When you think of museums in Louisiana, what comes to mind? Is it the Ogden Museum of Art? Is it the Louisiana Art and Science Museum? What about the World War II Museum?
While some of the more well-known museums are located in New Orleans and the capital, Acadiana has quite a few that don’t receive the recognition of the museums in the smaller areas that are dedicated to parishes’ micro histories, scientific intrigue, and our most famous export, Tabasco.
With everyone out of school for Easter, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting museums that you’ve never heard of before. Check them out!
- Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, Eunice: This small museum in tiny Eunice, home of one of the more well-attended courirs, combines old artifacts such as decades-old fiddles and tons of black and white photographs with hands-on activities. Explore and Restore craft workshops for kids, Cajun conversation tables, and live music are featured every Saturday.
- Lafayette Science Museum, Lafayette: Located in the heart of downtown Lafayette, the science museum’s permanent exhibits include objects from space, a virtual aquarium, and a virtual reality lab. Attendees can expect to see real meteorites and tektites in the Meteorite Exhibit, as well as astronomy mini exhibits. Another interactive exhibit, Leaving Earth, allows participants to
- The Acadian Memorial, St. Martinville: While the African American History Museum in St. Martinville was lost to the 2016 flood, The Acadian Memorial survived. It Hhonors the Acadian exiles who found refuge in South Louisiana. The tiny museum has a wall of names, an audio tour in both English and French, and a replica of the Nova Scotia Deportation Cross.
- Avery Island Tabasco Museum and Factory, Avery Island: Although farmers still produce sugar and crawfish, it is this small bottle of pepper sauce that is known worldwide. The new Tabasco Museum features tons of photos of the family who founded Avery Island and invented Tabasco, the McIlhenny family, which in turn showcases the formation of the most famous corporation in Louisiana. The factory tour shows a close-up look at the farming and bottling processes that go into making the ubiquitous sauce.
- Shadows on the Teche, New Iberia: This museum, built in 1834 by sugar farmer David Weeks, was the first National Trust for Historic Preservation site in the South. The Shadows acts as a cultural hub for New Iberia, and always showcases classic Cajun-style paintings of docks, oaks draped with Spanish moss, and other aspects of rural Louisiana life. One upcoming event is the April 6 Books Along the Teche Literary Festival, which honors great southern writers.