COVID-19 Destination Updates & Resources - View Updates

Go Back

News in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou

Summer Cool Downs

It’s summer in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou and that means things are heating up! But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of sweet treats and refreshing drinks to help keep you cool on the bayou. Our safe and social distancing friendly options are here to help you make the most of your summer road trip, staycation or day-trip.


SWEET TREAT STOPS
Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou is in the heart of sugar country -- Louisiana produces 13.5 million tons of the sweet stuff each year. So of course, there’s plenty of tasty (and cold) treats on just about every bend of the bayou. When you are driving along Highway 1, stop at the Goal Post in Raceland for some of their rich and thick ice cream that’s hand dipped onto the cone and sure to make a satisfying mess.
And you can’t come to Cajun without trying a snowball. Maggie D’s Snowballs in Thibodaux is just the place! They have the perfect combination of shaved ice and plenty of flavors to choose from. For a little “lagniappe” add condensed milk to top it off. Visit Places to Dine to discover more treats in Lafourche Parish.



GRAB A REFRESHING DRINK
What is summer without a fresh, hand crafted cocktail? Our restaurants serve not only the most authentic Cajun delicacies, but they can craft a pretty mean cocktail as well. Cuvee is the newest addition to Thibodaux’s culinary scene. This charming new eatery has a beautiful bar and a large selection of wines, which you can also buy by the bottle to go. Their seasonal drinks, like the Grand Isle Sunrise Punch, are crafted with the freshest ingredients and always served with a smile.
For a southern bistro that cannot be compared to anywhere else, visit Cinclare in downtown Thibodaux. Their mixologists are always concocting something new. Try “the Robichaux”, a refreshing blend of bayou satsuma rum, ginger ale, lime, angostura and a simple syrup. This drink is literally the essence of summer! Cinclare is also a stop on the Cajun Bayou Food Trail, so be sure to get your passport stamped when you go.

 


SEE YOU SOON
We have all experienced a change in our travel plans this summer, but that does not mean that you still can’t safely enjoy a relaxing escape. We look forward to spending our summer with you in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou!

 


 

You'll Remember the Adventure, You'll Remember the Fun, You'll Remember Lafourche

Just 35 miles south of New Orleans you’ll find Lafourche Parish, better known as Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. If you are a traveler that values memories as part of your travel experience then Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou is a must-visit for you!


SWAMP TOURS
With the amount of time you have spent inside lately, we think you could use some fresh air. Jump on board and ride out on one of our swamp tours! Listen to the sound of bald eagles overhead, while alligators are sunning in the distance, all while you are transported through the lush marshland and cypress swamps that make this area so naturally beautiful. What sets our swamp tours apart? Your native Cajun guide. They love what they do and it shows in the stories they tell and the connection they bridge between you and our rustic bayous. Don’t be surprised when your guide stops and explains to you that Spanish moss isn’t just pretty to look at, but back in the old days it was used in Ford cars to stuff their seat cushions. This is just one of the many colorful facts you may learn.
 


 

FISHING
With hundreds of miles of both freshwater and saltwater for you to fish in, we guarantee you’ll have a reel good time. Try your luck down the bayou at the Leeville Fishing Pier, or book a charter and head out to the gulf to reel in a tarpon, tuna, or swordfish. Our charter captains extend our Cajun hospitality to every fisherman, no matter the skill level. From a cane pole, to bowfishing, there’s something for every angler. Here, our waters make it easy to catch your dinner for the night.
 



THE FOOD
With home cooking getting old, let us cook for you! It’s no secret, Louisiana is synonymous with food. Much of that has to do with the local ingredients found right outside our doors. The shrimp, oysters, crabs, crawfish ... it’s all right here. You can’t get it any fresher, we call that “bayou-to-table” dining. Discover these traditions and flavors on the Cajun Bayou Food Trail, where you can Wander off the Eaten Path to try all of our Cajun cuisine. Bring your “stretchy pants” and don’t’ forget your passport as you stop at restaurants along the trail. Make sure to get five stamps to claim your free t-shirt.
 



