Here’s what to see and do in Minden, Louisiana, one of the nation’s small-town gems.
The slogan of Minden, Louisiana is “Feels Like Home,” and the sentiment couldn’t be truer. It’s a small city tucked snugly into the northwest corner of Louisiana…and also the location of our Louisiana Project House.
We’ve been walking alongside Sara McDaniel of Simply Southern Cottage as she renovates a series of 1930s villas into short-term rentals. Sara found home in the city when she needed one the most. After a turbulent divorce, she moved her entire life to Minden, Louisiana, and the small-town’s big heart helped heal hers.
Now she’s passionate about sharing this treasure with the rest of the nation and, after the town was the focus of an episode of Home Town Kickstart (Sara pitched and appeared on the show!), many are planning trips to find their own piece of home in Minden, Louisiana—and you can too.
Where to Stay
Your Minden, Louisiana home away from home awaits at The Cottage on Fort. The magic begins the minute you pull up to the charming blue cottage with its pink front door. Inside you’ll find mid-century modern vibes, mixed with cottage romance. It’s one of Simply Southern Cottage’s properties, and it’s the perfect homebase as you explore the city.
After a busy day sightseeing, the Fuller House is a delightful escape to rest and reinvigorate for the next day. Its décor is charmingly nostalgic and romantically sweet. Pops of color, fun wallpaper, and vintage pieces hearken to simpler times and set the tone for Minden’s soothing, small-town pace of life.
Find history and comfort in The Fuller House Upper Room, which is a garage apartment loft! It’s nestled in the backyard of the Fuller House, was built in 1905, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Sara lovingly renovated and restored the loft, and you’ll find yourself thinking pink as you see the delightfully pink kitchen and bedroom checkerboard ceiling.
The Villas at Spanish Court
As the focus of our Louisiana Project House, we’d be remiss to leave out The Villas at Spanish Court! These Spanish style villas offer architecture that you can’t see anywhere else in Minden, Louisiana. Each villa features a unique design, loads of historical charm, and a glimpse into 1930s Louisiana life.
Where to Shop
You’ll want to take a bit of Minden, Louisiana home with you, and you can do that by shopping at Parish Design Co., a family operated design studio featuring Minden merch and local artisan wares. As you peruse the wares, you’ll be inspired by the spirit and determination of the makers behind them and walk away with a true sense of the city’s story and people. Of course, be sure to take a picture in front of the Kickstart Minden mural!
Clothes. Makeup & hair services. Haberdashery. The new Bricktown Boutique will have you walking out like a new woman. One of Sara’s favorite aspects of this fashionista’s dreamland is the custom, one-of-a-kind hats. These hats are the perfect homages to southern style.
Where to Eat
Find food with meaning at Geaux Fresh. The restaurant employs women in recovery and gives them jobs and purpose. Moved by Geaux Fresh’s mission, HGTV Hometown Kickstart renovated the restaurant. Check out its fresh new look and enjoy Sara’s three must-haves: a sweet yet spicy jalapeño cucumber lemonade, The Fruity Ninja (chicken salad on a bed of avocado) and the Dorcheat Bottom cookie (a vanilla cookie with chocolate chips, frosted pecans, caramel, all dipped in chocolate).
Second chances are found at The Broken Bean, which is owned and operated by Louisiana Teen Challenge. The coffee shop employs women from the Minden, Louisiana center who are eager to escape a life of addiction. By working here, the women get essential workforce readiness skills they can apply once graduating from the program. It’s a well-loved and integral part of the Minden community. Order some decadent beignets along with a King Cake Latte, which is a delicious drink featuring caramel, brown sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon.
Known for the best crawfish in town, Seafood Empire is a local food truck specializing in fun, quirky Cajun and traditional southern foods. The must try dish is The Moody: jambalaya with fried catfish covered in crawfish cheese sauce. Eat there for the first dinner of your trip and you’ll likely be back for the rest of the nights!
Other Must See and Dos
Take to the water by renting kayak from Dorcheat Bayou Rentals. You’ll see a whole different side of Minden, Louisiana as you navigate its expansive, tree-lined lakes and nature-filled bayous.
Minden was founded in the 1830s by Germans seeking to create a utopian society. Much of the original settlement still stands in this location. Engage in some historical excavation at the museum and learn about Minden’s roots and the pioneer life.
Get caught up on Project House Louisiana by reading Introducing Project House Louisiana and The Villas at Spanish Court: A History. Stay tuned here on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!
Autumn Krause is a writer and young adult author from Orange County, California. Her debut novel, A DRESS FOR THE WICKED, is out now from HarperTeen and she has another book releasing fall of 2023. Her instagram account, @autumnsarahstory, is dedicated to the craft of writing and connecting with other authors. She loves gothic romance and spending time with her husband and two children. Most often, she can be found wearing a black lace dress and boots.