The official name for the French Louisiana region that is made up of, for the most part, a Francophone population, is called Acadiana (named for the French settlers that were exiled from L’Acadie by the British in 1755).
This intrastate region is comprised of 22 of the 64 parishes that make up the state of Louisiana. It’s called Cajun Country, and it’s rich with a culture that can be found nowhere else in this land of ours. Oh, and it’s a great place to explore in your Cruise America rental RV! Central Cajun Country is the heart of it all, and is comprised of seven parishes: Acadia, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermilion. Each parish has its own, distinct flavor, and none of them lack in joie de vivre.
When folks think of Louisiana, most of the time the image that is conjured in their minds is that of miles of bayou, singular French Accents, sawdust-strewn shacks and a whole lot of good food. While all of this exists, there is much more to take advantage of while you’re there. Travelers can land smack-dab in the heart of Cajun living as they work their way among the waterways, villages and ramshackle roadside taverns. They can enjoy the quaint villages, each offering incredible bakeries, historic churches, fresh oysters and regional antiques from the unique, weathered shops.
According to the locals, and to those who have traveled throughout Cajun Country, it’s hard to find a bad meal there. The jambalaya and crawfish étouffée are prepared with a great deal of Cajun pride, and there’s no comparison to their barbeque traditions of cooking their meats “slow and low.”
In the quaint communities along the coast and in the upland prairie, the residents still speak Cajun French, although most of them speak English, too. Once folks finish their work for the day, they often live up to the motto Laissez les bons temps rouler!, which translated means “Let the good times roll!”
Here are a couple of ideas for the RV travelers exploring Cajun Country:
The Louisiana Art & Science Museum in Baton Rouge is an experience for the entire family. While there, don’t miss the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, which houses a 60-foot domed theater. It’s amongst the most advanced multimedia presentation venues in the nation, utilizing an incredible state-of-the-art sound and visual technology. You can learn of the seasonal night skies, as well as the current celestial events. You can travel through the Milky Way, and explore our universe as never before. The museum is full of exhibits, some permanent and some that change. Amongst the regular galleries are the Ancient Egypt, Planet Tower and Universe Gallery.
The largest city in Cajun Country is Lafayette, which lies 136 miles west of New Orleans. It’s a big city in the middle of the countryside. There are all kinds of historical sites to be visited, including the simulated Cajun villages of Vermilionville and Acadian Village. There is an active nightlife, as the city offers a mecca of new restaurants and nightclubs, and it’s buzzing every night!
There is never a lack of places to park your RV in Cajun Country. The whole state is dotted with quality RV parks that are sure to please. There is no better way to travel than in the comfort of a Cruise America class C rental RV, and you won’t ever find yourself bored as you travel through Cajun Country ... unless you want to be bored … then it’s easy!