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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.

 

Bayou Wildlife

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.

Fun Fact

Rustic stilt house in the Houma, Louisiana wetlands
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Matthew Noel

The film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” was inspired by life in the Houma area.

Freshly boiled Houma, Louisiana crawfish
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Matthew Noel

The word “Houma” means “red” in the native language of the United Houma Nation, a local Native American tribe, and is said to be a reference to their war emblem, a red crawfish.

The swamps of Houma, Louisiana
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Matthew Noel

Houma was the setting for the "Swamp Thing" comic books.

Hot Air Balloon over Asheville, North Carolina
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A jaunt through Honey Island Swamp
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Destination

Slidell