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This lovely stretch offers a jaunt through the history of one of America’s most unusual cultural groups. The New Iberia-St. Martinville area lies in the heart of Cajun Country, and the evidence is everywhere. Shadows-on-the-Teche, in New Iberia, is an antebellum museum property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation that shows the story of life on a 19th-century plantation. The home is set alongside Bayou Teche among towering live oak trees, draped with Spanish moss.

Outside the community you’ll traverse rural areas along the bayou, pass through the town of Loreauville and by the St. John Sugar Mill and Plantation Home on your way to St. Martinville, where many more historic sites await. Visit the famous Evangeline Oak, the legendary meeting place of the ill-fated lovers Evangeline and Gabriel; St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church, the Mother Church of the Acadians, established in 1765; the Evangeline Monument; the Acadian Museum and the African American Museum.