7 Reasons to Make Bastrop, LA, Your Next Getaway

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A bowl of fresh seafood shrimp jumbalaya in a bowl next to a colorful table cloth

You’ve decided to take a road trip across northern Louisiana along I-20 or drive down from Arkansas along Highway 425 or Highway 165. You’ve also made plans to stop in Monroe, Shreveport, or Kisatchie National Forest. But there’s another city you need to add to your list of destinations: Bastrop, LA.

Just because you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it’s not worth a stop. In fact, it’s a great location to explore all of northeastern Louisiana. There are some hidden gems located within the city as well. 

Let’s take a closer look at why you should visit Bastrop, LA!

About Bastrop, LA

Located about 35 to 40 minutes northeast of Monroe, Louisiana is the city of Bastrop. If you’re familiar with Duck Dynasty and the Robertson family, it’s less than an hour’s drive to the Duck Commander headquarters. Bastrop, LA, is home to about 10,000 residents and covers 8.5 square miles. 

Officially incorporated in 1857, it has a rich New Spain history. Today, you can watch a show or enjoy a concert at the restored 1914 Morehouse Parish Courthouse and Rose Theater.

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Traveler’s Tip: We love to explore Louisiana one small town at a time — check out our top 7 favorites!

7 Reasons to Make Bastrop, LA, Your Next Getaway

Even though you might have never heard of Bastrop, LA, there are several reasons to make this city a stop on your Louisiana road trip. There are things for history lovers, birdwatchers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

And if you like trying local foods, you won’t want to miss diving into some local barbeque and fresh seafood.

#1. The Art Exhibits at Snyder Museum & Art Center

If you like art and beautiful landscaping, you’ll enjoy visiting the Snyder Museum and Art Center. There are changing art exhibits here, so you’ll probably see something different each time you visit.

You can stroll through the beautiful gardens and also visit the on-site museum. In the museum, you’ll find old farm equipment, photos and artifacts of the area, and genealogical records.

If you’re fascinated with history, you’ll enjoy a trip over to the Snyder Museum and Art Center in Bastrop, LA.

#2. Burgers and BBQ at Slayden’s Bar-B-Q 

Enjoy daily specials from Tuesdays to Saturdays at Slayden’s Bar-B-Q restaurant. Choose from brisket, pulled pork, burgers, or fish. Finish your meal with a slice of pie or cobbler.

You’ll definitely look like a local when you visit Slayden’s Bar-B-Q!

#3. Bastrop, LA’s, Interesting Architecture

You’ll see the well-preserved influences of French, Spanish, and African ancestry in the architecture around Bastrop, LA. Enjoy the stunning ironwork, beautiful gardens, and plantation-style homes.

The Morehouse Parish courthouse, built in 1914, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Bastrop High School, Christ Episcopal Church, the Rose Theatre, and the Snyder House are also listed.

The exterior architecture of the Morehouse Parish in Bastrop, LA
Billy Hathorn, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

#4. Paddling Bayou Bartholomew at Chemin-A-Haut State Park

The 500 acres of Chemin-A-Haut State Park in Bastrop, LA, is an outdoor paradise. Rent a canoe, stay in a cabin, play on the playground, wade in the swimming pool, and enjoy a picnic.

It’s a great state park for families of young children. For more adventures, go to the park’s edge and paddle or fish at Big Slough Lake.

Bayou Boats along the shoreline at Chemin-A-Haut State Park, Bastrop, LA

#5. Shopping at Nature’s Hideaway Gardens and Barnmarket

If you collect vintage or handmade garden ornaments, you don’t want to miss visiting Nature’s Hideaway Gardens and Barnmarket.

Full of ironwork, clay pots, repurposed furniture, and farmhouse decor, you might be going home with more than you expected. It’s a must-visit in Bastrop, LA, and a place you’ll run into many locals looking for flea market finds.

#6. The Fresh Louisiana Seafood from The Fish Market Restaurant

If barbeque isn’t your thing, try fresh seafood when visiting Bastrop, LA. Closed on Sunday, The Fish Market Restaurant is a local favorite. Guests rave about the excellent customer service and delicious Louisiana seafood.

It’s only about a four-minute drive from Snyder Museum and Art Center, so knock out both places in just a few hours.

#7. Birding at Handy Brake National Wildlife Refuge

At 501 acres, the Handy Brake National Wildlife Refuge is a birdwatcher’s paradise. On the observation platform, you can gaze for hours, enjoying the waterfowl and wading birds as well as other wetland wildlife.

Drive past the courthouse square, turn onto Cooper Lake Road, and the refuge will be about six miles down the road.

Enjoy Your Trip to Bastrop, LA!

Bastrop, LA, may not have been on your list of places to visit in Louisiana, but it should be now. It’s in a great location to enjoy the scenery and wildlife of northeastern Louisiana, as well as the local cuisine and history.

Bastrop is also a great place for animal lovers to visit. There are places like the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia Pacific Wildlife Management Area, and the D’Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge for you to enjoy. 

So the next time you’re driving along Highway 165, Highway 139, or Highway 593, make a pit stop in Bastrop, LA. You’ll be glad you did!

Will you put Bastrop, LA, on your list?

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