Road Scholar : Home
Wildlife and Culture of Louisiana's Cajun Country

Program Number: 8276RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/18/2013 - 3/23/2013; 10/7/2014 - 10/12/2014; 3/16/2015 - 3/21/2015; 4/21/2015 - 4/26/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Price starting at: $575.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

Led by local experts, venture into some of Louisiana’s refuges, reserves and sanctuaries to observe magnificent birds and wildlife in their natural habitat and gain a fuller understanding of human impacts on this pristine wilderness. For “lagniappe” (lan-yap: a little something extra), learn about Cajun history and heritage, culture, traditions, and enjoy music and dancing.




Highlights

• Explore Lake Martin (on foot and by boat), home to egrets, herons and alligators!
• Ride a pontoon boat into the Atchafalaya Basin Swamp — the largest river basin swamp in America — for a close-up look at native wildlife.
• Trace the journey from Acadians to Cajuns, learn the Cajun Waltz and Two-Step, and go dancing at a popular local dance hall/restaurant.



Activity Particulars

Walking and standing for an hour and a half on a field trip to a folk life village. Walking up to a mile on uneven terrain at Lake Martin. Ability to maneuver into and out of a boat.




Date Specific Information

3-18-2013, 3-16-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



10-7-2014

Festivals Acadiens et Creoles (a music and food festival) begins on Oct. 10. We will include a field trip to the festival on our itinerary. The festivals continues through Sunday, October 12, for those who are staying over.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



4-21-2015

This session will include an afternoon at Festival International de Louisiane, an outdoor music festival held in downtown Lafayette, with musical acts from all over the world. The festival continues on Sunday, April 26, for those who are staying over and would like more time at the festival.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by University of Louisiana at Lafayette.




Lafayette

Two hours west-northwest of New Orleans, Lafayette is vibrant with Cajun and Creole culture. The city hosts a number of arts, music and food festivals dedicated to preserving the Louisiana Acadian spirit, celebrated in the upbeat tempos of Cajun music.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotel with fitness center and outdoor pool. Complimentary airport shuttle service.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Acadiana
  Lafayette, LA 5 nights
 Hotel Acadiana
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: In the heart of Cajun Country. Just minutes from UL Lafayette, Vermilionville, and other tourist attractions. Approximately 3.0 miles from airport.
  Contact info: 1801 W. Pinhook Rd.
Lafayette, LA 70508 USA
phone: 337-769-9408
web: www.thehotelacadiana.com
  Room amenities: Complimentary high speed internet, 32" flat panel television,mini-fridge, coffee station, blow dryer, iron & ironing board. Microwave available upon request.
  Facility amenities: Seasonal outdoor pool, fitness room. Complimentary laundry facilities, 24 hour business center.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $65 Arrangements must be made directly with the hotel. (337) 769-9408
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $65 Arrangements must be made directly with the hotel. (337) 769-9408
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:30PM in the hotel meeting room for a welcome and orientation. You will be staying at Hotel Acadiana that night.
  End of Program:
Ends after breakfast which is available from 6:00 - 9:00 am. Check out by Noon. You will be staying at Hotel Acadiana the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Completed health form returned to Program Coordinator prior to arrival. Valid photo ID such as driver's license.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free for the length of the program at the hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lafayette, LA
  Nearest highway: Lafayette is located at the intersection of Interstates 10 and 49.
  Nearest airport:  Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) featuring service with American Eagle, Delta, and United Airlines.
  From End of Program
  Location: Lafayette, LA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Lafayette

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
phone: 337-233-8120
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 3 miles

   

The Hotel Acadiana has airport transportation available. Please include your flight arrival information and your desire for a shuttle on the Personal Information Form. You may call the hotel a day or so before arrival to confirm your shuttle request if desired. Should your flight be delayed or your schedule changed in some way, please call the hotel to notify them.

 

Lafayette

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
City/Dixie Cab
phone: 337-237-3333

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $10.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 5 miles

   

Taxi ride is at your own expense. Other cab companies include: Quality Cab Service: 337-235-8993 The hotel shuttle might be available, but airport transport gets first priority. Call the hotel to ask if shuttle is available at (337) 233-8120.

 

Lafayette

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
phone: 337-233-8120
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 5 miles

   

Please put expected arrival time on the Personal Information Form. Should the train be delayed, please notify the hotel (337 233-8120).

