Come Celebrate Life The Way We Do
Cities And Towns Along The Byway

Church Point
Crowley
Eunice
Eunice Area
Grand Coteau
Krotz Springs Area
Mamou
Opelousas
Opelousas Area
Rayne
Rayne Area
Sunset
Ville Platte
Ville Platte Area
Washington





When you take the road less traveled, you make the most exciting discoveries. Discover our way of life on the Zydeco-Cajun Prairie Scenic Byway.

Our Heritage
Acadia, Evangeline, and St. Landry parishes are in the heart of a region known as Acadiana—named for the Acadians, the French-speaking Cajuns, who came here centuries ago. Cajun food, music and joie de vivre help define and add spice to prairie life, but Cajuns are only part of a rich cultural mélange found no place else.

Here you will find French families whose ancestors came from Europe to Louisiana with the very first settlers in the early 1700s. Napoleonic soldiers fled here after their leader's exile a century later, adding another layer of French culture. German families from the Midwest plowed the prairies into golden fields of grain. French-speaking Creoles came to Louisiana from Saint-Domingue (Haiti), a once-French Caribbean Island. Others brought African accents to the region. American descendants from practically every European nation flocked to the prairies after the Louisiana Purchase.

One result has been the creation of not one, but three distinct musical traditions, all emanating from the prairies. Cajuns took old Louisiana French music, associated it with the German accordion, and created what is known as "traditional" Cajun music. Creoles took that same early Louisiana French music, associated it with blues, and created a new music called Zydeco. In the 1950s, the sounds of blues, rock and roll, and Louisiana French came together on the prairie to create a unique "swamp pop" sound that swept the nation.

Our Culture
As you visit the communities along the Zydeco-Cajun Prairie Scenic Byway, you can still hear Cajun and Creole French spoken in shops and on the street, take delight in our famous cuisine, and dance to rhythms that run through our very life.

A visit to the Jean Lafitte Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice can provide a rich education into our folklore and folkways. Along the byway you will find architecture ranging from quaint Acadian cottages to gracious antebellum mansions. Sportsmen and photographers alike will relish the unforgettable experience of visiting the Atchafalaya Basin, one of America's last great wilderness wetlands. Campers and fishermen will find delightful diversion at Chicot, Louisiana's largest and most popular state park.

The heart of the Cajun Prairie, Acadia Parish, has some of the most beautiful surroundings imaginable; catch a glimpse of wildlife as they migrate along a recognized fly-way, fields of golden rice, the world's oldest grain, crawfish fields and the many museums and attractions that highlight the culture and heritage of this Louisiana paradise.

Bayous shaded by moss-draped oaks, flooded rice fields glistening in the sun, and prairies ablaze with wildflowers create a feast for the eye.

At Grand Coteau, a shrine to St. John Berchmans commemorates what Catholics believe to be the only verified miracle in North America and it gives testimony to the abiding faith of this area's people.

Old cotton warehouses and railroad depots are reminders of days when steam-powered boats and trains traversed the region and stimulated early commerce.

Our Life
Most visitors to Louisiana are attracted by three things: Our taste-tempting food, our wonderful music, and our lush landscapes. These are the building blocks of the distinctive culture found on the Zydeco-Cajun Prairie Scenic Byway.

The spirit of our people comes to life with each serving of jambalaya, boudin and smoked sausage. And our defining dish, gumbo, brings all of our cultures together in one bowl.

In dance halls dotting the countryside, local musicians offer an infectious music that brings friends and families together each weekend to visit, dance and have a good time. Antique shops and flea markets offer shoppers treasures from the past, while specialty shops feature creations from our local artisans. Hikers, cyclists, and birdwatchers can explore rolling hills and flat prairies, follow bayous and rivers, and tour swamps and woodlands.

Wherever you go you will be captivated by the friendliest people in the world — genuine, hardworking folks who find the time to laugh a little, dance a little, and live a unique way of life to its fullest.

Come celebrate life the way we do!



Interesting Sites And Sounds Along The Byway
Zydeco Cajun Byway Listings
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