Louisiana has some gorgeous sandy beaches, and because they’re not as well known as the Gulf Coast beaches of Florida and Texas, they’re less crowded while still making your summer unforgettable. The Pelican State has several options that might surprise you with their white sand and crystal blue waters. We’ve put together a list of Louisiana’s finest, unexpected treasures, so all you have to do is pack your bags and book your vacation rental, and you’re on your way to Cajun Country! Find Grand Isle vacation rentals.

1. Grand Isle

Just two hours south of New Orleans, past the swamps and into the barrier islands, you’ll find yourself on Grand Isle. This tiny, oceanside town and barrier island overlooks Caminada Bay and is arguably one of Louisiana’s most famous beaches. Explore the 10 miles of the coast while you check out some migratory birds or go fishing. Tuna and tarpon are just two of the more than 50 species of game fish that can be caught in the surrounding waters.

2. Holly Beach

Holly Beach is south of Lake Charles, near Sulphur. It marks the western edge of what locals call the “Cajun Riviera,” a 30-mile stretch of Louisiana coastline dotted by marshes and rivers. Just look for the houses on stilts and you’ll know you’re getting close. There are numerous vacation rentals in the area, but camping is also allowed.

3. Cypremort Point Beach

This picturesque beach overlooking Vermilion Bay is extremely popular for windsurfing and fishing. For boat-less visitors, there’s a great fishing pier, and Cypremort Point is actually the only locality near the Gulf of Mexico that can be reached by car. This half-mile stretch of man-made beach is also a perfect area for relaxing, picnicking, crabbing, water skiing, windsurfing, and of course, sailing.

4. North Beach

North Beach, also known as I-10 Beach, is a true, urban beach. It’s located more than 20 miles from the ocean making it the only inland white sand beach between Texas and Florida. Work on your tan, pick up a game of volleyball or check out one of Lake Charles’s many festivals. There’s also a boardwalk that connects three of Lake Charles’s well-known parks, including Millennium Park, the September 11th Memorial and Veteran’s Memorial Park.

5. Fontainebleau State Park

Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville is the perfect spot to bring the entire family. There are plenty of picnic tables, and you can relax on the beach while the kids have fun on the jungle gym. You and your family can also explore the park’s sugar mill ruins, hike the 6 miles of trail, bike the Tammany Trace or a paddle along the lakeshore. Plus, the stunning views of Lake Pontchartrain, one of the largest lakes in Louisiana, is just the cherry on top of the sundae.

6. South Toledo Bend State Park

Toledo Bend is the largest man made a reservoir in the United States and a beautiful place to visit. The shore is perfect for sunbathing, and the cool water is the best way to cool off on a hot summer’s day. The reservoir is also nationally recognized as a destination for bass fishing tournaments, and visitors who’d rather stay on land can go hiking, cycling, birding, or camping.

7. White Sands Lake Day Beach

This beachy destination is perfect for a day trip to have fun in the sun. This family-oriented beach has a water park complete with inflatable water slides, trampolines, the blog bag, teeter-totters, floating mats, and more! Enjoy the sandy, white beach, play volleyball or just relax under one of our shaded cabanas. Each cabana has its own BBQ grill so bring along some hot dogs and hamburgers. White Sands definitely has everything to keep you and all of your loved ones entertained for hours. Don’t forget the sunblock!

8. Holly Beach

Welcome to “The Cajun Riviera,” otherwise known as Holly Beach. After Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008, this beach-front community has undergone a new birth. You can now experience the roar of the crashing Gulf of Mexico in a rented RV which can be moved to safety when storms come. Spend your time fishing, crabbing, swimming, or just relaxing with a cold beverage. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, a peaceful retreat, or a romantic getaway, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Holly Beach.

9. Rutherford Beach

Rutherford Beach was also hit hard by Hurricane Rita, but it still has some gorgeous sand for your to soak up. You can also enjoy ample fishing and boating opportunities as well as shallow-water canoeing or kayaking. This beach is also well known for birding, shell collecting, and some breathtaking sunsets. Bring a camera and something to take your treasures home in!

10. Port Fourchon

If you want to get out on the water and shred some waves on your longboard, then Port Fourchon is the place for you. It’s the only surfing beach in the entire state, and you can hang some serious ten, dude. This port at the mouth of Bayou Lafourche is also a recreational fishing mecca.