Natchitoches Travel Guide

Browse 6 travel reviews, 3 travel blogs and 141 travel photos from real travelers to Natchitoches.

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Natchitoches Overview

Natchitoches is one of my favorite towns in Louisiana. Natchitoches has a fairly stable population of about 18,000 located near Interstate 49 in West Central Louisiana. Both the city and the parish are named after the Natchitoches Indian Tribe. Coincidentally, the town of Nacogdoches, Texas is named after the same Indian tribe; the difference is Natchitoches shows the French influence and Nacogdoches reflects the Spanish influence. French settlers came to the area around 1699 and the town was established in 1714. It is considered the oldest settlement in the entire Louisiana Purchase area. Tourists spend more time in the southern destinations, like New Orleans, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge (which I like too) but Natchitoches is a great place to go too and is less crowded.

One of the attractions here is Fort Ste Jean Baptiste which was established in 1716 by Sieur Charles Claude Dutisne to keep the Spanish in Texas from crossing into French Louisiana. The success of the fort improved greatly when Louis Antoine Juchereau de St Denis, the founder of Natchitoches, was made the commandant. Today this is one of the Louisiana State Historic Sites. Natchitoches also has quite a number of buildings of historical and/or architectural interest. Of particular note are the ones along Front Street, a brick street with pretty buildings on one side and the Cane River on the other.

Natchitoches is a large town with all services available. It is located just a few miles SE of Clarence on US 71. For Christmas they decorate and light up the trees and bridges on the river shore. They have some fine old holmes there.