Cajun Country - Looking for some ideas

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Oct 16th, 2006, 03:38 PM
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Cajun Country - Looking for some ideas

My husband and I are going to New Orleans in late May/early June and are planning to rent a car and take a 3 night side trip through Cajun country - we will have 6 nights in New Orleans and then 3 nights for our side trip before flying home. I am looking for ideas about where to go and what to see, and what town(s) to stay in. We are looking for smaller towns or even cabins/lodges/etc. outside of town. I would like to stay within a 3 hour drive of New Orleans. We will be driving back to the airport on our last day and I don't want to get up too terribly early in the morning to catch our flight

It will just be my husband and me - mid-30s, low key, rather outdoorsy people, interested in history, culture, down-home cooking, relaxation. We will have gotten our fill of nightlife and craziness in New Orleans My husband's hobby is photography so anyplace with something good to take a picture of will suit him just fine.

I have read about the Acadian Village in Lafayette, which sounds really interesting. I would like to include that in our itinerary. I would also like to include a boat trip of some sort to get out in the swamps, see some wildlife and soak up the scenery. When we were in New Orleans before we did a boat tour in Bayou Barataria near Lafite, which was really neat. I don't know what the geography is like along the Gulf, but we would welcome opportunities to swim - I've never swum in the gulf, just the ocean off California. I hear that not all seawater is fridged

Also, of course, we want to take into considerations which areas along the gulf are ready for tourists.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Oct 16th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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Calling BayouGal!
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Oct 16th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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I need to pack for DC, but I'll be back next week and glad to help. Others will be along to offer lots of great advice too. Search mine or Dan's screen name after highlighting Louisiana to get some ideas, too.
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Oct 16th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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If you are interested in Plantation homes you might want to take the River Road Plantation tour. Its not far out of NO. Do a search of Louisiana River Road Plantations for maps and information.

Two and a half hours west of NO is Avery Island. There are beautiful gardens with alligators sunning themselves on the banks. McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco Sauce is also located on the island and gives tours of their plant. You will get a real taste of Cajun accents, the tour guides are locals.

In New Iberia, close by Avery Island is the Konriko Rice Mill, the oldest operating rice mill the the country.

Also in the area is Cypremort Point state park, known affectionatly as "The Cajun Rivera". There is a beach and cabins you can rent. Check early for the cabins because they get reserved far in advance at this time of year. Be warned, that Louisiana beaches are not considered to be that great. Bring mosquito spray, you'll need it.

Jefferson Island is home to Rip Van Winkle Gardens, more beautiful landscaping. It was next to Jefferson Island in Lake Peigneur that a drilling rig pierced the top of the salt dome and drained the lake. There is a short movie about the incident.

I've been to Acadian Village for school field trips and it does a good job of deplicting Cajun Culture.

There is a swamp tour out of Henderson Louisiana that I went on for another field trip that was fun.

I hope you enjoy the trip and the food. I'll try to check back if you have any other questions.
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Oct 16th, 2006, 05:05 PM
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We just had a reunion in Baton Rouge and took a tour to St Francisville. The attendees enjoyed the walking tour of the town and the visit to two plantations afterwards.
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Oct 16th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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Excellent so far. I am really getting excited about exploring this area. I am definitely interested in getting into the outdoors - Cypremort Point state park sounds promising. I am not expecting spectacular beaches or anything. I pretty much just like to go places to see what they are like without necesarily trying to find the best of the best because every place is different and has specific things to recommend it. I imagine that with Florida being so close, Louisiana beaches have a hard time competing - LOL.

Touring the Tabasco plant would be fun too And of course anyplace where you can see alligators sunning themselves is got to be good - LOL.

When we were in New Orleans a few years ago, we toured a couple plantations. That was fun, but I don't know that I would be up for more of that.

Keep the recommendations coming. One question - any good breweries around that area that are open for tours?
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Oct 16th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Check out Abita Brewing company.

The Tabasco tour is fun. Be warned, it will clear out your sinuses.
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Oct 16th, 2006, 07:00 PM
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Hi,

I live in Baton Rouge, which is an hour away from N.O., fun place to visit. A lot to do in N.O., but fun to venture out too! Between Baton Rouge and Lafayette, going to Texas, go up north just a tad off the 1-10 and we have a little town call New Road, oh and before I forget a restaurant where Oprah went to have crab cakes is call Joe Dreyfus rest. which is right off the highway 90. But is you want to see a place to take pictures of some beautiful sunsets is a littel town call New Roads, LA, my brother n law is also a photgrapher and producer, he has taken many pictures here. They have restaurants on the water people do rent out cabin/summer homes. Great seafood rest. to go to. I can email you all night, if I think of anything else. Oh I forgot they have a plantation ome here also called Parlange. I will get back with other ideas. You will get a lot of imout from us down here.
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Oct 16th, 2006, 07:14 PM
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Check out Cafe Des Amis in Breax Bridge - http://www.cafedesamis.com/. They also have a B & B, and if you are staying at the B & B Friday night, then you get preferential seating Sat morning for the Zydeco breakfast. The food is beyond words at Cafe Des Amis. Definitely need reservations for dinner.
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Oct 16th, 2006, 07:17 PM
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Oops, that's Breaux Bridge.
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Oct 17th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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More great info - I love it. Iberia Parish sounds like a good place to base ourselves. Lafayette isn't far away, so we can check out the Acadian Village. Avery Island is there for the Tabasco plant and the gardens - I am looking forward to having my sinuses cleared! And the gulf is close by too. I sent away for the parish visitors guide.

