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Island Hopping Itinerary

When you live in an area that’s made up of 456 square miles of water, there are bound to be some islands.

Iberia Parish has its fair share and—good news for visitors—some of them are easily accessible. Experience the beauty of nature while sampling delicious local food, touring tropical gardens and maybe even catching a few fish.

Tabasco Country Store and Tabasco Museum on Avery Island


Tabasco® Factory & Country Store

See the factory where world-famous Tabasco® brand pepper sauce is made. View artifacts from Tabasco’s founding family, the McIlhennys, at the museum, and witness the growing process of the pepper plants from seedlings to plate.

You can also visit the mash warehouse for a peek at the sauce’s aging process and sample products at the Tabasco® Country Store.

Cups of chicken and sausage gumbo and crawfish etouffee at Tabasco Restaurant 1868

Lunch at Restaurant1868

Enjoy lunch at Avery Island’s on-site Restaurant 1868, a casual, cafeteria-style eatery serving Tabasco-infused Cajun favorites, like Pepper Barrel Crawfish Etouffee, Avery Island Red Beans and Rice and Cajun Crawfish Nachos. Be sure to check out the portraits of the inner workings of the factory, as well as founding family members, that line the walls or relax on the wraparound porch with a view of the factory and country store.

Live oaks draped with Spanish moss over Bayou Petite Anse at Jungle Gardens of Avery Island

Jungle Gardens of Avery Island

Edward Avery “Ned” McIlhenny, the son of Tabasco inventor Edmund Avery McIlhenny, converted his private Avery Island estate into Jungle Gardens, decorating it with exotic botanical specimens from around the world.

He also founded Bird City, a private sanctuary for the once-endangered snowy egret.

Camellias, azaleas, bamboo and thousands of tropical plants also dot the landscape, while a centuries-old Buddha sculpture watches over the Chinese Garden. Alligators, deer, rabbits, egrets, herons, ducks and wild fowl inhabit the gardens seasonally.

Servant's Quarters Cottages at Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Cottages at Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Check into Cook’s Cottage or Joseph Jefferson Servant’s Quarters on Jefferson Island.

Nestled in the heart of the gardens, you’ll find these charming Acadian cottages for overnight guests. Servant’s Quarters sleep two, while Cook’s Cottage can sleep four.

Accommodations are furnished with handmade mahogany king-sized four-poster Louisiana French style beds, and continental breakfast is included. If you’re not content to snack on the crackers, cheese and wine provided in your cottage, take a short drive into New Iberia for dinner

Peacock at Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens


Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Located on a coastal salt dome and flanked by 25 acres of semi-tropical gardens and Lake Peigneur, Jefferson Island also boasts the Joseph Jefferson Home.

Built in 1870 by acclaimed American actor Joseph Jefferson, the mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is furnished with period paintings, rare Louisiana pieces and fine examples of American and French Empire furniture.

Visitors can start their experience by viewing a documentary on the 1980 collapse of that giant salt dome beneath the lake, then stroll through the exquisitely restored gardens before watching birds at Rip’s Rookery and touring the home. 

A bowl of seafood bisque on a metal table with Lake Peigneur in the background at Cafe Jefferson at Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Lunch at Café Jefferson

Seafood dishes are the specialty at this on-site café overlooking Lake Peigneur. Bisques, gumbos, etouffee, sauce piquante and homemade desserts make up the menu served beneath moss-draped oaks seven days a week.

Man fishing at Cypremort Point State Park

Vermilion Bay or Bayou Teche

Explore the waters that surround Iberia Parish by boat or kayak. Guided fishing charters leave out of Cypremort Point and Bayou Carlin Cove in Delcambre, with paddle trips available from Bayou Teche Experience.

For lighter activity on the water, keep an eye out for more than 240 species of birds that have been documented in the parish. 

Row of overstuffed shrimp poboys at Bon Creole in New Iberia

Dinner at Bon Creole Seafood

Pick up an overstuffed poboy from this New Iberia institution and either dine-in or take it to go seven days a week (BBQ served on Sundays).

Poboys range from shrimp to oyster, crawfish, softshell crab, roast beef and grilled chicken. Gumbo, seafood baskets, burgers and daily plate lunches are also served.

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Red Asian gate at Jungle Gardens of Avery Island