An Authentic Cajun Experience

The Opelousas National Historic District

The Historic District is located in the heart of Old Opelousas, showcases more than 175 years of architecture, ranging from Greek Revival to Art Deco. Visit the 300+ year old Jim Bowie Oak and our courthouse square, or stroll down brick sidewalks dating back to the early 1800s and view antebellum, Victorian, and turn-of-the century homes and buildings, including the Hidden Capitol of Louisiana on Liberty St. which served as the Governor’s Mansion during the Civil war. Click here to download a City of Opelousas Brochure or stop by the Opelousas Tourist Center inside Le Vieux Village.

Opelousas Museum & Interpretive Center

This history museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving and interpreting objects and artifacts relat­ing to the history and culture of the Opelousas area including things about Native Americans, Cajun and Creole culture and the Civil War. The museum is also home to the Geraldine Welch Doll Collection, Olympian Rod­ney Milburn Exhibit and houses the Original South west Zydeco Festival Archives.

Fireman’s Museum

This museum showcases various objects and artifacts relating to the history and culture of the city. Learn about the Native Americans, Cajun, Creoles, African Americans, and the French and Spanish. Discover the area’s important role in the Civil War and learn about famous Opelousas residents.

Creole Heritage & Folklife Center

Learn about the rich heritage of the Creole people in Southwest Louisiana–from food to festivals. Committed to nurturing the unique identity of Creole culture, the non-profit organization offers demonstrations, information and events.  

Le Vieux Village Heritage Park & Museum

This “must see attraction” offers visitors a glimpse of early rural life. Among the many historic buildings, the village includes one of the oldest Creole homes west of the Mississippi, a 19th century doctor’s office and country store, and a schoolhouse from 1911. You’ll also find the Louisiana Orphan Train Museum and a small display exhibit dedicated to Jim Bowie, the legendary adventurer who once lived in Opelousas.

Sacred Places/Historic Churches

Opelousas boasts a number of historic churches and cemeteries including St. Landry Catholic Church which dates back to the mid-1700s. Other nearby historic churches include Little Zion Baptist Church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, LA United Memorial Methodist Church and Holy Ghost Catholic Church. Historic cemeteries include St. Landry Catholic Cemetery and Myrtle Grove Cemetery.

Historic Michel Prudhomme House

This house is believed to be the oldest structure, circa 1770, still located in its original location in St. Landry Parish, and is a fine example of French Colonial architecture. During the Civil War, the home was used to house Union officers. Available for tours, meetings, and receptions by appointment. 337-942-8011

Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino

This attraction offers some of the best Vegas-style gaming actions with more than 1,600 slots and exciting Thoroughbred and Quarter horse racing where the announcer yells, “Ils sont partis!” – French for “They’re off!” Enjoy live music and concerts.

Historical and Genealogical Research

Opelousas is a treasure trove for historians and genealogists. The area’s records date back to the French and Spanish colonial eras. The documents located at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse and St. Landry Catholic Church rival those of New Orleans, Mobile, and Natchitoches.

Public Art

Discover downtown and explore unique public art including the Acadian to Cajun mural, Zydeco Capital of the World mural, Seven Brothers Oak mural, St. Landry Parish History from the 1800s mural, and Fiddle Mania – large fiberglass and metal fiddles decorated by local artists, Opelousas is also home to a certified Cultural District, so be sure to take advantage of tax-free purchased original art.

Activities

Let’s have a little fun with puzzles while learning about Opelousas. Just click one of the images to start your digital puzzle. Drag and drop the pieces to complete the puzzle. Send to your friends and compete to see who can complete their puzzle the fastest time! If you are having trouble completing the puzzle, scroll over the image icon at the top of the screen to see what the finished puzzle will look like.  

For Sportsmen and Nature Lovers

Opelousas is part of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and nearby Thistlewaite Wildlife Management Area. The sites provide opportunities for biking, hunting, fishing, and paddling!

RV Camping

RV Camping is available at the South City Park and Le Vieux Village in Opelousas. The park features 67 sites with water, electric hook-ups and a dump station. Le Vieux Village invites self-contained RVers to visit and stay overnight and step into a cultural experience.

St. Landry Parish Veterans Memorial

To acknowledge and recognize all military personnel; to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country; and to create a quiet place unto itself, a place of education, a place of hope, a place of peace, serenity and beauty, a place for all of us.

Rural African American Museum 

The Rural African American Museum, located in Opelousas, was formed by Wilken Jones to preserve the customs of the rural African Americans of St. Landry Parish. The museum features displays documenting the history of this people from the realities of slavery to the Creole cowboy culture of today. You can view antique farming equipment as you walk through his informative displays.