THE CULTURE
There’s an amazing blending of cultures here in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. We have French influences, Spanish influences, African influences, Native American influences and when you blend them together, it makes a beautiful “cultural gumbo.” You’re not going to find all those influences combined in just this way anywhere else in the world.  You can experience our unapologetic and laid-back Cajun culture in every town, restaurant, shop, and historic site you visit. Each welcomes you with love and warmth; a mask cannot hide our heart and our spirit. Places like the E.D. White House Historic Site or the Bayou Lafourche Folklife & Heritage Museum, are perfect places to dig even deeper into our heritage.
 


 

YOU'LL REMEMBER LAFOURCHE

Our swamp tours, savory food, diverse culture, and the people you’ll meet along the way are just a few reasons our destination is so unforgettable. We can’t wait for you to start making memories of your own in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. We look forward to safely welcoming you back over and over again.
 


Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Earns Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) Designation

Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Earns Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) Designation
 

Raceland, Louisiana (July 15, 2020) – Today Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism, the destination marketing and management organization for Lafourche Parish, received a Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) seal from Destinations International, an association dedicated to elevating the tourism industry to its highest potential. The organization informs and inspires its members to ensure that tourism is both an economic engine for their communities and a way to improve the quality of life for visitors and locals alike. The DMAP accreditation recognizes a tourism bureau’s commitment to meeting the highest standards of performance in the tourism industry.

Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism took things one step further by achieving “accreditation with distinction,” an honor reserved for those tourism offices that go well beyond meeting the required standards of accreditation. Lafourche Parish is one of just a handful of small destinations in the country to achieve this high honor.

As part of Destinations International’s goals of building a worldwide tourism community, serving as a collective voice for the industry, conducting relevant research, and providing professional development across the industry, the organization encourages all its members to work toward earning DMAP certification. Achieving this accreditation demonstrates that a tourism bureau is a valued organization within its community and the entire tourism industry. Only a few hundred destinations in the United States have met the rigorous standards dictated by the accreditation program.

To earn a DMAP seal, an organization must complete a lengthy and comprehensive application process to demonstrate compliance with a series of industry standards that span such topics as governance, finance, management, human resources, technology, visitor services, group services, sales, communications, membership, brand management, destination development, research and marketing intelligence, innovation, and stakeholder relationships.

Newly accredited organizations are typically recognized by Destinations International at its annual convention in July. This year’s convention is being held as a virtual event, and today the most recent class of tourism offices to achieve accreditation were honored by their industry peers.

“We wanted to go through the DMAP process to ensure that our standards for successful destination management and marketing aligned with our industry’s national standard,” said LCBT president and CEO Timothy Bush. “Achieving our accreditation is a huge accomplishment that lets our community partners and elected leaders know that Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism is operating at the highest level for our community. Our role will be even more important as we continue to navigate a world that includes COVID-19.”        

The DMAP designation is one more way that Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism is proving that tourism can have a significant economic impact on even the smallest communities. The LCBT staff consistently strives to raise awareness of Lafourche Parish as a tourism destination, from completely rebranding the area in 2017 to debuting the Cajun Bayou Food Trail in 2018 to launching the “Remember Lafourche” marketing campaign just a few weeks ago. The office takes pride in developing fresh, award-winning tourism programs that generate regional and national attention.

“This is truly an honor for the board of directors, staff and our entire community,” said LCBT Board Chair Jeremy Punch. “Timothy, along with the support of his team, has transformed Lafourche Parish Tourism into one of our state’s and region’s most respected destination marketing organizations. This designation shows our organization’s commitment to elevating the standards in our community, which helps drive our economy through innovative marketing and strong leadership.”


