Where else can you paddle the calm waters of a Louisiana bayou, experience the flavor of fresh-from-the-dock shrimp and oysters, and spot more than 300 species of birds all in one day? The Cajun Coast, also known as St. Mary Parish, is a mecca for nature lovers and anyone looking to slow down and unwind. Home to the cities of Franklin, and Morgan City, the Cajun Coast has historic sites to explore and a culture influenced by African, Cajun, English, French, Spanish, and Native American traditions. Whether you're looking to get away or you want to discover authentic Louisiana, find your way to the Cajun Coast.
St. Mary Parish covers more than 700 miles of southern Louisiana's forests and wetlands, including the Atchafalaya Basin. The basin is one known for its biodiversity, making it one of the best places to go birding in Louisiana.
Whether you're hiking or on a boat, you can spy eagles, herons, egrets, and a host of other species throughout the year at the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge and Boardwalk, Cypremort Point State Park, and other sites.
If the idea of exploring exotic waterways by canoe or boat tour catches your attention, the Cajun Coast is the place for you. The Atchafalaya Basin Swamp, the nation’s largest river swamp with nearly one million acres of bayous, swamps, and blackwater lakes, is a popular destination for kayaking and boating. Drift through majestic moss-draped cypress trees, acres of bottomland hardwoods, and more than 170,000 acres of designated wildlife management areas as you follow the Cajun Coast Paddling Trails.
On June 23, 1863, across the bay from Morgan City, Confederate soldiers rooted on the riverfront and directed fire at the Union camp across the way. Today, you can find yourself imaging these moments in the Civil War as you stroll the walkway of the seawall on the Morgan City riverfront.
Continue your exploration of history at Oaklawn Manor, the private residence of Louisiana’s former governor constructed in 1837. Be sure to stop by the Shadowlawn Plantation, a striking Greek temple built in 1850 where each room is decorated with period furnishings, offering a glimpse into the past. Meanwhile, the Cajun Coast's Native American cultures are celebrated at the Chitimacha Museum. Discover the Chitimacha's customs, ceremonies, and lifestyles from their earliest settlements to the present day.
Beyond its outdoor adventures and wealth of history, the Cajun Coast is a hotspot for foodies. Award-winning gumbo, prime steak, and the freshest seafood you'll find just about anywhere are on the menu at the many restaurants throughout the Cajun Coast. Follow the aromas of fried catfish and grilled shrimp and you'll find something delicious.
With no shortage of activities, attractions and authentic Louisiana experiences, you owe yourself a trip to the Cajun Coast. Plan your next adventure here.