If you want to work in Louisiana tourism, few spots are likely as appealing as West Feliciana Parish. Rolling hills, small-town charm and John James Audubon lore have drawn innumerable visitors over the years—and the numbers keep climbing thanks to steady expansion of eco-tourism, local shops, lively inns and restaurants.
“We really have a lot of experiences that draw multigenerational visitors,” says West Feliciana Parish Tourist Commission executive director Devan Corbello. The Lake Charles transplant was named to the post a year ago this month. The former executive director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana says moving to St. Francisville with his Greyhound rescue ’Tec was an adventure he couldn’t pass up.
“It’s just beautiful, and the topography is completely different from what I was used to,” says Corbello, 28. “You know, you can park on an actual hill here. We like to say, ‘It’s a world away, but so close to everything.’ When you cross Thompson Creek, you can feel the stress slip away.”
St. Francisville has long been a favorite day trip for Baton Rougeans. Corbello wants more people to know about it.
One of his top priorities has been refreshing the commission’s brand and launching a new, user-friendly website, which goes live this month. The campaign uses blues and greens to mirror the area’s bucolic setting and introduces a new tagline: For the inspired traveler.
“This place has inspired so many people over the years,” Corbello says. “And we want to continue to inspire people to come visit.”
Next up for Corbello is a hotel feasibility study. He says new lodging will give day trippers another option to spend the night, and it will appeal to families traveling to youth sports competitions at the West Feliciana Sports Park.
“I would love for more people to experience St. Francisville longer,” Corbello says. “Bringing them here for a couple more days is our ultimate goal.” explorewestfeliciana.com
This article was originally published in the August 2023 issue of 225 magazine.