15 Best Things to Do in Marksville, LA

Marksville, LA
Vibrant Image Studio / shutterstock.c

Despite being founded by accident, Marksville stood the test of time and remained a significant city in the Avoyelles Parish in Louisiana.

Marksville is the parish seat of Avoyelles Parish, and this city has a colorful history with deep Native American roots.

It was founded by accident in the 1790s when a Venetian peddler had to fix his wagon wheels during his travel and eventually decided to set up a trading post in the area.

His trading post eventually became a community until it became a colony for early European settlers in the early 1800s.

Today, Marksville is home to the modern-day Native Americans known for their rich heritage, culture, and tradition.

It’s also home to numerous natural areas, historic sites, and nature preserves, making it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs.

Marksville is not just your typical sleepy city; it’s also an excellent alternative for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs who want to discover hidden gems and fascinating backstories.

So, what’s in store for you in this small city in Louisiana?

Here are the 15 best things to do in Marksville, LA:

Visit the Hypolite Bordelon House

To start your Marksville travel adventure, you can visit the Hypolite Bordelon House, a pioneer house that’s already existed since the 1800s.

It’s along Tunica Drive W., which is a fascinating place to check out to learn about the backstory of Marksville and this region of Louisiana.

The Hypolite Bordelon House served as a residence of a Creole pioneer who arrived in Louisiana in the late 1700s.

Today, the house is still standing and serves as a historical site and a mini-museum in Marksville.

It’s an excellent place to learn about how the pioneers in Louisiana lived their lives back in their early days.

In addition, the Hypolite Bordelon House has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places to preserve its historical value.

Discover Native American Heritage at the Tunica-Biloxi Cultural and Education Center Museum

Another fascinating place you need to visit in Marksville is the Tunica-Biloxi Cultural and Education Center Museum.

It’s one of the best places to learn and appreciate the Native American culture in Louisiana.

Visiting this place lets you immerse yourself with the locals who organize activities relevant to their history and heritage.

The museum offers everyone the chance to interact and learn about Louisiana’s first settlers from its artifacts and rotating exhibits visitors can check out.

One of the museum’s focal points is the “Tunica Treasure,” a collection of Native American and European trade artifacts dating back to the middle 1700s.

Overall, it’s an exciting place to interact with Native Americans and learn history in Marksville.

Wander through the Spring Bayou State Wildlife Management Area

Marksville is surrounded by native preserves and wildlife management areas that protect native wildlife in Louisiana.

One of the nearest in Marksville is the Spring Bayou State Wildlife Management Area, located just east of the city.

If you’re a wildlife enthusiast or a nature lover, this place is a beautiful natural attraction worth visiting.

The whole wildlife management area comprises bays, lakes, sloughs, and bayous teeming with wildlife.

It’s home to various trees and plants species, with many only found in Louisiana, while it’s also teeming with various animal species such as woodcock, waterfowl, deer, rabbit, and squirrel.

The wildlife management area also allows seasonal hunting, while fishing is allowed regularly.

Aside from hunting and wildlife viewing, the Spring Bayou State Wildlife Management Area is also a popular place for outdoor activities such as boating, hiking, and waterskiing.

Enjoy Birdwatching at the Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge

The Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge is another natural attraction you can visit just outside Marksville.

This wildlife refuge, established in 1989, serves as a significant waterfowl habitat in the floodplains of the Red River and Mississippi River.

The 6,000-acre wildlife refuge is also part of the Avoyelles Parish, making it a significant place to Marksville.

As a tourist, you should seize the opportunity to visit this wildlife refuge and get a glimpse of free-roaming wildlife such as the blue-winged teal, American wigeon, northern shovelers, green-winged teal, and gadwalls.

In addition, migratory birds also flock to the area, especially during winter, making this place an incredible wildlife viewing destination.

In addition to wildlife viewing, other activities you can enjoy at the Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge are hiking, boating, fishing, and interpretive programs.

Score a Hole-in-One at the Tamahka Trails Golf Course

The Yamaha Trails Golf Course nestled in the heart of Marksville is a stunning retreat for people who long for peace and a top-notch game of golf.

The Tamahka Trails Golf Course, part of the Audubon Golf Trail, is a great place to visit in Marksville, even if you’re not an avid golfer.

One of the reasons to visit this place is its beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere that spans through hundred acres of well-manicured greeneries and rolling hills.

You're guaranteed to have fun playing in its well-built 18-hole, par 71 courses.

In addition, the golf course’s rates are very affordable.

So, consider bringing your best golf gear when you visit Marksville.

Try Your Luck at the Elegant Paragon Casino Resort

Despite being a rural area in Louisiana, Marksville is home to a top-notch casino resort, the Paragon.

The Paragon Casino Resort boasts a Las Vegas-style casino with hundreds of table games and slot machines to choose from.

Its elegant hotel features more than 500 rooms, suites, and an RV resort equipped with cabins.

Moreover, the casino is not just another gambler’s haven; it's also a top-notch leisure destination for families and groups who want entertainment and relaxation.

The Paragon Casino Resort has a state-of-the-art cinema, retail shops, restaurants, bars, and an indoor swimming pool, and it’s also where the Tamahka Trails Golf Course is situated.

Bring Your Child to Kids Quest

Kids Quest is one of the best features of the Paragon Casino Resort, which is a great place to bring your kids.

If your kids grow bored going with you in visiting other places in Marksville, this is the best place to bring them.

The Kids Quest is a children’s museum that offers an interactive and hands-on learning program for kids ages 0 to 10 years old.

