By LouisianaTravel.com Staff- From antiques and museums to historic opera houses and Cajun food, get ready to explore a simpler side of Louisiana.
1. Zydeco Cajun Prairie Byway
This driving trail is part of the Louisiana Trails & Byways initiative and the Zydeco Cajun Prairie Byway is among the top trails for music lovers and those looking for a cultural experience unlike any other. This byways jonts through neighboring parishes however stop in Crowley, home to the Historic Rice Theatre and Rice Interpretive Center, an auto museum and the J.D. Miller Music Museum.
2. Crowley Motor Co. & Ford Building
How many cities can claim to have their city hall inside a former car dealership? Crowley can. The Crowley Motor Co. & Ford Building is a former Ford Motor Company Model T dealership dating back to 1920, and is photo-worthy in itself. Inside the building, in addition to Crowley City Hall, you’ll find no fewer than four attractions, including the Rice Interpretive Center, the History of Crowley Museum, the J.D. Miller Music Recording Studio and the Ford Automotive Museum.
3. Historic Rice Theatre
The town of Crowley is so deeply immersed in the rice industry that it even has a theater named after the grain. The Historic Rice Theatre’s gorgeous Art Deco marquee, ringed with neon lights, is one of the town’s most photo-worthy stops. The venue, built in the 1940’s, hosts a wide variety of country, zydeco, Cajun and gospel acts and is open for tours by appointment.
4. Le Vieux Presbytere
The historic house museum known as Le Vieux Presbytere’s story dates to 1883, when a new Roman Catholic parish was established in Church Point. The parish’s 27-year-old priest, arriving from France, built this presbytere (the name for a pastoral home) in 1887. This house is authentically French Creole. It was constructed of bousillage, the name given to a mixture of dried mud, Spanish moss and animal hair that formed the walls of homes from this period. Very few bousillage homes exist today in well-preserved condition. La Vieux Presbytere, open to the public for tours, is one of them
5. C’est Bon Restaurant
No trip to Acadia Parish would be complete without dining at its Cajun restaurants. C’est Bon has been serving home-style Cajun plate lunches since 1986. Plus classics like etouffee, gumbo, po’boys. And don’t miss their seasonal hot boiled seafood offerings like crawfish, crabs and shrimp.
6. Antique Stores
The town of Rayne is a laid-back, traditional Louisiana town with awesome, off-the-beaten-path antique shops. Worthmore’s 5-10-25 Cent Store, built in 1936 and hardly changed since, is a trove of memorabilia and vintage goods. Antiques on the Avenue has souvenirs from yesteryear that you’ll want to take home from your travels. Art Deco objects, vintage cameras and furnishings — you name it. Not only that, but Antiques on the Avenue also sells locally made items including jewelry. Stop by and see what’s in store.
7. Grand Opera House of the South
The Grand Opera House of the South certainly lives up to its name. The immaculately restored performance hall, built in 1901 from Louisiana cypress, pine and oak, once welcomed local Crowley residents as well as visitors passing through town by train. The attention to detail given to the Grand Opera House’s architecture makes it a destination unto itself, down to the hand-painted angel medallions that look down upon guests. Performances range from Louisiana Music Hall of Fame artists and Grammy winning Cajun and zydeco musicians, to family-oriented magical and theatrical performances. Behind-the-scenes tours are offered; check the Grand Opera House’s website for details.
8. Chef Roy’s Frog City Café
Chef Roy’s Frog City Café in Rayne serves authentic Cajun dishes with Chef Roy’s original recipes. Serving up menu items such as fried oysters drizzled with pepper jelly, gumbo, blackened fish with crawfish etouffee, and the Shrimp Morel (jumbo grilled shrimp served over pasta in a creamy bacon and crabmeat sauce) and of course fried frog legs – there’s something for everyone.
9. Golf Courses
Check out golfing, Cajun style, at Bayou Bend Golf & Health Club. This challenging 18-hole, par-71 course offers visitors a chance to see the outdoors and more, with an on-site fitness center, pool, tennis court, restaurant and bar. Or head over to Cajun Pine Golf Club for a fun round or two at this 9-hole golf course.
Grab a sweet treat at Frosto – a 50’s style diner with sundaes, malts, shakes and banana splits. For something savory, try their homemade gumbo, chili daily or home-style Blue Plate specials. They’ve also got lots of sandwich options, including plentiful po’boy and burger variations.
BONUS! Festivals in Acadia Parish
Mardi Gras is already legendary, but have you experienced a Cajun Courir De Gras? These Cajun Mardi Gras traditions bring a whole new perspective to Mardi Gras. Get the full scoop on Cajun Mardi Gras.
And this spring, head to Rayne, the Frog Capital of Louisiana, for their annual Frog Festival packed with live music, food and drink, signature frog racing and jumping contests, Arts & Crafts show, Frog Cookoff, Frog Eating contest, Dance contest, Accordion contest, and the Grand Parade. In the fall, Crowley hosts the annual Rice Festival packed with events, live music, arts and crafts, carnival rides and more.
So pack up the bags and head to Acadia Parish! Learn even more about the attractions, shopping, dining and places to stay.