Bienvenue! Vermilion Parish is easily accessible from Lafayette via Hwy. 167, Lake Charles and New Iberia via Hwy. 14, Jennings via Hwy. 26 and Crowley via Hwy. 13. Which ever way you enter our parish, these suggested itineraries will allow you to experience "the most Cajun place on earth". Enjoy your stay and please come back again and again.
Gueydan: "The Duck Capital of America"
If you are visiting Vermilion Parish from the west, your first stop should be the Gueydan Museum. Located in the old Gueydan Bank building, c. 1902, the museum houses a permanent collection of rare photographs and artifacts from Gueydan's early days, as well as, changing art exhibits from local artists. Open Wednesday thru Friday 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Allow 30 minutes to 1 hour for tour. 337-536-0443. 212 Main St., Gueydan, LA 70542
For the nature enthusiasts, Gueydan and the southern areas of Vermilion Parish are known for its birding. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) provides a two-mile birding and nature trail at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WLWCA) located 7.4 miles south of Gueydan at the end of Hwy. 91. in Vermilion Parish. The trail is open daily from sunrise to sunset and there is no fee or permit required for visitors. Visitor parking spaces are located at the entrance to White Lake WCA, The trail area includes a covered pavilion with tables, two educational kiosks with information on the trail and the species of plants and animals in and around the WCA, and an observation tower located at the southeast corner of the trail. Call 337-536-9400 for information.
Kaplan: "Gateway to Acadiana's Coastal Wetlands"
Once you've finished in Gueydan, travel east on Hwy. 14 to the Town of Kaplan. Make sure you visit Le Musée de Kaplan located on Cushing Blvd. The museum features displays on the history and culture of Kaplan and its people as well as rotating art exhibits. A free self-guided or personal tour is offered. On the last Saturday of the month, the musueum hosts "Coffee and Music" where you can enjoy a free cup of coffee, boudin and other goodies while listening to music by local artists from 9:30-11am. Call for the schedule. Open Wednesday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 337-643-1528. Allow 30 minutes to 1 hour for tour. 405 N. Cushing Blvd., Kaplan, LA 70548
If you've worked up an appetite, then head south on Hwy. 35 to Suire's Grocery and Restaurant. A local favorite, Suire's serves home cooked Cajun meals in a casual, family setting. Make sure to try their famous turtle sauce piquant or made from scratch desserts. They also have many menu items packaged for you to take with you. Open Monday thru Saturday. 337-643-8911. 13923 Hwy. 35, Kaplan, LA 70548
Abbeville: "Someplace Special on the Bayou"
If you are ready to call it a day, Abbeville has several lodging options. From hotels and bed and breakfast inns to RV parks, there are accommodations for every type of traveler. For a complete list of accommodations, contact the Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission, 1905 Veterans Memorial Dr., Abbeville, LA 70510, 337-898-6600 or visit www.MostCajun.com.
Maurice: "Gateway to Vermilion Parish"
For those visitors heading to Lafayette, take time to stop at Touchet's on Hwy. 167. Touchet's is home to the French Jam Sessions held every other Saturday. Sit back and enjoy the music from beginners to accomplished musicians or take a spin on the dance floor, it's up to you. Call 337-893-9882 for a schedule of jam sessions. 7460 Hwy. 167, Maurice, LA 70555
Right before you arrive in Maurice, take a right at the caution light to visit Vivian Alexander Gallery & Museum. Vivian Alexander might be one of Vermilion Parish's best-kept secrets. Tour the gallery, located on the Vermilion River, and view the fabulous egg purses and other elegant objects d'art on display, all of which is for sale. Also on display are the Ocean's 12 piece commissioned by Warner Bros. and the Smirnoff egg commissioned by Smirnoff Vodka. Call 337-898-0803 to schedule a free tour. Allow 30 minutes for the tour. 6165 Picard Ln., Maurice, LA 70555
Also located in Maurice is Hebert's Specialty Meats. Home of the stuffed deboned chickens, Hebert's also carries fresh sausage, seafood pies, boudin and other Cajun items. Hebert's doesn't ship items, so bring an ice chest to take a bit of Cajun cooking home with you! Open Monday thru Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to noon. 337-893-5062. 8212 Maurice Ave., Maurice, LA 70555
For a bite to eat before going into Lafayette, The Villager is a great stop for po-boys and Soop's Restaurant has many Cajun favorites such as fried seafood, etouffee, gumbo and more. If you're not hungry, but just looking for a cold beer, stop in at City Bar, "World Famous Saloon". Established in 1927, City Bar is a favorite among locals.
