Side Trips from New Orleans: Places to Explore


  • Abbeville

    Abbeville has a number of historic buildings and two pretty village squares anchoring the center of downtown. It's a good stop for pleasant walks and for oysters on the half shell, a local obsession. The... Read more

  • Atchafalaya Basin

    The Atchafalaya Basin is an eerily beautiful 800,000-plus-acre swamp wilderness, the storybook version of mystical south Louisiana wetlands. Boating enthusiasts, bird-watchers, photographers, and nature... Read more

  • Avery Island

    The Louisiana coastline is dotted with "hills" or "domes" that sit atop salt mines, and Avery Island is one of these. They are covered with lush vegetation, and because they rise above the surface of the... Read more

  • Breaux Bridge

    A dyed-in-the-wool Cajun town, Breaux Bridge is known as the Crawfish Capital of the World. During the first full weekend in May, the Crawfish Festival draws more than 100,000 visitors to this little village... Read more

  • Erath

  • Eunice

    As home to some of Cajun music's most prominent proponents and establishments, tiny Eunice lays claim to some heft within the Cajun music world. Saturday is the best time to visit: spend the morning at... Read more

  • Grand Coteau

    The tiny village of Grand Coteau may be the most serene place in south Louisiana. Nestled against a sweeping ridge that was a natural levee of the Mississippi River centuries ago ("grand coteau" means... Read more

  • Jefferson Island

    Like Avery Island, Jefferson Island is actually a salt dome.... Read more

  • Lafayette

    Lafayette (pronounced lah-fay-ette), with a population of about 120,000 (the largest city in Cajun Country), is a major center of Cajun life and lore. It's an interesting and enjoyable city, with some... Read more

  • Maurice

    Maurice is considered the gateway to Vermilion Parish, and lies between Lafayette and Abbeville. Many overlook this small town, but it's well worth the stop for Hebert's Specialty Meats' world-famous turducken... Read more

  • New Iberia

    The town of New Iberia is the hub of lower Cajun Country, second only to Lafayette as an arts-and-culture draw. The grand homes of sugarcane planters dominate the residential section of Main Street, just... Read more

  • Opelousas

    In the heart of St. Landry Parish, Opelousas is the third-oldest town in the state—Poste de Opelousas was founded in 1720 by the French as a trading post with the Opelousas Indians. It's a sleepy spot... Read more

  • Plantation Country

    The area designated Plantation Country envelops a parade of plantations along the Great River Road leading west from New Orleans, plus a reservoir of fine old homes north of Baton Rouge, around the town... Read more

  • St. Martinville

    St. Martinville, along winding Bayou Teche, is the heart of Evangeline country. It was founded in 1761 and became a refuge for both Acadians kicked out of Nova Scotia as well as royalists who escaped the... Read more


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