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

Program Number: 8276RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/28/2013 - 11/2/2013; 3/16/2015 - 3/21/2015; 4/21/2015 - 4/26/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Price starting at: $675.00 - 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

10-28-2013, 3-16-2015

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
   Hilton Lafayette
  Lafayette, LA 5 nights
 Hilton Lafayette
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: In the heart of Cajun Country, set on the banks of the Vermilion River. Just minutes from UL Lafayette, Vermilionville, and other attractions. Approximately 3.0 miles from airport.
  Contact info: 1521 W. Pinhook Rd.
Lafayette, LA 70503 USA
phone: 800-445-8667
web: www.Lafayette.Hilton.com
  Room amenities: Complimentary high speed internet, 37" flat panel television, coffee station, blow dryer, iron & ironing board.
  Facility amenities: Seasonal outdoor pool, 24 hour fitness room, 24 hour business center.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $89 two double beds, $99 king Arrangements must be made directly with the hotel. 800-HILTONS (445-8667) . Please give them this code: N2849782, which will alert them that you are eligible for the Road Scholar discounted rate. Do NOT ask for group reservations. You may also call the Hilton Lafayette directly and ask to speak to the reservationist. This option is only available Monday through Friday, 9 - 5 Central time, and the number is not toll free. 337 235-6111. Tell them you are with Road Scholar.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $89 two double beds, $99 king Arrangements must be made directly with the hotel. 800-HILTONS (445-8667) . Please give them this code: N2849782, which will alert them that you are eligible for the Road Scholar discounted rate. Do NOT ask for group reservations. You may also call the Hilton Lafayette directly and ask to speak to the reservationist. This option is only available Monday through Friday, 9 - 5 Central time, and the number is not toll free. 337 235-6111. Tell them you are with Road Scholar.
  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 Hilton Lafayette that night.
  End of Program:
Ends after breakfast which is available from 6:30 - 10:00 am. Check out by Noon. You will be staying at Hilton Lafayette 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: 337-235-6111
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 3 miles

   

The Hilton has airport transportation available. Please include your flight arrival information on the Personal Information Form. Call the Hilton ahead of time at 337 235-6111 to arrange pickup. Should your flight be delayed or your schedule changed in some way, please call the hotel to notify them.

 

Lafayette

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
phone: 337-235-6111
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

no charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 3 miles

   

Please include expected arrival time on your Personal Information Form. To arrange transport, call (337) 235-6111 If arriving at an unexpected time and need taxi service, call City/Dixie Cab Service at 337-237-3333 or Quality Cab Service @ 337-235-8993. Cost approximately $10.

 

Lafayette

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
phone: 337-235-6111
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No charge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 3 miles

   

Please put expected arrival time on the Personal Information Form. Arrange shuttle pickup ahead of time by calling the Hilton at 337 235-6111. Should the train be delayed, please notify the hotel.

 
Driving Directions
  I-10 traveling from east (Baton Rouge, LA) or west (Houston, TX) From I-10: take the I49/Highway 90/SW Evangeline Thwy South exit. (Exit 103A) Head south for about 3.5 miles and turn right on Pinhook. Lafayette Hilton is 1.5 miles on your 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. Cross US Highway 90 (US-90) at the light. Surrey Street becomes University Avenue. Cross under railraod overpass. Turn left on Pinhook Road. The Hilton hotel is about 1.5 miles down Pinhook Rd., on the left. (1521 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 (and Hwy 90) once you are south of I-10. Stay on the Evangeline Thruway, about 3.5 miles, and turn right on Pinhook Road. Travel 1.5 miles down Pinhook, and the Hilton will be on the left.
  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. The Hilton is about 1/2 a mile on the right at 1521 W. Pinhook Rd, past the bridge.
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, October 28)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel check-in time is 3:00.
 Dinner: Gumbo dinner at the hotel at 6:30 pm.
 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: Hilton Lafayette
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Jean Lafitte Center; Vermilionville
(Tuesday, October 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 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 - Dr. Elista Istre will talk to the group on two different topics. The first will be about the journey from Acadians to Cajuns and the second will be about alligators. She is a fascinating instructor.
 Dinner: Dinner at Hub City Diner. Will choose from a small menu.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Lafayette
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wildlife expert and nature photographer.
(Wednesday, October 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Class with a local wildlife expert.
 Lunch: Dwyer's Cafe.
 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: Deano's Pizza
 Evening: Martin Accordions
   
Accommodations: Hilton Lafayette
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: McGee's Landing/Lake Martin Rookery
(Thursday, October 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 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: Lunch at Poche's Market.
 Afternoon: Lake Martin Rookery is a sight to behold. The setting is classic Louisiana: Spanish moss draped cypress trees and water tupelo. The birds we'll see will vary by season and yes, there should be alligators! We'll take our time and enjoy the view. Be sure to have your binoculars and cameras handy.
 Dinner: Poboy dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Lafayette
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cypress Lake/Cajun Dance Lessons
(Friday, November 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: A visit to UL Lafayette's jewel in the middle of campus, Cyrpress Lake. Cypress Lake is a beautiful microcosm of swamp life, with moss draped cypress trees, tupelo gum, native flowers, birds, alligators, and fish. Then on to Avery Island to see historic Jungle Gardens.
 Lunch: Local Cajun restaurant.
 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: Pont Breaux's Cajun Restaurant
 Evening: Dinner and dancing to live music at one of our most famous local restaurant / dance halls.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Lafayette
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Depart after breakfast, which is available from 6:30 - 10:00
(Saturday, November 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 Morning: Depart after breakfast, which is available from 6:30 - 10:00.
   
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
  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


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.



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.



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.





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