 
Driving Directions
  I-10 traveling from east (Baton Rouge, LA) or west (Houston, TX) Driving in on I-10 west or I-10 east, take exit 103A onto Evangeline Thruway. Travel 3 miles, and turn right onto East Pinhook Road. Travel 1.9 miles to destination. Our hotel will be on the left.
  From the airport If you've rented a car at Lafayette Regional Airport, you will exit the airport parking lot, turning left onto Blue Blvd., then left onto Surrey Street. Get in the left lane so you can turn left onto Hwy. 90 (aka Evangeline Thruway). Once on Evangeline Thruway, get in the far right lane, and travel about half a mile, turning right onto Kaliste Saloom Road. Drive 1.2 miles down Kaliste Saloom, turn right on Pinhook. The Hotel Acadiana will be about 3/10 of a mile on the right at 1801 W. Pinhook Rd.
  I-49 traveling from north If you're coming in from north of Lafayette on I-49, I-49 becomes the Evangeline Thruway once you are south of I-10. Stay on the Evangeline Thruway, about 3 miles, and turn right on Pinhook Road. Travel 1.9 miles down Pinhook, and the Hotel Acadiana will be on the left, a little past the Bayou Vermilion bridge.
  US 90 from the south If you are traveling from the south on US 90 (which is the future I-49 corridor), Hwy. 90 becomes Evangeline Thruway. Turn left on Kaliste Saloom Road. Drive about 1.2 miles down Kaliste Saloom and turn right on Pinhook Road. Hotel Acadiana is about 3/10 of a mile on the right at 1801 W. Pinhook Rd.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome and Orientation
(Monday, March 18)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel check-in time is 3:00.
 Dinner: Casual dinner at the hotel or local restaurant.
 Evening: We will meet at 4:30, get acquainted, and review the weekly schedule. We will take time to answer your questions about the upcoming week, as well as teach you a few Cajun French words and Cajun English phrases to help you enjoy your stay in Cajun country.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Acadiana
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Jean Lafitte Center; Vermilionville
(Tuesday, March 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: Field trip to the Jean Lafitte Center to view a film on the deportation of the Acadians, as well as their museum, which contains artifacts from the early life of Acadians in south Louisiana to current day, followed by a trip to the Vermilionville Folk Life Village.
 Lunch: La Cuisine de Maman (on-site café at Vermilionville).
 Afternoon: Class - A Personal Cajun History. Our instructor has traced his family's journey from France to Acadie, back to France and on to Louisiana. His story will clarify some of your questions about the Acadians and their exile from Nova Scotia.
 Dinner: Dinner at one of our local restaurants to be announced at later date.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Acadiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Jungle Gardens & Tabasco
(Wednesday, March 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: One of the main attraction to this area is Avery Island's exotic 200 acre Jungle Gardens with its beautiful Bird City, home to egrets, herons and other water birds. We'll take a driving tour through the gardens to get to the man made rookery, but even if our timing isn't right for the azaleas and camellias, we'll enjoy the scenic beauty of moss draped oaks, as well as the stands of many exotic varieties of bamboo. Remaining on Avery Island, we will visit the home of world-famous Tabasco Pepper Sauce. We will view an information video on the history of the McIlhenny company, as well as how the sauce gets from the fields to your table.
 Lunch: Lunch included.
 Afternoon: Class - Life & Culture of the Atchafalaya Basin - Our instructor, who is an accomplished photographer and author, as well as a crawfisherman, will give a visual presentation of his work. The presentation will contain images captured in the largest river swamp in North America, the Atchafalaya Basin. Our instructor will also enlighten us to the plight of the endangered lifestyle of the bayou Cajun
 Dinner: Local restaurant TBA.
 Evening: Jam session with local musicians.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Acadiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: McGee's Landing/Lake Martin Rookery
(Thursday, March 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: Field trip to McGee's Landing in Henderson, where we'll board a pontoon boat for a tour of the historic Atchafalaya basin.
 Lunch: To be announced.
 Afternoon: Lake Martin Rookery is a sight to behold. The setting is classic Louisiana: Spanish moss draped cypress trees and water tupelo; nesting egrets, roseate spoonbills, blue herons; and yes, alligators! We'll take our time and enjoy the view. Be sure to have your binoculars and cameras handy.
 Dinner: Local Cajun restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Acadiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cypress Lake/Cajun Dance Lessons
(Friday, March 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: A visit to UL Lafayette's jewel in the middle of campus, Cypress Lake. Cypress Lake is a beautiful microcosm of swamp life, with moss draped cypress trees, tupelo gum, native flowers, birds, alligators, and fish.
 Lunch: TBA
 Afternoon: Learn the Cajun Waltz and Two Step in order to prepare for some REAL Louisiana wild life! We will have a short program where you will receive Honorary Cajun Certificates, as well as sample a favorite Cajun treat - boudin!
 Dinner: Included.
 Evening: Dinner and dancing at one of our most famous local restaurant / dance halls.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Acadiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Departure after breakfast, which is available from 6:00 - 9:00 am.
(Saturday, March 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: Check out by noon. If you need transportation to the airport, you must make your request at the front desk in advance.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Lafayette, LA Acadian Village
Museum of authentic Acadian homes. Located on the grounds of Acadian Village are eight authentic Acadian houses dating back to 1800. There is a recreation of a General Store that was the main gathering place for the community. Onsite is a replica of a Chapel, the floor of the Chapel was made with long leaf pine that is over 200 years old. The reproduction of the Blacksmith Shop was built with weather-beaten, aged cypress boards. The shop is complete with original tools used by the blacksmith years ago. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed for major holidays. For additional information, visit www.acadianvillage.org
  Heymann Center for the Performing Arts
1373 S. College Rd., Lafayette, LA 70503 For additional information, visit www.ticketmaster.com/venue/221705
  Lafayette Science Museum and Planetarium
The Museum exists to encourage the discovery and understanding of the natural world, the universe, and the role of humans within them. Hours of Operation Monday - Closed Tuesday thru Friday - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday - 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission Charges Adults - $5.00 Seniors (65 or older) - $3.00 Children - $2.00 For additional information, visit www.lafayettesciencemuseum.org
  University Art Museum
The University Art Museum's Permanent Collection consists of more than 1,500 works of art, including paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, and photographs. This collection represents 18th, 19th and 20th century Louisiana, as well as the United States, Europe and Japan. Hours of operation: Tuesday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday - 9:00 to Noon Saturday - 10:00 - 5:00 Sunday and Monday - Closed. Ticket prices: Adult $5. Senior Citizens $4. For additional information, visit www.museum.louisiana.edu
  Zoo of Acadiana
Hours of operation are from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week, January to November. (Closed major holidays) Winter Hours: December Only 9:00 - 4:00 Safari of Lights: 5:00 - 9:00 *weather permitting* Admission cost: $9.25* for adults $8.25* for senior citizens 55 and older *plus tax. For additional information, visit www.zooofacadiana.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Inherit the Atchafalaya


