This week Louisiana festival season enters its apex. On Friday the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival kicks off two solid weeks of live music insanity but for us the last week in April is all about Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette.
It’s a great excuse to get out of town and take the back roads through some of the most beautiful parts of our state. Hop in, we’re going on a Cajun joyride.
New Orleans to Lafayette:
Take the scenic route.
I-10W will get you there faster but there’s something special about taking your time along the highways and byways south of the Interstate.
3015 Main Hwy # A, Breaux Bridge, LA
No Southwest Louisiana roadtrip is complete without a stop for boudin and cracklins. Our recommendation on the way into Lafayette is to take River Road to Highway 90 and then cut up through New Iberia and St. Martinville to Poche’s in Breaux Bridge. If you’re feeling like you need to do some heavy eating after all that driving get the plate lunch special. It’s one of the best heavy lunch joints in the entire state.
The Reason We’re Here:
Festival International de Louisiane
Festival International is a free live music festival in the heart of downtown Lafayette. This year’s lineup consists of a solid base of Louisiana acts including Lafayette local favorites GIVERS, Feufollet, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Brass Bed, and a ton of traditional Cajun & Zydeco bands.
True to its name what makes this festival special are the international acts. This year’s highlights include artists from Ukraine, Quebec, Benin, Mali, Mauritania, Uganda, and Honduras amongst other locales (even New Orleans). We like to wander from stage to stage, beer or daiquiri in hand, trying never to hear the same sounds twice.
ALWAYS NEW ORLEANS TOTE
GREEN I LOVE YOU LOUISIANA
While In Lafayette:
Blue Moon Saloon
215 E Convent St, Lafayette, LA
The Blue Moon Saloon is a unique bar that offers live music and also functions as a guesthouse where you can sleep overnight. If you’re lucky enough to get a room here good for you. For the rest of us there is an absolutely killer lineup every night of Festival International weekend.
Things kick off Thursday with Zydeco/blues guitar legend Lil’ Buck Sinegal, C.C. Adcock and Malian guitar king Vieux Farka Touré. Friday night Cajun rock pioneers Lost Bayou Ramblers and Lafayette indie rockers Brass Bed take the stage. Saturday’s closing night features a French inflected double-header; Feufollet and South Louisiana rockers Sweet Crude.
Genterie Supply Co.
408 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA
Genterie is a great store featuring a nice mix of local brands and harder to find American-made brands for men and women.
1111 St. John Street, Lafayette, LA
Johnson’s is an old-fashioned butcher and smokehouse specializing in three of our favorite things; smoked meat, boudin, and barbecue. They also offer a full lunch and dinner menu. Do not leave town without trying the “Parrain Special” a boudin-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich.
3480 NE Evangeline Throughway, Lafayette, LA
Prejean’s is the ultimate overly-hyped tourist trap. The decor and experience are over-the-top in the best way possible, the people and staff are friendly in the way only South Louisiana inhabitants can be, and the food is absolutely amazing.
Lafayette to New Orleans:
615 LA-93, Scott, LA
It’s time to head home, but don’t be sad. Our first stop is a slight jog out of the way to the Best Stop for boudin and cracklins for the drive back. Bring an ice chest with you and fill it up with smoked meat, andouille, and more boudin.
Café Des Amis
140 E Bridge St, Breaux Bridge, LA
If you’re driving back on Saturday morning and you want to keep the adventure rolling stop at the Cafe Des Amis in Breaux Bridge where you’ll find a “Zydeco Breakfast” with live music by J.J. Callier & the Zydeco Knockout.
420 6th St, Mamou, LA
If it’s Saturday morning and you still feel like partying head to Fred’s Lounge in Mamou for a guaranteed good time. Allow yourself to get loose as owner Tante Sue plys you with shots of Hot Damn and links of hot boudin while a live Cajun band plays.