Experience the iconic food, music, and joie de vivre found in Louisiana’s storied Cajun Prairie, a welcoming, easy-to-reach part of the state located along Interstate 10 between Lafayette and Lake Charles. Acadia Parish is known for warm and friendly people who can’t wait to share their traditions, which includes mouthwatering Cajun cuisine, family friendly local events and roots music that will soon have you up and dancing. From pork boudin and cracklins’ purchased at a roadside market, to Mardi Gras “runs” that see costumed men chasing a chicken around town, Acadia Parish is one of America’s most charming and culturally rich destinations.
Like much of south Louisiana, Acadia Parish is known for its many influences, including French and German immigrants and enslaved people from Africa. In the mid-18th Century, thousands of exiled of French Catholics from Canada who refused to swear allegiance to England’s protestant king relocated here. These Acadians became known as “Cajuns,” and their powerful traditions continue to make Acadia Parish special.
A trip to Acadia Parish wouldn’t be complete without a deep dive into its food culture. Throughout the area, visitors have plenty of chances to sample Louisiana’s fascinating foodways at local eateries like the famed Rice Palace, where you can sink your teeth into a fried shrimp po’boy or a slurp a bowl of gumbo. Since both crawfish and rice are produced in Acadia Parish, don’t miss a steaming plate of savory crawfish etouffee served over fluffy white rice, local food at its best. Speaking of crawfish, journey over to Cajun Claws Seafood Boilers for a taste of hot, spicy boiled crawfish in season roughly between January and June. Peel. Eat. Repeat!
The area’s bucolic byways are home to many hidden gems just waiting to be explored. Take a scenic drive and discover the many locally owned Cajun meat markets in the area, where you can find mouthwatering boudin and pork cracklins’. In true south Louisiana fashion, munch on these savory treats in the parking lot and chase them down with a bottle of cold root beer.
Be sure to check out the town of Crowley, Acadia Parish’s pretty parish seat and home to key events like the International Rice Festival. Restored downtown Crowley is dripping with small town magic, and is known for its scenic streetscapes, locally owned shops, and historic Grand Opera House of the South, where you can see high quality entertainment year round. An architectural marvel, the Opera House was originally built in 1901 and was restored to its original grandeur in 2008. It’s one of the few second story opera houses in the country still standing.
Acadia Parish is filled with opportunities to soak in local music, dancing, and fine art. Make an appointment to visit Master Trak Sound Recorders, Louisiana’s oldest recording studio. The downtown Crowley music studio was responsible for recording Cajun, Zydeco, and other local roots musicians. Stop off at Mouton Accordions and Music, also in Crowley, to bring home a classic CD of your favorite Cajun band, or even your own Cajun accordion or triangle! Finally, don’t miss the chance to test your dancing skills at the Cajun Country Dance Hall and Restaurant in Church Point, featuring live music and expert Cajun two-steppers happy to show you the way.
Filled with friendly folks and a unique heritage, Acadia Parish represents a break from the ordinary and chance to enjoy exceptional scenery and easy charm. Step into one of America’s best-preserved cultures and prepare to start smiling—this is a happy place. For more tips on planning your Acadia Parish getaway, visit Acadia Tourism.