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Looking for Acadiana/Cajun Country in Louisiana Recommendations

Flying in (Dec 27) and out (Jan 3) of New Orleans and hoping to explore Acadiana for a few days during that time with my wife. If you had two nights and three days there at that time of year, where would you stay, where would you eat, and what would you do? Thanks! Paul

Posted by
2017 posts

Have you previously been to New Orleans? We stayed at Bourbon Orleans on last visit and the location was perfect. It has a salt water pool (heated) that you could possibly use depending on weather. Since we stayed in this area we ate at restaurants near by. Most were very touristy and mediocre--Galatoires used to be good but our meals were very disappointing. Brennan's mediocre as well. ACME Oyster was great for lunch. We took a taxi from the airport and the driver told us the best restaurants are in the garden district --you might consider taking taxi there to Commanders' Palace. You may find a music festival. The market place is interesting for souvineers, pralines,etc. There is a restaurant near there that is very good called Tujagues.

Posted by
1803 posts

If you have any interest in history, spend a day at the World War II museum in New Orleans. I normally last barely a couple of hours at a museum. This one kept us fascinated for 7 hours! Lots of dioramas with narrated movies, with actual footage. My dad fought on Guadalcanal and in France so we were able to trace his experience. A memorable day.

There’s an optional movie, narrated by Tom Hanks, which we enjoyed. There’s also a submarine experience which is skippable.

Posted by
2665 posts

Looks like Lafayette may be a jumping off point. I had to check out 'Acadiana'. Never heard of it before, but well aware of Canadian Acadian heritage hope you will also ask on TripAdvisor destination specific forums. Start in the Louisiana forum rather than the New Orleans forum. If you don't want to join, at least use their search options.
If you like old time jazz, I see Preservation Hall still functions. Old timers, classic jazz. Harry Connick jr. Started here at age 10. Not fancy and either go early or prepare to stand. Starts early in the evening too. Great though.

Posted by
663 posts

Do understand it can get darn cold down on the gulf at that time of year. Rainy too. If you want to see some country take Hwy 90 out to Morgan City and Lafayette and come back in thru Baton Rouge. It's not that far that you can't do it in a day. Going the other way (east) is totally different as you trade the swamps for the beaches. I like the drive between New Orleans and Mobile when it's clear and warm and I'm not in a hurry. Nothing like being lazy on the beach with good food and a beer or two.

In NO I like the Commander's Palace and the WWII Museum. The Ritz has a nice wine cellar and Deenies (behind the hotel) is good food at a reasonable rate. Frankly I've spent more up in Baton Rouge.

Posted by
872 posts

I live in New Orleans and did this a few years ago with my family. Suggestions are: go to a Cajun restaurant/dance hall one evening. Wonderful ones include especially Mulate's in Breaux Bridge and Prejean's in Lafayette. (Check schedules since you are going holiday season. You might want to call ahead by a few days. Reservations might be necessary around Jan. 1.) Go the the Acadian Village living history museum in Lafayette. Be sure to plan at least half a day visiting the Tabasco Hot Sauce factory on Avery Island and the beautiful gardens and grounds of the island.

Posted by
4804 posts

I was going to say about exactly the same thing as the previous poster, I would add though...

That time of year maybe some of the more interesting things like seeing the swamps and bayous are not the best, but you can do other things. Adding to the previous list...

Shadows on the Teche is a restored home/plantation in New Iberia that is well recommended, could hit that with the Tabasco factory. New Iberia is worth a stop anyway. The Jungle Gardens near Tabasco may not be too interesting in January...unless there are lots of birds, so check ahead.

In Broussard is Parish Brewing, a nice microbrew if you like beer, just a tasting room, food trucks some days.
Make a stop at one of the larger boudin places (Dons, Billy's Johnson's in or near Lafayette) or just a corner grocery store and try the plate lunches, Boudin, cracklins, and other items.

Posted by
4804 posts

Best food in the USA is right there in Cajun country

My daughter lives in Lafayette, and I would agree that food is a big attraction for us when we visit. Too bad January is outside of Crawfish season, places may be serving them in New Orleans, but no respectable Cajun eats them that time of year.

Since this is a road trip, I suggest by the time you get to Morgan City, tune the radio to a Zydeco or local Folk station to enhance the trip.

Posted by
350 posts

It sounds like you are looking for something to do outside of New Orleans for a couple of nights. We spent two night in Thibodaux in Fall 2017, we just economized by staying at the Hampton Inn, which was fine for us. We had a nice dinner at Fremins in Thibodaux. On our full day, we drove to visit Oak Alley Plantation which we loved. We even parked in a lot along the river later and walked up and down the levee and looked at the Oak Alley trees from way up high. We also toured Houmas House which was a very strange experience - frankly just plain weird inside - and could not really recommend it. Year ago we toured San Francisco and I have also visited Nottoway. So you could definitely fill a couple of days touring plantations if that is something you would be interested in. I have also spent a full day touring in Baton Rouge where you can see the old governors mansion, ride the elevator to the top of the state house for the view and visit a good museum of Louisiana history.

Posted by
245 posts

We just returned from a trip to south central Louisiana, which makes a good case for being the heart of Cajun country. We spent time in and around Lafayette, St Martinville, New Iberia, Jeanerette and down towards Morgan City and finally Houma. Last year we had gone to Nova Scotia, where we saw Acadia and learned about the Acadian expulsion from the front end. Grand-Pré National Historic Site in the Annapolis valley of NS provides a masterful telling of the events. We were interested to learn more about the back end of the story in Louisiana and paid special attention to that on our recent trip. IMO, Vermillionville Living History Museum near Lafayette, Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site in St Martinville, and Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum in Houma together provide a worthy follow-up to Grand-Pré. Of course there are many other sites as well and places we did not see. I’d recommend you do some pre-planning with the Iberia Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau. We stopped there and they were extremely helpful with tons of information. Check out their website and give them a call. Also look at byways.louisianatravel.com for some road trip ideas.

Of course there’s more to Cajun culture than just their genesis story. One of the things I love best about south LA is the “let the good times roll” attitude. It seems like there are lots of street fairs and parties happening. On one weekend we stumbled into a street fair in the little town of Patterson near Morgan City and then a Halloween-y festival in Houma celebrating a local monster called Rougarou. I suspect there are nearly continuous events in the area around the Holiday time and would definitely be on the lookout for local celebrations. With 6 days on the ground you should be able to see a lot even if you spend a day or two in NOLA. Have fun!