Discover Your Next Adventure in DeSoto Parish

Shank Cat's BBQ rib platter with sausage, mashed potatoes, baked beans, and toast in DeSoto

Find your adventure in northwest Louisiana where you can explore historic sites, take scenic drives, discover local food from B&Bs, to wineries and bakeries, restaurants, cafes, and some of the best gas station eats around! Big bites like that are perfect for stocking up before you head to the trophy-fishing waters of Toledo Bend Lake and the Sabine River with fishing pole in hand. Gift shops, clothing boutiques, and other local shops make for a great stroll on Saturday, too! It’s no wonder DeSoto Parish is makes for a great day trip or weekend getaway for folks wanting to slow down and enjoy a peaceful corner of the south. 

Cook-Hill House Bed and Breakfast
Cook-Hill House Bed & Breakfast

When you arrive, settle in at the historic jewel that is Swearingen Place. Built around 1840 in historic Keachi, this bed and breakfast is surrounded by beautiful homes, churches, and rolling pastures. Keachi is considered one of Louisiana’s richest treasuries of Greek Revival structures, boasting the only surviving temple style commissary in the state. Or plan to stay at the Cook-Hill House Bed & Breakfast, which opened around 1850, featuring four exquisite guest rooms and three porches for relaxing outdoors. Located in the heart of historic Grand Cane, Cook-Hill offers guests a unique option for overnight stays.

From there, sample local fare from places like the Village Cuisine Catering and Cafe, boasting homemade food with exquisite flavor and fresh ingredients, some of which are grown on-site. Stop by and try their sandwiches, salads, and burgers. Or, head to Kickapoo Twist Winery and Vineyards, known for their custom, small-batch wines from grapes including Cabernet, Blanc Dubois, Lenoir, and red and white muscadines. They also carry homemade jellies from locally grown fruits and grapes. 

Bike parked outside Village Cuisine Catering and Cafe
Main street, outdoor spaces and interiors of shops

However, no food-fueled trip is complete without a stop at Shank’s. Housed in a weathered former schoolhouse, Shank Cat’s Bar-B-Que is just a stone’s throw from I-49 in Frierson, Louisiana. The sign outside says, “No Teeth Required,” and that is a testament to just how fork-tender the meats are at this hole-in-the-wall joint. Owner Edwin “Bobo” Scott inherited the building from his grandmother Carrie “Shank Cat” Scott and began selling chopped beef sandwiches, rib plates, smoked chicken, and more. On Thursdays, Shank Cat’s offers made-to-order rib-eyes and baked potatoes, and are open through Saturday. Don’t hesitate to give them a call for hours and other daily specials!

Sign for Shank Cat's Bar-B-Que

Feed your spirit of adventure further as you continue to explore DeSoto Parish! Once you are full on delicious, local comfort foods, tour the beautiful, timeless churches nearby including the Rock Chapel, built by Carmelite monks circa 1890. Even more incredible sites await in DeSoto Parish, including the timeless Mansfield State Historic Site, where haunting candlelight tours at night make for a perfect October treat. Or travel to the Mansfield Female College Museum, the site of the first women’s institute of higher learning.

Mansfield Female College Historic Site display
Desoto Parish historical sites, small towns, places to stay and eat, and museums, like the Mansfield Female College museum.

Make your planning easier by visiting Discover Desoto’s website features a Daycation Itinerary to make planning easier. Just 30 miles south of Shreveport, start planning your trip to Desoto Parish today! 

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