Things to do Near Grand Isle State Park

Head south on Highway 1, the stretch of road that takes drivers through far-flung fishing villages and swamps that go for miles, and you’ll end up at Grand Isle State Park. This is Louisiana’s Riviera, so to speak, and as the only state park on the Gulf of Mexico, it holds a special place in the heart of Louisianans and longtime repeat visitors alike.

Grand Isle is the name of a barrier island, a city and a state park. The latter, taking up 140 acres at the northernmost portion of the island, is a prime year-round destination for those who enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, crabbing, picnicking, birding and more. Birders will doubtlessly find themselves fascinated with the numerous species found at Grand Isle State Park. As part of the migratory route called the Mississippi Flyway, you’ll find plenty of feathered friends to check off of your list. Find more info on what birds you might find at Grand Isle State Park by visiting

Anglers, take note: According to research, more than 280 fish species are found in the waters off Grand Isle. This, in addition to the spectacular scenery, is among the many reasons surf fishing is such a popular pastime at Grand Isle State Park. Croaker, white trout, Spanish mackerel, sea perch, drum, and sheepshead — in addition to the abundant (and tasty) redfish — are found here. The fishing pier at the eastern part of the park will get you close to where the fish are biting.

Grand Isle State Park is one of the smallest preserves in the Louisiana State Parks network, though there’s so much to do there that many visitors make their trip an overnight stay. RV camping near the beach is an especially popular option. Forty-nine pull-through campsites, with water and electrical hookups, are available, in addition to 14 beach tent campsites. All of them are within a short walk to the Gulf, meaning that you can fall asleep and wake up to the sounds of the waves on the shore.

Nearby Attractions

Grand Isle (the city) is the only destination within close proximity to Grand Isle State Park. And, being one of Louisiana’s top destinations for beachgoers, it offers plenty for anglers and birders as well.

At the top of the list: Inshore and blue-water fishing. For those who are looking to stay close to land, Calmwater Charters offers six-hour trips for up to four people. Captain Danny Wray will take care of the bait, ice, tackle and cleaning, so you can focus on the fun of hooking a nice redfish or speckled trout. Calmwater Charters also offers kayak fishing, which allows anglers to get closer than ever to prime fishing spots close to the shore, and boat tours of Fort Livingston, Grand Terre and elsewhere that wildlife are found.

Visitors looking for bigger catches should check out one of the many deep-sea charter operators in Grand Isle. Loco-N-Motion Charters, Fish Commander, Reel Screamers Guide Service and Pure Pleasure Offshore Charter Fishing are some of the operators that can get you into deeper waters where the cobia, yellowfin and blackfin tuna, wahoo and tarpon are biting. And speaking of tarpon, the legendary Grand Isle International Tarpon Rodeo takes place every July. At this event, thousands of anglers descend on the island to see who can land the best catches.

While the tarpon rodeo may be the best-known of Grand Isle events, it’s only one of numerous occasions for families and friends to get together throughout the year. The Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration, held in April, brings out birders to see countless birds returning from their arduous flight across the Gulf of Mexico. Join experts and amateurs on hikes to see both common and rare species that come to rest at Grand Isle.