Nature and history offers the main attractions and points of interest along this route, which tracks Bayou Teche for much of the way. Keep an eye out for wildlife. You’ll find moderate traffic in Franklin and some busy streets as you work your way through Patterson. Highway 90 has considerable traffic, but you will have a wide shoulder. Bayou Vista has moderate traffic but a shoulder begins at the 21-mile point.
Patterson offers a good stopping place. There you can visit the Louisiana State Museum and its Wedell-Williams Aviation Collection, which marks the site where Jimmy Wedell and Harry Williams founded the state’s first commercial airline. Their aviation designs set speed records during the early 1930s. At the 19-mile point, you'll see signs reading "St. Mary Parish Tourist Commission" and "Cajun Jack Swamp Tours." If you have time, take a boat tour of the Atchafalaya Swamp and learn about the Cajun culture of the marshlands, including fur-trapping, crabbing and crawfishing. In Morgan City, stop by lovely Brownell Memorial Park.
Start: Intersection of Hwy.182 and Hwy.3069 in Franklin
Intersection of Hwy.182(Main Street) and Hwy. 3069 (Willow Street). Take Hwy. 3069 across Bayou Teche.
0.4 Right on Hwy. 87 to Centerville.
4.8 Right on Centerville Bridge (don’t miss this turn).
5.1 Left at T and Stop on Hwy.182 East to Patterson. Busy road. Take extra caution as you make this turn.
10.8 Junction with Hwy. 90. Follow signs to Patterson, Morgan City and Berwick. Turn left on Hwy. 182 and 90 East. There’s a shoulder you can use until you turn off Hwy. 90 onto Hwy. 182.
11.0 Bridge with rumble strips on shoulder. Use extreme caution on these strips. Walk your bike if necessary.
12.2 Left on Hwy. 182. Use Extreme Caution as you take this left turn.
13.8 Calumet Plantation
14.0 Wedell-Williams Museum. The State Aviation Museum at Patterson is located on the old airstrip where Jimmy Wedell and Harry Williams founded Louisiana’s first commercial airline. Together they designed and built airplanes that set speed records and won design awards during the early 1930’s. Documents can be found in the Museum that deal with all of Louisiana’s aviation history.
19.4 Cajun Coast Visitor & Convention Commission.Cajun Jack Swamp Tours of the Atchafalaya Swamp available twice a day at 9am and 2:30pm.
21.1 Bayou Vista. Busy area. Moderate traffic.
21.5 Shoulder begins along Hwy. 182.
22.4 Berwick city limit sign.
25.4 Left on Hwy.182 at traffic light after Texaco Station. (Do not go under overpass). Follow Hwy. 182 over “Old Bridge” into Morgan City. The bridge is narrow, so use extreme caution. Traffic should be light. After you cross the bridge, you will be on Brashear Avenue. Near the foot of the bridge is the Spirit of Morgan City.
To reach the Historic District and to continue on the route to White Castle:
0.0 Right on Federal Avenue. (1st street after the bridge)
0.1 Rita Mae’s Kitchen. Stop here for great Creole food. Rita Mae’s serves gumbos soups, red beans and rice with fried chicken or smothered pork chops, seafood and all kinds of sweet treats.
0.1 Right on Freret Street to reach the waterfront.
0.4 Front Street. Walk on the Great Wall and get a panoramic view of the Atchafalaya River from its promenade. Ride First, Second, Third and Federal Streets to view the Historic Distict’s homes and churches. Also in downtown follow the signs to the Rig Museum.
Note: The Attakapas Indians called it Atchafalaya or long river. Stretching over 135 miles, it has shaped Morgan City’s history. The 1800’s and early 1900’s were an era of growth and development. Many of the historic churches and homes were constructed during those years. Boat building, moss picking, and a shell crushing plant broadened Morgan City’s economic base.
Substituting the jungles of Africa with the swamps of Morgan City, Hollywood made its mark in 1917 with the filming of the first Tarzan movie starring Elmo Lincoln. This would be the first of several films highlighting Morgan City’s diverse landscape. In 1937, Morgan City became known as the “jumbo” shrimp capital of the world. The “blessing of the fleet” was held each year to insure a safe return and a bountiful harvest. The Shrimp Festival is Louisiana’s oldest chartered harvest festival.
A decade later, Morgan City made national headlines when Kerr-McGee Industries drilled the first successful offshore oil well out of sight of land. The “black gold rush” marked a new era in the city’s prosperity. Because of its considerable importance to the economy, “petroleum” was added to the Louisiana Shrimp Festival. The present day Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival is held every Labor Day weekend in the historic district.