St. Landry Parish has a rich cultural history that began long before the formation of the United States. This heritage makes our area of Louisiana home to Cajun, Creole, and Acadian culture. This is reflected in our community festivals, the charm of our historic buildings, and can-do attitudes of our citizens.
We invite you to explore all the communities located within St. Landry Parish by visiting our community’s pages. Each one has a unique character and plenty of reasons to visit.
Arnaudville, “The Jewel on the Teche”, is located near the intersection of interstates 10 and 49, and just north of Lafayette—which is to say— in the belly of Acadiana. Arnaudville is one of the oldest towns in Louisiana and nearly four in 10 people here speak Cajun French at home. The lovely Bayou Teche intersects with Bayou Fuselier in Arnaudville, making the town a perfect locale for anyone also interested a swamp tour or two. Boudin sausage is standard local fare, as is etouffee. Arnaudville fetes this spicy shellfish (or chicken) and rice dish with an annual festival. On the musical front, the Cajun fiddle is associated with Arnaudville. It’s not unusual to hear four-string masters sawing away in spontaneous jam sessions. Arnaudville also supports a thriving arts community, centered in the old part of town. In fact, Arnaudville has become a haven for all types of artists, including musicians,...Learn More »
On the far southern border of St. Landry Parish lies the village of Cankton. For adventurers who’d prefer the road less traveled, this small town is located along scenic Highway 93. Roll the windows down and you just might catch a whiff of the killer barbeque from Moma C’s Cankton Drive Inn. While you’re there, take the opportunity to chat with locals and hear the story of Dr. Louis Aristide “Cank.” As a boy, Guidry would signal his family that he was home from a hunt by using the duck call "Cank, cank, cank." His folks would say, “Cank est revenu,” (Cank is back) and the name stuck. Cankton is centrally located within a few miles of numerous notable Cajun Country cities: Church Point (synonymous with the Courir de Mardi Gras celebration), Scott (the undisputed Boudin Capital of the World), Grand Coteau (home to more than 70 historic homes)...Learn More »
Eunice, LA is the “prairie” Cajun capital of Louisiana. The week here starts on Saturday mornings, with hot boudin sausage, coffee and the open Cajun jam session at Savoy’s Music Center. This 40-year-old tradition, where old hands play alongside up-and-comers, was started by a local accordion-maker and is still going strong. On Saturday evenings, the historic Liberty Theater broadcasts a live Cajun radio show and attendees can spend the night twirling on the dance floor. It makes sense that Eunice would also house the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Here, greats like “Doc” Guidry and “Happy Fats” LeBlanc are commemorated, and the story of Cajun music is told. For the rest of the story, visit the Prairie Cajun Cultural Center, which is one of the few places you’ll find National Park Service rangers alongside Cajun chefs dishing up jambalaya. On any given weekend you can always find a...Learn More »
The Grand Coteau Historic District is one of the few primarily rural districts on the National Register of Historic Places. Grand Coteau is noted for its magnificent trees that form alleys, groves and gardens. Within the district there are over 70 structures designated as architecturally significant. Creole, French, Acadian, Anglo-American and Victorian styles are reflected in the houses, stores and religious institutions. Of special significances is this last category. Grand Coteau and Catholicism have been deeply connected for over 175 years. The Church and retreat centers continue to provide extensive spiritual and educational guidance for the community and visitors from afar. Hear the story and visit the shrine of the Miracle of Grand Coteau at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, then stop to browse the antique and gift shops, or sample the local cuisine. The shops and restaurants, all housed in renovated historic buildings are a treat in...Learn More »
Krotz Springs is located in St. Landry Parish on the banks of the Atchafalaya River. It's known for its artesian spring water that was discovered when settler C W Krotz bought 20,000 acres of woodland in the Atchafalaya Basin. Krotz Springs is in the Prairie Home Cooking region on the Louisiana culinary trail and is known for the French, Creole and Cajun culinary traditions including dishes like gumbos, bisques and fricasseés. Food is a “religion” in this part of the world – from the field to the table that is celebrated with every meal. The town of Krotz Springs sits directly on a major divided state four lane highway. It has a shallow draft port with many planned upgrades in the work for its capacity. The town also sits adjacent artery UP rail system as well as many large capacity pipelines. This infrastructure supports one of their primary supports...Learn More »
