Why do you travel? For many, it is to see new sights, have one-of-a-kind experiences, or to learn something new about the world or even themselves. All of that and more can be found in St. Landry Parish. Stunning outdoor views, food that feeds your soul, and a history that set the stage for Louisiana musicians, will have you itching to plan your next trip.
One of the standout reasons to visit St. Landry Parish lies in the wonders of Louisiana’s iconic ecosystems, four of which are represented in this parish. From towering cypress trees home to our national bird, the bald eagle, to fearsome alligators that prowl the chocolate-colored water of our bayous, there is so much to see. Whether you want to explore the wetlands in a guided tour, kayak along the calm waters of Bayou Teche, or walk the trails through woods and prairieland frozen in time, St. Landry Parish has the opportunities for you.
When you set out to enjoy the outdoors in our parish, be it through our wildlife management areas, prairie restoration sites, or winding waterways, be prepared to spot rare birds. Brightly-colored songbirds, large water birds, and rare raptors wait for you to photograph in their natural habitats. Check out CajunTravel.com/blog for more details about birding in our parish, including a handy checklist that dedicated birders out there can use at your leisure.
With authentic staples of Cajun and Creole cuisine, you won’t go hungry in this part of Louisiana. From boudin to cracklins and crawfish made every way possible, there are flavors you must taste to believe. When it comes to gumbo, every chef and local does it differently. Try this hearty dish, served at nearly every restaurant, and have an entirely new experience each time. Each dish builds upon the other to paint a portrait of the palate of St. Landry Parish.
Here, you can dine with a view of slow-moving bayous, in upscale hidden gems within haunted locales, find the best in drive-through barbecue, or shop local groceries for family-owned, seasoning blends and homemade boudin. There’s a sweet side to our local flavor as well. During Mardi Gras, a vibrant king cake is waiting for you. You can also try beignets at our restaurants who specialize in hearty breakfast and brunch dishes.
St. Landry Parish is filled with amazing artists and makers. With six cultural districts – Deux Bayous in Arnaudville, Eunice, Grand Coteau, Opelousas, Sunset, and Washington – it is impossible to not capture something made with the heart and soul of our residents. The style tends towards bold, stand-out colors in impressionistic, abstract, and whimsical techniques. However, art galleries are just the tip of the artistic brush. From musical instruments, like the frottoir, or musical rubboard, in Sunset, to handmade accordions in Eunice and a master craftsman-trained, fiddle-maker in Arnaudville, our makers are tuned into local musical history.
Two amazing music genres that are internationally recognized, zydeco and Cajun music, originate here. With dedicated fans spanning the world, the music scene is alive and well in St. Landry Parish. It all started with Amédé Ardoin, a statue of whom can be found at the St. Landry Parish Visitor Center in Opelousas. This legendary musician was an accordion virtuoso and early recording artist who laid the foundation for Cajun, Creole and zydeco styles. The sounds of Ardoin and fiddler Dennis McGee are still available online and his influences can be found in every zydeco or Cajun music song.
Find yourself in St. Landry Parish. Our diverse, natural outdoor areas and wildlife, delectable food scene, galleries and makers, and iconic music culture will keep you entertained in the heart of Acadiana, a world that is “Gumbo for Your Soul.”