Situated in Louisiana’s northwest corner, DeSoto Parish invites visitors to experience its unique culture, cuisine, and history. Explore natural areas like Toledo Bend Lake and the Sabine River, attend a festival, sample local wines, shop for antiques, and dine at a variety of cafés and restaurants. It’s a wonderful destination for a day trip or weekend getaway.
The main thoroughfares of small towns like Keachi and Grand Cane beckon visitors with rural charm and hospitality. Drive through rolling, piney woods, view stunning Greek Revival architecture, and explore historic cemeteries. After dining on local specialties like fried fish and old-fashioned hot water cornbread, shop for the perfect souvenir, then settle into a cozy bed-and-breakfast.
For an experience truly unique to DeSoto Parish, visit Keithville’s Chimp Haven. This sanctuary provides a retirement respite for more than 300 chimpanzees, many of them subjects of medical research. Chimp Haven offers private tours Monday through Friday and multiple special events throughout the year, all providing the opportunity to learn about and get up close to the resident animals.
For history lovers, stop by the historic Mansfield Female College Museum. The first venue for women’s higher education on the west side of the Mississippi River, the site also served as a hospital during the Civil War. Discover pieces of history left behind, from handcrafted pottery to yearbooks commemorating those who passed through the halls.
Starting Thursday, May 11, visitors can join locals along the Sabine River for River City Fest. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, the festival has something for everyone in the family. Enjoy regional eats and entertaining attractions during the day and be swept away by the community spirit during carnival evenings. Embrace the competitive spirit by entering the classic pie-eating contest or cornhole tournament. There’s even a Best Beard competition!
While the River City Fest boasts plenty of rides, games, and markets that are sure to please, nothing beats the view from the Ferris wheel, especially during the Saturday night fireworks. With no admission required on Friday and Saturday, the River City Fest is a budget-friendly romp for everyone and an exciting cap on a DeSoto trip.
All of this and so much more awaits in Louisiana’s DeSoto Parish, just 30 miles south of Shreveport. Start planning your trip today with the Daycation Itinerary on Discover DeSoto’s website.