15 Best Things to Do in Lafourche Parish, LA
"Feeding and Fueling America" is the motto of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana.
In the early 1700s, the Spanish, French, German, and English descendants who lived on the banks of Bayou Lafourche were joined by the Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia.
They built a society called Cajun Country, where they merged their cultures, customs, and heritage.
Many years ago, the first settlers explored and found the Mississippi River’s lower branch – LaFourche Des Chetimachas – now known as LaFourche.
This river divides Terrebonne Parish into two parts, hence its name.
The county’s abundance jumpstarted its agriculture and oil industry.
Aside from crops and livestock, seafood is also one of the products they sell locally or ship in other locations.
Companies that build ships in the fishing and oil industry also thrive in the county.
Their ships are sent worldwide as military vessels.
Despite leaning more on the rural side, you will find a lot of fun things to do in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana.
Visit the E.D. White Historic Site
Located near Thibodaux on the banks of the Bayou Lafourche, the E.D. White Historic Site was home to a former state governor and a former Chief Justice.
These were state governor Edward Douglas White who served from 1835 to 1839 and chief justice Edward Douglas White, Jr. who served from 1910 to 1921.
The structure was built in 1825 with hand-hewn cypress for Guillaume Arcement, a perfect example of the architecture of the Creole plantation.
Edward Douglas White bought the property in 1829 and started the remodeling around 1834, changing the property to make it look more like a Greek Revival style that was famous back then.
One of the exhibits at the E. D. White Historic Site shows the story of Bayou Lafourche’s area and features the White family, Acadian settlers, Chitimacha Indians, sugar cane plantations, and slavery.
Tour this National Historic Landmark and learn about the culture that surrounded the home and its historical structure.
Pay Respects at Our Lady of the Gulf Memorial
The Lady of the Gulf Memorial was built in 2017 as the state’s only Seaman’s Memorial commemorating the people who lost their lives at sea.
The 16-foot statue stands on a pedestal in the waters of Port Fourchon.
Her cloak represents the lives lost at sea, surrounded by the people who have protected the inland.
Memorial nameplates are placed on her pedestal, where you can also add a name of a loved one lost at sea.
Bricks surround the Our Lady of the Gulf memorial in tribute to those who devoted their lives to fishermen, soldiers, and people who love the water.
Join the Lafourche Live Oak Tour
Learn the story of Lafourche Parish through the old oak trees at the Lafourche Live Oak Tour.
Created by William Guion with the support of the Bayou Lafourche Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2017, Lafourche is home to many oak trees that have stood for more than 500 years.
These trees have witnessed events that people only read in books.
More than 400 notable oak trees are registered under the Live Oak Society.
Likewise, more than 100 are at least a century old, growing along the bayou before Columbus even set foot on the country.
Although there are numbers to guide you on tour, you can start from anywhere within the parish.
The sequence starts from north to south starting at the E.D. White Memorial Home.
The state would not be the same if these old trees did not exist.
Enjoy the tour and make sure not to trespass, as some oaks are within private property.
Bring Your Kids to the Bayou Country Children’s Museum
Let your kids learn while playing at the Bayou Country Children’s Museum at Betancourt in Thibodaux.
This museum provides your kids with different recreational learning experiences that impact their development.
This hands-on, interactive museum will also play a critical role in learning new things.
You can find many full-sized activities.
Check out the sugarcane harvester and a Mardi Gras float’s toss beads.
Then, spot waterfowl from a duck blind, a two-story oil platform, a shrimp boat, and even a weather and fire simulation.
Learn about the Bayou’s festivals, culture, food, and agriculture through exhibits that educate, encourage, and inspire the kids to know more about the world.
If you want something to remember this experience, buy not only books and learning toys but also local artists’ artworks and jewelry at their gift shop.
Enjoy Solitude at the Lockport Elevated Wetland Boardwalk
The Lockport Elevated Wetland Boardwalk allows you to walk through fauna and plants and into the area's swamp in the town of Lockport.
Although this family-friendly trail is short, you still have plenty to see!
Stretching 0.5 kilometers, this picturesque trail is a relatively easy journey that only requires an average of five minutes to traverse.
However, people flock here to stroll and spend some time alone during the most tranquil hours of the day.
Curving through the swap, the 440-foot Lockport Elevated Wetland Boardwalk takes you to a scenic setting surrounded by nature.
Louisiana Irises bloom during the spring.
You can get a glimpse of the bald eagle in the fall.
Admire the Holy Mary Shrine
Joffrey Cochennic created the Holy Mary Shrine in the 1970s in Golden Meadow to pay tribute to the miracle he witnessed.
It is said that while praying in a local Roman Catholic Church, the Virgin Mary appeared before him.
Cochennic wrote a letter in 1988, which you can see inside the shrine, telling the story of his encounter.
He wrote that it became a habit for him to stop by the Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church to say some prayers.
One day, he saw Mary looking at him, standing where the statues should have been.
Cochennic recalled how beautiful she was, with deep-blue eyes, looking like a five-foot-eight woman in her twenties.
After he told his wife about what happened, Cochennic built the Holy Mary Shrine to honor the event.
Local art, seating, and a visitor’s book with their stories are inside the shrine.
Feast on Cajun Dishes at the Mudbug Brewery
Founded in 2011, the Mudbug Brewery has proudly served the town of Thibodaux with its great beer and good fun in the most Cajun way possible.
Mudbugs are the home of crawfish, which dwell in wet areas looking like skyscrapers.
As the brewery shares everything Cajun with the community, its five flagship beers have grown strong together with the specialties they host.
Their taproom offers more than 15 taps that serve their seasonal drinks, unique brews, and flagship beers.
