Natchitoches is a city unlike any other in Louisiana.

Natchitoches is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase (1714) and a Landmark Historic District, numerous buildings on the Historic Register (some from the 18th century),  a National Heritage Area, and a National Park presence.  Additionally, Natchitoches is home to Northwestern State University, a public four-year university founded as the state’s “Normal” school (for educators) in 1884 and today serving more than 11,000 students.

Natchitoches is within four hours of Dallas-Fort Worth, greater Houston, New Orleans, and Little Rock.  The beautiful Cane River runs through downtown and the associated Riverbank area hosts more than a dozen festivals annually, including the long-running Natchitoches Christmas Festival (each year, first Saturday in December), now celebrating more than 90 amazing years!  The Festival caps the six-week Christmas Season and features fireworks over Cane River each Saturday evening, live music, parades, food vendors, arts and crafts, and children’s entertainment.  Each year, nearly 500,000 visitors attend the Festival of Lights to enjoy all the festivities, as well as the 300,000 plus lights strewn about downtown and the more than 100 set pieces that reflect upon Cane River.

All of this is evidenced in numerous magazine from Southern Living, to USA Today, to Garden and Gun as well as the many, many blog references to best places to eat, to visit, and to explore.  In short, Natchitoches is a beautiful town with a rich history and vibrant culture.

Cane River National Heritage Area

The Cane River National Heritage Area covers roughly 116,000 acres of land, and begins just south of Natchitoches and extends south and west for 35 miles; the CRNHA celebrates the unique Creole culture, history and impact to the area.

Learn more about the Cane River National Heritage Area.


Natchitoches, as with most Louisiana cities, prides itself in our delectable local cuisine.  From home-grown cooking, to creole and Cajun recipes, Natchitoches has a great blend of unique restaurants with original recipes and flavors for everyone.

Whether you plan to stay here permanently or just passing through, Natchitoches has a unique dining experience and the best lodging with all the signature southern charm–from our famous meat pies to Prime steaks, from creole to fresh seafood.

Dining in Natchitoches



Being in the South, we are known for our hospitality and charm, and Natchitoches takes that reputation very seriously.

Besides the usual excellent hotel chains that people know and trust, Natchitoches also offers a few different local run hotels and bed and breakfasts. We also have a resort perfect for business conferences, golf tournaments and weekend getaways.

Lodging in Natchitoches

Influenced by so many different cultures, ours is a uniquely spun tapestry of food, art, music and traditions.