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Bienvenue! Vermilion Parish is easily accessible from Lafayette via Hwy. 167, Lake Charles and New Iberia via Hwy. 14, Jennings via Hwy. 26 and Crowley via Hwy. 13. Which ever way you enter our parish, these suggested itineraries will allow you to experience "the most Cajun place on earth". Enjoy your stay and please come back again and again.

Gueydan: "The Duck Capital of America"

If you are visiting Vermilion Parish from the west, your first stop should be Patti's Book Nook & Coffee Corner. Located in downtown Gueydan, Patti's Book Nook & Coffee Corner, is the only full-service bookstore between Lafayette and Lake Charles. They also have freshly ground and brewed Community Coffee and cappuccino, sweet dough pies, biscotti and more. Patti's also has tourist information and computer service available. Open Tuesday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 337-536-6600. 410 Second St., Gueydan, LA 70542

Around the corner from Patti's Book Nook & Coffee Corner is the Gueydan Museum. Located in the old Gueydan Bank building, c. 1902, the museum houses a permanent collection of rare photographs and artifacts from Gueydan's early days, as well as, changing art exhibits from local artists. Open Wednesday thru Friday 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Allow 30 minutes to 1 hour for tour. 337-536-0443. 212 Main St., Gueydan, LA 70542

For the nature enthusiasts, Gueydan and the southern areas of Vermilion Parish are known for its birding. Pick up an America's Wetlands Birding Trail brochure and map at the Patti's Book Nook or the Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission.

Kaplan: "Gateway to Acadiana's Coastal Wetlands"

Once you've finished in Gueydan, travel east on Hwy. 14 to the Town of Kaplan. Make sure you visit Le Musée de Kaplan located on Cushing Blvd. The museum features displays on the history and culture of Kaplan and its people as well as rotating art exhibits. A free self-guided or personal tour is offered. Open Wednesday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 337-643-1528. Allow 30 minutes to 1 hour for tour. 405 N. Cushing Blvd., Kaplan, LA 70548

Located on Hwy. 14, Comeaux's French Market features homegrown, seasonal fruits and vegetables, local products, preserves and jellies and more. Open during the day. 337-643-6759. 301 W. Veterans Memorial Dr., Kaplan, LA 70548

If you've worked up an appetite, then head south on Hwy. 35 to Suire's Grocery and Restaurant. A local favorite, Suire's serves home cooked Cajun meals in a casual, family setting. Make sure to try their famous turtle sauce piquant or made from scratch desserts. They also have many menu items packaged for you to take with you. Open Monday thru Saturday. 337-643-8911. 13923 Hwy. 35, Kaplan, LA 70548

Abbeville: "Someplace Special on the Bayou"

Centrally located at the intersection of Hwys. 167 and 14, Abbeville is the parish seat of Vermilion Parish. Downtown Abbeville is home to many locally-owned seafood restaurants. If you're in the mood for salty, topless oysters, fried seafood or an overstuffed po-boy, then you've come to the right place. Most restaurants are open for lunch and dinner, so feel free to drop in for supper if you are still full from Suire's Grocery. To work off your meal, take a Historic Downtown Walking Tour. Tour guides will provide some of Abbeville's history as you tour the Courthouse, St. Mary Magdalen Church and cemetery, Magdalen Square and other historic buildings in downtown. Tours are free, but please call in advance to schedule, 337-898-4110 or 337-898-0336. Allow 1 hour and 30 minutes for tour. After you have learned about our city's history, browse through some of the retail shops in the downtown area that sell items ranging from small collectibles and fine furnishings to home decor and gifts. Several shops sell locally made products, cookbooks and souvenirs so you can take home a little bit of Vermilion Parish.

After you tour the downtown area, visit The Depot at Magdalen Place for souvenirs and to view the railroad museum. The Depot is an 1894 wood frame railroad freight depot the houses a railroad museum, gift shop, tourist information and Cajun products. Free. Open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 337-740-2112. 201 W. Lafayette St., Abbeville, LA 70510

Located across from Magdalen Square and The Depot is the Abbeville Cultural & Historical Museum & Art Gallery. The Museum features rotating exhibits from local artists, as well as exhibits from the Omelette Festival, the Vermilion Historical Society and more. Free. Open Tuesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 337-898-4114. 200 N. Magdalen Sq., Abbeville, LA 70510

Abbeville's newest attraction is the Sam Guarino Blacksmith Shop Museum. The blacksmith shop, c. 1912, was owned by Italian immigrant Sam Guarino and was still in operation until December 31, 2003 when it officially closed its doors. The Guarino family donated the building and all equipment to the City of Abbeville who has spent the last few years converting it into a blacksmith museum. Every part of the museum, including the dirt floor, was moved a few blocks from its original location to the new location on State Street. Free. Open by appointment only. 337-898-4110. 304 S. State St., Abbeville, LA 70510.

Abbeville is home to two live entertainment venues, both housed in historic buildings. Le Bayou Legendaire, located in the old Richard Sale Barn, features live musical performances in a listening, smoke-free atmosphere where the audience can interact with the performers. Call 337-893-5760 or visit www.lebayou.org for a performance schedule. 1307 S. Henry., Abbeville, LA 70510. The Abbey Players Theatre is a non-profit community theater in downtown Abbeville that holds performances throughout the year. Call 337-893-2442 or visit www.abbeyplayers.com for their upcoming production. 206 S. State St., Abbeville, LA 70510

If you are ready to call it a day, Abbeville has several lodging options. From hotels and bed and breakfast inns to RV parks, there are accommodations for every type of traveler. For a complete list of accommodations, contact the Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission, 1905 Veterans Memorial Dr., Abbeville, LA 70510, 337-898-6600 or visit www.MostCajun.com.