Erath: "Home of the Erath 4th of July Festival"
Located ten minutes east of Abbeville on Hwy. 14, is the Town of Erath. Once home to a thriving sugar mill, this quiet community is proud of its French culture. Many residents still speak Cajun French and you can see it written on many of the street signs around town. On every other Saturday, enjoy live French and Cajun music at the Museum Café from 2 to 6 p.m. Call 337-937-0012 for a schedule. 102 E. Edwards St., Erath, LA 70533
For a glimpse into the life of the early Acadiens, visit the Acadian Museum of Erath. This museum has numerous displays and artifacts on the life and culture of the people who settled in this area from Nova Scotia. Tours are free and can be scheduled by calling 337-937-5468. Allow 30 minutes to 1hour tour. 203 S. Broadway St., Erath, LA 70533
Before continuing on your journey through the parish, grab a bite to eat MooNoo's , home of the "Best Hamburger in Vermilion Parish," or dig in to a pile of boiled seafood at Big John's or T-Bob's. If you'd prefer to pick your own seafood to boil, stop by Harvest Seafood where they raise crabs and seafood all kept alive in special filtration tanks. At Harvest Seafood, you can also fish in the on-site fishing pond.
South of Erath on Hwy. 330 is Don's Boat Landing. Located on the Boston Bayou, Don's features a boat launch, grocery store, fishing tournaments and entertainment some weekends. 5515 W. Hwy. 688, Erath, LA 70533
Continue along Hwy. 330 and turn left onto Hwy. 690 to visit the Bancker Grotto Memorial Park. Bancker was once a thriving community nestled between four large plantations that comprised the main land holdings of the area. In fact, the entrance to Cade Plantation is located where Hwy 330 turns left in front of the Bancker Grotto and is still slightly visible. The grotto was built on the site where a Catholic Church once stood. To see that church today, you would have to travel to its present location in nearby Henry, where the population of Bancker shifted. The original grotto’s statue of Mary now adorns the front of the Catholic Church in Erath. So, what is the purpose of establishing a grotto here? This cave-like structure, a replica of the Grotto of Lourdes, pays homage to Mary in reference to the children who claimed to have seen her vision after World War II. As you may have guessed, the Catholic Church has played a generous role in shaping our culture. Both the church cemetery that dates to 1897 and the grotto have recently been refurbished and are open to the public. Sit under the oaks for a pleasant picnic and watch the fishermen off the banks of the Vermilion River or simply meditate in the quiet. The beautiful surroundings are a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers There are spots to picnic and just enjoy serene setting. 18314 Live Oak Rd., Erath, LA 70533
Delcambre: "Home of the Delcambre Shrimp Festival"
Five minutes to the east of Erath and the first town you will come to if entering Vermilion Parish from New Iberia is the small community of Delcambre. Home to the annual Delcambre Shrimp Festival, Delcambre is known for its shrimping industry. Local fishermen harvest an abundance of seafood near Delcambre, much of which is served in Vermilion Parish restaurants. The Twin Parish Port Commission, along with the LSU Ag Center and the Louisiana Sea Grant, have created a marketplace where consumers are able to contact fishermen directly to purchase shrimp and other seafood fresh from the dock. Boats dock at the Delcambre Direct Seafood Docks and the Bayou Carlin Cove Boat Landing to sell their catch directly to the public. Quality, wild-caught fresh or frozen Louisiana seafood is available on a seasonal basis. The availability of fresh seafood makes the monthly Delcambre Seafood and Farmers Market one of the most unique farmers market in the country and features food, music, Cajun food and handmade arts and crafts.
Located in Intracoastal City, the Leland Bowman Lock is a great place to watch boats, picnic or do some bird watching. You can also learn about the Intracoastal Canal, a partially man-made canal inland of the Gulf of Mexico, stretching from Texas to Florida, that allows water transportation. It was furthered along after World War II when German subs managed to sink 90 crude carrying boats from Texas to New Orleans in the Gulf off Louisiana waters. This and other history, plus an interesting video can be found at the Lock's main office. The Lock is open during the day and is free to tour. Please call ahead to be allowed into the gates, 337-893-6790. Allow 30 minutes to tour. 16117 LA Hwy. 333, Abbeville, LA 70510
*This is only a small list of things to in Vermilion Parish. For more information on other fun things to see and do, visit our Activities section.