Courir de Mardi Gras, held in Eunice, is one of best attractions. Rather than a parade, costumed goers chase a chicken at each stop on their horseback journey to help contribute toward a community wide gumbo. On the northern part of the Atchafalaya Heritage Area, Port Barre is the “birthplace of Bayou Teche,” which hosts the annual Tour du Teche during the first weekend of October. Teams and individuals paddle 133 miles to Berwick on this national treasure called Bayou Teche Corridor.Only 20 minutes north of I-10, St. Landry Parish is where accordions are cool, boudin is hot and history is not just in textbooks. Our festivals celebrate Cajun & Creole heritage, music, catfish, cracklins, etouffee, herbs, spices, yams and zydeco. The annual
Six communities are registered as a certified Louisiana Cultural District in which state tax is waived on original works of art and historic preservation is encouraged. As Acadiana’s Antique Capitol, shoppers can browse more than 500 vendors in a 20 mile radius. Travel the Zydeco Cajun Scenic Prairie Byway to visit Arnaudville, Grand Coteau, Sunset, Opelousas and Washington to find the perfect gift or home accent piece.
St. Landry Parish is proud to have three capitals. Opelousas is the “Zydeco Capital of the World” and hosts Music & Market Series (spring and fall) where guests can enjoy free concerts on Friday evenings at the Farmers’ Market Pavilion. Zydeco music can be heard weekly as well as at the annual Zydeco Breakfast held the Saturday before Labor Day.
Opelousas Visitor Center is on the grounds of Le Vieux Village, where original buildings dating back to the 1700s, are located and can be toured. Off Creswell Lane, some of America’s finest thoroughbreds and quarter horses have raced at Evangeline Downs Racetrack, which also hosts a casino with 1,400+ slot machines and a 117 bed luxury hotel. Guests can enjoy live music every weekend.
Grand Coteau is the “Sweet Dough Pie Capital of the State” and hosts the Sweet Dough Pie Festival the 4th Saturday in October. It is home to more than 70 structures on the National Register of Historic Places. The town has a strong Jesuit Catholic background with attractions such as St. Charles College, St. Charles Borromeo, Jesuit cemetery, and Academy of the Sacred Heart. It is the only location where a shrine is erected in the same place where a miracle occurred.
Sunset is “The Rubboard Capital of the World” and home of the Key of Z Rubboards, you will find thriving antique stores, restaurants, and an art gallery. Take time to drive by the beautiful Chretien Point plantation, now privately owned, whose stairway was duplicated for the classic film “Gone with the Wind.” In the spring, A Celebration of Herbs & Gardens takes place at the annual one day festival (first Saturday in May) showcasing yard art, plants, herbs and flowers.
After touring and shopping, sit down to enjoy delicious Cajun or Creole food. Restaurants like Rocky’s Cajun Kitchen (Eunice) and The New Silver Slipper (Leonville) have live music every weekend. The Little Big Cup (Arnaudville) has a weekend brunch and live music on Sundays. Places like Café Josephine, Soileaus Dinner Club, Ruby’s Restaurant & Courtyard, Whitetails Bar & Grill, Crawfish House & Grill and Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant offer memorable experiences for the taste buds. Bayou Teche Brewing (Arnaudville) is a national award winning brewery on the Louisiana Brewery Trail with a tasting room. And for a snack, pick a stop on St. Landry Parish Boudin Trail for a tasty boudin link.