You might be kind of Cajun if …
Houma, just south of New Orleans, is definitely one of those places where the locals walk, talk, act, and live like true Cajuns (because they are, obviously). The distinction between New Orleans Louisiana and Cajun Louisiana became obvious to me following two life-altering events. One was when I married my husband who was born in New Iberia and will occasionally throw around words that are part of his heritage. His favorite expression is to say something has the “mal de tone”, which I can’t find in the Cajun French-English dictionary and he doesn’t know how to spell. It basically means that one is being pouty or has a sour attitude. Whenever he says it, even though I totally acknowledge the legitimacy of the Cajun-French language, I tell him he’s saying “mouthy tone.”
The other life-altering event was reading The Cajun Night before Christmas to my two-and-a-half year-old last December. First, it’s awesome because Santa arrives in an alligator-led skiff on the bayou; secondly, there’s indication that Santa has overindulged in sherry. The entire thing is written in Cajun vernacular, so if you’re able to read this book aloud, you’re at least 50% honorary Cajun. Of course, even if you can’t get past the suggestion that Boudreau fell off his ladder in the story or don’t get why mama sprinkles pepper through the door, that’s no reason to stay away from Houma Louisiana (which easily could have been the setting for the story). In fact, it’s all the more reason to go to there, and check out these fun things to do in Houma.
Top 10 places for ragin’ like a Cajun in Houma
So, in case it hasn’t come off completely clear, Houma is the place to visit if you’re looking to have an authentic Louisiana travel experience. They still have all of the bells and whistles that put New Orleans on the map—Mardi Gras, amazing food, and festivals (to name a few), but they also have swamp tours, rich Southern culture, and limitless fishing opportunities as well. We garantis (guarantee or gwa-ran-tee) you’ll have an authentically awesome Cajun experience visiting these Houma hot spots.
1. Greenwood Gator Farm: You may not recognize these gators from Cajun Night before Christmas, but you may recognize Tim from History Channel’s “Swamp People”. Seeing gators from hatchlings to when they’re big enough to pull Santa’s skiff isn’t something to be missed.
2. Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum: Broaden your cultural horizon learning about the essence of the wetlands to Houma’s culinary and economic sustainability in a beautiful bayou setting.
3. Ardoyne Plantation: This unique Victorian Gothic home built in 1894 is a living historical testament to the Sugarcane Plantation’s rich history.
4. Southdown Plantation: It makes sense for a pink house to be dubbed the “House that Sugar Built.” This 19th century sugar plantation manor house offers fully guided tours not only of the house but also of the on-site slave quarters.
5. Regional Military Museum: Housed in an unassuming location, this museum is packed with more than military memorabilia; tours are led by veteran volunteers whose first-hand accounts of military service add to the authenticity of your experience.
6. Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge: Just six miles south of Houma is this beautiful 4,416 acre refuge, which is home to American alligators, American crocodiles, and bald eagles, to name a few.
7. Mardi Gras: Over a dozen parades, themed floats, and lots of live music courtesy of marching bands, you’ll get the authentic Mardi Gras experience you’ve always dreamed of (but without as many crowds).
8. Swamp Boat Tour: Whether it’s Annie Miller’s Son’s Swamp and Marsh Tours or A Cajun Man’s Swamp Tours & Adventures, the only way to go wrong is not to take one. Experience the resplendent beauty and natural splendor of the bayou first-hand on a swamp tour.
9. The Jolly Inn Cajun Dance Hall: Attend the fais do do (Cajun dance party) every Friday and Sunday and get down like a local.
10. Charter a Fishing Trip: Get on board with Captain Bill Lake and see what you can reel in; Lake is a Houma native, so expect to learn a lot about the area in addition to catching a local swimmer.
So, even if you need a quiz to answer the question of “How Cajun Are You?”, you and your family will definitely feel at home experiencing any of these 10 awesome things to do in Houma.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly, authentic Louisiana vacation where you can get outdoors, enjoy all of the perks of N’awlins, and experience Cajun culture, then set your GPS for Houma. “Like” the Houma Travel Facebook page, and start embracing your inner Cajun while you plan your trip.