Jeff Davis Parish
Jeff Davis Parish has been hiding in plain sight for years. Lying along I-10 at the midpoint between Houston and New Orleans, and Lake Charles and Lafayette, it has been a waypoint for these popular destinations. What’s changed is the discovery by travelers that this quiet corner of the state holds a number of wonderful treasures.
Ever wonder what it would be like to hold a baby alligator? Well, stop by the Gator Chateau and find out! Get up close and personal with the gators in our enclosed exhibit. It will be an educational and unforgettable experience! The Gator Chateau, located at the I-10 Park offers the opportunity for visitors and citizens alike to hold baby gators and learn about their habitat. The I-10 Park (Exit 64) is a perfect location to exit the interstate and spend a little time relaxing, letting the kids play on the playgrounds, fishing in the pond, or rocking on the front porch of the tourist information office. Certified travel attendants provide tourist information for Jeff Davis Parish and the state of Louisiana.
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Jeff Davis Parish is home to the newest distillery in Louisiana and produces “Bayou Rum” from sugar produced in our state. The 18,000 square foot distilling facility will feature a gallery celebrating the state's historic role as a sugar cane producer and rum distiller, a gift shop, a tasting bar and more. All on 22.77 naturally set acres, complete with ponds, cypress trees and a sugar cane field. Go on a scheduled tour of the distillery. Visit www.laspirits.net to book your free tour.
Great food can be found all over Louisiana and Jeff Davis Parish is no exception. Restaurants feature great gulf seafood and our locally grown specialty... Crawfish. Jeff Davis Parish is one of the largest suppliers of this tasty delicacy in the state producing over 12 million pounds on an average year. Whether you are looking for fine dining or down home, local specialties; we’ve got them all!
Festival season in Louisiana lasts all year. We always have something to celebrate. Our rural Mardi Gras is quite a treat for visitors. It is a very different experience from the parades and balls that dominate the “city” Mardi Gras. Traditional dress, gumbo, music.. It’s definitely one of a kind! We also have the “Regatta Festival”, held in the summer on the lake in Lake Arthur. It’s a celebration of boats, food, and music. The “Yellow Rails and Rice Festival” is held in the fall, and is a one of a kind birding opportunity to see the now famous birds, only found in second crop rice fields. Another great festival is the “Stearman Fly In”, held at the Jennings airport in the fall. This brings in WWII bi-wing planes from all over the country. Our Parish is also the host of the Cajun Squeezebox Shootout, held at the historical Strand Theatre in downtown Jennings at high noon the Saturday before Mardi Gras. This one of a kind accordion competition packs the Strand with competitors of all ages.
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We also boast one of the best agro-tours in the state with our seasonal Crawfish Farm Tours, where visitors and students are hosted at a pond side dock where they are led by a local crawfish farmer who can teach them all about his unique industry.
Jeff Davis Parish is also home to the Zigler Museum, which houses a collection of American and European art spanning six centuries, as well as wildlife dioramas and the complete collection of Audubon’s Birds of North America. The W. H. Tupper General Merchandise Store, a general store from the early 1900’s, that is now a museum, hosting over 10,000 items of the original merchandise.
This is the corner of Louisiana where the music is sweeter, the colors are brighter, the food is more savory, the shopping more unique, the festivals are more fun, the tours are more varied and the people are more friendly.