While South Louisiana is world famous for our sweltering summers and mild spring and fall seasons, we do occasionally have a bit of an actual winter. Frontal patterns and the natural humidity in the air can make 45 degrees feel much colder than it does in a drier climate, driving everyone indoors to find other ways to pass the time. This month, we will be taking you on a multi parish journey to find the best Louisiana winter travel spots on the I-10 corridor to stay toasty and laissez les bon temps rouler!
One of the best things about late winter in Louisiana is early boiled crawfish. Crawfish season typically begins in late January and lasts until temperatures get hot in late May or early June. With their full-bodied seasonings and big flavor, crawfish are a little bit like spicy lobster. The texture is more tender and less chewy, and they are usually served with various sides like vegetables and sausage that have also taken a soak in the boiling pot.
This grand culinary prize requires a little more work, but ask any local…it’s more than worth the time. Some our favorites are Hawk’s in Roberts Cove, Crawfish Town U.S.A. in Henderson, and Crazy Bout Crawfish in Breaux Bridge.
We don’t stock up much firewood in the deep south, but we love a romantic dinner by the fire as much as anyone else. Louisiana is known worldwide for its seafood, and there is no more indulgent presentation of that spicy Louisiana delicacy than a crawfish tail stuffed Filet Mignon.
Take a trip down I-10 to Lafayette to visit Ken and Andrea Veron at Cafe Vermilionville, which is also on the national registry of historic places. Imagine yourself sipping a nice red wine by the fireplace in a 150 year old dining room while you devour the Steak Louis XII. If you aren’t hungry for a whole meal, check out their famous turtle soup, a fresh salad, or some crawfish beignets.
Happy Hour at Turtle's Bar
One of the best known ways to keep warm on a cold Louisiana day is to have a nip of bourbon or whiskey! Our very own Turtle’s Bar boasts spectacular views of the Atchafalaya Basin in a lively and fun-filled atmosphere.
Open year round Wednesday through Friday from 3PM ’til and Saturday and Sunday from 11AM ’til, we carry a large selection of domestic beers and spirits, bloody marys, jello shots and more. Take a chance on our video poker machines, or bundle up with a blanket and your main squeeze on the back patio for unmatched scenery and relaxation.
Plus, you just never know when someone will be whipping up a complimentary gumbo or some delicious jambalaya out back.
Fun With Kids in South Louisiana
There’s nothing like a house full of bored young ones to give you cabin fever. Luckily, South Louisiana boasts a ton of winter travel entertainment options for kids that parents can also enjoy. Recently opened to the public, Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ Surge Entertainment has fun by the busload for the whole family. A bowling alley, batting cages, sports simulators and games will keep you and your family entertained all day long. If you would prefer to stay in St. Martin parish, Cajun Fast Track has a wonderful assortment of kid friendly activities like putt-putt, go karts and arcade games.
Of course, late winter and early spring in South Louisiana are famously associated with Mardi Gras. While New Orleans Mardi Gras is more suitable for adults, Acadiana has several family friendly Mardi Gras parades and festivities suitable for even small children. Check out the Butte La Rose Mardi Gras Parade on February 22nd. For a traditional Cajun Mardi Gras (Courir), travel to the outskirts of rural Acadia parish, where you will see a tradition kept alive for two centuries.