Leonville, a town settled by free people of color living on the beautiful Bayou Teche, was named after the Catholic priest who built the settlement's first church in 1898. The city remains a destination for the devout; the grotto at St. Leo's Catholic Church in the center of town is a local visitor attraction. Leonville is located on the outskirts of Opelousas, which means that its Cajun roots run deep. This is an outdoors enthusiast’s paradise. The 50-mile Opelousas Loop of the Louisiana bike trail network runs through Leonville, as does the kayaker- and canoeist-friendly 135-mile-long Bayou Teche National Water Trail. Learn more about Leonville, LA here....Learn More »
This town’s history and commerce are tied to the Atchafalaya River. Historically, the town made its fortune in river commerce and then as a crossing point for the railroad. This history has been lovingly preserved and remnants and photos of those early days can be found at the town’s grocery and hardware store, Cannatella's. This store has been in business for over 100 years serving authentic Italian sausage and muffulettas, a famous Louisiana deli sandwich made with Sicilian sesame bread, an olive tapenade, and cured Italian meats. Biker enthusiasts and fans of the film Easy Rider can get to Melville by way of scenic Highway 105, where the memorable last scene of the film took place. Plan your trip to Melville, LA by clicking here....Learn More »
Opelousas is a popular destination spot. This charming Southern town has 19th-century brick sidewalks lining its historic district and is Louisiana's third-oldest city. Opelousas is part of the state's Main Street Program with its downtown cluster of antique shops, boutiques and restaurants serving Cajun cuisine. Visitors can see antebellum, Victorian and early 20th-century buildings on a walk through town, including the "Hidden Capital of Louisiana," which served as the governor's mansion during the Civil War. A trip to the historic Le Vieux Village, with its 19th-century cottages, Orphan Train exhibit and Jim Bowie display about the famous one-time Opelousas resident, adds historical context to the Cajun and Creole folkways still in such vibrant evidence around the city today, while the Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino is among the city's newest attractions. With a deep Zydeco music tradition, this is also an excellent place to go dancing at a local club...Learn More »
The Village of Palmetto is defined less by boundaries on a map than by the sense of shared values their residents hold dear. Small town values, guided growth, preservation of historical, cultural, and natural heritage are just a few of the core principles that make Village of Palmetto a wonderful place to call home. Located on Hwy. 10, between Melville and Hwy. 71, Palmetto earned its name from the plentiful plants that grow in the area. Before a sign was made for the train depot, fronds of a palmetto plant were nailed to the building. The spirit of early Palmetto is still felt at the community’s general store, which has been open since the 1930s. Discover the Village of Palmetto by clicking here....Learn More »
Port Barre sits right at the point where Bayou Courtableau flows into Bayou Teche. Originally a popular French trading post, Port Barre is considered the birthplace of the Bayou Teche. Today, you can see where Bayou Teche begins and stay at the Bayou Teche RV Park, nestled on the bayou. You’ll also want to stop in at the local grocery to sample some of the best jalapeno, sausage & cheese bread you’ll ever taste. A popular time to visit is in October when hundreds gather for the Tour du Teche, a 133-mile staged marathon for canoes and kayaks of all sizes. Click here to explore Port Barre....Learn More »
Sunset is the "Rubboard Capital of the World" as proclaimed by the 2014 Louisiana Legislature via Resolution SRC81. A rubboard is only one of four musical instruments founded in the United States, and lifelong resident Tee Don Landry and his family are the reason for this designation. To date, he has handmade 2,200 rubboards and keeps a map of where each one calls home. In addition to making its’ mark on music culture, Sunset is known for its contributions to the agricultural industry as a leading producer of sweet potatoes. But today it is also known for a popular horticultural event, The Celebration of Herbs and Gardens. Held each May, the Sunset Garden Club hosts this daylong event. Seventy-five vendors display native plants, herbs, vegetable plants, yard art and herbal products. Just on the outskirts of town and well worth the drive, is Chretien Point Plantation. Once the center...Learn More »
The town of Washington, the third-oldest settlement in Louisiana, is a former French trading post that flourished thanks to the river the bayou that runs through it. The town was founded in 1720 on the banks of Bayou Courtableau, and eventually rose in prominence as a steamboat port that brought cattle, sugar and other farm goods from Cajun Country to markets in New Orleans. The last steamboat left Washington in 1900, leaving behind homes and warehouses that today form the heart of the town's historic district. In fact, 80 percent of the city is on the National Historic Registry. See one of those historic buildings from the inside by dining at Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant, or choose from one of the city's bed and breakfast accommodations. Washington is also a destination for cyclists—check out the Washington-Breaux Bridge Trail or the Washington to Eunice to Sunset Trail for details for examples...Learn More »