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October Festival Round-Up

It’s almost fall, and beside the fact that the relentless heat turns to cool, crisp days, it’s festival season. There’s one just about every weekend in October so the options of when to make your trip are as plentiful as the Cajun food and fun.

La Fete Des Vieux Temps

It’s French for the Festival of Old Times and it’s packed with ways to experience local culture first-hand. You can get up close during cultural demonstrations and take part in making cane syrup, learn about old fashion medicine, and even participate in a boucherie from start to finish. And you have to taste Cajun food favorites like fried bread, poboys, and jambalaya.

Louisiana Gumbo Festival

When you hear locals talking about fall there’s always one word that is bound to be said in the same sentence…gumbo! And when it comes to gumbo this festival doesn’t play around. All you have to do is grab your ticket when you arrive, get in line, and make your way to the pot. It may be hard to decide if you want chicken and sausage or seafood but don’t worry, there’s more than 600 gallons to go around so going back for seconds won’t be a problem. No matter which day you go, you’ll also hear some of the best live music the region has to offer.

French Food Festival

I don’t know about you but any festival with the word food in the name is right up my alley. This festival has been around for more than 45 years which means they know their way around good food. More than 40 booths of delicious dishes offer everything under the sun, or pavilion in this case, from fried shrimp and catfish to pralines and cakes. Calories don’t count because you can dance them right off with the crowd that’s always ready to tear up the dance floor.

Don’t wait! Plan your trip to the bayou for some unapologetically Cajun fun and where the festivals are unlike anything else.  
Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou is just 45 minutes south of New Orleans!

Experience the Charm of a B&B Along the Bayou

All up and down the Bayou, our bed & breakfasts have a uniqueness and charm you can only find in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou.

Part of the charm is the hospitality you’ll experience and their proximity to attractions and restaurants. It’s really easy to navigate up and down the bayou and their locations make it simple to find your way. Stay downtown within walking distance to shops and bars or just a little further south and you’re near some of Louisiana’s best fishing and swamp tours.

One of the reasons to choose a bed and breakfast is the food. You can enjoy a great homemade breakfast and some of our B&B’s even serve night meals featuring Cajun dishes made just like our families have for generations. It’s easy to feel like an honored guest because that’s just how our culture is built. We treat you like family.

These accommodations are perfect for a getaway with your sweetheart or a much-needed girlfriend getaway.

Grab a cocktail and take in the sunset right on the bayou or sit on a grand porch and view the historic architecture of downtown Thibodaux. Vacations should be relaxing and our B&B’s have that mastered. Browse these places to stay and find the one that fits you. We can’t wait to see you on the bayou!

4 Ways to Summer in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou

From swamp tours and fishing to festivals and Cajun culture, we’re planning to take advantage of summer vacation in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou and you should too.

In the hotter months, you can explore some really cool things up and down the Bayou. Any adventure you choose is sure to be unforgettable.

1.  Kick Off Summer With Festivals

We’re starting the summer off with a bang… and some serious Cajun traditions. The Cajun Heritage Festival and Gheen’s Bon Mange Festival, both June 7-9th, are a showcase of our great food, live music, and culture.

The Cajun Heritage Festival features a duck carving contest that shows off hundreds of hand-crafted models still made just like past generations. Gheen’s Bon Mange Festival will wow you with Cajun food galore and lots of fun dancing.

2. Breeze Through Swamps 

There’s really no better time to take a swamp tour than in the summer. Warmer weather means you are pretty much guaranteed to spot the most popular critter in the deep south; alligators! But swamp tours here are so much more than gators. You’ll see so much natural beauty and wildlife that has been unspoiled such as moss-draped cypress trees, gorgeous flowers, and birds unique to the area.

3.  Grab a Line and Go Fishing

A trip to the bayou isn’t complete without time spent out on the water – rod and reel in hand. The coast is a true playground for anglers with endless quantities of fish. What you catch is part of the Cajun dishes you love, from redfish and trout to shrimp and crabs. It’s easy to get out and cast your line with our expert guides and charter fishing options.

