By: Brittany Racca
The New Iberia Azalea Trail is back as spring brings a sea of flowers with it. The red, pink, white, purple and salmon colored Azaleas are not to be missed and the best way to see them is on the easy self-guided driving tour through the city and at various attractions.
"The trail will show off a beautiful array of colors from white to different shades of pinks, and reds," said Margaret Melancon with the Azalea Garden Club. "Some shrubs can grow to one foot tall. There are some evergreen and deciduous varieties. There are a variety of colors that range from pink to peach, red and white."
The trail starts off with a stroll along New Iberia's award-winning historic Main Street and adjacent roads, where Azaleas frame moss draped oak trees, stately houses and quaint cottages. The Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau offers maps of Main Street's residential and commerical historic district, as well as Azalea Trail maps.
Guests can tour Shadows-on-the-Teche and view the lush gardens while they walk the paths that welcomed well-known names like Walt Disney and Henry Miller. The plantation home is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Jefferson & Avery Islands:
Next, visitors can drive down to Avery Island and visit the TABASCO® Factory and Jungle Gardens. The 200-acre paradise offers a self-guided driving tour of the gardens. Flowers aren't the only thing to be seen on these trails: be sure to keep an eye out for alligators, deer, nutria and other Louisiana wildlife. The Tabasco Factory is open daily from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. with the last tour at 4 p.m. and Jungle Gardens from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens boast another great spot to walk among the flowers. Guests will be able to tour the grounds and Joseph Jefferson's historic home on the property and stop in for lunch at Café Jefferson, which is open seven days a week Monday-Friday 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. The gardens are open daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Antique Rose Ville:
The perfect spot for relaxing for breakfast, lunch or dinner is Antique Rose Ville. The grounds include a rose garden and pond and are open by appointment.
The Jeanerette Museum features a swamp room where visitors can observe more than 40 native specimens in a wildlife setting, as well as other exhibits. It is open Tuesday-Thursday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Be sure to stop by our visitor center and pick up a map for Jeanerette's new walking tour.
The KONRIKO® Company Store/Conrad Rice Mill is the final stop where guests can view these beautiful flowers. There, visitors will take a tour of the mill and sample its delicious products right in the country store where spices and gifts can be purchased to take back home. The store is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tour times are Monday-Saturday every hour from 10 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m.
The Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau offers maps for the trail and more information on the various attractions. For more information stop in, call 337-365-1540 or visit IberiaTravel.com.