This children’s museum is where fun and adventure wait for kids through its vast indoor playgrounds with spiral slides, obstacles, and tunnels aside from its interactive learning program.

In addition, it also has outdoor activities such as hiking and wildlife viewing.

Hike through the Tunica Biloxi Nature Trail

Tunica Biloxi Natural Trails’ natural beauty makes it a popular hiking destination in Marksville.

The trail offers hikers an easy path stretching to about a mile with a scenic backdrop of the Coulee De Grues waterway.

It’s a beautiful place to visit not just for hikers but also for casual tourists who want to breathe fresh air and enjoy nature.

Its covered boardwalk is the best place to head to and see the most scenic part of the nature trail.

If you’re up for some hiking, drive to the Tunica Biloxi Nature Trail and fill your day with a relaxing hike with your loved ones.

Chug Down the Hundred Cocktail Flavors of the Daiquiri Island

The Daiquiri Island in Marksville is a great venue to unwind and enjoy top-notch cocktails and alcoholic beverages.

To take a break from roaming around Marksville’s outdoor attractions and historical sites, head to Daiquiri Island along Acton Road.

This place is a favorite hangout spot for locals and visitors because of its 100 daiquiri flavors, a mixture of various cocktail and alcoholic beverages.

Aside from the awesome drink selection, the place also offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, making it a great place to rub elbows with Marksville’s locals.

Watch the Latest Flicks at the Paragon Cinema

If you’re looking for a different kind of entertainment, head to the Paragon Cinema in the Paragon Casino Resort.

It’s considered one of Louisiana’s premier casino theaters, where the latest Hollywood flicks are shown regularly.

It’s also where most of the casino’s concerts and live performances happen, making it a must-visit place for top-notch entertainment.

Moreover, the theater is just a stone’s throw away from the casino’s retail shops, bars, and restaurants, making it more convenient to spend your day there with your loved ones.

Overall, it’s the best place to fill your day with entertainment if you don’t feel like going outdoors.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Get Up Close with Animals at the Alexandria Zoological Park

Name sign of Alexandria Zoological Park
Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Alexandria Zoological Park is a 39-minute drive or 31-miles northwest of Marksville in Alexandria.

This zoo is the most popular outdoor attraction in Alexandria near Marksville.

With that in mind, head to Alexandria and be amazed to see more than 500 animals from the safari, America, and other parts of the world.

Walkway lined with trees in Alexandria Zoological Park
Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kids and even kids at heart will surely enjoy every second they spend at this zoo.

You’ll encounter the majestic African lions, the beautiful Chilean flamingos, reptiles, birds, and other mammals that you only see on television.

In addition, the zoo has a miniature train ride that provides you with a different perspective of the attractions inside.

Cross the Sarto Old Iron Bridge

The Sarto Old Iron Bridge is a historical landmark in Louisiana that connects the Pomme De Terre State and the Grassy Lake State Wildlife Management Areas.

It is situated 25 miles southeast of Marksville and takes about 31 minutes to get there.

This iron bridge was constructed in 1916, featuring a steel-truss swing bridge for vehicular and boat traffic along the Bayou de Glaises.

Every time a boat passes through the Bayou de Glaises, the bridge pivots to swing open, allowing it to pass beneath it.

In addition, the bridge also served as a railroad back in the day.

Due to age, the Sarto Old Iron Bridge today only allows pedestrians to cross it.

Nonetheless, this steel bridge is still a sight to behold that you should definitely see when you’re in Marksville.

Taking photos and visiting the Big Bend Museum at the foot of the bridge are the best activities you can enjoy there.

Try Go Kart Racing at the Xtreme Motorsports

The Xtreme Motorsports in the neighboring town of Deville, situated 26-miles north of Marksville is an incredible place for adrenaline junkies.

This concrete racecourse has been a popular destination for go-kart racers since 2007.

Visiting this place lets you rent one of its go-karts and race through its well-designed race tracks.

In addition, this place also hosts various races featuring different types of racing vehicles year-round.

Aside from trying out go-kart racing, you can also watch exciting races featuring various racers around Louisiana.

Step Inside the Oak Hall

Oak Hall in Eola, southwest of Marksville, is a historical residential estate known for its arts and craft-style buildings.

It was constructed in 1837 and was originally named Bon Sejour and served as a plantation house along the Mississippi valley.

Oak Hall is a beautiful historical site that’s well-preserved up to this day.

It's also one of the few remaining types of architecture found in the region.

The property got purchased by Andrew and Josephine Stewart, who immediately did an extensive restoration by hiring Richard Koch as the architect in the 1920s.

Fast forward to 1986, Oak Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places to preserve its historical value.

The property’s interior still has the original furnishings, furniture, and housewares, making it a fascinating sight, especially for history buffs.

Explore the Elbow Slough Wildlife Management Area

The Elbow Slough Wildlife Management Area is a 24-minute drive west of Marksville.

This outdoor attraction is best known for hunting, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing, making it the perfect place to visit before heading home from your Marksville travel adventure.

Elbow Slough, for many years, provides quality habitat for various wildlife species and migratory birds.

The area is teeming with white-tailed deer and shrews, while various bird species are also seen there.

If you want to discover the entire wildlife management area, hike through its trails, and be sure to bring a camera to take gorgeous shots of the local wildlife there.

Final Thoughts

Marksville’s history and natural attractions make you appreciate the simple and relevant things you can’t find in many mainstream tourist attractions.

The Native American population makes this place extra special, while its surrounding wildlife reserves add excitement to travelers who want adventure.

There are many things you can enjoy in this small city in Louisiana.

All you need to do is embrace the spirit of adventure.

So, which of the places you’ll visit first in Marksville?

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