4. Get Hands-On at Museums

What’s special about museums in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou is that you get to interact with local culture in a personal way. Kids can ride a real sugarcane harvester and fish off an oil rig at the Bayou Country Children’s Museum. At the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center and the Bayou Folklife Museum Cajun culture comes to life through music and artifacts.  See boats that are hundreds of years old at the Center for Traditional Boat Building where builders are still making and crafting boats by hand. Part of what makes our museums unique is that you’ll hear stories from our guides who have such a rich story to tell about Cajun heritage.  

Why Travel Matters in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou

When we think about tourist sites often times thoughts turn to big cities like our neighbor, New Orleans. But do you ever wonder about tourism in our own backyard? Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou and our local attractions; fishing, swamp tours, museums, restaurants, and authentic Cajun culture are the backbone of Lafourche Parish. These places and experiences define our community, provide our families with jobs and have given us-and thousands of visitors-a lifetime of memories.

Travel matters, and it improves Lafourche Parish in ways that have a wide-reaching impact on our community. It is critical to our economy and jobs. In the last year, travelers spent $71.8 million dollars at our businesses creating $2.75 million in local tax revenue. Tourism supports 1,010 jobs within the parish and it also has an impact that we do not always see: travel can strengthen families, foster hometown pride, and build bridges that connect us with one another.

Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism, the destination marketing organization for Lafourche Parish, spends over $180,000 each year promoting our area to potential visitors all over the world. The goal of these promotion efforts is to showcase our unapologetic Cajun culture, food, and outdoors that appeals to many looking for authentic, unmanufactured experiences. Journalists are noticing and interest is gaining momentum as travel writers and bloggers are coming to explore and in turn writing about why visitors need to come. Last year, published articles earned more than $2 million in media coverage and appeared in USA Today, Travel Channel, and large city newspapers nationwide.

Travel matters to growing and sustaining our community. Visitor spending allows money to be placed back into our parish though the Tourism Investment Program. A variety of local attractions and businesses have received more than $175,000 in grants to be used for supporting, developing, and maintaining the parish as an attractive and viable destination.

These are only a few reasons why it’s so important to keeping welcoming visitors to Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou and why our industry is elevating the message of “Travel Matters” during National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) May 5-11. We encourage you to join in observing NTTW this year, and celebrate all that travel does for Lafourche Parish.

Here are a few ways you can get involved:

·         Join us at our NTTW event on May 9 at 10:30 am, Bayou Playhouse in Lockport.

·         Contact members of our state legislature and tell them why travel is important to Lafourche Parish.

·         Get social and engage with the #cajunbayou hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share our posts about why travel matters in our community.

5 Reasons to Explore the Cajun Bayou Food Trail

In Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou food is a big deal and has been for generations. Local chefs and cooks are known for serving up some of the best Cajun food in Louisiana. But unlike most places, Lafourche Parish, just 45 minutes south of New Orleans, isn’t on the main road. To satisfy your craving for Cajun food, you’ve got to wander of the beaten path, or as we prefer to say, “off the EATIN’ path!”  Take the journey and discover 15 restaurants and six festivals and events that are all about one thing—food!  Here are five great reasons to experience the Cajun Bayou Food Trail.

Did we mention the food?

A tip for enjoying the trail: Come prepared to eat. No matter where you go, you’ll find gumbos, etouffees, jambalayas, softshell crab, shrimp and oyster po-boys (did you know you can actually get those together in a po-boy?) and maybe a few things you haven’t tried. Our advice… let your palate be adventurous!

Food and culture Intertwined

In our kitchens there’s a mix of cooking traditions. Yes, we have trained chefs, but we also have many locals who learned how to cook the old school way – from family. The food of the area is made up of different cultures including Native American, French, Spanish, German, English, African, and Italian. Each have their own culinary traditions and techniques that miraculously blend together to create tastes that are authentic to the area. Traditions have been continued by handing down of recipes and cooking wisdoms from generation to generation. Thankfully for us, many of those traditions have found a way to our menus.

