Local Area Attractions
Avery Island - Tabasco Factory and Jungle Gardens
The home of world-famous TABASCO® Sauce, Avery Island lies about 140 miles west of New Orleans. It's one of five salt dome islands rising above the flat Louisiana Gulf coast. Geologists believe these mysterious elevations were created when a saltwater ocean covering what is now Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi evaporated—leaving behind a vast sheet of salt.
The Acadian Village serves as a monument to the proud culture of the Acadian people. As a folk life museum, it offers an authentic vision of Acadian society in south Louisiana during the 19th century. Period homes of Acadian architecture have been restored to their 19th century appearances and furnished with native Louisiana antiques. A replica of a village store and chapel enhance the atmosphere of a quaint village setting that is surrounded by ten acres of gardens and woodland. Located at Acadian Village, the Mississippi Valley Museum is open to Village visitors without additional charge. A log building resembling a frontier mission of the Mississippi River region, the museum presents a unique combination of Native American artifacts and scenes illustrating missionary experiences among the tribes of the vast territory drained by the Mississippi and its tributaries.
Explore our beautiful swamps with one of several boat companies in the area. They offer anything from pontoon boats for larger groups to flat bottom boats for smaller groups to even air boats. We can help you reserve a spot that works right for you.
Rip Van Winkle Gardens and Historic Joe Jefferson Plantation Home
Rip Van Winkle Gardens is a semi-tropical garden and nature preserve, with historic homes, in a unique setting. The Gardens cover over 20 secluded, rolling acres adjacent to Lake Peigneur. The stately live oak trees throughout provide a majestic umbrella for the floral tapestry beneath them. Literally thousands of blossoms can be seen any day of the year. The centerpiece of Rip Van Winkle Gardens is the historic Joe Jefferson House. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house was built in 1870 by the actor Joe Jefferson, who acquired international fame for his portrayal of the legendary Rip Van Winkle. The rooms are filled with various heirlooms and period pieces, giving visitors the feeling that they have stepped back in time to the Victorian age of elegance and grandeur. The Gallery of the Gardens, Acadiana’s very own art museum, is part of Rip Van Winkle Gardens and features exhibitions from national as well as local collections.
Local Area Activities
We are located in the Heart of Cajun Country. There is so much to see and do in this area its hard to list them all. You have places like Acadian Village, Vermilionville and Jean-Lafitte Cultural Center to learn about our history and long standing culture. Beautiful gardens to explore like Jefferson Island and Avery Island. Historical antebellum homes like Shadows on the Teche. The Spring and Fall are packed full of awesome festivals with lots of great food and music to sample. Speaking of food theres no way to go hungry here in Lafayette. Restaurants on every corner of all varieties. Our food is so good Southern Living named Lafayette as One of the Tastiest Towns in the South!! Grab your fork, make sure your belly is empty and come check some of this out.
We offer self-guided tours where we give you a map and the tour on CD or Cassette. The tour gives you directions, info on the places you are going to see and a bit of history and local humor along the way. It allows you to tour the area at your own pace. They can also be customized some if you are crunched for time. There are 3 different tours to choose from.
Friday Night Jam Sessions
Located across the street from our park is the Begnaud House. Every Friday night they host a Jam Session of local Cajun Artists. Musicians both young and old gather together to share their love of the local music and language. Easy walk from our park. Grab your lawn chair and favorite beverage they love having visitors.
Local Area EventsListing Calendar
"Cajun Style" Mardi Gras
Experience the Old Mardi Gras like it was done years ago in the countryside. Courirs ride horseback from house to house dancing for ingredients to add to the big Gumbo cooking back in town. That night everyone gathers for a taste of that wonderful Gumbo and dance the night away. This event is fun for the whole family.
Lafayette Mardi Gras
Held in February or March. Mardi Gras day is the Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday. Parades and activities throughout the area kick off 2 weekends before Mardi Gras and run till Mardi Gras day. We even have one that passes directly in front of our park. All you need to do is carry your chair up to the park entrance and pick your spot along the road.