By: Brittany Racca
The New Iberia Azalea Trail is back every spring (February-March, depending on the weather) with a sea of flowers. 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."
1. Iberia Parish Welcome Center:
Start you adventure at our welcome center to see the blooms surrounding our Acadian cottage. Pick up a trail map and information on Iberia Parish, Acadiana and Louisiana. You can also download the trail map here.
2. Jefferson Island:
Take a left on Highway 14 from the welcome center and drive about 8 miles to Rip Van Winkle Gardens, another great spot to walk among the flowers. Guests can tour the semi-tropical grounds among bamboos, peacocks and Asian statuary, as well as Joseph Jefferson's historic home. A stop for lunch on the glassed-in porch of Café Jefferson overlooking Lake Peigneur is recommended.
3. Avery Island:
Next, drive back East on Highway 14 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.
Curtis Drive - Carolyn Bienvenu - New Iberia Garden Club
4. Downtown New Iberia:
Get back on Highway 14 and keep going East until the road ends in New Iberia's award-winning historic Main Street and adjacent roads, where Azaleas frame moss draped oak trees, stately houses and quaint cottages. While you're there also check out Bayou Teche Museum and the National Register Historic District and Trilingual Marker. This charming area is the setting captured in the famed Dave Robicheaux novels of New York Times best-selling author James Lee Burke.
Tour Shadows-on-the-Teche and view the lush gardens from the paths that welcomed well-known names like Walt Disney and Henry Miller. As you circle the back of the house, you’ll come to the gazebo where two benches allow you to rest your feet and enjoy the gorgeous view of the Bayou Teche, just as Weeks Hall did a thousand times over. The gardens are his contribution to this magnificent site.
Located at the edge of the historic district, the KONRIKO® Company Store/Conrad Rice Mill offer tours of the oldest mill in America, as well as delicious local products right in the country store where spices and gifts can be purchased to take back home.
Margaret Melancon - New Iberia Azalea Club
7. Darby Lane:
From downtown New Iberia, get on Jane Street (Highway 31), take a left on Darby Lane off the Squirrel Run neighborhood and you'll spot vibrant azalea bushes in the first couple of blocks.
8. Antique Rose Ville:
Another noteworthy garden to inlude on your itinerary, Antique Rose Ville is the perfect spot for relaxing for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The grounds include a rose garden and pond and are open by appointment.
Located about 12 miles Southeast of New Iberia on Highway 182, 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. Be sure to stop by our visitor center and pick up a map for Historic Jeanerette's walking tour.
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 download the trail map here.
If you like this, read:
- 9 Outdoor Activities in New Iberia
- 6 Best Birding Spots in Iberia
- Ultimate South Louisiana Birding Guide