Lafayette, LA is known as "The Hub City" because of its proximity to major roadways heading north, south, east and west that lead locals and visitors to explore smaller towns. Though Lafayette is the largest growing city in the region, a great portion of its rich culture here is driven by surrounding communities, the gems that make up Acadiana. Here are some smaller towns that are a short drive from Lafayette’s city limits and are well worth the trip.

Scott – 5 miles | 13 minutes from Lafayette

The city of Scott's motto is "Where the West Begins and Hospitality Never Ends" and that's pretty fair. Its close proximity to Interstate 10 makes its quaint downtown district accessible to visitors for local shopping, art galleries and boudin, lots and lots of boudin. The title "Boudin Capital of the World" was awarded to Scott by the state of Louisiana about five years ago. And trust me, other communities fought for the sausage crown. Here in town, you can find the rice and meat-filled sausage staple at iconic joints like Billy's Boudin and Cracklin, Don's Specialty Meats, Best Stop Grocery and Early's Supermarket.

Boudin
Photo courtesy of Denny Culbert

Things to Eat, See & Do in Scot

Billy’s Boudin & Cracklin
523 Apollo Rd., Scott, LA 70583
(337) 232-1114

Don’s Specialty Meats
730 I-10 South Frontage Rd., Scott, LA 70583
(337) 234-2528

Best Stop Supermarket
615 Hwy. 93 N, Scott, LA 70583
(337) 233-5805

NuNu’s Supermarket
1410 Saint Mary St., Scott, LA 70583
(337) 234-4592

Floyd Sonnier's Beau Cajun Art Gallery
1010 Saint Mary St., Scott, LA 70583
(337) 237-7104

Gallery Acadie
1011 W Saint Mary, Scott, LA 70506
(337) 298-9097

La Maison Begnaud
110 Benoit Patin Rd., Scott, LA 70583
(337) 269-5155

Martin Accordions
2143 W Willow St., Scott, LA 70583
(337) 232-4001

Broussard – 7.5 miles | 15 minutes from Lafayette

South Lafayette Parish remains one of the fastest growing areas in the state. Most of its new residents are young families, embracing first time homeownership in South Lafayette Parish, an area that was established in the late 1800s. Along with the growing population comes new businesses, new places to eat and drink including one of three breweries in Lafayette Parish. Parish Brewing, located at 229 Jared Drive, offers tours, a cozy tap room and rotating list of brews and local sought-afters such as IPA's Ghost in the Machine and Opus Vert. Nearby are locally owned restaurants like Hook & Boil and Ton's Drive In that serve local cuisine from boiled seafood and raw oysters to plate lunch specials and burgers. What should be noted: Broussard, like many communities in South Louisiana, still carries its century’s old heritage with about 14 percent of its population that still speaks French.

Parish Brewing
Photo courtesy of Parish Brewing

Things to Eat, See & Do in Broussard

Zoosiana
5601 Hwy. 90 E, Broussard, LA 70518
(337) 837-4325

Parish Brewing
229 Jared Dr., Broussard, LA 70518
(337) 330-8602

Hook & Boil
209 N Morgan Ave., Broussard, LA 70518
(337) 330-8443

Ton’s Drive In
101 W Main St., Broussard, LA 70518
(337) 837-6684

Nash’s Restaurant
101 E 2nd St., Broussard, LA 70518
(337) 839-9333

Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn
240 Tubing Rd., Broussard, LA 70518
(337) 837-4011

Breaux Bridge – 9 miles | 10 minutes from Lafayette

Breaux Bridge was given its name from an early Acadian family who built a bridge over the Bayou Teche, a main waterway used during the Acadian's arrival in the 1700s. The bridge over the Teche now celebrates the town's other title, given to it by the Louisiana Legislature in 1959. Yes, without argument, Breaux Bridge is "The Crawfish Capital of the World".  Its downtown district is one of my favorite day trip destinations for a main street walk and bite to eat. Take note, the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is just a few weeks away. A personal anecdote: one Mother's Day brunch a few years back, I brought my visiting mom to Cafe Des Amis. During the meal, the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival Parade rolled down the city's main drag. My elated mother, who is a Florida native, ran outside the restaurant to catch the parade, which was filled with beaming pageant queens, local marching bands and tributes to the beloved shellfish. Mom was immediately smacked in the face with a Moon Pie from a traveling float. This, which I've deemed some sort of cultural baptism, still remains a highlight of her trip. Breaux Bridge's downtown district is worth a visit during any season for shopping, dining, and live music. Check out venues like La Poussiere, Buck & Johnny's Pizzeria and Joie de Vivre Cafe for a weekly live music schedule.

