Explore > Louisiana > Louisiana Spotlight
spotlight header

Places Welcoming You

gs logo A+ Motel & RV Park
Sulphur, Louisiana

Avoyelles Parish/Marksville Area

Past and present abide in the heart of the Pelican State

If you want to explore a side of Louisiana that isn’t packed with tourists, head to Avoyelles Parish, situated in the heart of Louisiana about 60 miles north of Lafayette. Take a taste of delicious Cajun food, go gaming to your hearts delight or explore untamed nature.

Avoyelles Parish: Protected Wildlife

Avoyelles Parish is a kaleidoscope of historic and modern attractions in Louisiana. In the center of this vibrant community sprawls a vast expanse of land exclusively reserved for protected fish, wildlife and plants that thrive in the area’s wetlands and bayous. Established in 1989, Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 6,000 acres spread across Avoyelles Parish near the town of Marksville. It’s part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a nationwide conservation effort to protect natural habitats and their different species.

Bird-watchers will delight in the variety of waterfowl, game birds and other species found here, including the northern pintail with its long neck. Hunters can enjoy in-season trips for deer.

Native American Heritage

Avoyelles Parish cherishes its links to Native American heritage. Stop by the Marksville State Historic Site on the east side of town, home to a Native American ceremonial center, with prehistoric mounds overlooking the Old River. The Tunica-Biloxi Cultural and Educational Resources Center is where you’ll find the Native American story in Avoyelles Parish, and in May there’s the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe Pow Wow, held at the Earl J. Barbry Sr. Convention Center at Paragon Casino Resort.

Paragon Casino Resort

Keep Time With the Music

Whether you favor blues or zydeco, there’s a celebration somewhere in Avoyelles Parish to suit your musical fancy, including the Avoyelles Arts & Music Festival in July. Your taste buds can celebrate at the annual Louisiana Corn Festival in Bunkie in June or the Cochon de Lait Festival in Mansura during May.

At the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, fun-seekers can cut loose with year-round gaming and entertainment, a tropical-themed indoor pool, multiple restaurants and movie complex.

The casino resort is home to the Tamahka Trails Golf Course. The 18-hole course is part of the Audubon Golf Trail, making it ideal not only for hitting the links but also for viewing the surrounding nature. The golf club has a practice facility, pro shop, full-service clubhouse and a resident pro available. Other golfing options include the Bay Hills Golf Course, a nine-hole public course in Bunkie.

For More Information

Avoyelles Commission of Tourism



Louisiana Office of Tourism