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Plantation Country

Ascension Parish, located in the heart of Plantation Country, mixes Old South traditions with exciting new offerings. Sprawling sugar cane fields and beautiful cypress swamplands surround our quaint towns that always offer a special experience for both new visitors and natives.

Visit Ascension during the Jambalaya Festival and sample a bowl of world famous jambalaya and enjoy the many other parish celebrations, including the Galvez-Lake Firemen’s Fair, Louisiana Chili Cook-Off and the Boucherie, Strawberry and Sunshine Festivals.


Ascension is also home to many unique restaurants, lodgings, antique shops and the newly renovated Tanger Factory Outlet Center. During your visit, tour an Acadian Village in Sorrento and then discover our historical Antebellum plantations. Houmas House, the African-American Museum, Ashland-Belle Helene, Bocage and l’Hermitage each depict gracious Southern living. You can also get a glimpse of history by visiting historic Donaldsonville, which served as Louisiana’s state capital from 1830 to 1831. Donaldsonville is home to magnificent pre-Civil War architectural structures, including the beautiful Ascension Catholic Church and St. Emma Plantation. Explore the Old South with a new twist in Ascension Parish!

Ascension Parish Tourism Commission
6967 Highway 22, Sorrento


Ashland-Belle Helene
Corner of Hwys 75 and 3251, Geismar
Hours: Drive-By Only

This stately home, built in 1840, exemplifies the massive simplicity and dignity of Classic Revival architecture. Ashland has served as an authentic location for several well-known motion pictures, including Clark Gable’s “Band of Angels” and “A Long, Hot Summer.”

39050 LA Highway 942
Darrow (Burnside), LA 70725
Mailing Address: Dr. Marion Rundell
P.O. Box 58744 Houston, Texas 77258
Phone: 225-588-8000 or 225-588-9000
Admission: Yes Hours: Closed Mon & Tue,
Wed - Sun 12pm - 5pm


Bocage Plantation was designed by famous architect James Dakin and built in 1837. It is steeped in history with ties to Christopher Columbus, early colonization, and the Louisiana Purchase. They have spared no expense to make your stay memorable and relaxing. The landscaping is being restored to the grandeur of the 19th Century by famous landscape architect Dr. Neil Odenwald.

Hermitage Plantation
38308 Hwy 942, Darrow
Hours: Drive-By Only

Hermitage Plantation

The beauty and grace of the Old South are reborn again at Hermitage Plantation, Louisiana’s earliest known Greek Revival Mansion. This beautiful estate had several historic guests, including Andrew Jackson who visited in the 1820s.

Houmas House Plantation & Gardens
40136 Hwy 942, Darrow

Hours: Monday-Tuesday, 9:00am-5:00pm;
Thursday-Sunday, 9:00am-7:00pm Admission: Yes

Relive the magnificent plantation-era with a visit to this Greek Revival Mansion built in 1840. Houmas House is home to wonderful stories of sugar cane farming on the grandest scale, Civil War history, period furnishings depicting early Louisiana craftsmanship, significant movie settings and formal gardens all beneath 200-year-old moss-laden live oaks.

St. Emma Plantation
1283 Hwy 1 S., Donaldsonville
Hours: By Appointment Only Admission: Yes

This home was built in 1847 by one of the leading sugar planters of the day. It is the site of the Battle of Kock’s Plantation, a conflict in 1863 when Union forces were surprised by a contingent of Texas troops. St. Emma is filled with Empire Period furniture suitable to the original construction date.

Cajun Food

Visitors to Ascension Parish can choose from a wide array of accommodations, ranging from magnificent plantation homes and charming bed & breakfasts to the modern hotels and motels along I-10 offering lists of amenities. An overnight stay in Ascension Parish provides a gratifying way to experience authentic Southern hospitality and the true culture of Louisiana. For a complete list of accommodations, visit or contact the Ascension Parish Tourism Commission toll free at 1.888.775.7990.


From red beans and smoked sausage, to boiled crawfish and fresh fried shrimp, to our world famous jambalaya, it is no wonder Ascension Parish is famous for its River Road Cuisine. Both parish locals and visitors alike can enjoy South Louisiana’s mouthwatering melting pot of tastes with French, Spanish and Italian influences. With local favorites such as a mouth-watering steak from Sno’s Seafood and Steakhouse, sizzling char-grilled oysters from Mike Anderson’s, a bowl of rabbit and andouille gumbo from Houmas House or Jacked-Up Shrimp from Don’s Seafood Hut, there is no need to look beyond Ascension Parish to find an incredible meal!

Ascension Parish has a rich cultural heritage that is celebrated in the local community theater, vibrant artists’ association, beautiful plantation homes and several museums dedicated to preserving our unique history and traditions. Gonzales is home to the “Tee Joe” Gonzales Museum located on the scenic New River. Donaldsonville, the third-oldest city in Louisiana, showcases the River Road African American Museum, and Sorrento is home to The Cajun Village where visitors can stroll the grounds, shop for local art and view cabins in an authentic Acadian setting.

2200 Cabela’s Parkway, Gonzales
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 8:00am-9:00pm;
Sunday, 10:00am-8:00pm


In addition to offering a vast supply of outdoor merchandise and a delicious deli-style restaurant, Cabela’s features a 165,000-square-foot showroom exhibit complete with museum-quality animal displays, aquariums and trophy animals each interacting in simulated settings representing their natural habitats.

