From thrilling excursions to indoor family fun, St. Martin Parish is loaded with activities to make your summer the most memorable one yet.
Feel the wind in your hair as you explore the incredible Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the country, and home to the History Channel’s “Swamp People.” Captain Mark Allemond, with Cajun Customized Excursions, will guide your family on a personalized two-hour excursion through beautiful swamp scenery. Meander around cypress trees and look for owls, egrets, herons, and bald eagles. You’re also sure to see plenty of alligators—two million call Louisiana home.
Just because the kids are out of school doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. The area’s unique culture brings history, literature, art, and music to life. St. Martinville Cultural Heritage Center shares the stories and struggles of early Acadians as well as the arrival of African slaves and free people of color. Nearby is one of the oldest Catholic churches in America, St. Martin de Tours Church. Established by Acadians in 1765, the church features a statue of Evangeline, the Acadian heroine of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem. In Breaux Bridge, the Teche Center for the Arts showcases and preserves Creole and Cajun culture in Acadiana through events, exhibits, and programs. In Arnaudville, Deux Bayous Gallery, a program of NuNu Arts & Culture Collective, showcases local paintings, art, pottery, books, lighting, and creative gifts. Zydeco music can also be heard at a variety of venues around the region, like Buck and Johnny’s in Breaux Bridge on Saturday mornings and Bayou Teche Brewery in Arnaudville on Sunday afternoons.
Small Town Charm
For world-famous Cajun cuisine and great shopping, head to the quaint downtown of Breaux Bridge, named #7 on Southern Living’s list of best food towns. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Tante Marie offers tasty Cajun cuisine, from beignets and boudin to plate lunches and Louisiana seafood. Another popular choice, Cafe Sydnie Mae, offers specialties like Grits and Grillades, Crawfish Hash, Lil Teche Wellington, and Bonnie’s White Chocolate Bread Pudding.
Shop Lagniappe Antiques, where you’ll discover everything from beautiful dishware, fur coats, and fine furnishings to decorative knick-knacks and long-lost treasures. A block down, Pink Alligator offers a funky collection of alligator jewelry, vintage finds, furniture, home decor, and art.
At the end of the day, cool off in the pool at Cajun Palms Resort in Henderson. Cajun Palms also features cabins, RV sites, and two-bedroom condos with access to stocked fishing ponds and a clubhouse. Located on-site is Prehistoric Park, where ginormous animatronic dinosaurs peer through the forest. Next door, Cajun FastTrack offers 68,000 square feet of fun under one roof so you can escape the heat or wait out a summer shower. Everyone in the family will have fun with an arcade, go-karts, bumper cars, a toddler space, laser tag, mini-golf, and a restaurant and bar.
For more information, call the St. Martin Parish Tourist Commission at (337) 442-1597 or visit CajunCountry.org.