The BEST Fort Johnson and Louisiana Bucket List

Things to do at Fort Johnson: Take pictures of Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral.
Things to do at Fort Johnson: look for wild horses in the training area.
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Since our PCS to Fort Cavazos, we have driven through Louisiana several times on our way to visit family in Florida. And it has me reminiscing on our time spent at Fort Johnson, Louisiana.

Fort Johnson (formerly known as Fort Polk) was our second duty station as a family and some of our children’s earliest memories are from there.

Arguably, it’s one of the most hated duty stations in the Army, but we didn’t mind it. Dare I say that we actually liked it?!

Louisiana is an interesting state and there are plenty of adventures to be had there! So, I put this bucket list together for maybe some possible pit stops on our way to Florida or in case we ever get stationed there again!

On Post at Fort Johnson

  • Cool down at the community pool
  • Play at the splash pad
  • Go fishing at the pond
  • Go to one of the concerts
  • Check out the playgrounds
  • Do some laps at Honor Field
  • Walk the Marion Bonner Trail
  • Go to the Freedom Fest Celebration
  • Make something at the Arts & Crafts Center
  • Play mini-golf & ride go-carts at Klubs & Karts
  • Look for the wild horses in the training area
Things to do at Fort Johnson: do laps at Honor Field.
(Lainey playing at Honor Field.)


  • Eat a meal at the Wagon Master
  • Go for a walk downtown
  • Watch the sun set at Vernon Lake
  • Visit a local bakery
  • Go to a parade
  • Drive through a daquiri shop
  • Take the kids to the splash pad
  • Check out a book at the library
  • Go to the Vernon Parish Fair
  • Pick out a pumpkin at Anderson Farms
  • Eat some Mudbugs
Things to do at Fort Johnson, LA: Watch the sun set at Vernon Lake.
(A beautiful sunset at Vernon Lake.)

Fort Johnson’s Surrounding Areas

  • Let the kids play at Jump City (Deridder)
  • Hike to Wolf Rock Cave
  • Spend the day at Toledo Bend
  • Visit Hodges Gardens (Florien)
  • See Sicily Falls
Things to do at Fort Johnson, Louisiana: Visit Hodges Gardens
(The girls thought that the waterfall at Hodges Gardens was magical!)


  • Visit the Kent Plantation house
  • Take the kids to the Alexandria Zoo
  • Look around the Louisiana History Museum
  • Go to the circus at the Rapides Parish Coliseum
  • Play at the T.R.E.E House Children’s Museum
  • Visit the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral
  • Explore the Frogmore Cotton Plantation and Gins
  • Pet the animals at Gone Wild Safari
  • Go for a hike in the Kisatchie National Forest
  • Visit the Old Town Hall Museum
  • Explore the Chauvin Sculpture Garden
Things to do at Fort Johnson: Take the kids to the Alexandria Zoo.
(The girls loved seeing the animals at the zoo!)

Lake Charles

  • Go to a casino
  • Experience the Louisiana Pirate Festival (beginning of May)
  • Visit the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu
  • Look around the Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point
  • Take a tour of the Bayou Rum Distillery
  • Visit the Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center
  • Stroll through the Charpentier Historic District
  • Explore Sam Houston Jones State Park
  • Drive the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road
  • Spend an afternoon on North Beach
  • Take a walk through Prien Lake Park
  • Get some boudin on the Boudin Trail
  • Visit Millennium Park & Memorial Point Landing


  • See the Steel Magnolias house
  • Step back in time at the Cane River Creole National Park
  • Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest History Museum
  • Visit the Melrose Plantation
  • Go to the Christmas festival
  • Fort St. Jean Baptiste
  • Eat a Natchitoches meat pie
  • Visit Beau Jardine Park
  • See the gators at Alligator Park
  • Take a stroll down Front Street
  • Shop at the Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile Store
Things to do at Fort Johnson: see the Steel Magnolias house.
(Steel Magnolias is one of my favorite movies! So, seeing this house was definitely on my bucket list!)


  • Eat a meal at Orlandeaux’s Cafe
  • Visit the Shreveport Aquarium
  • Take a walk at Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Park
  • Go to the Sci-Port Discovery Center
  • Visit the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
  • Play at Splash Kingdom Waterpark
  • Check out the planes at Barksdale Global Power Museum
  • Shop at the Louisiana Boardwalk
  • Visit the Shreveport Water Works Museum
Things to do at Fort Johnson: Go shopping at the Louisiana Boardwalk in Shreveport.

Baton Rouge

  • Visit the Baton Rouge Arsenal Museum
  • See the Castle/old Capitol building
  • Visit the Nottoway Plantation (biggest mansion in the South)
  • See Mike the Tiger at LSU
  • Go to the LSU Rural Life Museum
  • See the largest cypress trees in the state (Cat Island Wildlife Refuge)
  • Cool Off at the Blue Bayou Water Park
  • Go to the Louisiana Art & Science Museum
  • Visit the Blue Bonnet Swamp Nature Center
  • See the USS Kidd
  • Rip Van Winkle Gardens (Iberia)
Things to do at Fort Johnson: Visit the Old State Capitol.
(The Old State Capitol is beautiful!)

Random Fort Johnson Trips

  • Visit Oak Alley Plantation (Vacherie)
  • See Fort Proctor in Lake Borgne (St. Bernard)
  • Explore the Atchafalaya Basin
  • Paddle the canoe trail at Chicot State Park
  • Spend the day at Holly Beach
  • See the mounds at Poverty Point National Monument (Pioneer)
  • Visit Grand Isle State Park
  • Walk through the Abita Mystery House (Abita Springs)


  • Get an ice cream cone at the last Borden’s Ice Cream Shop
  • Visit the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island
  • Buy shrimp right off the boat at Delcambre
  • Explore downtown
  • Visit Vermilionville Historic Village
  • See Jungle Gardens
  • See the Acadian Village
  • See the Rip Van Winkle garden on Jefferson Island
  • Go to the Louisiana Comic Con
  • Wednesday Night Cajun Jam at the Blue Moon Saloon
  • Visit the Driftwood Museum (Pierre Part)
The kids running through the bamboo 'forest' at Jungle Gardens.
(Walking through the bamboo forest at Jungle Gardens.)

New Orleans

  • See Marie Laveau’s grave
  • Take pictures of the St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square
  • Take a steamboat cruise on the Mississippi River
  • Visit Mardi Gras World
  • Ride a streetcar in the Garden District
  • See the ruins of Fort Macombe
  • Stroll through Audubon Park & Zoo
  • Visit the WWII Museum
  • See the Chalmette Battlefield
  • Get beignets at Cafe du Monde
  • Shop at the French Market
  • Get a drink on Bourbon Street
  • Wander through the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
  • Get creeped out at the Museum of Death
  • Buy a book at Faulkner House Books
Things to do at Fort Johnson: Take pictures of Jackson Square and  the St. Louis Cathedral.
(Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral is absolutely stunning!)


  • Visit the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens
  • Visit the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum
  • Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
  • Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo
  • Visit the Duck Commander store

Miscellaneous Things

  • Spend the weekend in Houston
  • Find a crawfish hole
  • Go geocaching
  • Cross Lake Pontchartrain
  • Take a swamp tour
  • Go to a Mardi Gras parade
  • Eat some King Cake
Things to do at Fort Johnson: Find a crawfish hole.
(Lainey found a crawfish hole and had to see if someone was home!)

Whewww…that is a lot!

But don’t listen to anyone who tells you that there is nothing to do at Fort Johnson. It might involve a bit of driving, but Louisiana has a lot of fun places to explore!

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