USA Today 10Best: Thibodaux Is Home to One of the Country’s Best Small-Town Food Scenes

Dishing up a Victory on USA Today 10Best: Thibodaux Is Home to One of the Country’s Best Small-Town Food Scenes
 

Raceland, Louisiana (July 10, 2020) – The town of Thibodaux today earned recognition from the popular website USA Today 10Best as having the #3-ranked Best Small-Town Food Scene in the country. Achieving this honor is in part a testament to the success of the Cajun Bayou Food Trail, an initiative launched by Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism two years ago.

The Cajun Bayou Food Trail boasts 16 restaurant participants throughout Lafourche Parish, seven of which are in Thibodaux. Since it launched in May 2018, the Trail has been a clever way for locals and visitors alike to experience the unique food cultures of this area.

A new 10Best Reader’s Choice Award contest launches every other Monday at noon Eastern time, revealing 20 nominees in several themed categories. The website’s readers – averaging about 5 million per month – are encouraged to review the master list and begin voting for their favorites over a period of four weeks. Readers can vote once a day for 28 days, and the list of 20 is ultimately whittled down to 10 winners.

That’s the process by which Thibodaux claimed the #3 ranking on the list of Best Small-Town Food Scenes, which was topped by Abingdon, Virginia, and Punta Gorda, Florida, in the #1 and #2 positions, respectively. Thibodaux was the only Louisiana town to make the Top 10 list.

10Best.com gives its users original, unbiased content about things to see and do, places to eat, and destinations to visit all around the United States and throughout the world. It relies on a team of travel experts to help create its lists, and in this case, some of the experts as well as a USA Today 10Best editor had personally visited Thibodaux in the past few years and could attest to the town’s appealing food scene.

To see a complete list of winners, please visit https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-town-food-scene-2020/. To learn what topics are being voted on at USA Today 10 BEST right now and perhaps participate in a vote yourself, check out https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/.


New Tourism Campaign Encourages Prospective and Returning Visitors to “Remember Lafourche”

New Tourism Campaign Encourages Prospective and Returning Visitors to “Remember Lafourche”

 

Raceland, Louisiana (May 27, 2020) – As the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 cocoon in which it’s been enveloped for the past few months, the entire travel industry is laser-focused on how to encourage visitors to newly discover or eagerly return to tourism destinations around the country. The team at Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism, the organization responsible for positioning Lafourche Parish as a regionally, nationally and internationally recognized tourism destination, has spent the past few months building a new strategy for attracting visitors and stimulating economic recovery and growth throughout the parish.

On June 1, just as travelers are becoming more comfortable packing their bags and returning to the open roads, the tourism office will unveil its new “Remember Lafourche” marketing campaign. The program – which includes print, digital and social media advertising as well as strategically positioned billboards in such key drive markets as New Orleans, Houston and Biloxi -- will build off the parish’s proximity to those markets while also demonstrating the differences that truly set this destination apart.

The campaign comes on the heels of intensive research the tourism office conducted throughout 2019 to determine who its visitors are, where they’re coming from and what draws them to the parish. Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism partnered with Randall Travel Marketing, a research firm based in North Carolina, to conduct visitor surveys several times last year.

All that research demonstrated that leisure travel – people coming to the parish simply to visit, without a tie to business or work – has increased over the past few years. Those visitors are most likely to come from other parts of Louisiana; the neighboring states of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi and Texas; and Canada and France. Guests are drawn by the region’s Cajun culture, natural beauty, outdoor adventures, delicious food and friendly locals, all factors that ensure that their first visit is usually followed by return trips.

“The key to our ongoing success as a tourism destination is attracting visitors the first time, because we know there’s a strong likelihood that they’ll be drawn in by Lafourche Parish’s charms and become repeat guests,” said Timothy Bush, President & CEO of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism. “We may not have a big marketing budget, but we have an unlimited quantity of creativity and passion for our destination. We used that to develop this concept of speaking to visitors who either live in or are visiting our drive markets and simply encouraging them to venture a short distance in search of unique, authentic bayou experiences that only we can provide.”

