For Immediate Release
Brittany Racca
(337) 365-1540
(888) 942-3742
An outdoor staycation
in New Iberia
Lake Peigneur
NEW IBERIA, La. ---  With Louisiana still in Phase 2 and restrictions on events, social gatherings and travel, it sometimes seems difficult to find things to do in our free time these days. Fortunately, Iberia Travel has compiled a list of fun options that are currently available for a safe, socially distant fall staycation in Iberia Parish.

Iberia is located along the Bayou Teche, a 135-mile long waterway and national paddle trail that meanders through New Iberia, Jeanerette and Loreauville.

Life on the bayou has its advantages, from bird watching to kayaking, fishing and even biking and hiking, not to mention the bounty of fresh seafood that comes from Gulf waters.

Plan your own adventure and experience the great outdoors in Iberia Parish—by land or water.

Near the southernmost part of Louisiana's delta country lie a series of five wooded "islands," which rise up above the grassy marshlands and prairies that surround them. From 50 to 100 feet above sea level, these areas of high ground are sitting on top of mammoth, immovable columns of salt, which hold them up above the surrounding countryside. These monoliths of salt are two to three miles wide and five miles or more in depth.

Jefferson Island is one of the five islands. A mysterious place, the island is haunted by the legend that Jean Lafitte, the pirate, buried his treasures under the giant live oaks that would later shelter a home and garden. Pick up lunch from Cafe Jefferson on the island and eat near Lake Peigneur.

Visitors can also watch a documentary on the 1980 collapse of the salt dome and browse through the gift shop before exploring the gardens.

Jefferson Island and Rip Van Winkle Gardens contain a manmade wetland at Rip’s Rookery, where thousands of wading birds like the brightly colored roseate spoonbill migrate each spring.

Just outside of New Iberia, Spanish Lake offers boating, fishing, hiking and excellent bird watching, with approximately 240 species of birds recorded there. Keep an eye out for herons, woodpeckers, warblers and hawks. Find a birding checklist at the Iberia Parish Welcome Center or download it here.

Located next to the Atchafalaya Basin, America’s largest river swamp, Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is another great spot for birding. Camp or rent a cabin for the night and explore the basin’s waterways via flat bottom boats, kayaks and canoes. The state park has three nature trails, ranging from 3/4 of a mile to 3.3 miles, and a nature center. The nature trails also provide plenty of bird watching opportunities. Species to look for include herons, egrets and allies, as well as ospreys and bald eagles.

Cajun Country’s coast is teeming with fishing opportunities for both serious anglers and recreational fishermen. Some favorite fishing holes include the Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Carlin Cove, Spanish Lake, New Iberia City Park, Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, Cypremort Point State Park, Vermilion Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Iberia Parish offers several public boat launches and expert charter fishing services. Various community organizations also hold fishing rodeos throughout the year.

  • Kayak the Teche

Launch a kayak from New Iberia City Park or Teche Projects' two floating docks at 118 Bridge St. in Loreauville and Jeanerette City Park. Stop to browse art galleries, shops, 21 trilingual markers or get a snack from a downtown restaurant in the New Iberia National Register Historic District along the way.

Download or pick up an Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail map and a historic district brochure at the Iberia Parish Welcome Center. IberiaTravel has put together a paddling itinerary to help you plan your paddle tour.
  • Take a Dip

Cool off after a paddle at Cypremort Point State Park. A gateway to the Gulf of Mexico on Vermilion Bay, Cypremort Point has a public beach with swimming, fishing, birding and boating. Six cabins and three pavilions are also available by reservation.

New Iberia’s Bike Trail is a 3.2-mile path that starts in Church Alley Park on East Main Street and crosses the Bayou Teche before winding through New Iberia City Park, which has its own network of trails. If history, architecture and literature are more your speed, then bike the New Iberia National Register Historic District Trail lined with stately homes and notable buildings or James Lee Burke’s Iberia Trail with sites featured in his novels.

Trilingual markers throughout provide more information on significant landmarks. Walk the trail and take a break at Church Alley and George Rodrigue pocket parks and PJ Allain Waterfront Park and Sculptural Garden, which are the perfect spots to snap a few selfies..

Want to get out of town? The Historic Jeanerette Trail is a self guided tour of Sugar City, with the Jeanerette Museum (currently closed), LeJeune’s Bakery, Cooper Street and even some plantations along the way.

  • Other (Indoor) Options

The heat in South Louisiana is no joke so we thought tossing in a few indoor options would be helpful, as well.

Konriko Company Store is home to the oldest operating rice mill in the U.S., which celebrated a century of operation in 2012. Visit the mill and shop their selection of KONRIKO® products, other local food products and arts and crafts.

The Bayou Teche Museum is a state-of-the-art museum with a permanent collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the region telling the story of a growing city, its people, culture and industry, all centered around the "snake-like" curves of the Bayou Teche.

And if you decide you'd rather make the day a stay at home adventure, check out our virtual experiences blog for self guided tours, videos, puzzles and more.

The Iberia Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official parish marketing agency promoting New Iberia, Avery Island, Jefferson Island, Jeanerette, Loreauville and Delcambre as a destination. Marketing programs target leisure travelers, business travelers, media, entertainment industry, and the travel trade including group tour planners, meeting planners, sports planners and special event planners. The bureau operates a parish welcome center in New Iberia, Louisiana.
For more information on parish events and tourism assets, call the bureau at 337-365-1540 or visit