The brewmaster, Leith Adams, and his partners, Brance Lloyd and Peter Liechty, make these brews.
Sample their Café au Lait Stout, King Cake Ale, or the Pelican Pilsner, among the many other great beers at Mudbug Brewery.
Enjoy the View at Lafourche - Terrebonne Scenic Overlook
Get an unrestricted view of the stunning Bayou Lafourche at the Lafourche-Terrebonne Scenic Overlook in Raceland.
The Lafourche Parish Council and the Lafourche Parish President, Archi Chaisson, recognized the opportunity to use the area.
They prioritized the project after leaving it dormant for a few years.
Aside from the overlooking pier, they have also included a floating dock for your kayak or paddleboard activities, off-street parking, and picnic tables.
The Lafourche-Terrabonne Scenic Overlook is the perfect place to spend some quiet time alone or bond with your family over packed lunch.
Stroll around St. John’s Historical Cemetery
St. John’s Historical Cemetery, created in 1843 in Thibodaux, is among the National Registry of Historic Places.
The cemetery includes uniquely built tombs representing cultural traditions and past craftsmanship.
Some sculptures have carvings on the granite, making the place look more like a gallery than a cemetery.
People often refer to this place as the ‘sculpture garden.’
Many notable people are buried here.
Some of them are former chief justice and governor of Louisiana Francis Tillou Nicholls, owner of Rienzi Plantation Richard Henry Allen, and native newspaperman-politician Silas T. Grisamore.
Under the oaks also rests war veterans from 1812 up until today.
You can book a group tour at St. John's Historical Cemetery from dawn until dusk if you want something more thrilling.
Remember the Heroes at South Lafourche Veterans Memorial
In Cut Off lies the final resting place of the people who lost their lives for their country, the South Lafourche Veterans Memorial.
Of the 27-acre area, the memorial occupies 11 acres.
The memorial features a 122-foot granite wall with over 3,800 names of people who have honorably served the country.
Past the wall is an elegant fountain that honors the navy.
Further along, you will see the Field of Tears, a gated area dedicated to the soldiers who died in action.
The South Lafourche Veterans Memorial has been a great comfort for co-veterans, believing in the future they had imagined when they risked their lives.
Discover the Acadians at the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center
The Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux tells the history of the Acadians.
The center shares the life of the people who were exiled and settled along the bayou of Louisiana and the distinct culture they have created in the wet area of the parish.
Coming from the Vendee region’s rural areas in the west of France, the people who would become Cajuns first settled in Acadia during the 1600s.
They succeeded as fishers and farmers.
The ownership of Acadian’s colony changed many times over the next century.
Great Britain took control in 1713, but the group did not want to become allies of the British crown.
The British exiled the people of the colony in 1755.
Some found their way to Louisiana by the 1800s.
Permanent exhibits, films, photographs, musical performances, and boat tours should help you know the Cajuns of Louisiana.
Stop by Chine’s Cajun Net Shop
Discover Golden Meadow’s staple store that has served the community since 1966, the Chine’s Cajun Net Shop.
The art of net making has been a tradition of the family of Lawrence “Chine” Terrebonne that has continued over the centuries.
He started making cotton-webbed shrimp nets with his father when he was nine.
Since then, the business has changed dramatically through the years.
They now only serve a sizeable shrimping boat, focusing on creating gorilla nets.
Visitors are invited to learn about creating and fixing nets the Cajun way, offering hands-on demonstrations to understand the art.
See the Laurel Valley Village and Sugar Plantation
The largest sugar plantation complex that survived the 19th and 20th centuries is the Laurel Valley Village and Sugar Plantation in Thibodaux.
Stories about the early settlers of Cajun, slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the tenant-farming system, and the sugarcane industry’s industrialization are part of the plantation’s 200-year history.
The guided tour of the plantation will give you access to the store and the museum, where you will hear the stories of the area and Laurel Valley’s first residents.
You will also hear the history of the plantation from the time of its construction while exploring the villages and several buildings within the property.
Discover the rich history of the Laurel Valley Village and Sugar Plantation.
Feel the Rush at the Cut Off Range Complex
The Cut Off Range Complex is Louisiana’s top shooting range open to the public and the community of Cut Off.
Visitors can access the vertical space measuring 800 yards for a rifle range and one measuring 50 yards for pistols.
Hugh Eymard opened the range in 2013 as Eymard Shooting Academy.
When Eymard passed away in 2016, Lee Bruce acquired the property and operated it as FTS Outdoors.
Then, Meplat Group’s Bossetta purchased the range in mid-2021 and renamed it to Cut Off Range Complex.
The friendly and trained staff will help you enjoy the experience safely.
Check Out the First American Casualty of World War II Memorial
If you want to know the first American to pass away during World War II, go to the First American Casualty of World War II Memorial in Raceland.
The people of Louisiana commemorated the death of Freddi J. Falgout by building him a memorial in his hometown.
The U.S. Navy was neutral during the Battle of Shanghai, but they were nearby and even had a near-miss accidental bomb dropped by the Chinese air force.
On August 20, 1937, the sailors of the Augusta spent their movie night on the deck chosen strategically for its protection from the gunfire around them.
However, an anti-aircraft shell managed to hit the sailors.
Seventeen sailors were wounded, while Seaman First Class Freddi Falgout was the only one killed on the spot.
A small fragment of the shell was lodged in his heart.
Built in 2001, the First American Casualty of World War II meets visitors in the Welcome Center of Lafourche.
Lafourche Parish is so rich in history that you will appreciate whichever town you visit.
You will find hidden gems that touch your heart or tickle your senses due to the stories surrounding the parish and its natural beauty.
Do not forget to add these best things to do in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, to your itinerary!