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Opelousas Louisiana Travel Guide

Opelousas, Louisiana's 3rd oldest city, was founded in 1720 and was a trading post between New Orleans and Natchitoches in the 1700s and 1800s.

Settled by French Creoles and Acadians, Opelousas is known for its Zydeco music.

The parish seat of St. Landry Parish, Opelousas is located just north of Lafayette, and near Sunset, Grand Coteau, Eunice, Port Barre, LeBeau, and Ville Platte. It is located about 50 miles south of Alexandria via I-49; a major east-west highway through Opelousas is U.S. Highway 190.


Opelousas Louisiana attractions, museums and other things to do

Le Vieux Village Heritage Park

Le Vieux Village Heritage Park is a collection of exhibits, museums, and the town’s oldest structures. French for the old village, this attraction was created in 1988 by the Opelousas Tourism and Activities Committee. Many of its components were donated by families from the area. Get a glimpse of historic Opelousas, one of Louisiana’s oldest cities, by touring the grounds which includes an old schoolhouse, a Methodist church, a doctor’s office, and the home of Marie Francois Venus. Tours are given Tuesday through Friday on the hour from 10am-2pm and by appointment. Self-guided tours are also available.

Also housed at Le Vieux Village is the City of Opelousas Tourist Information Center & Gift Shop. It is located at the eastern entrance to Opelousas along U.S. Highway 190.

Louisiana Orphan Train Museum

The park is also home to the Louisiana Orphan Train Museum, a facility dedicated to documenting and researching the lives of the orphan train riders. In the spring of April and May in 1907 three trains arrived in Opelousas with children from the Foundling Home wearing identification numbers that would match them to their new Catholic foster families.

The museum has a large collection of original documents, clothing, and images on display and many of the museum’s volunteers are descendants of orphan train riders. There you can also see statues on the grounds and the Orphan Train mural, depicting the arrival of the riders.

Creole Heritage Folklife Center

Another popular location attraction is the Creole Heritage Folklife Center. The center offers the public the opportunity to relive traditions of the African-American community with Creole folklorist, Rebecca Henry. Henry is a native to St. Landry Parish and offers educational programs and events that focus on Creole heritage. Guided tours are offered weekly and by appointment. It is located at 1113 West Vine Street in Opelousas.

The Spice Capital of Louisiana

Opelousas is known as the Spice Capital of Louisiana, and is the home of nationally known and respected companies such as Tony Chachere's, Savoie's Cajun Meats, and LouAna Cooking Oil.

The town slogan, “Perfectly Seasoned”, accurately describes the area’s cuisine. Restaurants today are still influenced by two Opelousas natives, the late culinary great, Chef Paul Prudhomme, and seasoning entrepreneur, Tony Chachere. With local eateries still open since the 1930s, you can enjoy recipes that are tried and true!

Food and Music

Get the best of both worlds – food and music, at local festivals including the Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival, held the Saturday before Labor Day. Since 1982, this one-day festival of Creole music and culture attracts zydeco music fans from throughout the world. In the fall, celebrate Creole culture at the Annual Holy Ghost Creole Festival.

For more area information, visit the website of the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission.


Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino

Nearby is the well known Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, the first “Racino” built in this country from the ground up. It features a state-of-the-art facility with a new one mile oval. The entire property consists of nearly 750 acres. The track houses nearly 1,000 stalls on the backside.

It also offers over 1,400 slot machines and other gaming. The property features a 4 story, 117-room hotel with pool/hot tub, exercise room, expanded continental breakfast with hot items served daily, wireless internet, and a business center.

Evangeline Downs Racetrack in Opelousas, Louisiana
Evangeline Downs Racetrack in Opelousas, Louisiana

The Evangeline Downs Hotel is connected directly to Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino and convenient to area attractions like Arlington Plantation and Le Vieux Village. It also offers convenient access to the Lafayette Airport, just 20 miles away, and close proximity to local and corporate businesses.

For more information, visit the website of Evangeline Downs

Evangeline Downs Hotel in Opelousas, Louisiana
Evangeline Downs Hotel in Opelousas, Louisiana

Map of Opelousas Louisiana and the surrounding area, including the Louisiana Downs Racetrack and Casino


More Opelousas Area Information & Resources

St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission

Opelousas at LouisianaTravel.com
The Official Travel Website of the State of Louisiana

City of Opelousas

St. Landry Parish

St. Landry Chamber of Commerce

Opelousas Travel Guide at TripAdvisor

Earlier Times in Opelousas

Opelousas travel of the past, at the Chrome Hotel, Opelousas, Louisiana

Opelousas travel of the past, at the Chrome Hotel, Opelousas, Louisiana

Briley's Modern Courts, U.S. Highway 167, Opelousas, Louisiana

Briley's Modern Courts, U.S. Highway 167, Opelousas, Louisiana

Cardinal Inn, Opelousas, Louisiana

Cardinal Inn, Opelousas, Louisiana

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