Jungle Gardens

Cajun Country

In 1890 Tabasco founder EA McIlhenny started this bird sanctuary on Avery Island. At Jungle Gardens you can drive or walk through 250 acres of moss-covered live oaks and subtropical jungle flora. There’s an amazing array of waterbirds (especially snowy egrets, which nest here in astounding numbers) as well as turtles and alligators.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cajun Country attractions

1. McIlhenny Tabasco Factory


Driving here feels a bit like entering Oz. After stopping and waiting for the gate to lift, you drive onto Avery Island – which isn’t really an island,…

2. Shadows on the Teche

8.69 MILES

This grand, Gothic Greek Revival plantation house sits on the banks of – you guessed it – Bayou Teche, a geographic location that adds to its eerie,…

3. Cypremort Point State Park

12.48 MILES

You can't get more end of the road than Cypremont Point, a lonely, windswept promontory of land buffeted by wind, seagull calls and foam spray off the…

4. Lake Martin

21.01 MILES

This lake – a mossy green dollop surrounded by thin trees and cypress trunks – serves as a wonderful, easily accessible introduction to bayou landscapes…

5. Acadian Village

21.45 MILES

At the understated, educational Acadian Village, you follow a brick path around a rippling bayou to restored houses, craftsman barns and a church. Old…

6. Acadian Cultural Center

21.51 MILES

This National Parks Service museum has extensive exhibits on Cajun culture and is a good entry point for those looking to peer deeper into Acadian…

7. Vermilionville

21.59 MILES

This tranquil, recreated 19th-century Cajun village wends along the bayou near the airport. Friendly, enthusiastic costumed docents explain Cajun, Creole…

8. Children's Museum of Acadiana

22.62 MILES

Lafayette's children's museum is a pretty good spot to kill half a day with younger kids. There's a TV studio, fake dentist office (yay?), bubble 'factory…