Swamp Tours

Things to Eat, See & Do in Breaux Bridge

La Poussiere
215 Grand Pointe Ave., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 332-1721

Buck & Johnny’s Pizzeria
100 Berard St., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 442-6630

Joie de Vivre Café
107 N Main St., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 442-6354

Bayou Teche Experience
317 E Bridge St., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 366-0337

Bayou Teche Visitors Center
318 E Bridge St., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 332-8500

Cajun Country Swamp Tours
1209 Rookery Rd., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 319-0010

Cajun Works: The Real Cajun Deal
1880 Rees St. #206, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 442-6510

Champagne’s Swamp Tours
1151 Rookery Rd., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 230-4068

Lagniappe Antiques
124 W Bridge St., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 507-2036

Landry’s Seafood House
2942 Grand Pointe Hwy., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 667-6116

Louisiana Marketshops at the 115
2942 Grand Point Hwy., Henderson, LA 70517
(337) 501-6022

Poche’s Market & Restaurant
3015 Main Hwy. # A, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 332-2108

Henderson - 17 miles | 15 minutes from Lafayette

With a population less than 2,000 people, but nearly 40 percent Cajun French (according to Census data), Henderson is Acadiana’s closest gateway into the Atchafalaya Basin. Along the Henderson Levee Road are gems that offer swamp tours, authentic food, drinks and weekend Cajun/Zydeco dances, all with a waterfront view of the largest wetland in the United States.

Turtle's Bar
Image courtesy of Facebook.com/Turtles-BarBasin-Landing

Things to Eat, See & Do in Henderson

Prehistoric Park
1135 N Barn Rd., Henderson, LA 70517
(337) 981-3466

Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf
1008 Henderson Levee Rd., Henderson, LA 70517
(337) 228-7512

Whiskey River Landing
1365 Henderson Levee Rd., Henderson, LA 70517
(337) 228-2277

Turtle’s Bar
1377 Henderson Levee Rd., Henderson, LA 70517
(337) 228-7880

Grand Coteau/Sunset - 15 miles | 21 minutes from Lafayette

Almost two hundred years ago, a Catholic all-girls boarding school was founded by a pair on nuns in south St. Landry Parish. A small community sprung up around the Academy of the Sacred Heart, which has now become a spiritual stopping point for visitors. Grand Coteau is a quaint stopping point for boutique shopping and a bite to eat. It's neighboring town, Sunset, also offers antique shopping and local cuisine.

Academy of the Sacred Heart
Image courtesy of Z28scrambler via Wikipedia.org

Things to Eat, See & Do in Grand Coteau/Sunset

Brent's
234 E M.L.K. Dr., Grand Coteau, LA 70541
(337) 662-4003

Chicory’s Coffee and Cafe
219 E M.L.K. Dr., Grand Coteau, LA 70541
(337) 886-5770

Cafe Josephine
818 Napoleon Ave., Sunset, LA 70584
(337) 662-0008

St. Martinville - 16.3 miles | 26 minutes from Lafayette

St. Martinville is a city in, and the parish seat of, St. Martin Parish. It lies on Bayou Teche and is the third oldest town in Louisiana, with many buildings and homes with historic architecture. The historic St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church and La Maison Duchamp on Main Street are part of the legacy of the Acadian people. The church was dedicated to Martin of Tours in France, where a St Martin de Tours church can be found. St. Martinville is also the site of the "Evangeline Oak", featured in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem about the Acadian expulsion. It is also the site of an African American Museum, and is included as a destination on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail, which was established in 2008.

Statue of Evangeline

Things to Eat, See & Do in St. Martinville

Acadian Memorial Museum
121 S New Market St., St Martinville, LA 70582
(337) 394-2258

St. Martinville Cultural Heritage Center
123 S New Market St., St Martinville, LA 70582
(337) 394-2233

Evangeline Oak
122 Evangeline St., St Martinville, LA 70582
(337) 394-2232

St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church
133 S Main St., St Martinville, LA 70582
(337) 394-6021
SaintMartinDeTours.org

Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site
1200 N Main St., St Martinville, LA 70582
(337) 394-3754

La Maison Duchamp
201 South Main St., St. Martinville, LA 70582
(337) 394-2229

African American Museum
121 S New Market St., Saint Martinville, Louisiana 70582
(337) 394-2273

New Iberia - 20.5 miles | 32 minutes from Lafayette

Iberia Parish is home to the world famous TABASCO Hot Sauce. The McIlhenny Company still operates at its original home on Avery Island, which is a must-do when visiting New Iberia. The Queen City of the Teche is also celebrating the opening of the Church Alley Bike Trial in its historic downtown. This trailhead connector kicks off a 3.2 mile bike trail the city's historic district. The Church Alley Bike Trail also showcases local art and offers nearby shopping and dining along the Bayou Teche.

