May 7, 2019
The Perfect Weekend in Houma, Louisiana
Posted by: Mae Mayeux
Houma is located in Southern Louisiana’s Terrebonne Parish. Pronounced Home-a, this thriving Acadian city boasts a colorful Cajun culture and plentiful opportunities for music, cuisine, history, and more. In Houma, people still speak French, though most native French speakers would struggle to understand their unusual accents and dialect. Houma’s location near the Atchafalaya Basin means you’ll have easy access to the surrounding swamplands and a high chance of spotting some of the region’s diverse wildlife. With its natural beauty, rich culture, and Cajun charm, Houma is the perfect Louisiana getaway.
Start your trip off with a tour of Southdown Plantation, a 19th-century sugar plantation and manor house dating all the way back to 1828. Though Southdown boasts the sweeping lawns and moss-bearded oaks common to many plantations, visitors are often delighted by its pink-hued exterior and unique architectural style. Within the home, you’ll find a variety of fascinating historical exhibits featuring artifacts, photographs, crafts, furnishings, and more.
If you’re still interested in learning a bit more about local history, pay a visit to the The Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum. This unique museum sheds light on the long and fascinating connection between seafood and water-based industries such as transportation, hunting, gathering, and mining. The Terrebonne Folklife Culture Center in downtown Houma is another great place to go for insight into the rich history of the Parish. The Folklife Center also offers classes on duck carving, conversational French, Cajun dance, fiddle, quilting, and more.
Food & Music
With its lively atmosphere and delicious food, The A-Bear’s Cafe has been a popular lunch spot since it first began cooking up Cajun classics in 1963. This lunch-only eatery is known for its all-you-can-eat catfish special, but their rotating daily menu also features mouthwatering items like shrimp etouffee served over rice or shrimp okra gumbo with potatoes.
If you like seafood, then 1921 should be at the very top of our Houma itinerary. 1921 serves up only the freshest oysters, crawfish, and other local seafood specialities. Head to Big Mike’s BBQ Smokehouse for their legendary homestyle BBQ and finger-lickin’ good sauce. They serve amazing brisket, smoked turkey, baby back ribs, and what many consider the best hamburger in Houma.
No trip to Houma is complete without taking an evening to explore its thriving music scene. Houma is home to many varieties of bayou music, from classic Cajun to swamp pop and Zydeco. Jolly Inn is a beloved Cajun dance hall with amazing music and a charmingly ramshackle atmosphere. A-Bear’s Cafe also hosts live music on Friday nights. If indie rock or punk is more your style, swing by the Boxer and the Barrel bar for their nightly shows. Houma also hosts the Louisiana Swamp Stomp Music Festival every March.
Swamps & Wildlife
Houma’s location in the Atchafalaya Basin makes it a great place to view wildlife and explore the neighboring swamplands. The Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge is located about five miles south of town. This impressive 4,619-acre refuge consists mainly of freshwater marsh and cypress-tupelo swamps. Mandalay’s freshwater marshes attract thousands of waterfowl, including blue-and green-winged teal, gadwalls, widgeon, mottled ducks, wood ducks, and herons. The reserve is also home to forest-dwelling mammals like white-tailed deer, gray squirrels, eastern cottontail, swamp rabbit, gray and red fox, coyote, turtles, and opossum. Be sure to keep an eye out for bald eagles and the American alligator.
Houma is located a little over an hour away from New Orleans, making it a great option for a city break or an off-the-beaten-path Louisiana getaway. With its fascinating history, thriving Cajun culture, and many outdoor wonders, Houma might be the next great Louisiana destination. Just remember to book a stay at one of the Louisiana Bed & Breakfast Association's many charming and unique properties located all across the region.
Planning a trip to Louisiana? The Louisiana Bed & Breakfast Association boasts many one-of-a-kind inns, bed & breakfasts, and historic homes located in all corners of the state.