The journey up and down the Bayou

Lafourche Parish is 110 miles long, so that’s a lot of ground to cover as you go up and down the Bayou. Along the way, you’ll learn what makes this area such a worthwhile experience. You’ll see live oak trees that have stood for centuries and historic homes, platoon bridges, sugarcane, and shrimp boats, who provide the very seafood you will be eating on our menu. The farther south you go, the bigger the Bayou is, gradually opening up into the vast space of wetlands and into the Gulf of Mexico.

A reason to come back

Festivals in Lafourche Parish are all about celebrating food and culture. All year long you can experience events and festivals that do nothing but offer fantastic Cajun food and cultural demonstrations. During the spring and fall, there are plenty of reasons to plan a second visit to do some saltwater fishing or explore on a swamp tour through our famous bayous and wetlands.

There’s the South and there’s Lafourche Parish

We own who we are. We aren’t the most polished of places, but the one thing that is unique is our style of unapologetic Cajun hospitality. The lagniappe of the Trail is the people you will meet along the way. Most of those people are homegrown Cajun food enthusiasts who aren’t shy about telling you why their food is the best and what dishes are a must try along the Trail.  

So, what are you waiting for? Get your map and passport and get on the Trail today! 

Don't Miss Mardi Gras in Cajun Bayou

You don’t want to miss your last chance (this year) to experience Mardi Gras season up and down the Bayou! This weekend leading up to Fat Tuesday is full of parades and fun. Cajuns celebrate Mardi Gras with many traditions that highlight our vibrant culture while creating an atmosphere that’s all about celebrating life and having a good time. Here are our top 5 reasons why you don’t want to miss Mardi Gras on the Bayou.

King Cake Galore

What’s a Mardi Gras celebration without King Cake? There really is none. But, forget what you’ve heard about traditional King Cakes because we do it a little differently on the Bayou. Whether it’s King Cake Beignets at Spahr’s Seafood Restaurant or Cajun Pecan House’s famous treats, you can enjoy King Cake many different ways while celebrating. You can find our local bakeries here.

Feasting and Fun

Don’t stress about packing a sandwich or a bag of chips! We’ve got you covered when it comes to delicious food. Here, you’ll witness a true Bayou-style parade that include streets lined up with barbecue pits and boiling pots of seafood, all made for the sole purpose of feeding parade goers. The atmosphere is full of the delicious smells and the sound of the best dancing music. Our restaurants along the Cajun Bayou Food Trail also have you covered too. With so many spots along the parade routes you can grab a po-boy or some boiled seafood to-go.

True Family-Friendly Fun

When we celebrate Mardi Gras, it’s a party fit for everyone! Whether it’s a family-friendly environment to enjoy the beautiful floats and throws, or the vibrant life of the Downtown areas, there’s always a place for every parade goer. We make room for everyone to have access to the beautifully decorated Mardi Gras floats. And forget the idea of the massive, overwhelming crowds of larger cities. Being only a few people away from the parade route, you’ll be sure to fill up your bag with plenty of your favorite Mardi Gras throws!

The People

These parades are where the locals go. Forget not knowing anybody, because here everyone knows EVERYBODY! You’ll find moms, dads, kids, grandparents, the whole family, all attending the parades together. Everyone is there to greet you with a big smile and a grand-ole time. Even if you had to travel here, we’ll get to know you and welcome you in. We’re all friends and family, so don’t be surprised if a complete stranger offers you a burger, a beer, or a place to watch the parade.

Our Unique Routes (aka where you watch the Parades)

Whether you find yourself up or down the Bayou, there’s something special about our parades. If you think you’ve missed anyone along the route, don’t panic! Our routes are within blocks of one another, so mark your spot and catch the driver’s side, then cross on over a few blocks to catch the passenger side fun. It’s double the fun and experience.

Come on down for Mardi Gras in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou! Carnival Season 2019 has just begun and rolls through Mardi Gras day on March 5th. Check here for the full schedule.

