St. Mary Parish/Cajun Coast

AT A GLANCE

Parish Area

  • Total - 1119 sq. miles
  • Land - 613 sq. miles
  • Water - 506 sq. miles

 

The Cajun Coast is a sampler of everything Louisiana offers; in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere that’s the heart of Cajun hospitality. Drive into the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area along the Bayou Teche Scenic Byway. Explore the exotic beauty of the Atchafalaya, the largest overflow swamp in the US and home to a plethora of wildlife on a swamp tour. Go fishing or canoeing in one of our numerous waterways. Visit our antebellum homes and historic communities along the Coast. Explore our unique museums. Hike, bird watch or photograph nature. Play the Atchafalaya Golf Course at Idlewild, listed fifth in the nation in Golf Digest and among the top 50 in the U. S. by Golf week in 2008 and 2009! Whatever your interest, you’ll find St. Mary Parish is the perfect place to start your Louisiana adventure. Only 90 minutes from New Orleans, Lafayette or Baton Rouge.

St. Mary Parish - Destination Spotlight

Louisiana adventure begins on the relaxed and friendly Cajun Coast. And like our seafood buffets, there is plenty to sample.

Travel the Bayou Teche Scenic Byway, which meanders 125 miles along through the heart of Southern Louisiana. You’ll discover exotic birdlife, plantation homes and historic communities at every bend in the road. Stroll a main street in Franklin that a century hasn’t changed, with over 400 historic properties, many on the National Register.

Celebrate our culture and traditions every year at 16 festivals. Our Shrimp & Petroleum Festival has been cited as one of the best in the nation, offering a four-day extravaganza of family entertainment—with no gate fee! Our Eagle Expo every February offers boat tours to view eagles’ nests and presentations on other wildlife, flora and fauna. April’s Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival in historic Franklin offers guided tours in the refuge for immersing yourself in even more beautiful scenery and wildlife watching. If golf is your game, tee off on the Atchafalaya Golf Course at Idlewild. Golfweek has named it among the top 50 in the nation.

We’re a sportsman’s paradise, so expect great saltwater and freshwater fishing. Experience the beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife of the Atchafalaya National Heritage area firsthand on a swamp tour or explore the seven trails listed in our paddling brochure on a self-guided canoe or kayak adventure. Birdwatchers will enjoy the opportunity to add over 300 species to their life lists, plus alligators and maybe even a Louisiana black bear! A good place to start is the St. Mary Loop of the America’s Wetlands Birding Trail. Or take a boardwalk stroll through the cypress-tupelo swamp of the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge.

To begin planning your adventure, call the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau at 800-256-2931 or visit www.cajuncoast.com.