Acadiana is a vast region emcompassing 22 parishes in French Louisiana in the southern part of the state. It stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to about miles inland, and covers about 14, square miles. The Acadiana geography consists low gentle hills to the north, prairies, and marshes, swamps and bayous closer to the Gulf coast. Rice, sugar cane, and soybeans are the dominant agricultural crops. Acadiana is the name given to the traditional twenty-two parish Cajun homeland, which in the Louisiana state legislature officially recognized for its unique Cajun and Acadian heritage per House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution No.
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Acadiana is a region of Louisiana , in the south and south west of the state. It is sometimes called "Cajun Country", noted for its distinctive culture. This is the birthplace of Cajun cuisine, Cajun music, and Zydeco music. From west to east, Acadiana can be broken into five distinct and unique regions, where Cajun and Creole peoples adapted unique aspects from their environment.
Acadiana is a reference to the large population of Acadians , descendants of French speakers expelled from Nova Scotia by the British. While the Cajuns are the dominant population of the region, since early in its history the region has also included Native Americans, Germans, Spanish, French Creoles, and Creoles of Color, all of whom made their contribution to creating Acadiana.
Many more people have contributed more recently to the vibrant region with its unique culture, dialects, and food. While locals were long proud of their traditions, in the early 20th century Cajuns were often looked down on. A fortunate change came about in the last third of the 20th century, when a new widespread appreciation of Cajun culture developed, especially for its music and food. Roman Catholicism is the majority religion in Acadiana, which makes it stand out together with Greater New Orleans in contrast to the rest of the largely Evangelical Protestant South.
Acadiana is home to the majority of Louisiana's Francophones. The vast majority of people in Acadiana can speak English, though some older Cadiens in rural areas may only speak French. Visitors from other English- or French-speaking regions may struggle with stronger local accents.
The dialect of French spoken by the Francophones of Acadiana is essentially the same as the one spoken in New Brunswick and other Acadian areas of Canada. Communication in French between Cajuns and residents of France or Quebec usually requires some effort. Other towns have small airports that are only served by general aviation. If you are in New Orleans, there are tour buses and limo services that can bring you to the area. If you want to travel at your own pace, you should bring your own vehicle or rental car.
Tour bus companies are great, but you sign up for a specific itinerary. Found along both banks of the Mississippi are a number of historic plantations, dating back to the s. Some of these are open to the public, ranging from non-profit educational facilities to commercial tourist attractions with major amenities. Pre-Civil War, there were hundreds of wealthy plantations along this trail, growing mostly sugar cane. Most are gone today, but locals have worked diligently to keep the remaining plantations viable and open to the public for visitation.
Listen -- and dance to -- some Cajun and Zydeco music. There are dance halls and clubs in cities and towns, and some scattered in more remote locations people drive for miles to get to. A few of the more noted ones are:.
Real Cajun food! Acadiana is the birthplace of Cajun food. Much of what is labeled "Cajun" elsewhere including other parts of Louisiana! Not to be confused with the Creole style of cooking native to New Orleans , Cajun food is more provincial and less glamorous that its counterpart to the east.
Equally rich to Creole food, Cajun dishes are often spicier as well. Cajun food also does not rely on the Tomato to the same degree as Creole food, and in foods common in both cuisines, the Cajun version is often a brown color compared to the Crole's red version. Some of the more notable Cajun food that visitors should sample in Acadiana are:.
In addition to these several true Cajun dishes, there are many other items which are unique to Acadiana and can be found, at least in an authentic form, no where else in the world, as well as beloved Southern dishes such as fried chicken and frog legs. Many enjoy a cold beer with Cajun food or music.
Lafayette's Parish Brewing Company concentrates on quality small batch brews, including the popular Canebrake wheat beer brewed with local sugarcane. As in all of Louisiana, whiskey is also popular. While famous for its drive-through daiquiri shops, Louisiana does have an open container law - please wait until you've reached your destination to crack open that frozen deliciousness.
When you tour a plantation, depending on the plantation's own rules, visitors over age 21 may purchase an alcoholic beverage and drink it while taking a tour, walking the grounds, etc. This is also true for some swamp tours and golf outings. Subregions [ edit ]. The Cajun Prairie The prairie region, between the rivers and bayous to the east and the marshes to southwest, forms a unique geographic component in an area covered largely by watery regions.
Comprised of Acadia, Evangeline, and St. Landry Parishes. The region centers around Lafayette , the fourth largest city in Louisiana. Comprised of Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, and Vermilion Parishes. River Parishes The parishes on the west bank of the Mississippi River forms this region.
Most cities and settlements are along the river. The more southern parishes form an area known as the "Acadian Coast.
Charles, St. James, St. Coastal Acadiana The parishes in southeastern Acadiana that are closest to the coast and have a largely wetlands environment.
The city of Houma is often called the "Venice of America," due to the amount of canals and wetlands surroundings. Culture here largely revolves around fishing and water subsistence, and has a strong economy based on offshore petroleum drilling.
Comprised of Assumption, Lafourche, St. Mary, and Terrebonne Parishes. This travel guide to Acadiana is an outline and may need more content. It has a template , but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow! Namespaces Page Discussion. Views Read Edit View history.
Tourist office Random page. In other languages Add links. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikipedia. This travel guide page was last edited at , on 9 October by Wikivoyage user The dog2.
File:Acadiana Louisiana region map.svg
In , the Louisiana legislature adopted House Concurrent Resolution , which officially dubbed as Acadiana a twenty-two parish region of southern Louisiana. The area's name recognizes the region's historic role as the area in which approximately 3, Acadian refugees sought sanctuary after a massive ethnic-cleansing operation in present-day Nova Scotia. The refugees' descendants are now called Cajuns, and the region is still home to the nation's largest concentration of Cajuns. Acadiana, however, is also home to the country's largest rural Creole population. Acadiana is the cradle of Cajun music, Zydeco, and Cajun cuisine. The region maintains perhaps America's highest culinary standards and boasts an exceptionally high concentration of excellent restaurants. For a guide to each parish's cultural resources, use the map below.
From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. File information. Structured data. Captions English Add a one-line explanation of what this file represents. Summary [ edit ] Description Acadiana Louisiana region map. I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following licenses:.
Acadiana by Parish
North America. Lafayette Lafayette is a city in Louisiana. It's the unofficial capital of Acadiana or Cajun Country. Lake Charles Lake Charles is in the Acadiana region of Louisiana and is well known for gaming and the great outdoors, culinary delights and rhythm and blues. Photo: Team at Carnaval. Opelousas Opelousas is the parish seat of St.
Acadiana, or The Heart of Acadiana is the official name given to the French Louisiana region that is home to a large Francophone population. Many are of Acadian descent and are now identified as Cajun. Of the 64 parishes that make up the U. Named for the original French-Canadian provincial home of the Acadian exiles, Acadia Parish is the heart of Cajun prairie country.