4 Cajun Traditions to Experience in 2019

If you’ve been thinking about visiting, 2019 is your year. We’ve rounded up four of the best ways to experience the Cajun Bayou to help you plan your adventure.

Eat on the Cajun Bayou Food Trail

If you want to eat like a true Cajun, hop on the Cajun Bayou Food Trail. With 16 restaurants up and down the Bayou, there’s no shortage of options.  Once you get on the Trail, you will find places where you can roll up your sleeves and dive into some freshly boiled seafood right from the Gulf, as well as places to enjoy some of the area’s best upscale dining experiences. No matter where you go, each restaurant has its own unique atmosphere that will make you feel right at home. The Trail also comes with some serious bragging rights, too! Visit seven stops and turn in your Trail passport for a free t-shirt. Download yours here.

Fish in our Waters

Here in our wetlands and waterways, you’ll find a variety of fish that will give you the thrill of a lifetime when you reel them in. Whether you are seasoned fisherman or a novice, there’s not a chance you’ll go home empty handed. Our Cajun charter fishing guides and storytellers are the best and will put you right in the action whether you’re looking to catch fresh or salt water fish, both are so close to each other they can be done in the same day.  

Learn a Cajun Craft

Traditions run deep just like our Cajun. Many of our lives are still defined by the crafts passed down from our families before us. You can get hands-on with our boat builders at the Center for Traditional Boat Building and see how they still make boats designed just like the ones our ancestors used. We can also teach you how to make shrimping nets sown by hand at Chine’s Net Shop. You can even make and take home a small one of your own. 

Enjoy a Festival

One of the best ways to dive into the Cajun culture is to enjoy a local festival. Here you’ll find great music, food, and a true understanding of what makes the folks here so unapologetically Cajun. No matter if you come early in the day or when the sun goes down, the experience you get will be the same. The music will be pumping and there will be plenty of jambalaya, po-boys, and other Cajun food to feed your soul. With free admission to many of the area’s top festivals, having a good time is pretty easy. All you need is your lawn chair and appetite to spend some enjoyable time soaking up our one-of-the-kind bayou culture. 

It’s time to plan your trip! Download or request a free visitor guide and get started.


4 Cajun Festivals You Need to Visit

It’s one of our favorite times of the year! Fall is on the way and that means some of our most famous and delicious festivals are too.

Four of the six events on our Cajun Bayou Food Trail are just a few weeks away. This series of family-friendly festival pay homage to the important roles that both people and food play in our flavorful culture.

La Fete des Vieux Temps is French for “the festival of old times.” It’s a cultural throwback event, rejuvenating old Cajun cultures and traditions from generations past. Live music and authentic Cajun recipes – like the opportunity for people to make fresh cane syrup on site – headline this three-day festival. Held next door to Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Visitor’s Center at the pavilion in Raceland the weekend of October 5-7, the festival is free to the public.

It’s not every day that you find yourself in the company of 600 gallons of gumbo, which is how much will be cooked and served up at the annual Louisiana Gumbo Festival, held October 12-14. In the 1970s then-governor Edwin Edwards signed a proclamation naming the small town of Chackbay the “Gumbo Capital of Louisiana.” For the last 47 years, the Louisiana Gumbo Festival has ensured that those bragging rights continue. Attendees enjoy every variety of Cajun gumbo including chicken to sausage or seafood – plus live music and carnival rides. Admission to the festival is free.

Cajun culture is the centerpiece of the 45th French Food Festival, which will take place on October 27-29 in the town of Larose. One of Lafourche Parish’s oldest festivals, this one is all about Cajun food, live music, dancing, folklife demonstrations and passing a good time. Under the giant food tent, event-goers have their choice of more than 20 local specialty dishes, including poboys and gumbo.

Big Boy’s Main Street Cook-Off is a culinary showcase of Cajun cuisine prepared with the variety of fresh ingredients that are found all along the bayou. Taking place in a two-block area of historic downtown Thibodaux, Big Boy’s features both professional and home cooks whipping up local delicacies like shrimp and grits, jambalaya and charbroiled oysters. This year’s event is set for November 9; the $10 admission benefits Downtown Thibodaux and includes servings from all 40+ cook-off participants.

