The Best Beaches in Louisiana

Fontainebleau State Park
Photo: Getty Images / Tyrone Callahan Jr / EyeEm

When it comes to beautiful beaches, the South is no novice. When the weather warms, folks from across the country flock to our coast. And their affection for our sandy shores doesn't show signs of waning anytime soon. While most are familiar with Alabama and Florida's Gulf Coast or the Outer Banks and barrier islands off the Carolinas, there's one oft-forgotten Southern coastal state that's got its own bevy of beaches to share.

Louisiana's coast, lovingly known as the Cajun Riviera, is filled with hidden gems and lesser-known shorelines perfect for a weekend getaway or weeklong escape. From white sand beaches packed with activity for the whole family to secluded stretches of shoreline tucked into natural state parks, these are Louisiana's best beaches.

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Grand Isle

Grand Isle, Louisiana Beauty Images during sunset
Cavan Images / Getty Images

Louisiana's only inhabited barrier island, Grand Isle is in good company with some of the South's favorite island destinations, including Amelia Island, Hilton Head, and Jekyll Island. While coastal purists, enjoy Grand Isle's white sand beaches and crashing Gulf waves, wildlife enthusiasts enjoy opportunities for excellent fishing, birding, and crabbing. Lowkey cottages and laidback beach motels, give 'round the clock beach access to visitors. If you go for the day, hit up the public beach access at Grand Isle State Park and stop at the observation tower for sweeping views of the gorgeous beach below.

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North Beach

North Beach in Louisiana
Getty Images / Steven Turner / EyeEm

If the Great Lakes prove anything, it's that an ocean isn't necessary to have a perfect beach day. Located on Louisiana's Lake Charles, there's always something happening on the white sand shores of North Beach. A scenic promenade on the lakeshore links three popular Lake Charles parks, where events and festivals are hosted year-round. The beach is popular for beach volleyball, beachcombing, and picnicking. Plus, you won't have to worry about saltwater stinging your eyes!

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Fontainebleau State Park

Fontainebleau State Park
Getty Images / Tyrone Callahan Jr / EyeEm

Another lakefront beach, Fontainebleau State Park on Lake Pontchartrain, one of the state's biggest lakes, has something for everyone. A soft, sandy beach is ideal for soaking up the sun, while waders and swimmers of all ages enjoy the shallow, calm waters. If you tire of the beach, the 2,800-acre park, which was once the location of a large sugar mill, offers hiking and biking trails, as well as several streams and waterways to explore on kayak or canoe.

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Rutherford Beach

Sand dunes on Rutherford Beach, Cameron Parish, Louisiana
Getty Images / Judy Darby

This quiet stretch of beach is a favorite among locals when they're looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Located at the old mouth of the Mermentau River, this beach is protected from the choppy Gulf of Mexico waves, making it ideal for kayaking, canoeing, and watersports. The pet-friendly spot has plenty of room to let Fido roam, and it's also a great place to pitch a tent and wake up to the sound of crashing waves. A morning stroll/shell hunt completes the serene escape.

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Holly Beach

Holly Beach, Louisiana
Getty Images / Matthew D White

Holly Beach marks the westernmost point of the Cajun Riviera, Louisiana's 30-mile stretch of coastline speckled with marshes and rivers. About an hour south of Lake Charles, you'll know you've reached the charming coastal town when you start seeing clusters of colorful houses on stilts overlooking the water. The area is largely residential, so it's best to rent a house and call it home base for the weekend. Then, get your fill of shell collecting, fishing, and even surfing. Don't forget to take in the glorious sunsets from this picturesque beach each evening.

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