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Cajun Country

When people think of Louisiana, this – and New Orleans – is the image that comes to mind: miles of bayou, sawdust-strewn shacks, a unique take on French and lots of good food. Welcome to Cajun Country, also called Acadiana for the French settlers exiled from L'Acadie (now Nova Scotia, Canada) by the British in 1755. Cajuns are the largest French-speaking minority in the USA, and while you may not hear French spoken at the grocery store, it's still present in radio shows, church services and the sing-song lilt of local English accents.

It's largely a socially conservative region, but the Cajuns also have a well-deserved reputation for hedonism. It's hard to find a bad meal here; jambalaya (a rice-based dish with tomatoes, sausage and shrimp) and crawfish étouffée are prepared slowly with pride, and if folks aren't fishing, they're probably dancing. Don't expect to sit on the sidelines…allons danson (let's dance).

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Cajun Country.