DeRidder Courthouse in Downtown

Day Trip Itinerary: Beauregard Parish

Spend a day in Beauregard Parish to experience a unique look into Louisiana's history.

Founded in the 1890s, DeRidder boasts a large collection of historic buildings. Key sites include the stately Beauregard Parish Courthouse and the Beauregard Museum, which documents DeRidder’s history. But the town’s trademark is the renowned Gothic revival building known as the “Hanging Jail.” There, at the top of a spiral staircase, in view of the other prisoners’ jail cells, the condemned would meet their demise in an infamous fashion.

But fear not, the people of DeRidder pride themselves on welcoming strangers. With the Fort Polk army base—and its thousands of soldiers in the neighborhood—DeRidder has gotten used to seeing unfamiliar faces.

Beyond the town limits, a paddler’s paradise awaits, with lush waterways available for canoeing. From the Whiskey Chitto River east of the city to the Sabine River at the Texas border, the seat of a pirogue (small boat) offers nature lovers a placid, leafy atmosphere punctuated with abundant Louisiana birdlife.

Morning Activities and Attractions: 

First USO & War Room Museum

The First USO and War Room is the first USO in the nation. The USO houses a collection of military items as well as large collection of military artillery from several wars. 

Lois Loftin Doll Museum

The Lois Loftin Doll Museum is a one-of-a-kind museum that displays a collection of more than 3,000 dolls from around the world. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. 

Antiquing in DeRidder

Practice some retail therapy and go on a hunt for unique collectibles in DeRidder. Try Treasure City Market, a multi-vendor flea market with 15,000 square feet of antiques & furniture. Or check out Big Stick Long Bow Antique Mall, which has a wide variety of antiques, home décor, glassware, furniture and more. Happy shopping!

Lunch Options:

Cecil’s Cajun Kitchen

Known for their Cajun cuisine, steaks and seafood, Cecil’s is your go-to for a good time and good eats. Outdoor seating available.

The Stadium Sports Grill

The Stadium Sports Grill features BBQ, seafood and hamburgers with a full bar. Stop by for a casual, comforting meal to fuel up for your next adventure.

Two Sisters Deli & Pecan House

The Two Sisters Deli is known for soups, specialty sandwiches and the best gumbo around! This beloved spot has been acknowledged as Small Business of Year and Beauregard Parish Outstanding Business.

Gothic Jail of DeRidder

Visit the Gothic Jail.

Lois Loftin Doll Museum - DeRidder, LA

Lois Loftin Doll Museum

First USO and War Room Museum

Browse military artifacts at the First USO & War Room Museum.

Beauregard Museum in DeRidder, LA

Visit the Beauregard Museum in downtown DeRidder.

Sweet Treats:

Lou Lou’s Cupcakes and More

Lou Lou's is a charming bakery featuring specialty cupcakes, cookies, cakes and more. Perfect for the traveler with a sweet tooth!

Afternoon Activities and Attractions:

Beauregard Museum

The Beauregard Museum is located in the old Kansas City Southern Depot in downtown DeRidder. It houses artifacts and photographs from Beauregard Parish's rich history, including the timber and sawmill industries.

Bundick Lake

Bundick Lake is 1,750 acres, fed by 210 square miles of watershed. It has a public boat launch ramp and several landings providing access to boating and fishing. Bundick Lake is the result of Bundick Creek Dam on Bundick Creek in Beauregard Parish, Louisiana. Going for a hike along the Big Branch Trail or the Whisky Chitto Trail will let you absorb the natural beauty of this area--a bird watchers paradise.

Gothic Jail

Celebrated in the song "The Hangman's Jail," DeRidder's Gothic Jail is the only Gothic Style Jail in America and the location of a double execution in 1928. The jail and courthouse are connected by a tunnel used to transport prisoners out of public view. The jail is believed to be haunted by the spirit of the old jailor who is sometimes seen standing the window.

Dinner Options:

Steamboat Bill's 

Steamboat Bill's in DeRidder has an expansive menu, abundant with Cajun cuisine, po'boys, seafood and more. Steamboat Bill's originated in Lake Charles, but after much success, has expanded to five locations.

Double "D" Steakhouse

Since 1999, Double "D" Steakhouse has been serving great food and friendly service. Try their steaks, ribs, chicken, burgers, seafood, salads and more! 


Discover more about the surrounding areas and additional things to do near DeRidder.