Acadiana is truly a place like no other. No matter how much you’ve read about its fabulous food, sizzling music, incredible atmosphere and unmatched hospitality, you can’t know the full measure of its uniqueness until you experience it for yourself – until you fill your senses with everything this distinct region of the country has to offer. Even so, we’d like to spend a little time introducing you to the Acadiana area.
Much of contemporary life in Acadiana has been shaped by the experience of our ancestors. Although that history is filled with sadness and tragedy, today’s Cajuns and Creoles embrace and carry on the joie de vivre, faith and carefully kept traditions that helped our ancestors survive and, ultimately, flourish.
The Acadians struggled through years of exile and separation following their expulsion from Acadia (now Nova Scotia). After being shuffled from place to place along the Eastern Seaboard, many of them eventually found their way to south Louisiana and a new life. Our African ancestors endured the tragic history of slavery, but they, too, sustained the will for self-determination. That spirit and perseverance are with us still.
Although steadfast in a belief in honest, hard work, people here also value celebration. And so, you’ll find it’s a rare weekend that doesn’t have a festival being observed somewhere nearby. Our festivals celebrate traditional Acadian and Creole customs and ways of life, as well as food, music and bountiful harvests.
One taste of our Acadiana cooking is all you need to understand what the rest of the country has been talking about. Local chefs have a knack for taking simple ingredients and turning them into something spectacular. From a variety of succulent crawfish dishes and other seafood specialties to a spicy jambalaya and everything in between, serving up good cooking is one of our favorite pastimes.
What better way to experience the atmosphere of Acadiana than through its music? The expression of all that is Cajun and Creole is found in the sounds of the fiddle, accordion, triangle and metal washboard. Traditional tunes, as well as new variations, can be heard at festival performances and in dance halls every weekend. The unique rhythms of Cajun and Zydeco music will grab your heart and send you spinning across the dance floor.
Winding bayous, ethereal swamps, open prairies and tranquil forests provide a diverse landscape for naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts to explore. The dominant feature in Acadiana’s geography is the Atchafalaya Basin Swamp, an enormous wetlands area of uncommon scenic beauty and inhabitated by a diverse population of wildlife. The region offers many opportunities for boating, waterskiing, camping, hiking, freshwater and saltwater fishing, and deer, small game and waterfowl hunting – truly a Sportsman’s Paradise.
To learn more about Acadiana, visit these sites:
Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission
The Daily Advertiser
Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism
Louisiana’s Official State Website