A blue heron coasts over the backwaters
Handling a small friend at Greenwood Gator Farm and Tours
Houma’s coastal wetlands from above
Moss-draped cypress trees in the bayou
Taking a spin on the Jolly Inn’s dance floor
The LSU float at Mardi Gras
Learning about Cajun history from a guide
The pretty pink exterior of Southdown Museum
Taking in the scenery on a swamp tour
Getting to know some turtles at Wildlife Gardens
- Major Airports:
- Louis Armstrong New Orleans (MSY)
Cajun hospitality in Louisiana’s Bayou Country
Southeastern History & Culture
Bayou Country is all about discovering the joie de vivre, or love of life, that’s ingrained into every aspect of this centuries-old culture. Step right into it on a tour of Southdown, a 19th century sugar plantation manor which also houses the Terrebonne Museum, featuring historical exhibits and artifacts that explore the plantation’s richly complex past. Ardoyne Plantation’s Victorian Gothic design is worth a selfie, but don’t miss seeing the original furniture, art and antiques inside. Set on the banks of a bayou in a shrimping village, Chauvin Sculpture Garden is considered one of the top examples of folk art and sculpture in the world.
Explore Houma’s watery paradise via the Wetlands Cultural Byway, a trail that will take you past shrimp boats in the harbor, over swamps, through stands of cypress trees and up close to historic cabins. For an experience of bayou life like none other, climb aboard the Cajun Man, a swamp boat run by Cajun Man’s Swamp Cruise. You’ll be led deep into the cypress swamps, treated to live Cajun music and regaled with stories of swamp life. Didn’t see enough gators with Cajun Man? There’s a farm for that. Greenwood Gator Farm will take you on a rip-roaring swamp buggy ride, but it’s the farm tour – where you not only learn about gators but hold them – that provides the biggest thrills.
Cajun Cookin’ and Dancin’
In Houma, you’ll find an unbridled love of life, music, food and camaraderie that’s woven itself into a rich, robust and sometimes unexpected tapestry. Case in point: Jolly Inn Cajun Dance Hall, offering live music and dancing every Friday and Saturday night, as well as Cajun cooking and a cozy lounge. Taste the rich flavors of the bayou at local institution A-Bear’s Restaurant, which offers no-fuss down-home fare (think catfish and boudin). The last stop on your culinary tour should be Boudreau & Thibodeau’s Cajun Cooking for slaw, oysters, crawfish and hushpuppies.