Research conducted by countless organizations within the travel industry since the COVID-19 outbreak indicates that road trips are going to be the preferred type of vacation Americans embark on for the remainder of 2020. Studies also show that travelers will be drawn to smaller towns and rural areas, seeking more space and craving opportunities to get out on the water or experience the outdoors in other ways. Those opportunities combine to make the third and fourth quarters of 2020 the perfect time to position Lafourche Parish as a quick getaway from other places in Louisiana as well as surrounding states.

Revenue generated by visitors – whether they’re eating in restaurants, staying in hotels, visiting a museum, taking a swamp tour, going out for a day of fishing with a charter captain, or simply purchasing gas and groceries – benefits each resident of Lafourche Parish. In 2019, according to the study, tourism generated more than $54 million in economic impact for Lafourche Parish. In addition, data from the Louisiana Office of Tourism shows the tourism industry supported 1,110 jobs in the parish in 2018, the latest year for which data is available. In short, tourism is going to be an essential part of the parish’s economic recovery following COVID-19.


Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Welcomes Two New Members to Its Staff

Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Welcomes Two New Members to Its Staff

 

Raceland, Louisiana (April 14, 2020) - Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism announces that two new employees have joined its team of professionals dedicated to positioning Lafourche Parish as a regionally, nationally and internationally recognized, year-round tourism destination. Bree Plaisance, a resident of Lockport, began working for the tourism office last month as its Office Manager and Administrative Assistant; Cody A. Gray, who relocated from central Florida, joined the team in mid-April as its Director of Sales and Marketing.

“It’s an interesting time to be working in the travel industry, but we were in the midst of growing and developing our internal team prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and decided to stick to our original plans,” said Timothy Bush, President & CEO of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism. “We had some big ideas in the works as 2020 began, and those have become even more important in light of the decrease in travel due to the coronavirus. I think we’ve assembled a team that can truly rise to the occasion and meet the new challenges that face tourism, our state and our parish.”

Gray has worked in Florida’s travel industry for the past six and a half years, first for the Columbia County Tourist Development Council and then as the Director of Sales and Marketing for a Tru Hotel by Hilton. He received his TMP (Travel Marketing Professional) certification via the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College in 2018 and is eager to put his knowledge and expertise to work promoting Lafourche Parish.

When he was looking for candidates for the office’s sales and marketing posts, Bush was most impressed by Gray’s solid tourism background, working first at a travel bureau for a rural destination that’s similar to Lafourche Parish and then within the hotel industry. He brought a great combination of skills to the table, which allowed Bush to consolidate various job descriptions into one position rather than multiple roles. In short, Gray can walk the walk and talk the talk in a job that requires him to relate to tourism partners up and down the bayou.

Plaisance, a lifelong resident of the parish, holds two degrees from Nicholls State University and has spent more than 10 years managing offices and organizing finances for an array of businesses. Bush says that Plaisance’s deep roots in Lafourche Parish and knowledge of and passion for the region will serve her well in her new role, which requires significant interaction with people who make use of the parish’s visitor center in Raceland.  Plaisance and her mother have both worked at local restaurants that are part of the Cajun Bayou Food Trail, an initiative the tourism office unveiled two years ago and that has earned the parish local, regional and national media attention.


COVID-19 Updates

 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our local operators have changed their hours of operation. We have created a master list of updates for you to access below and we will continue to monitor and update this list as more information becomes available.

 

For a current listing of our local restaurants statuses, hours, and services please visit PLACES TO DINE

For a current listing of our local attractions statuses, hours, and services please visit our THINGS TO SEE & DO

For destination updates and resources visit COVID-19 DESTINATION UPDATES


Ring In Spring: Food & Fun Bayou Style

Fresh crawfish, warm sunshine and a light breeze - spring is one of the best seasons to visit Lafourche Parish. And even though Mardi Gras is behind us, we still have plenty of fairs, live music, and authentic food festivals coming up over the next few months.

So, mark your calendar now: here are a few excellent excuses to get the whole family out and enjoy the Louisiana spring.

