St. Martin Parish is “where Cajun began”, and whether you’ve got Cajun connections, are married to a Cajun, or are just Cajun-curious, it’s here that you’ll be able to experience the nature, culture, and flavors that better define that than any Webster or Wikipedia page.
Drink up the experience at Bayou Teche Brewery
Arguably, the flavor of Louisiana is its most distinguished trait, which is why Bayou Teche Brewery’s brewmaster made it his goal to create beers that pair with the Cajun cuisine of his youth. This dream was realized after a six-year deployment to West Germany where regionality was a major focus of cuisine and beers brewed. Thus, what started with brews concocted to pair with family meals became the Bayou Teche Brewery.
So, swing by the brewery located at 1094 Brushville Highway in Amaudville to savor the flavor of the region. Saturdays are the only days for brewery tours, but the Bayou Teche Tap Room is open every day except Sunday and Monday, and there are special events (music, trivia, etc.) on Saturdays.
Empower your creativity at NUNU in Arnaudville
Now that you’ve had a taste of Cajun country’s culinary culture (the sudsy side, anyway), swing by NUNU Arts and Culture Collective in Arnaudville. NUNU is a haven for local art, expression, and special events. Listen to music, watch artists create special pieces, and more. There are several unique galleries that are part of the collective, and at any of these marketplaces you can pick up something interesting that speaks to your inner Cajun.
See food, eat food at Crawfish Town’s Fresh Market
No doubt, all of that art made you hungry (and possibly the beer, too), so make Henderson’s Crawfish Town’s Fresh Market your next stop. Call ahead to order fried turkey, smoked pig, or smoked alligator (be a Cajun … order the alligator). You can also get fresh seafood, meats, seasonings, sweets, and more. Oysters, live crabs, turtle meat, alligator meat, and bouletes (meatballs) by the dozen are among the fresh meats while praline sauce, rum sauce, bread pudding, and beer and wine are among the other delicacies. If cooking is too much trouble, you can always dine at Crawfish Town USA Restaurant.
Play where you stay at Cajun Palms Prehistoric Park
Take all of that fresh seafood back to your digs at the Cajun Palms RV Resort in Henderson. After all, if you’re getting on better terms with your inner Cajun, then you’re staying at a camp (no worries if you don’t have an RV; there are on-site cabins as well).
Anyway, it so happens that this camp is quite decadent with lots of cool to-dos. In addition to the on-side clubhouse, zero entry pool, slides and pool toys, video poker, stocked fishing pond, tiki bar, and new XD theater, right next door is the Prehistoric Park, Louisiana’s only attraction dedicated to dinosaurs. The park is over 12 acres and features 23 dinosaur exhibits, an outdoor exhibition area, a site to dig, animatronic dinosaurs, and more.
… Or stay where you play with Houseboat Adventures in Henderson
Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to get off the grid and to live on a houseboat? Well consider this your lucky day. Houseboat Adventures in Henderson offers the opportunity to do just that. The site’s houseboats are like cabins that float atop the water and sleep four to eight folks. Nestled in the bayou and swamplands, houseboats are remote and intimate, but the area is located close to many other Cajun to-dos in the Henderson area. For example, swamp tours are available nearby (and let’s be honest, how do you stay on a houseboat in the swamp and not do a swamp tour?).
Get blown away (in the best possible way) with Basin Landing Airboat Tours
Speaking of culture and fresh air, there’s no better way to experience Cajun culture than by getting out on the bayou. An Atchafalaya Basin Landing & Marina airboat tour of the Atchafalaya Wilderness Area will reveal the splendor of moss-draped cypress trees, swamp lands, turtles, gators, and other natural wildlife. It’s great fun, but heed this pro tip and reserve your tour in advance.
Find your Cajun treasures at the Louisiana Marketshops at the 115 in Henderson
Before you head out of Henderson, swing by the Louisiana Marketshops at the 115 where Jennifer Casanova handles over 200 regional artists. The marketplace deals in antiques, fine arts, architecturals, jewelry, vintage clothing, farmers market items, painted furniture, camp / swamp décor, collectibles, recycled treasures, and much more. It’s a laid-back space with art inspired by the land where Cajun began, and it’s a perfect place for you to visit to pick up a piece of local creative culture allowing to make your personal space a little more Cajun.