With some of Louisiana's best recreational and relaxation hot spots, featuring two miles of natural beach and all-around breathtaking scenery, Grand Isle State Park offers visitors a premium experience and is a perfect destination for RV campers. Located in Louisiana, this 140-acre park lies on the far eastern end of Grand Isle, a beautiful island in Jefferson Parish, which is home to a wide range of animal and plant species, above and below the waves.
The park's warm gulf waters are enjoyed by surfers and swimmers but are also residence to over 250 species of fish. Crabs, jellyfish, and wild ducks also make up the park's marine life. Birding enthusiasts will love Grand Isle for its vast array of bird habitats and species. Herring, plovers, terns, and brown pelicans are all native to Grand Isle, and visitors can see them at any of the park's various birding trails.
Due to Louisiana's warm climate, swimmers enjoy the waves for almost the entire year. There are over three miles of trails of varying difficulties available for recreational activities like hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Visitors of the resort can also see the Grand Terre island, as well as the old ruins of 200-year-old Fort Livingston from the park's observation tower.
RV campers will enjoy their stay at Grand Isle with 49 RV-friendly campsites open to visitors. The campground's proximity to the beach offers campers the opportunity to sleep to the sound of waves in the comfort of their tents or RVs. The park's peak season runs from April through to September, but with comfortable temperatures all year long, Grand Isle is a beautiful resort no matter when you visit.
Grand Isle State Park is easily accessible by RV, car, and other automobiles. Only 110 miles south of New Orleans, the park is easy to find just off Lousiana Highway 1. RVers traveling from New Orleans to the park along Lousiana Highway 1 won't encounter any height restricting obstacles along the way. The drive along the highway is something to behold; marshlands and lakes are spread out as far as the eye can see, leaving you to hope that the beautiful drive won't end. During your stay at the park, should you need to top up on supplies or grab a meal, there is a supermarket and a couple of different restaurants less than three miles from the park in the town of Grand Isle.
The park's main gate is located at the south terminus of Louisiana Highway 1 and the smoothly paved roads leading to the entrance carry on into the park, taking you to the campgrounds, the beach, and anywhere else you wish to go. There are no particular restrictions on vehicles within the park, although movement is restricted at night as the park's gates are closed nightly, meaning campers must be inside the park before dark. RVs are allowed on the beach, which is just a few minutes hike from the campground, making it easily accessible by foot as well. Different trails also run by the campground, so visitors on foot, bike, or horse can easily find their way back to their campsite or the beach regardless of where they are in the park.
There is plenty of parking to be found at Grand Isle State Park and visitors won't have a problem finding a spot. You can find parking near the designated swimming area, the fishing pier and fish cleaning station, and the boardwalk.
Situated just a few minutes hike away from the beach, the campground at Grand Isle features 49 premium pet-friendly RV sites with water and 20-, 30-, 50-amp electricity hookups. Sites are pull-through, and each site can accommodate rigs as long as 80 feet. If you need to book an ADA-accessible site, then you should try and reserve site 26. These sites are suitable for RVers and tent campers and can sleep up to six people per night. There are heated bathroom buildings with showers on either end of the campground, with picnic tables and fire pits also available.
There is no firewood on-site, but campers can purchase some at the Island's general store, which is just a few minutes away. Reservations can be made as far back as 13 months before arrival and at least one day before as same-day reservations aren't allowed. Visitors are allowed to stay at the campground for a maximum of 14 days at a time.
Tent campers will be well rewarded for roughing it when they stay at Grand Isle State Park. The park features 14 tent-only sites that are situated on the shore and feature breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Domestic pets are not allowed on the beach, and due to the campground's location, it is unfortunately not pet-friendly.
Theses are hike-in sites, and campers will have to carry all their camping equipment, food, and other necessities to their site on the beach. Each site can sleep six people a night and is equipped with a picnic bench. Campers are permitted to make campfires during their stay. You'll also have access to a nearby restroom with showers and flushing toilets.
These sites are available by reservation, and as you can imagine, they go pretty fast. So be sure to book your campsite beforehand to ensure your spot.
Visitors of Grand Isle get the opportunity to explore the sea-side community first-hand. The park has one of the largest seafood industries in the U.S, and a tour through the community is a perfect way of spending a day in the off-season.
A tour through the town will give visitors the chance to interact with some of the locals, many of whom earn their living as seafood harvesters. The local seafood factories where fish are processed and exported are also tourist hot spots where visitors come to see the source of about one-third of America's seafood supply.
Grand Isle is a community full of history, and park visitors can enjoy a tour of some of the community's historic sites during the off-season. The park's major historical attraction is the Grand Terre Island.
Grand Terre can be seen from the park's observation tower as well as the fishing pier and used to be home to 19th-century pirates led by the famous Jean Laffite. The old ruins of Fort Livingston are situated on the western corner of Grand Terre and can also be seen from the fishing pier. The continued storms affecting the area over the last century means that the island can only be accessed by boat. Take along your camera to capture some pictures on your adventure.
Grand Isle offers unique hiking options to visitors of the park. The two-mile beach is the park's most popular spot as it offers visitors the chance to explore the length of the shore on foot or horseback while enjoying scenic views of the beach and the park's wildlife.
About three miles of trail runs through other parts of the park for hikers to explore. Biking and horseback riding are equally rewarding options for visitors. The park's trails are interconnected and relatively short, meaning explorers can easily navigate their way back to the campground or beach. Make sure to be considerate to other visitors along the trails and beach.
Grand Isle's vibrant ecosystem makes it one of the best places for bird viewing in the U.S. The park has a diverse range of bird habitats, from dunes to salt marshes and dense forests, offering visitors the chance to see some of America's rarest bird species.
There are five different birding trails at the park, and visitors by the beach can also spot shorebirds, raptors, and ospreys. The Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration also offers birding enthusiasts the chance to join the bird watching festival every April, where visitors can see hundreds of bird species migrating through the park.
If you'd like to keep a more detailed count of how many different species you see, then print out a birding checklist before you visit the park in your Sprinter.
The park's location on the Gulf of Mexico means that a variety of aquatic recreation is available to the park's visitors. Boats and kayaks can be rented for fishing, and visitors can also hop onto any of the ranger-guided tours to explore the deeper parts of the sea.
The warm gulf waters also make it a swimming hot spot all year round. The designated swimming area opens to the Gulf of Mexico, and swimmers should remain in the designated swimming area at all times as there underwater obstacles like rocks in other places. Be sure to let someone know where you are at all times and swim with a buddy. Surfers and jet skiers also enjoy the Gulf's waves. Due to the park's geography, the sea is home to naturally occurring wildlife, and swimmers are advised to keep as close to the shore as possible.
Louisiana is well renowned for its exceptional fishing opportunities, and visitors to Grand Isle can expect to see more people on the fishing pier than anywhere else in the park. Fishing is the most popular activity in Grand Isle, and a lot of the town's locals are commercial fishermen.
When you visit the park in your Airstream, you can choose between fishing from the shore or the pier. If you're adventurous, try surf fishing. White trout, drum, and sea perch are just some of the nearly 300 different species of fish that reside on the coast of Grand Isle. RVers can join local fishermen on the 400-foot fishing pier to catch fish in the hundreds. Visitors can also participate in the famous Tarpon Rodeo every July, which attracts fishermen from far and near to the park.