Home to about 1,500 locals, it's a very quiet little town. There is a post office, a gas station, a marina, and a small grocery store. The only chain establishment to my knowledge, was a Subway.
We were there in February of 2011, following the devastating Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill of 2010, which made things even quieter. Very vacant.
Grand Isle has been repeatedly pummeled by hurricanes and tropical storms through its history.
Because of this, all the houses & structures on the island are built on stilts. Even the post office, the K-12 school building, and the gas station are on stilts. The colorful homes & fish camps were fun to observe, many of them displaying interesting names.
The concrete dwelling at the lower right looked particularly indestructible to 100 m.p.h. hurricane winds. The mobile home on stilts? Not so sure.
Most of our time on the island was spent at Grand Isle State Park, which had recently been reopened to the public.
The majority of Louisiana's coastline is marsh & swamp. I read somewhere that the seven mile spit of Grand Isle is Louisiana's only sand beach.
We had it almost entirely to ourselves.
Traces of the oil spill & clean up effort were subtle, but present.
There were "tarballs" in most handfuls of shells we scooped up.
We enjoyed gathering shells, and came across this nice looking green lizard.
And a jackpot of many of his friends underneath a shelter.
The pier was great for watching dolphins splashing in the Gulf.
It took a while, but I captured one jumping out of water.
They'd jump right under our noses & everywhere, but they were impossible to predict & hard to catch. This image was triumph for me.
Note: One can become obsessed with trying to capture dolphins as they surface, and become quite sunburned in the meantime.
Brown pelicans, Louisiana's state bird:
The park contained some nature trails and a lagoon.
As we set into a grassy / shrub surrounded trail, there was a rustling that sounded like there was a gator or something large moving in the grass.. so we stopped. It was just the rustling of tiny crabs scurrying away from our feet by the hundreds of thousands. (The gators were dormant during our visit to Louisiana.)
Grand Isle is a very interesting place. Not stunning in scenery, but very unique in it's geography & very peaceful & quiet while we were there. Lodging on stilts and being secluded from commercial development, we very much felt like we were "someplace else."
Last to come will be the final leg of our Louisiana adventure.. The River Road plantations, and our stay at one of the largest antebellum mansions in the south.