Louisiana is loosely referred to as Cajun country, in case you are new here you might be wondering what does that mean? Cajuns are mostly in reference to the Acadians who came to Louisiana during the Le Grand Dérangement. Today, Cajun is used loosely as someone born in the area and is more of a cultural reference. If you and your travel group have set out to see the holy trinity of Cajun travel spots, we’re here to help guide yah. Hold on to your boudin and grab those rain boots, we’re going down Cajun country in ways your maw maw has never seen.
If it’s Cajun you want, this town has it, with a good bit of spice and some southern affection. The city itself was named with love, after the founder’s wife, Eunice. Here in Eunice, it is said that the Garfield’s all over would rejoice because their week starts on a Saturday at The Savoy Music Center, a tradition that started in 1966 and involves good music, and good people. After hitting up the Cajun sound you’ll be hungry and that’s when it’s time for The New Ronnie’s Cajun Cafe. How Cajun is this place? It’s in the name! This restaurant is serving up classics like fried okra and chicken fried steak. If all of this isn’t enough to sell you on the amount of Cajun that exists in Eunice, this is also where Cajun Mardi Gras is held! If you’ve never heard of it, it’s worth looking into, those Cajuns know how to have a good time! Start your Cajun Country adventure off right with a Lagniappe!
This parish was created in 1910 and was home to many French and Acadian colonists. Today, the Cajun remains in many of the areas surrounding restaurants like DI’s Cajun Restaurant, and Cajun Way. Apart from the food which is a staple in the culture, you can view the Mississippi River or check out the Cajun Music Hall of Fame where you can see and learn about the talented Cajuns that have come and gone, leaving their Cajun sound with the world. If music isn’t your thing, (we try not to judge here) there’s also The Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, where you can dive into who the Acadian people are. Head to Evangeline where getting down means getting Cajun!
Another city where Europeans and French Acadians settled is in Gonzales, which didn’t claim itself as the city until 1977. The town is quite small but you better believe there is a reason it’s on this list. Before we get to the rue of the situation, we should bring up one of the city’s unexpected gems, The Dubious Winery, not necessarily the most Cajun thing, but while you’re there you might as well partake in a little wine-tasting. The main ingredient to the city of Gonzales though, is its jambalaya, the city is known for jambalaya so good, there’s even a park named after it. Whether you’re getting your jambalaya fix at Pot & Paddle Jambalaya or the annual fest, this city has the best of it. Don’t take our word for it, try it yourself.
The town of Kaplan originated in 1896 as The Holy Rosary Catholic Church, where most of the people who attended were Acadian. The town was officially named in 1902 after Abrom Kaplan, who bought the Jim Todd Plantation. Today the city of Kaplan runs a small-town charm where you can find Worthmores 5 10 25 Cent Store and the Sam Guarino Blacksmith Shop. What landed this city on the map though is Suire’s grocery & restaurant, which was highlighted in Anthony Bourdain’s Cajun Mardi Gras series. Things to try at this grocery are Cajun staples, like their red beans & rice, gumbo, or a po boy. The city of Kaplan might be small but it has a lot to offer.
European settlers arrived in Thibodaux around the 18th century and in 1808 a trading post and small village named Thibodeauxville was established. The name Thibodeaux was after Henry Schuyler Thibodaux, who was the son of Acadian exiles, and a planter which was important for their booming sugar cane industry. Modern-day Thibodaux is one of the bigger parishes out there, at least when it comes to this list, and has quite a bit to do. You can check out the Bayou Children’s Museum or get creative at The Purple Penguin Art Company. All of that is good and fun but you may wonder what makes this place so Cajun? For starters, the Cajun roots are deeper in Thibodaux than other places, which can be seen in its residents and local restaurants but that’s not all, their Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center is informative and worth seeing. We’ve already mentioned Cajuns love to have a good time which brings us to the Thibodaux festivals like BBQ Bourbon & Blues Fest or the Louisiana Bayou Kings Festival. The city is a bottle of fun and is a must-see on your Cajun country travel trip.
Getting Your Group Around Cajun Country
Now that we’ve got your Cajun itinerary down, let’s figure out transportation. Modern-day transportation can be unreliable, and we don’t want you sweltering in that hot Louisiana sun while trying to figure out a ride situation. Booking a charter bus is the most reliable and luxurious way to travel without the hassle. Book that charter bus and Laissez les bons temps rouler!