Atchafalaya Basin

The Atchafalaya Basin is an eerily beautiful 800,000-plus-acre swamp wilderness, the storybook version of mystical south Louisiana wetlands. Boating enthusiasts, bird-watchers, photographers, and nature lovers are drawn by vast expanses of still water, cypresses rising out of the marsh and dripping with Spanish moss, and blue herons taking flight. The basin is best viewed from one of the tour boats on its waters, but it's possible to explore around its edges on the 7 miles of Henderson's Levee Road (aka Route 5; Exit 115 off Interstate 10), which provides several opportunities to cross the levee and access swamp tours, bars, and restaurants on the other side.

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