February 20, 2020

Things to do in Ascension Parish

Things to do in Ascension Parish

It seems like everyone knows about Baton Rouge and New Orleans, but what about what is in between them? Ascension Parish is the perfect melting pot of Native American, Spanish, French, German, Italian, English, African, and Acadian cultures. You’ll find a place where 500 years of history, culture, and tradition have mingled and thrived, leaving unbelievable sights, traditions, and experiences.

Louisiana Travel created a list of the best things to do in Ascension Parish that let every visitor get a taste of its unique culture and culinary traditions.

The Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road

Experience life on a sugarcane plantation in the 1800s at the Houmas House and Gardens. You’ll find a mansion that’s been restored to the antebellum era, which reflects the wealth of the sugarcane farm in its youth. Take a guided mansion tour to explore its 250-year history and learn about the evolution of the structures and style of the mansion, as well as how it became a grand estate. Artwork around the house reflects the plantation life.

Aside from being the oldest and most beautiful estate in the South, Houmas House and Gardens is home to Latil’s Landing Restaurant, The Carriage House Restaurant, and Cafe Burnside. The chef, Jeremy Langlois, has mastered the art of creating delicious recipes utilizing the freshest local ingredients and giving his guests an unforgettable culinary experience.

Donaldsonville’s Historic Portal to the Past

Prefer to explore on your own terms? No problem at all. Experience a blast to the past in Donaldsonville at your own pace by visiting this portal map where you can find seven self-guided portals in the Historic District. You can start anywhere you like, and the route is about 2.5 miles. You can walk, bike, or explore by car! Learn more about Donaldsonville!

Louisiana’s First State Capitol

Donaldsonville, which served as Louisiana’s first state capital from 1829-1831, is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Head to the Historic District to learn about the diverse histories of past Donaldsonville occupants that deserve to be heard. The River Road African American Museum, located on Railroad Avenue, is the perfect place to start. This museum preserves, collects, and exhibits all types of art, artifacts, and buildings as they relate to the history and culture of the African American communities along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.

Head to Farmer Dave’s Frame Shop to see and purchase the art of a local Donaldsonville artist, Alvin Batiste, who focuses his art on life along the Mississippi.

Find the Jambalaya Capital of the World

Jambalaya is a Cajun or Creole dish (depending on the ingredients you use) that is a combination of various meat, rice, vegetables, and seasonings all combined into one pot to make a delicious meal.

Sound yummy? You can head to Gonzalez, Louisiana and eat your way through the annual Jambalaya Festival and World Champion Jambalaya Cooking Contest. Louisianan’s pride themselves on their culinary skills that pay tribute to their culture and heritage, so be prepared for Jambalaya cooked to perfection.

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