Arrive in Houma, Louisiana Today… Leave a Cajun Tomorrow
Houma, Louisiana is named Bayou Country, but it offers its visitors so much more than just a tour of the swamp. Houma’s activities offer visitors an up-close look at life around the waterways and the vibrant Cajun people.
Adventures in the Bayou
We began our trip of Bayou Country on a swamp tour. Our guide, Jimmy, at Annie Miller’s Son’s Swamp and Marsh Tours, shared with us so much information about the landscape, the vegetation and the beautiful wildlife we saw such as herons and egrets. If you have kids traveling with you and they’re keen to see huge numbers of alligators, I recommend stopping by Greenwood Gator Farm, where we were able to actually hold baby alligators.
Our next stop was downtown Houma, where we walked the boardwalk and visited the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum. This site was extremely interesting and put the boat tour we had just taken into context. Here, I learned all about the life of the early inhabitants of the region, how their industries and life revolved around the bayou – fishing, harvesting oysters, shrimp and crawfish. It was also great to learn the difference between a swamp versus a marsh versus a bayou. It is a very well put together museum that’s great for both adults and children.
Just a few feet from the museum is the Acadian Deportation Cross, a beautiful monument dedicated to the Canadian people who fled to this region of Louisiana. There is a map showing the emigration patterns of Acadians after they were expelled from their native Canada. Learning about the history of the Acadians is crucial to understanding how this region was shaped throughout the decades and helped me gain a deeper appreciation for the local culture, food and even accents as they are today.
Getting to Know the Locals
Perhaps my favourite part of my Houma experience was getting acquainted with the locals. What incredible people are here, ready to share their stories and their culture with you. Be sure to dedicate a night and go to the Jolly Inn, not just for authentic Cajun food, but festive Cajun bands and lots of dancing.
At the end of the evening, you absolutely must stay in a Cajun Homestay. Houma has an incredible network of bed and breakfasts, coordinated by French speaker Audrey George. Being welcomed into a Cajun home by the dynamic Audrey and her sister Maudrey is a unique experience you will never forget. They await you with warm bread right out of the oven, homemade jams and the most delicious beignets. The personal touches beat a night at a hotel any day.
With its beautiful and unique natural landscape, fascinating Acadian history and the most welcoming people, Houma offers the very best of authentic Cajun culture.