Author: Greg Guirard & Ray Brassieur


Description: Greg Guirard's stunning photographs, fascinating text by Ray Brassieur, woven together to tell the rich history of the Acadians.



Cajun Families of the Atchafalaya : Their Ways and Words


Author: Greg Guirard


Description: A cultural documentary, with 143 beautiful duo-tone photographs, of the people -- mostly French-speaking Cajuns -- who earn their livelihood by fishing, crabbing, crawfishing, trapping, and hunting alligators, turtles and bullfrogs in Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin.



PsychoTherapy for Cajuns: A Traditional Culture Struggles for Survival in a Crazy World


Author: Greg Guirard


Description: A traditional culture struggles for survival in a crazy world.



Cajun Country


Author: Barry Ancelet, Glen Pitre, Jay Edwards


Description: An insightful study of the people of south Louisiana. It examines their traditional culture and its impact on modern ways.



Founding of New Acadia: The Beginnings of Acadian Life in Louisiana, 1765-1803


Author: Carl A. Brasseaux


Scattered to the Wind: Dispersal and Wanderings of the Acadians, 1755-1809


Author: Carl A. Brasseaux


Description: The dispersal of the Acadian populationperhaps better known to historians as the Grand Drangementis unquestionably the pivotal event in Acadian history. Longfellow attempted to portray the tragic consequences of the deportation of the Acadian population from the Bay of Fundy Basic through his epic Evangeline, but the narrow focus of this work failed to convey the magnitude of the disruption and the resulting misery upon the Acadian population. Scholarly works dealing with the Acadian dispersal have also tended to focus on one group, or one aspect of this historical event. Scattered to the Wind fills the resulting need for an overview of the tragic episode, providing detailed accounts of the dispersal, Acadian life during the exile, the ensuing migrations, and the ultimate transplantation of various Acadian groups in widely separated geographic areas. Segments of the booklet examine the impact of the Grand Drangement, the dispersal, Acadians in each of the Eastern seaboard colonies, as well as post-dispersal Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Madawaska (Maine), England, France, Saint-Domingue, Martinique, French Guiana, the Falkland Islands, St. Pierre, Miquelon, and Louisiana. This short monograph also examines little known late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Acadian migrations to the lower Mississippi Valley. This fully documented narrative will provide engrossing reading for genealogists, history buffs, and anyone interested in Louisiana's Acadian heritage.



Stir the Pot: The History of Cajun Cuisine


Author: Marcelle Bienvenu, Carl A. Brasseaux and Ryan Brasseaux



What’s included in this Road Scholar program?



Except for the occasional meal on some programs, Road Scholar programs are all-inclusive. That means there are no extra “options,” no passing the hat for tips and no surprises. From lectures and field trips to gratuities and accommodations – the price you pay up front is the price you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:


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