 

CELEBRATE ST. PATTY’S DAY

St. Patrick’s Day on the Bayou - March 17, 2020

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about St. Patty’s Day. Celebrate small-town Cajun style at St. Patrick’s Day on the Bayou. Don some green and try your hand at a paddle race if you’re feeling lucky. You’ll also find plenty of local food vendors and live music.


 

GO TO A FIREMAN'S FAIR

Is there anything more pleasantly nostalgic than a fireman’s fair? This season, you’ve got two opportunities to take in the smell of fresh popcorn, catch a parade, and find the perfect spot to sit down and enjoy some live music.

Choctaw Fireman’s Fair - March 6 - 8, 2020

This family-friendly event includes music, dancing, a live auction, and of course - enough traditional Cajun fare to keep you satiated from morning to night. If you can make it on Sunday, March 8th, you’ll probably run into the famous parade marking the end of the festivities. Find out more here and start planning your visit.

Thibodaux Fireman’s Fair - April 30 - May 3, 2020

If you enjoyed the small-town carnival vibe of the Choctaw Fair, you’ll have to come back in April. The Thibodaux Fireman’s Fair is proud to be the largest volunteer fire department fair in the country. That means you get the works, from carnival rides for the kids, to live shows and auctions for mom and dad.


 

STOCK UP ON CRAWFISH & TRADITIONAL CAJUN FOOD

Food is front and center here in the bayou: this is one of the few parts of the country where you can fill up on authentic Cajun cooking. If you’ve never tried a bite of boudin or shrimp etouffee, now is your chance!

Bateaux de Bois Festival - April 13, 2020

Crawfish is the signature dish of the Bateaux De Bois Festival. But before you fill up on mud bugs, build up an appetite by taking a museum tour and browsing the many rows of boat building demonstrations, Cajun crafts, and antiques. If the little ones aren’t as interested in vintage machinery displays, let them burn off some steam at the children's area or keep them occupied with landing craft rides.

Lockport Food Festival - April 17 - 19, 2020

The Lockport Food Festival is an ideal spring destination for any foodie, but it has much more than delicious snacks. This fair keeps everyone in the family dancing, eating, and trying out some good old-fashioned carnival rides. Check out favorites like the traditional carousel!

Mud Bug Boil-Off - May 9, 2020

Visitors catch on pretty quick: we love a good crawfish boil. And since the season is all too fleeting (we’ll get the last few crawfish in early July if we’re lucky), we take every opportunity to indulge. The first time you crack open a crawfish tail fresh from a pot of Cajun seasonings, you’ll understand why. Try the best Thibodaux has to offer at the Mud Bug Boil-Off. You’ll also take in some live music while you eat.
 

SEE YOU SOON!

Hopefully we’ve inspired you to break out from your routine and take some time to enjoy springtime on the bayou. Whether you’re hoping to catch a traditional crawfish boil or give the kids their first true local fair experience, you can find it all in Lafourche Parish.


Oh, the things we do for Mardi Gras!

Here on the bayou, we’ve got plenty of Mardi Gras events in the works - and unlike some of our larger, neighboring cities, you can actually enjoy them without elbowing your way through crowds of tourists. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Lafourche Parish this February, here are a few of the Mardi Gras festivities you can look forward to. 

 

la cajun bayou mardi gras

 

INDULGE IN SOME KING CAKE.

The rest of the country may decide to ease off decadent desserts starting on January 1st, but we like to put that off until March. 

King cake is traditionally associated with the festival of Epiphany. King cakes typically have a small, plastic baby inside - whoever gets the piece with a baby is blessed with good luck (but may have to host the next party, depending on who you ask). More importantly, it’s housed in delicious brioche and capped off with frosting and the can’t-miss purple, yellow and gold sprinkles.  

