Stroll through the grounds of a historic estate, dance and eat the day away at the famous Jambalaya Festival, and meander along the Mississippi River. These are just a few of the many things to do in Ascension Parish. Home to the towns of Gonzales, Donaldsonville, and Sorrento, the parish is steeped in history and offers plenty of compelling places to dine, shop, and explore. Whether you’re driving through the “Bayou State” or unloading your bags at an elegant bed & breakfast, don’t miss out on the sights, sounds, and tastes of Louisiana’s Sweet Spot, Ascension Parish.
Located on the grounds of Houmas House, The Great River Road Museum opens visitor’s eyes to what early life along the lower Mississippi was like. The culture, commerce, folklore and music were a fusion of all the foreign countries that discovered and developed this new territory. From the wealthy owners of great sugar empires, to the humble lives of the enslaved, this museum details how each lived and survived by this powerful body of water.
Your senses will lead you straight to the Jambalaya Festival , held in Gonzales, the Jambalaya Capital of the World. This family-friendly event features World Champion Jambalaya served throughout the weekend. Yet there’s far more to this festival than the savory tastes of Louisiana’s most famous dish.
Try your hand at winning a prize from one of the Midway games and soar on the Ferris wheel and other carnival rides. Watch over 100 cooks compete to win the World Championship Title. Don’t miss out on any of the live music playing throughout the festival.
If you’re looking to experience the one-of-a-kind culture of southern Louisiana all in one place, stop by the Gonzales’ Jambalaya Festival.
Ascension Parish is home to a variety of art and artists. One of the region’s most famous artists is Alvin Batiste, a self-taught folk artist whose work has been critically acclaimed. Explore Alvin’s art in his own studio and frame shop, where you might catch him working on his next masterpiece.
Then stroll through the River Road African American Museum to learn more about the history and culture of African American in the rural communities of south Louisiana.
If the outdoors is calling your name, soak up the sun as you explore Louisiana’s riverfront with Donaldsonville's Historic Portal to the Past, seven wayside exhibits that tell the history of Donaldsonville by way of a walking self-guided tour.
Start off your day with a game of golf at Pelican Point Golf Course in Gonzales, an 18-hole, British-style design—with Louisiana flair, of course. Play your way through what was once a sugar cane farm, taking in all the natural splendor as you try to keep your score down.
After a round of golf and some time spent browsing over 60 shops at Tanger Outlet Center or the Cajun Village in Sorrento, Acadian homes turned specialty shops with a Coffee House and two live alligators you can see for free! (Big Boy and Nubby)
See the Mississippi River at the Riverwalk areas in Donaldsonville or Houmas House where you’ll enjoy the breeze flowing between massive oak trees and the charming paved path alongside the Mississippi River. Gaze out at the waterway and maybe you'll see riverboats passing by, just as they have for decades before.
Some of Louisiana’s best dining is right here in Ascension Parish. From casual to fine dining it is Louisiana’s Sweet Spot to dine. Houmas House, for example, has three restaurants that serve traditional Louisiana cuisine and reflects the locally grown produce, providing a true farm-to-table experience. Be sure to grab a drink at the Turtle Bar and take a stroll in the gardens.
Family-owned restaurants like Mike Anderson's Seafood and Sno's Seafood and Steakhouse have been here for more than forty years, providing the area with new twists on authentic cuisine for generation after generation. For another authentic dining experience, stop by The Grapevine Cafe, award winning cuisine, a unique blend of Cajun, Creole and African traditions in historic Donaldsonville.
Sugarfield Spirits and Nöel Family Distillery provide local flavor and Louisiana tradition in handcrafted spirits and Gilla Brewing Company is Ascension’s first brewery, specializing in fruited sours, New England IPA’s and pastry stouts.
Needless to say, you’ll need your appetite when you visit Ascension Parish, Louisiana’s Sweet Spot!