find all sorts of beaches in Louisiana. While many of them are covered in tan sand that ranges from light beige to deep gold in color, white sand can also be found at the state’s more tropical Gulf Coast stretches.
Louisiana’s bayou is a unique ecosystem that is famous around the world. While visiting this part of the state is recommended to nearly any out-of-towner, swimming isn’t. The wide array of animals and unpredictable water conditions require extra caution from even local swimmers.
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