It’s a treat you can only fully enjoy when you find yourself in Louisiana for Mardi Gras. You can enjoy a slice of king cake this time of year at just about any of our bakeries - but start off with the most famous king cake in the region at Cajun Pecan House, or stop by Spahr’s Seafood if you want to pair your king cake beignets with a mean bloody mary.

 

TAKE THE WHOLE FAMILY TO PARADES.

Parades are an essential part of any Mardi Gras celebration. Whether you’re a Louisiana local or visiting for the first time, you can’t get through February without enjoying a few good parades, and reaching your hand up to catch some beads (or any other surprise throws that might be in store this year!).

Enjoy two full weeks of parades, all leading up to the four parades on Mardi Gras day. Whether you’re determined to catch the stilt walkers with the Krewe of Chronos, or you’d rather admire the home-made floats crafted by the Krewe of Gheens, there’s one thing in common with all of our parades: you’ll get a front-row seat to the action. Our parades are family-friendly, and the kids will have plenty of elaborate costumes and lively music to keep their attention. Check out our full parade calendar to start planning. 

 

Cajun Bayou Mardi Gras 2020

 

STOP FOR A SNACK. 

Cajuns are known for our delicious food - so try the most authentic stuff you can get. Fried shrimp comes in handy when the kids are famished: families and large groups are welcome at Bubba’s II Poboys, Or take a break from the parade scene to get some genuine Cajun food at Cher Amie’s Seafood Restaurant

Luckily for you, Mardi Gras also happens at the same time as crawfish season. You can only enjoy this southern delicacy for a few months out of the year - so if you catch the delicious aroma of Louisiana Crawfish Boil and seafood as you spend time around town, dip inside for a pound of fresh crawfish. (If you’re new here, ask anybody how to peel them. We all think we have the best method, and we’ll be more than happy to prove it!). 

If you’re a true foodie looking to sample the best of Lafourche Parish, you’ll just have to make a stop everywhere on the Cajun Bayou Food Trail. Hope you have an appetite. 

 

KEEP THE KIDS OCCUPIED.

You might be perfectly content to get a delicious lunch and set up camp on the parade trail. But if you’ve got little ones in tow who need a change of scenery, we’ve got your back. 

When they start getting antsy, take a detour to the Bayou Country Children’s Museum. Younger kids and toddlers will be able to burn off some steam in a range of interactive exhibits, like the Bayou Gallery and the Offshore Supply Vessel, where they can play boat captain for a day. 

 

 

TAKE A FULL DAY TO CELEBRATE.

For us, Mardi Gras is a full-fledged holiday. It’s a day for us to get colorful, enjoy lots of good food, and take time out from work to spend with family and friends. Join us this year and do the same!

REQUEST OR DOWNLOAD YOUR CAJUN BAYOU VISITORS GUIDE TODAY AND PLAN YOUR VISIT!


Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Launches 2020 Tourism Investment Program

Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Launches 2020 Tourism Investment Program

               

January 22, 2020 – Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism (LCBT) is now accepting applications for the 2020 Tourism Investment Program.

The Tourism Investment Program was created by the LCBT Board of Directors as part of the organization’s 2016 strategic plan. The goal of the program is to support tourism developments efforts within Lafourche Parish that can attract more visitors to the destination and increase the economic value of tourism for the local economy. Since 2016, the program has awarded $176,000 to local organizations with a focus on driving visitation to Lafourche Parish. The funding provided to these organizations was used to build their tourism product and enhance marketing promotions efforts.

The Tourism Investment Program guide and application can be found on LCBT’s website, lacajunbayou.com, under the “About” section. The deadline to submit applications is February 14, 2020.

LCBT will host an informational session for anyone interested in applying for funding from the program on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 from 2:00-3:30 pm at the Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Visitor Center, located at 4484 Hwy 1 in Raceland.         

“This program is essential for moving tourism forward in Lafourche Parish,” said Timothy P. Bush, president and CEO of LCBT. “I encourage businesses and individuals who are interested in making a difference in our economy through a tourism project to apply and attend the informational session.”


Our Photos @lacajunbayou