Shadows on the Teche
Image courtesy of Facebook.com/ShadowsontheTeche/

Things to Eat, See & Do in New Iberia

The Bayou Teche Museum
131 E Main St., New Iberia, LA 70560
(337) 606-5977

Shadows on the Teche
317 E Main St., New Iberia, LA 70560
(337) 369-6446

Avery Island, TABASCO Co., Jungle Gardens
329 Avery Island Rd., Avery Island, LA 70513
(800) 634-9599

Bon Creole
1409 E Saint Peter St., New Iberia, LA 70560
(337) 367-6181

Clementine
113 E Main St., New Iberia, LA 70560
(337) 321-4003

Rip Van Winkle Gardens
5505 Rip Van Winkle Rd., New Iberia, LA 70560
(337) 359-8525

Conrad Rice Mill & Konriko Company
307 Ann St., New Iberia, LA 70560
(800) 551-3245

Abbeville - 21 miles | 37 minutes from Lafayette

Abbeville is a city in and the parish seat of Vermilion Parish. Abbeville is the home of numerous historic buildings including Ovide Broussard House, Chauviere House, Gordy House, Lyons House, Caldwell House, Richard Cattle Auction Barn and the St. Mary Congregational Church to name a few. Abbeville is also home to numerous annual festivals including Daylily Festival and Garden Show, Giant Omelette Celebration, and Louisiana Cattle Festival. You may have also seen Abbeville in films like the 1988 remake of the 1958 film The Blob as well as the Louisiana Story and most recently, True Detective. Most notable residents from Abbeville include songwriter and musician Bobby Charles, country music artist Sammy Kershaw, and businessman and politician Dudley J. LeBlanc.

Steen's Cane Syrup

Things to Eat, See & Do in Abbeville

Historic Downtown Abbeville
101 N State St., Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 898-4110

SHUCKS! Restaurant
701 Port St., Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 898-3311

Abbeville Cultural and Historical Museum
200 N Magdalen Sq., Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 898-4114

Giant Omelette Celebration
N Saint Charles St., Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 344-9232

Sam Guarino Blacksmith Shop Museum
304 S State St., Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 893-8550

Louisiana Military Hall of Fame and Museum
911 Revis Sirmon Loop, Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 898-9645

RiverFront Restaurant
530 Park Ave., Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 893-3070

Erath - 22.5 miles | 39 minutes from Lafayette

Known as the home of “Living Legends”, Erath embraces and preserves the Cajun and Creole culture that defines our area. Like the individuals who operate it, the Acadian Museum of Erath is a must if you want to appreciate the journey of the Acadian people and the area they now call home. You can chat with those people right next door at the Museum Cafe, and if you’re lucky enough to be in town during the summer, their 4th of July celebrations are a can’t-miss. Rip Van Winkle Gardens is only a 5.4 mile drive from Erath...and with peacocks strolling through the gardens and jaw-dropping scenery, you’ll understand why the word “legendary” is used so often in describing these locations.

Rip Van Winkle Gardens
Image courtesy of Facebook.com/rvwgardens/

Things to Eat, See & Do in Erath

Acadian Museum of Erath
102 W Edward St., Erath, LA 70533
(337) 937-0012

The Museum Cafe
102 W Edward St., Erath, LA 70533
(337) 937-0012

Downtown Erath
115 W Edwards, Erath, LA  70533
337-937-8401

Rip Van Winkle Gardens
5505 Rip Van Winkle Rd., New Iberia, LA 70560
(337) 359-8525

Eunice – 40 miles | 47 minutes from Lafayette

Nestled in Acadia and St. Landry parishes is Eunice, the hometown of several of my friends and the beloved live radio program "Rendez-Vous des Cajuns", also known as the Cajun Grand Ol' Opry. Every Saturday night inside the historic Liberty Center of Performing Arts, the evening radio program offers music, performed mostly in French, to a live audience filled with locals and visitors from around the world. Less than $10 gets you in the door to sit, or preferably to dance, to some of the best Cajun and Creole musicians around. If you are in town for the weekend, it's well worth the trip. The city is also home to a number of restaurants and cultural centers, a farmers market, and if you are looking for one heck of a barn dance check out the Lakeview Park and Beach.

Rendez-Vous des Cajuns
Photo courtesy of the Liberty Center for Performing Arts

Things to Eat, See & Do in Eunice

Cajun Music Hall of Fame & Museum
240 S C C Duson St., Eunice, LA 70535
(337) 457-6534

Liberty Center for the Performing Arts
200 Park Ave., Eunice, LA 70535
(337) 457-6577

Lakeview Park & Beach
1717 Veteran Memorial Hwy., Eunice, LA 70535
(337) 457-2881