The Cabin
5405 Hwy 44, Gonzales
Hours: Monday, 11:00am-3:00pm;
Tuesday-Thursday, 11:00am-9:00pm;
Friday, 11:00am-10:00pm;
Sunday, 11:00am-6:00pm
Tours: Self-Tours Are Allowed

More than a unique and delightful dining experience, The Cabin represents a bit of Louisiana history brought back to life. This site, on the National Register of Historical Places, was constructed from authentic slave dwellings dating back as far as 150 years. The Cabin is also home to the first African American Catholic School in Louisiana and “Rock,” the cypress alligator.

The Cajun Village
6468 Hwy 22, Sorrento

Hours: Open Seven Days a Week

The Cajun Village is a collection of historic Acadian buildings that have been refurbished into unique specialty shops. The Cajun Village offers beautiful antiques, handcrafted gifts from Louisiana artisans, exclusive home décor and good ole Cajun cuisine. The Cajun Village includes stores such as Boniblu, The Coffee House, Louisiana Pottery, Cajun Village Antiques and Louisiana Wines.

The Flea Market of Louisiana
15545 Airline Hwy, Prairieville
Hours: Saturday-Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm Admission: Free

Rain or shine, each Saturday and Sunday provides a new and unique shopping experience at the Flea Market of Louisiana. This specialty market features 400 covered booths and offers antiques, collectibles, fresh produce, Cajun food and fun for the whole family. Restrooms and RV hook-ups are also available.

Historic Fort Butler Commemorative Site
Hwy 18, Donaldsonville

Hours: By Appointment Only
Tours: Guided Tours Available
Admission: Yes

The Historic Fort Butler Commemorative Site is a pivotal Civil War Site engineered by West Point to guard the intersection of the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche, a major outlet to the Gulf of Mexico. It was a star-shaped, log-and-earth construction built and defended by area African-American slaves turned soldiers. It is now the site of an annual reenactment.

River Road African American Museum and Gallery
406 Charles Street, Donaldsonville
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10:00am-5:00pm;
Sunday, 1:00pm-5:00pm Tours:
Self & Guided Admission: $4.00 Self-Tours;
$25 Guided Tours & Lunch

The River Road African American Museum is a tribute to the hundreds of slaves who were purchased and brought to Burnside in 1858. The museum is a key tool for collecting and preserving records of the African American heritage and is nationally recognized for its efforts. The museum houses a rare collection of memorabilia and artifacts, which offer a positive insight on African American history and culture.

Tanger Outlet
2410 Tanger Boulevard, Gonzales
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:00am-9:00pm;
Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm

Over 50 designer and manufacturer outlet stores and restaurants are featured in this popular outlet mall. Special coupon vouchers and incentives are available for groups. At Tanger, every day is a sale day.

Tee Joe Gonzales Museum
217 West Main Street, Gonzales

Hours: By Appointment Only
Tours: Yes
Admission: Free

Joseph Stonewall “Tee Joe” Gonzales, an instrumental figure in the development of the City of Gonzales, is honored at the Tee Joe Gonzales Museum. Gonzales is credited for establishing the first post office in the unsettled area and served as the first mayor of the city named after his family. Built in 1910, the actual home of Gonzales and his wife is featured at the museum. The home is situated on its original site along New River and displays furniture, pictures and clothing depicting life of the early settlers of Gonzales.


Check individual festival websites for each schedule of events.

Music in the Park
Jambalaya Park

Music in the Park is a four-week concert series that takes place on Sunday afternoons at Jambalaya Park in the spring. This event is the perfect family outing and is coordinated by the Mayor’s Council on the Arts for the City of Gonzales.

Swamp Pop Music Festival
Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, Gonzales

The annual Swamp Pop Music Festival brings together an exciting weekend of Cajun bands and serves as the first swamp pop event to grow from a grassroots concert to a “professional” festival. All donations and proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Sunshine Festival
Donaldsonville Fair Grounds, Donaldsonville

This annual festival is a fundraiser for the Donaldsonville Area Chamber of Commerce and offers several exciting activities including rides for kids, live musical entertainment, terrific food, historic displays and the highly competitive “Cajun & Creole Cook-Off” and “Hot ‘n Spicy Political Cook-Off.”

Boucherie Festival
Outside Grounds of Reynolds Lambert Park, Sorrento

This annual festival celebrates the “Cajun Boucherie” with attractions including the “Crackling Cooking World Championship,” live music, beauty pageants, Cajun food and rides.

Cajun Village Fall Fest
Cajun Village, Sorrento

The Cajun Village Fall Fest celebrates Cajun culture with authentic music, dancing, arts & crafts and an endless variety of Cajun cuisine. This festival is devoted to beautiful art and hands-on experiences and promises that those visiting will “pass a good time!”

Jambalaya Festival
Irma Boulevard, Gonzales

The Jambalaya Festival, one of the largest festivals in the state, features many activities that highlight the diverse heritage and cultures of the area. These activities include live music, stage shows, arts & crafts, rides and, of course, a whole lot of Jambalaya. The main event of the festival is a high-intensity cook-off among some of the world’s greatest Jambalaya chefs.

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