Whether you’re heading up or down the Bayou to attend one of these festivals, the Cajun Bayou Food Trail in Lafourche Parish proves that it’s not just the food that matters here, but also the stories of the people along the way who are eager to treat guests like family.

Plan your trip with a free visitor guide! Book your stay here

4 Tours to Take in Cajun Bayou This Summer

In Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou there are some great ways to beat the summer heat. Here are four must-see tours to take this summer! 

Lafourche Live Oak Tour

Spend a day taking a leisurely scenic drive up and down the Bayou to view majestic, centuries old live oak trees on the self-guided Lafourche Live Oak Tour. These towering giants have stood through decades of history draped with Spanish moss and brilliant green leaves. It’s not just the trees you will see, as you read a part of their history, you’ll begin to understand the Cajun way of life that helped shape the communities today. Stop in the visitor’s center in Raceland or check out the website for the official guide and map.

Bayou Country Children’s Museum

Kids can get hands-on with our authentic Cajun lifestyle at the Bayou Country Children’s Museum. From driving a real sugarcane harvester to fishing off a shrimp boat, the museum offers interactive play that also teaches how we have been making a living since the beginning. You can even “make groceries” in the market and pretend like you are riding a Mardi Gras float throwing beads to the crowd. You can even climb aboard a firetruck and police cruiser at the new outdoor playground exhibit set to open in July.

Swamp Tours

If there’s any place locals like to be in the summertime it’s on the water! The wildlife is abundant and a breeze is just a boat ride away. There are lots of options to view the swamp and yes… alligators! Take a flat bottom boat that meanders through the cypress trees and wetlands or a thrilling airboat tour gliding over the water. Alligators are at their best in the summer, so if your goal is to catch a glimpse of one, summer is the perfect opportunity.   

Cajun Bayou Food Trail

With all these adventures, you’ll certainly work up and appetite. That’s where the Cajun Bayou Food Trail comes in! There are 15 restaurants up and down the Bayou all serving up authentic Cajun dishes made from local, delicious ingredients. Tasting the food is only part the experience. You’ll discover generations of unique traditions and culture living within the people and places you visit. From homemade plate lunches to gourmet specials and boiled seafood, there’s something different at every stop. Getting on the Trail is easy! Just download your map and passport and once you’ve received seven stamps, you’ll earn your free t-shirt (and bragging rights!) 

Make it a weekend in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou! Plan your trip today!

Bayou Lafourche by Boat

Tours at the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center

All up and down the Bayou, there is a distinctly unique culture that has thrived for generations. It’s a culture whose stories are rooted deeply in the unspoiled beauty that you can only see when you travel Bayou Lafourche by boat.

The boat tours at the Jean Lafitte Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center cruise you right into the past as you learn about why Cajuns chose to settle in Lafourche Parish and how they made their living using the bounty of the Bayou. You’ll be navigating along just like those first settlers while hearing their stories from your tour guide. Along the way you’ll stop to see birds and wildlife that thrive because of the unspoiled landscape.

Just a short ride up the Bayou is the E.D. White Historic Site. Located right on the bayou, it brings to life the story of how access to Bayou Lafourche allowed for trade, transportation, and easy access to the Gulf. The museum grounds are beaming with centuries old live oak trees towering over the original home of Louisiana’s first Supreme Court justice, Edward Douglass White. Inside the house you'll see how the sugarcane industry played a vital part in the way of life generations ago and still does today. Original furniture and heirloom items are also on display. 

Photo by: William Guion

At the end of your museum tour, you’ll enjoy some homemade cornbread and coffee made in the outdoor kitchen. The open-flame style cooking was once the only way to cook and after you’ve tasted the warm cornbread it’s obvious why locals still use the cast iron pots today. Delicious!

As you board the boat for your return and head back down the Bayou, the rich history of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou’s authentic culture surrounds you. And once you’ve heard our stories, you’ll feel like part of our story, too.

For boat tour times and information, explore here

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