Take the scenic route: Louisiana’s byways
History, wildlife and great views of nature await those who explore Louisiana's scenic byways.
Each of Louisiana’s Scenic Byways tells its own unique tale as it weaves through the state. Driving along any of the routes lets you experience a slice of Louisiana’s rich history while enjoying some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever see.
The byways are laid out with an eye to leisurely journeys, with opportunities to stop and savor Louisiana’s food, music and culture. If your interests lie in Louisiana’s justly famous cuisine, the 33-mile Cajun Corridor in the southwest part of the state offers many spots to sample fresh fish and seafood, and a spicy sausage known as boudin. Try a bowl of crawfish étouffée, one of the region’s signature seafood stews.
The Zydeco Cajun Prairie Byway highlights Louisiana’s many contributions to music. The 231-mile route begins in the little town of Mamou, where Fred’s Lounge hosts live Cajun music and dancing every Saturday morning. In Eunice, the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum pays tribute to the genre’s all stars.
History takes center-stage along the Cane River National Heritage Trail. The gently winding 35-mile byway begins in central Louisiana in the historic town of Natchitoches; treat yourself to a walk along historic Front Street near the river. The route continues through Melrose, where you can tour the graceful plantation home that inspired famed folk artist Clementine Hunter. Bring your camera to capture the beauty of the area’s lush sugar cane fields and Southern magnolias.
Variety spices up the Louisiana Great River Road Byway, which parallels the Mississippi River for more than 700 miles. The route encompasses New Orleans, with its world-famous restaurants and music clubs, and Baton Rouge, the state’s capital. Relax in the graceful towns of St. Francisville and New Roads, home to bed-and-breakfast inns and antique shops. Po-boy cafes, Civil War museums, water parks – whatever strikes your fancy, you’ll find it somewhere along this historic byway.