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Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
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Holly Beach, also known as the “Cajun Riviera,” is a small beach community about an hour south of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The drive from Lake Charles south to Holly Beach is absolutely gorgeous, filled with miles and miles of marsh grassland viewing opportunities along the way. A sizable portion of the drive takes you through Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest coastal marsh refuges in the country.

You won’t find overcrowded beaches and strips of tourist shops at Holly Beach. Much of the community was wiped out by Hurricane Rita in 2005, and the town is still rebuilding. Many of the newer homes here are built exceptionally high off of the ground in hopes of protecting from future storm surges. Many of the streets are lined with wonderfully colored homes that give the community that nice beach-like feel. The quiet, uncrowded beach is a welcome treat when so many places continue to get inceasingly crowded. One of the great things about Holly Beach is on certain sections of the beach, visitors are allowed to drive. Much of the sand here is very soft, so four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is highly recommended. Getting stuck in the sand is a common occurrence, and war-weary locals kindly display signs that warn, “we won’t help tow you out of the sand." This is also a superb beach for collecting shells, known as shelling. Shelling is best done at low tide and up to 48 hours after stormy weather has sent waves crashing up onto the shore. 

Holly Beach does offer some RV camping options, with two different RV parks. Outside of the RV parks, you won’t find many commercial establishments on Holly Beach, including the lack of a gas station. If you’re driving to Holly Beach from afar, be sure to gas up before getting to the small beach community. The nearest gas station is about an 11-mile drive and ferry ride to the east of Holly Beach on Highway 27. Holly Beach would make a great day trip when combined with a visit to Lake Charles or Sabine Wildlife Refuge. If you’re looking to tent camp in the area, you can drive about an hour east of Holly Beach to Rutherford Beach, which offers free camping directly on the beach.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Not crowded. Drive on the beach.


No nearby gas stations, restaurants, or stores.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


Family friendly
Bird watching



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Alligators, Monarch butterflies, 400 species of birds, walking trails and natural, Gulf beaches - you can truly surround yourself in nature in Southwest Louisiana along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. After experiencing the great outdoors, you can enjoy the food, culture, music and art that Louisiana is known for the world over – in just a short drive to Lake Charles, LA.

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