Zydeco Cajun Prairie Byway

Length: 283 miles

Time to Allow: One to two days for a self-guided tour

List View / Map View

1
Crowley Motor Company Rice Interpretive Center J. D. Miller Music Recording Studio Museum
425 North Parkerson Ave
Tel: 
337-783-0824
2
Kelly's Landing Agricultural Museum & Aqua Culture Tour
1109 Robert's Cove Road
Tel: 
337-788-0546 or 337-263-5520
3
Budden's Store
165 West Railroad Avenue
Tel: 
337-623-4711
4
Crooked Creek Recreation Park
1300 Sandy Beach
Tel: 
337-599-2661
5
St. Landry Visitor and Information Center
978 Kennerson Road, I-49 exit 23
Tel: 
337-948-8004
6
Louisiana Swamp Pop Museum
205 North West Railroad Ave.
Tel: 
337-363-0900
7
Worthmore's 5-10-25 Cent Store
100 West Louisiana Avenue
Tel: 
337-334-3763
8
Fred's Lounge
420 6th St
Tel: 
337-468-5411
9
Candyland Cottage & Ice Cream Shoppe
1319 The Boulevard
Tel: 
337-334-7210
10
Le Vieux Moulin Fine Arts & Gift Shop
402 Canal Street
Tel: 
337-864-1200
11
Downtown Eunice
12
Le Vieux Village and Louisiana Orphan Train Museum

Overview

Looking for a driving tour that sounds as good as it looks? The Zydeco Cajun Prairie Byway pays tribute to the music of south Louisiana, touching many iconic music spots while ambling through serene, rolling prairies. You’ll pass crawfish farms, sweet potato fields and pastures where beef cattle and saddle horses graze. A ride along this byway also illustrates why Louisiana is well-known for its many festivals. The towns along the route hold celebrations to honor everything from cotton to cracklins. The byway consists of three loops and a spur, so visitors have their choice of routes. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:

Mamou to Ville Platte

Mamou calls itself the “Cajun Music Capital of the World” and holds a music festival each August. Don’t miss Fred’s Lounge, where Cajun music and dancing are a Saturday morning ritual. In nearby Pine Prairie, stop at Guillory’s Grocery and Specialty Meats to load up on cracklins and locally made sausages. This loop ends in Ville Platte, home to the 6,400-acre Chicot State Park, with its playground, swimming pool, fishing and boating facilities, and the Louisiana State Arboretum. Here you’ll find hundreds of indigenous plants, from sycamores to orchids, along with white-tailed deer, wild turkey and many types of birds.

Eunice to Church Point

This loop begins in Eunice, home to the Cajun French Music Hall of Fame and Museum. At Liberty Theater, a 1924 vaudeville house, the radio and television musical program “Rendezvous des Cajuns” is broadcast live. Other spots to see include the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, part of the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve. As you move into one of Louisiana’s prime rice-growing areas, your next stop is Crowley, home to the Historic Rice Theatre and Rice Interpretive Center, an auto museum and the J.D. Miller Music Museum. The loop ends in Church Point, where you can see the Vieux Presbytere (Old Rectory), which dates to 1887.

Washington to Opelousas

Few towns contain as many historic structures as Washington, where 80 percent of the town’s buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. For most of the 19th century, Washington was the largest inland port between New Orleans and St. Louis. Buildings like the Steamboat Warehouse (now a restaurant) recall the town’s past prominence. Another beautiful stop along this loop is Grand Coteau, founded in 1776 and known for its live oak allees and the historic Academy of the Sacred Heart. This loop ends in Opelousas, the birthplace of musician Clifton Chenier and considered by many to be the home of zydeco. Locals like to eat at the Palace Café, a simple eatery in business since 1927. Try the chicken-fried steak or anything crawfish. The town’s Creole Heritage Folklife Center illustrates the story of the region’s African-American community.

Washington to Krotz Springs

This short spur takes you through Palmetto – home of Budden’s General Store, which opened in 1934 – on the way to Krotz Springs, a former sawmill town.

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Image and Video

  • Liberty Theater on the Louisiana Zydeco Cajun Prairie Byway