Louisiana’s leading sugar-producing parish—home to three of the state’s eleven operational sugar mills—Iberia is named for the Iberian Peninsula and the Spanish people that settled the area. Located on the Bayou Teche, the parish seat of New Iberia is one of Acadiana’s leading economic and cultural outposts.
It is the birthplace of artist George Rodrigue and the home of James Lee Burke’s fictional detective Dave Robicheaux. A top local travel destination, New Iberia hosts a variety of annual celebrations, including the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival, the World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off, the Acadiana Dragon Boat Races, and El Festival Español de Nueva Iberia.
Nearby, the salt dome of Avery Island has been the home of the McIlhenny family’s Tabasco brand hot sauce since 1868. Avery Island also houses a botanical preserve and bird sanctuary known as Jungle Gardens.
The town of Jeanerette, a sugar capital, once known as “Sugar City,” is home to LeJeune's Bakery, one of the nation’s oldest surviving bakeries (since 1884), and popular purveyor of French bread and ginger cakes.
The parish’s southernmost boundary stretches into the Gulf of Mexico, incorporating Marsh Island, a wild bird refuge and offshore fishing destination.