Does anybody have any good recommendation for fiction, memoirs, and the like set in this area? I have read Cane River by Lalita Tademy, which I definitely enjoyed - although that was set further to the north. I just finished The Awakening by Kate Chopin. I am currently reading The Witching Hour by Anne Rice and will most likely read Feast of All Saints before the trip as well. Any recommendations for books set in New Orleans or southern Louisiana would be greatly appreciated.
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Oct 17th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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You might want to rent the movie (if you can find it) "Belizaire the Cajun." It stars Armand Assante. Some of it was shot at Acadiana Village and the accents were pretty true cajun. Much of what comes out of Hollywood portrays Cajuns with a southern drawl. Cajuns have and accent all their own. We don't sound like people from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, North Louisiana, or Georgia for that matter. People from other parts of the country have asked DH and I what country we're from LOL.

You might also want to check out author James Lee Burke's series with Detective Dave Robicheaux (pronounced RO BEE SHOW). Burke has a home in New Iberia and uses real settings in his novels, Victor's Cafeteria on Main Street New Iberia is one.

If I were you, when planning your trip from NO to NI, take Hwy 90 until you connect to Hwy 182, also called The Old Spanish Trail. 182 pretty much follows the Bayou Teche and is more scenic than Hwy 90.

If you plan of staying at Cypremort Point find out if you need to bring groceries. Hurricane Rita damaged the only restaurant and convience store at the Point. Maybe by your trip they will be reopened but it would be good to check ahead. If you like boiled shrimp or crabs you can buy them at The Point.

S. Boudreaux

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Oct 17th, 2006, 06:21 PM
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Read the second post on this thread - I think it's what you are looking for.

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...1&tid=34842955
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Oct 17th, 2006, 08:21 PM
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Crochet House in Houma is a great place to stay. The owners are wonderful and can help you find the greatest places to see. St Francisville is also a lovely place that is chock full of lovely B & Bs. Bed & breakfast is the best way to travel. Innkeepers KNOW the area and the food is the best.
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Oct 18th, 2006, 05:57 AM
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Natchitoches and Baton Rouge are great but I don't think they are part of or represent Cajun Country. That just goes to show how diverse Louisiana is.
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Oct 18th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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There is a wonderful bayou tour near Baton Rouge called Alligator Bayou Tours. It's great and the owners who are the guides are entertaining and very involved in protecting this area. You'll even get to hold an alligator and a nutria! Our out-of-state friends always love this tour!
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Oct 18th, 2006, 08:08 AM
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You could take the River Road one way out and the other way back in. There's more to see on the west side of the river. But we saw an amazing cemetary on the east side - old, old, old - many graves/tombs were in French from the original settlers.

Now pinpointing the location...I think it was in Iberville Parrish at St. Gabriel Catholic Church. There was a large church just to the north of the cemetary.

See if this site gives you more ideas:
http://lariverroad.com/
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Oct 18th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Originally I wanted to go to Natchitoches, but we decided to stick closer to New Orleans. My husband decided that it was too long of a drive when there is tons to see closer in. Iberia Parish seems to really fit the bill. I like the idea of going up the river road a ways and then cutting over toward Lafayette and New Iberia.

Excellent about the Alligator Bayou tours - my husband will be all over that

And thanks for the book recommendations as well. I really like to read books set in areas I am going to travel to - it does a great job of setting the stage. I will check Netflix for the movie as well - if anyone is likely to have it, it is Netflix - LOL.
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Oct 18th, 2006, 10:51 AM
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Originally I wanted to go to Natchitoches, but we decided to stick closer to New Orleans. My husband decided that it was too long of a drive when there is tons to see closer in. The 5 hours of interstate to get to Natchitoches is sort of daunting for him. He isn't much of a road warrior, and I understand. Vacation time is precious and hours in the car are hours not spent sightseeing or relaxing.

Iberia Parish seems to really fit the bill at 2.5 to 3 hours from New Orleans. This way we will have time to take secondary roads if we want to and stop along the way. I like the idea of going up the river road a ways and then cutting over toward Lafayette and New Iberia. I also appreciate the route info to minimize time on the interstate.

The old cemetery in Iberville Parish sounds really interesting.

Excellent about the Alligator Bayou tours - my husband will be all over that

And thanks for the book recommendations as well. I really like to read books set in areas I am going to travel to - it does a great job of setting the stage. I will check Netflix for the movie as well - if anyone is likely to have it, it is Netflix - LOL.

Our lodging budget for this portion of the trip is about $125/night, a little more if breakfast is included in the room rate. I am definitely interested in B&Bs, small hotels/inns, and cottages rather than motels along the highway.
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Oct 18th, 2006, 11:13 AM
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I just did a search for Evergreen Plantation - we sneaked around the back of it once along a dirt road. It has the original slave's quarters underneath giant liveoak trees with Spanish Moss - it's a place that should be experienced; although I think the only way to properly tour it is from a tour that leaves New Orleans - you can't just drive in.

Anyway...a great article is what I found:
http://www.franciscodacosta.com/arti...lantation.html
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