Maurice: "Gateway to Vermilion Parish"

For those visitors heading to Lafayette, take time to stop at Touchet's on Hwy. 167. Touchet's is home to the French Jam Sessions held every other Saturday. Sit back and enjoy the music from beginners to accomplished musicians or take a spin on the dance floor, it's up to you. Call 337-893-9882 for a schedule of jam sessions. 7460 Hwy. 167, Maurice, LA 70555

Right before you arrive in Maurice, take a right at the caution light to visit Vivian Alexander Gallery & Museum. Vivian Alexander might be one of Vermilion Parish's best-kept secrets. Tour the gallery, located on the Vermilion River, and view the fabulous egg purses and other elegant objects d'art on display, all of which is for sale. Also on display are the Ocean's 12 piece commissioned by Warner Bros. and the Smirnoff egg commissioned by Smirnoff Vodka. Call 337-898-0803 to schedule a free tour. Allow 30 minutes for the tour. 6165 Picard Ln., Maurice, LA 70555

Also located in Maurice is Hebert's Specialty Meats. Home of the stuffed deboned chickens, Hebert's also carries fresh sausage, seafood pies, boudin and other Cajun items. Hebert's doesn't ship items, so bring an ice chest to take a bit of Cajun cooking home with you! Open Monday thru Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to noon. 337-893-5062. 8212 Maurice Ave., Maurice, LA 70555

For a bite to eat before going into Lafayette, The Villager is a great stop for po-boys and Soop's Restaurant has many Cajun favorites such as fried seafood, etouffee, gumbo and more. If you're not hungry, but just looking for a cold beer, stop in at City Bar, "World Famous Saloon". Established in 1927, City Bar is a favorite among locals.

Erath: "Home of the Erath 4th of July Festival"

Located ten minutes east of Abbeville on Hwy. 14, is the Town of Erath. Once home to a thriving sugar mill, this quiet community is proud of its French culture. Many residents still speak Cajun French and you can see it written on many of the street signs around town. On every other Saturday, enjoy live French and Cajun music at the Museum Café from 2 to 6 p.m. Call 337-937-0012 for a schedule. 102 E. Edwards St., Erath, LA 70533

For a glimpse into the life of the early Acadiens, visit the Acadian Museum of Erath. This museum has numerous displays and artifacts on the life and culture of the people who settled in this area from Nova Scotia. Open Monday thru Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. or by appointment. Tours are free and can be scheduled by calling 337-937-5468. Allow 30 minutes to 1hour tour. 203 S. Broadway St., Erath, LA 70533

Before continuing on your journey through the parish, grab a bite to eat MooNoo's , home of the "Best Hamburger in Vermilion Parish," or dig in to a pile of boiled seafood at Big John's or T-Bob's. If you'd prefer to pick your own seafood to boil, stop by Harvest Seafood where they raise crabs and seafood all kept alive in special filtration tanks. At Harvest Seafood, you can also fish in the on-site fishing pond.

South of Erath on Hwy. 330 is Don's Boat Landing. Located on the Boston Bayou, Don's features a boat launch, grocery store, fishing tournaments and entertainment on the weekends. 5515 W. Hwy. 688, Erath, LA 70533

Continue along Hwy. 330 and turn left onto Hwy. 690 to visit the Bancker Grotto. Once the center of four river plantations, this four acre park was the site of the first Roman Catholic Church in the port community of Bancker. The grotto is located on the Vermilion River and is a haven for birdwatchers. There are spots to picnic and just enjoy serene setting. 18314 Live Oak Rd., Erath, LA 70533

Delcambre: "Home of the Delcambre Shrimp Festival"

Five minutes to the east of Erath and the first town you will come to if entering Vermilion Parish from New Iberia is the small community of Delcambre. Home to the annual Shrimp Festival, Delcambre is known for its shrimping industry. Walk along the boat docks and view the shrimp boats. If you come during shrimping season, you could buy shrimp straight off the boats.

Intracoastal City

On your way to the southern end of Vermilion Parish, visit the Leland Bowman Lock located in Intracoastal City. The Lock is a great place to watch boats, picnic or do some bird watching. You can also learn about the Intracoastal Canal, a partially man-made canal inland of the Gulf of Mexico, stretching from Texas to Florida, that allows water transportation. It was furthered along after World War II when German subs managed to sink 90 crude carrying boats from Texas to New Orleans in the Gulf off Louisiana waters. This and other history, plus an interesting video can be found at the Lock's main office. The Lock is open during the day and is free to tour. Please call ahead to be allowed into the gates, 337-893-6790. Allow 30 minutes to tour. 16117 LA Hwy. 333, Abbeville, LA 70510

Pecan Island

To view the wildlife that inhabits Vermilion Parish, travel down Hwy. 82 to Pecan Island. As you travel, enjoy the drive on the scenic Jean Lafitte By-Way through marshland inhabited by alligator, deer, nutria and native birds and other waterfowl. This entire area is known for hunting and fishing, so don't hesitate to stop at the roadside turnarounds for a little fishing, crabbing or just to inhale and exhilarate at the beauty of the open marsh and its elusive inhabitants. You will need a Louisiana fishing license to crab, so stop in at Stelly's Grocery on Hwy. 82 before you arrive in Pecan Island. Here, you can also purchase supplies and food for your fishing or crabbing trip.

If you're looking for a place to rest for a while, stop in at Billy's Kitchen, located in the Texaco station. For an overnight stay, Crawfish Haven RV Park is open and accepting visitors. While you're in the area, visit Freshwater City, the home to oil industry docks, the Freshwater Bayou Lock and the Gulf of Mexico. Hwy. 82 will take you into Cameron Parish, then eventually into Texas near Port Arthur.

*This is only a small list of things to in Vermilion Parish. For more information on other fun things to see and do, visit our Activities section.

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