Designation by the Federal Highway Administration will bring new attention to scenic byway
The Bayou Teche Scenic Byway received the prestigious designation of National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration on Feb. 16, 2021. View the route here.
In 2020, 63 nomination applications were submitted. Forty-nine byways in 28 states were designated, including 34 National Scenic Byways and 15 All-American Roads. This determination takes into account evidence of intrinsic quality(s); demonstration of national or regional significance; overall visitor’s experience; and demonstration of long-term sustainability.
To receive a national designation, a road must possess intrinsic qualities that are nationally significant. The road, the attractions and the amenities along the route must provide an exceptional traveling experience so recognized by travelers that they would make a drive along the highway a primary reason for their trip. These roads are considered the very best of America’s National Scenic Byways.
The Bayou Teche Byway:
Located along the Bayou Teche National Water and Paddle Trail in the heart of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, the byway is home to an incredibly beautiful natural landscape and winds through four parishes, St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary.
With an authentic, walk-able oil rig; stately historic homes; swamp and paddle tours; and tasty Cajun fare, the scenic self-guided tour has something for everyone from the history buff to the avid outdoorsman.
“Along the Bayou Teche Byway, the food, the music, the art, the crafts, folklife and occupational traditions have been passed down for generations," said Fran Thibodeaux, executive director of the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Over the years, settlers have moved from farming and fishing to oil and gas exploration occupations. Each adds another dimension to the area.
"Aside from being so culturally rich and diverse, the Bayou Teche Byway is one of the most beautiful routes in the state as it hugs the western side of the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest river swamp in the nation."
What the Designation Means for the Area:
From big cities to small river towns, through historical sites and interpretive centers, the Louisiana byways lay out the history and culture of our native people and immigrant communities, transportation, agriculture and so much more. The National Scenic Byway designation give credence to why so many people choose to experience America’s Byways.
National designation is a high honor and it will help to entice more travelers to drive the routes and spend money in stores, restaurants, hotels and attractions, and that economic boost is absolutely vital to the communities of Louisiana Byways.
Travelers can plot their route along the Bayou Teche Scenic Byway by visiting IberiaTravel.com and LouisianaByways.com.
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