Rip Van Winkle Gardens in New Iberia

Day Trip Itinerary: New Iberia

New Iberia is rich in Cajun culture and experiences that will make lasting memories.

Situated south of Lafayette and north of the rich Gulf waters of Vermilion Bay, New Iberia abounds with Cajun cuisine, mom-and-pop diners, swamps to explore and so much more. Iberia Parish, of which New Iberia is the most populous city, was one of the first regions to be settled by the Acadians — French-Canadian refugees who arrived in south Louisiana in the 1700s, better known today as Cajuns. Their rich cultural history, paired with unforgettable scenery and hospitality, makes New Iberia one of the most fascinating places to explore in Louisiana.

Breakfast Options:

Victor’s Cafeteria

Located in historic downtown New Iberia, Victor’s Cafeteria has been a tradition since 1969, and man, do they know good Cajun cooking! At Victor’s, you can find a big Southern breakfast, homemade pies baked in a flakey puff pastry, crawfish cooked into spicy étouffées and so much more homestyle cooking!

Teche Café 

Loreauville’s breakfast and lunch spot, Teche Café, serves up Cajun classics like beignets and étouffée, plus soul food classics like barbecued chicken and potato salad. Feel free to come early — the restaurant opens at 5:30am — and on Sundays, try the weekly brunch which brings in plenty of hungry customers.

LeJeune’s Bakery

The building that houses LeJeune’s Bakery was built in 1884 by Oscar LeJeune. This beloved family business has kept the traditions of the past alive and still bakes its bread and ginger cakes as the LeJeune ancestors did over 100 years ago! LeJeune’s Bakery is considered so significant that it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is open for free tours by appointment.

Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Rip Van Winkle Gardens & the Jefferson Home.

Conrad Rice Mill/Konriko Company Store

Pick up local products from Conrad Rice Mill/Konriko Company Store.

Shadows on the Teche in New Iberia

Shadows on the Teche in downtown New Iberia.

Morning Activities and Attractions:

Jefferson Island & Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Located on a coastal salt dome, Jefferson Island is flanked by 25 acres of semi-tropical Rip Van Winkle Gardens and Lake Peigneur. Visitors can start their experience by viewing a documentary on the 1980 collapse of that giant salt dome beneath the lake, then stroll through the exquisitely restored gardens before watching birds at Rip’s Rookery and touring the Joseph Jefferson Home. 

Conrad Rice Mill/KONRIKO Company Store

New Iberia’s Conrad Rice Mill is the oldest rice mill in America and is also one of the leading tourist attractions in the Bayou Teche area. At this National Register of Historic Places site, you can watch an introductory video about the history of rice farming in Louisiana, tour the mill itself and shop at the KONRIKO Company Store for some truly unique local souvenirs.

Shadows-on-the-Teche

Set among live oaks draped with Spanish moss, Shadows-on-the-Teche was built in 1834 by sugar planter David Weeks. The National Trust for Historic Preservation site on the banks of the Bayou Teche opened to the public in 1961, and offers a rare glimpse into the life of a wealthy family through their home and artifacts.

Bayou Teche Museum

Discover Iberia Parish at the Bayou Teche Museum in beautiful downtown New Iberia, where interactive exhibits on everything from local industry to TABASCO and food festivals welcome visitors. In the Sugar Gallery, watch the process of sugar planting and refining on film, then see an old sugar kettle and other antique farming tools used to process sugar.

Lunch Options:

Duffy’s Diner

A 1950s-style dining experience in the heart of New Iberia, Duffy’s Diner serves up po-boys, sandwiches, hot dogs, seafood burgers and dinners, along with gumbos and salads, in a family-friendly atmosphere Monday through Saturday.

Cafe Jefferson

Check out Cafe Jefferson at Rip Van Winkle Gardens. Its glassed-in porch, nestled in a grove of ancient live oaks, offers a breath-taking view of the gardens and Lake Peigneur. Try their famous Crabmeat Au Gratin!

Bon Creole Lunch Counter

Bon Creole is a popular spot for mouthwatering seafood baskets, home-cooked plate lunches, boiled crawfish (seasonally) and more. Stop by and try their award-winning overstuffed po'boys and gumbo, and enjoy the cozy ambience complete with rustic decor and antique tables.

Cypremort Point State Park Vermilion Bay

Cypremort Point State Park on Vermilion Bay.

Cafe Jefferson's Shrimp Salad

Cafe Jefferson's Shrimp Salad.

Afternoon Activities and Attractions:

New Iberia National Register Historic District

Explore New Iberia's Main Street, a National Main Street Award Winner. Take a walking tour of the historic buildings and take a stroll along the Bayou Teche Boardwalk. Pop in to the local art galleries, boutiques, antique shops and more for some retail therapy.

Cypremort Point State Park

Enjoy an afternoon on the water at Cypremort Point State Park located on Vermilion Bay. A half-mile stretch of a man-made beach provides a delightful area for relaxing, picnicking and fun on the water. The 185-acre park is also a special attraction for nature enthusiasts. Located in the heart of a Louisiana marsh, the site contains an abundance of wildlife. 

Bayou Lit Bikes

Rent a bike from Bayou Lit Bikes to tour the city or book a Lit Glow In The Dark Bicycle Tour. The tour, set at a relaxed, cruising pace, is led with music from the latest hip hop, old school rap, country and other genres of music playing from the speaker on the tour guide bicycle.

Dinner Options:

Jane's Seafood & Chinese

Jane's Seafood & Chinese has been previously recognized by the The Daily Iberian's Best of the Teche for their po' boys, boiled seafood and gumbo. This casual family friendly environment not only offers the best boiled and fried seafood in town, but you'll also find a variety of Chinese dishes including their famous fried rice. 

Landry’s Cajun Seafood & Steakhouse

Landry’s Cajun Seafood & Steakhouse is located in a rustic, Cajun-style home off Jefferson Island Road. The fine dining Cajun menu includes everything from crawfish bisque to crabmeat au gratin, frog legs and “Louisiana Festival” seafood dinners. 

Preservation Bar & Grill

Preservation Bar & Grill is an intimate, social restaurant and bar, specializing in the use of fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients. Specialties include boudin egg rolls, seafood tartare and smoked turkey and sausage gumbo.

 

Discover additional trip ideas in New Iberia or attractions in the surrounding area.