The town of Washington, the third-oldest settlement in Louisiana, is a former French trading post that flourished thanks to the river the bayou that runs through it. The town was founded in 1720 on the banks of Bayou Courtableau, and eventually rose in prominence as a steamboat port that brought cattle, sugar and other farm goods from Cajun Country to markets in New Orleans. The last steamboat left Washington in 1900, leaving behind homes and warehouses that today form the heart of the town's historic district. In fact, 80 percent of the city is on the National Historic Registry.
See one of those historic buildings from the inside by dining at Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant, or choose from one of the city's bed and breakfast accommodations. Washington is also a destination for cyclists—check out the Washington-Breaux Bridge Trail or the Washington to Eunice to Sunset Trail for details for examples of how to see Cajun Country on two wheels.