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Despite what its name might suggest, Palmetto Island State Park is not, in fact, an island. The state park is, however, surrounded by waterways on three sides, making it a popular motorhome camping spot amongst water lovers. Sitting just a few miles south of Lafayette, LA, and east of Lake Charles, LA, travelers can reach the park with ease from Interstate Route 10 or 49.
Palmetto Island State Park can be found along Louisiana’s central coastline and is visited by campers hoping to explore some of the state’s diverse wetlands. Actually, the state park earned its name from the abundance of palmetto trees, Dwarf Palmetto, in particular, that thrive in its forests. Only opened to the public since 2010, Palmetto Island State Park remains to be an untouched, hidden gem in Vermilion Parish. Rent a camper near Palmetto Island State Park to visit some of the Pelican State’s lesser-visited destinations.
Surrounded by the meandering tributaries of the Vermillion River, it’s no surprise that water-based recreation is the main draw for camping at Palmetto Island State Park. Boasting several public boat launch ramps and boat rental outlets, you have every reason to get out and about in a boat during your trip. Though motorized boating is permitted on the river, its skinny waterways are best explored via kayak or canoe. Pop into the park office and visitor center before you embark on your adventure. Here they can provide you with a handy map for navigating the Canoe Trail out to the Vermillion river, as well as give you tips for avoiding any resident alligators.
Along with the alligators, RV camping at Palmetto Island State Park is the perfect way to spot even more of Louisiana’s native wildlife. In the waters, keep a lookout for families of otters, busy beavers at work, and various waterfowl. Speaking of birds, birdwatching here is another favorited activity. Woodpeckers, owls, and warblers are all spotted here regularly, so don’t forget to pack your binoculars for the best chance of spotting them.
Setting off on one of the park's walking trails, away from the hustle and bustle of the campsite and other travelers will heighten your chances of spotting some of the more elusive species. Most of the park’s trails are between 0.5- and 1- mile long, so ideal for families with little ones desperate to explore. Whether you choose to complete the paved Cypress Trail or opt for one of the more rugged paths, you’re sure to discover some picturesque landscapes here in Palmetto Island State Park.
The 100 RV-friendly sites tucked away in Palmetto Island State Park makes finding a place to park up your RV rental a breeze. This pet-friendly campground equips all of its sites with both water and electricity for the convenience of all guests, along with a restroom, complete with hot water and showers. Campers traveling in a big rig (up to 80 feet) will be accommodated here. However, there are no pull-thru sites available.
Alternatively, head to the Audubon RV Park, which is situated a little closer to Abbeville. With under ten sites to offer, consider staying here if you prefer to escape the crowds of people that you'll find at most state park RV campgrounds. While there are no toilet or shower facilities here, every site is equipped with water, electric and sewage hookups. This is also an ideal spot for any big rigs searching for a pull-thru site as there’s plenty of space for maneuvering.
Bursting with fascinating museums, unique cathedrals, and historical hotspots, a trip to Lafayette has something for the whole family. What’s more, it’ll take you less than an hour to get there from Palmetto Island State Park in your Lafayette camper rental.
Have you ever wondered what life was like back in the 19th century? If so, book an RV in Vermilion Parish, and pay a visit to Lafayette’s Acadian Village to find out. Resembling a real Cajun village from the 1800s, visitors can wander around buildings clad in Acadian architecture and furnished with one-off antiques. While you’re more than welcome to enjoy a self-guided walk around the grounds, a guided tour provides a much more in-depth history of the area and what life was once like.
The Paul and Lulu Hilliard Museum is another worthwhile attraction in Lafayette. The gallery forms part of the university, and as such, it is an educational space for students as well as for passers-by. As well as room upon room of local and regional artwork, visitors can get involved in hands-on workshops, informative lectures, and family-friendly activities.
Lafayette Science Museum is bound to be a popular attraction with both adults and children. Its exhibitions center on the history of science and the progress of technology in an accessible and fun way. Whether you prefer your museums to be interactive or a little more traditional, you’ll find a way to enjoy this museum. Just don’t forget to end your visit with a memorable stop off in the planetarium to learn all about the billions of stars above us.