Outdoor Adventure and Historic Charm Awaits in St. Martin Parish   

By: TLP's Partners

Discover the natural beauty, charm, and history of Butte La Rose, Henderson, and St. Martinville in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana.

St. Martin Parish is a cultural melting pot that promises a plethora of unique experiences in its charming towns. From Breaux Bridge, the Crawfish Capital of the World, to St. Martinville, the historic site of Evangeline’s story, an epic poem by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, each town in the area has distinct character and attractions to explore. Butte La Rose, Henderson, and St. Martinville are the epitome of Southern hospitality and offer a truly unforgettable Louisiana experience for all who visit. Whether you’re exploring thrilling outdoor wonders, indulging in delectable local cuisine, or immersing yourself in lively festivals and music, these towns offer a unique and unforgettable experience that simply cannot be found anywhere else. 

Butte La Rose and Henderson 

Airboat tour on the Atchafalaya Basin

In the 1930s, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed levees, transforming the expansive Atchafalaya River Basin into a contained spillway. While many settlements flooded, forcing their residents to relocate, Butte La Rose remained resilient on a ridge along the Atchafalaya River, becoming the sole community in St. Martin Parish between the Basin levees. Henderson, on the other hand, emerged with the construction of larger levees ordered by the government. Today, Henderson is renowned for its exceptional freshwater fishing opportunities, where anglers can catch bass, crappie, bream, and more in the picturesque waterways. Visitors can explore the natural wonders of Butte La Rose and Henderson at the Atchafalaya Welcome Center, offering exhibits on the unique flora, fauna, and cultures found in the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, along with amenities like complementary coffee, restrooms, walking trails, and picnic areas. 

No visit to the Atchafalaya Basin is complete without a swamp tour. , a family-owned business in operation since 1999, offers the perfect opportunity to explore Cajun Country by water. Take in the stunning natural beauty of Louisiana up close with a thrilling airboat tour or a leisurely boat cruise, and be amazed by the towering cypress trees and diverse wildlife. If you prefer a personal adventure, McGee’s Swamp Tours allow visitors to rent their own canoe, providing a tranquil day out amidst the surrounding serenity.  

Pat's Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant

After working up an appetite, visitors can savor authentic Cajun flavors at Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant, a beloved Bayou Ami establishment since 1948. Founded by Pat Huval, the restaurant is now operated by his three children, preserving generations of cherished recipes. Chef Jude Huval crafts a menu filled with classics like fried oysters, seafood gumbo, crawfish boulettes, and Pat’s grandmother’s signature camp-style (meaning rustic) shrimp  étouffée. Accompanying the classics are Huval’s unique creations like snapper Patrick, red snapper filets wrapped around jumbo lump crabmeat that’s been baked and smothered in a delightful lemon cream sauce. With dozens of menu items to try, there is always something new to be discovered at Pat’s. 

Elevate your visit to a full-blown vacation by staying at Camp Margaritaville RV Resort, an all-in-one destination that has something for everyone. Enjoy an array of activities such as the outdoor water park, three swimming pools, a hot tub, and pickleball courts. Satiate your appetite at the property’s on-site bars and restaurants that serve island-inspired food and handcrafted cocktails, including two swim-up bars.  

St. Martinville   

Evangeline Monument

St. Martinville is a town steeped in history and cultural significance. Before European and African settlements, Native Americans thrived in the area’s hunting camps along Bayou Teche. In 1765, the Acadians, forcibly displaced from their homesteads in Acadie (present-day Nova Scotia), established a village in St. Martinville, making the town an integral part of Acadian history. Today, St. Martinville proudly preserves its architectural heritage through numerous historical buildings and homes. The city’s vibrant Creole heritage is vividly showcased in its cuisine, culture, and customs.  

On a visit to St. Martinville, several activities offer insight into the town’s rich history and international significance as a symbol of the Acadian legacy. Begin by taking a tour of St. Martin de Tours Church Square, a historic area that houses St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church and the tomb and statue of Evangeline. This church, one of the oldest in America and the third oldest in Louisiana, has played a central role in the religious and cultural activities of St. Martinville since colonial times. For a deeper understanding of the Acadian story, embark on the self-guided Walk with Evangeline Tour. This historical walking tour takes visitors through 10 stations, beginning at Maison Duchamp and ending at the statue of Evangeline, telling of the Acadian exile from Nova Scotia and their journey to St. Martinville. Visit the St. Martinville Cultural Heritage Center, which houses both the African American Museum and the Museum of the Acadian Memorial. 

The Evangeline Oak at Evangeline Oak Park

Several other historic and unique sites are a must-see in St. Martinville. The Evangeline Monument, situated in St. Martin de Tours Church Square, commemorates the beloved Evangeline, the heroine of the famous Longfellow poem. The Perpetual Adoration Garden and the Historic Cemetery surrounding the Acadian Memorial Monument is a notable site, featuring a wall of names  representing the approximately 3,000 Acadian refugees from early Louisiana records. The Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site explores the cultural diversity of the region and the interplay between Acadians, Creoles, Native Americans, Africans, and more. Lastly, don’t miss out on a visit to Evangeline Oak Park, named after the famous poem’s lead character. This park is centered around an ancient live oak tree that has been the most visited spot in St. Martinville since the late 19th century.  

Complete your time in St. Martinville with a stay at the Carriage House Suite, located within the historic Duchamp Opera House. As the oldest surviving opera house in the United States, it offers a truly enchanting stay. With original brick walls dating back almost 200 years and a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, this suite is steeped in rich history. Adding to the allure is the presence of the original carriage on-site, once used to transport guests from Bayou Teche to the opera house.

Plan your visit today at  

trending content

More From Partnered

Leave a Reply

Be the first to comment.