30 Things to Do in Louisiana's Cajun Country

Louisiana’s Cajun Country is famous for its food, bayous, music and joy of life—or as they say here, the joie de vivre. An hour west of the Mississippi River, the area was settled in the late 1700s by French Catholics exiled from Acadie, Canada. In starting a new life along Louisiana’s bayous, these resilient people created one of the most distinctive and authentic cultures in America.

  1. Take an airboat ride through the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the U.S.

  2. Sample the world’s best boudin, a specialty sausage stuffed with rice, at The Best Stop, Billy’s Boudin & Cracklins and Don’s Speciality Meats in Scott

  3. Wash down a roast beef po’boy with an ice-cold sno ball at Olde Tyme Grocery

  4. Dance off the calories at Buck & Johnny’s Zydeco Breakfast in Breaux Bridge

  5. Explore Jungle Gardens on Avery Island and visit the Buddha temple

  6. Learn how TABASCO sauce is made on an Avery Island tour

  7. Chase peacocks at the enchanting Rip Van Winkle Gardens in New Iberia

  8. Attend Festival International de Louisiane in the spring, the world’s largest international music showcase

  9. See original Blue Dog paintings at the Rodrigue Gallery in the Oil Center

  10. Enjoy the fine side of Cajun cuisine at Charley G’s, Ruffino’s and Marcello’s

  11. Refuel with an espresso downtown at RÊVE, Lafayette’s local coffee roasters

  12. Talk a self-guided walking tour of River Ranch to admire the collection of Louisiana architecture

  13. Tour the University of Louisiana campus and check out their resident alligators in Cypress Swamp

  14. Let the kids run loose at Girard Park, just south of the University of Louisiana campus

  15. Learn about the Colonial days of Louisiana and take a boat ride on the river at Vermilionville

  16. Get fresh local crawfish from February through May

  17. Enjoy a Swamp Pop Old Fashioned at Pop’s Po’Boys, where they mix bourbon with Satsuma Fizz pop, made with local cane sugar

  18. Hang out in downtown Lafayette with a Ragin’ Cajuns Ale at The Wurst Biergarten, (that’s really the best!)

  19. Brunch at The French Press with champagne cocktails and gumbo poutine

  20. Shop for local goodies on Saturdays at the Lafayette Farmers and Artisan Market at the Horse Farm

  21. Indulge on crawfish enchiladas at Prejean’s while you toe-tap to the music

  22. Attend one of 20 family-friendly Mardi Gras parades and sample king cake every February

  23. Catch a live concert while bowling at the Rock ‘n’ Bowl de Lafayette

  24. Make a pilgrimage to St. Martinville to find the grave of Evangeline, made famous by the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem

  25. Admire the works of local artisans at Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallerie in downtown Lafayette

  26. Score an awesome T-shirt at Parish Ink in Lafayette

  27. Kayak through ancient cypress trees on Lake Martin with Champagne’s

  28. Visit the breathtaking Cathedral of St. John with its 500-year-old oak tree and above-ground cemetery

  29. Enjoy the best Cajun music food, and art at the Festivals Acadiens et Créoles in October

  30. Cool off with an adult beverage at one of the area's many drive-thru daiquiri shops