Have you ever heard of Abbeville, LA? It seems that everyone plans a road trip to New Orleans. Some view it as the Las Vegas of the South. Mardi Gras, Cajun cuisine, the French Quarter — you have so much to do, see, and experience.
But before you start driving, there’s a smaller city about 150 miles west that you should consider visiting. Abbeville, Louisiana, isn’t a popular vacation destination, but it’s a town of history and bayou culture worth stopping for.
Let’s look at how you can do Abbeville like a local.
Where Is Abbeville LA Located?
You’ll find Abbeville, LA, right off Highway 82 in south-central Louisiana, near Highway 167 and Highway 14. You can easily access it from all directions. From the Gulf Coast, Abbeville is about a 20-minute drive.
You can also visit Palmetto Island State Park 25 minutes south. The largest city nearby is Lafayette, about a 30-minute drive north. Considering its proximity to so many places, Abbeville, LA, is a great place to stop and visit for a few days.
Is Abbeville LA a Good Place to Live?
Abbeville is home to a little over 12,000 residents. Because of its suburban location, you’ll discover many residents work in the area or make short commutes to nearby cities. It has quite a few parks and community centers, with schools rated above average.
This beautiful area sits off the Vermillion River with scenic views of the bayou. The architecture, cuisine, and history reflect this unique Cajun culture.
Traveler’s Tip: After exploring Abbeville, LA, check out the 7 best small towns in Louisiana.
5 Ways to Do Abbeville LA Like a Local
Abbeville isn’t a popular tourist destination. So you need to know how to do this city as the locals do. Below are some popular activities and places to visit. Whether you’re a golfer, a foodie, or a history buff, you’ll find something that piques your interest in Abbeville, LA.
1. Play a Round of Golf at Southern Oaks Country Club
If you enjoy playing golf, book a tee time at Southern Oaks Country Club. They offer military, senior, and first responder discounts. You can pay $20 to walk or add a cart and pay $37. On the weekends, the rates increase to $30 and $47.
Southern Oaks also has a driving range if you just want to hit a few balls. Afterward, you can drive five minutes to Richard’s Seafood Patio, where you can grab a delicious dinner.
2. Eat Boiled Crawfish at Richard’s Seafood Patio
Stop in at Richard’s Seafood Patio, located off Highway 3335 near the Vermillion River, to enjoy fresh catches. It’s known for its boiled crawfish and serves other seafood dishes and burgers and steak.
They only open for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. So you might want to make reservations just to make sure you don’t miss out on dining at this local favorite.
3. Visit the Sam Guarino Blacksmith Shop Museum
In the heart of Abbeville, LA, is the historic Sam Guarino Blacksmith Shop Museum. Dating back to the early 1900s, this museum allows guests to view the tools used by Sam Guarino, a local blacksmith.
The shop remained in operation until 2004 and looks true to its period with no renovations. You can see the dirt floor Guarino stood on and imagine what life as a blacksmith might have looked like back then.
4. See the Louisiana Military Museum
The Louisiana Military Museum is a Blue Star Museum, which means it offers free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families. It’s only a short 8-minute drive east from the Sam Guarino Blacksmith Shop Museum. You can enjoy several hours of history in one afternoon.
This fairly new military museum was constructed in 2009 at the Chris Crusta Memorial Airport. It includes military vehicles like jeeps, boats, and helicopters. This can make a fun stop if you travel with kids.
5. Shop at Fatboyz Crawfish Company
After a day of golfing or learning about Louisiana’s history, visit Fatboyz Crawfish Company. Here you’ll find a vast array of fresh seafood from giant crawfish and gator meat to Gulf Coast shrimp.
This seafood market is open daily, starting around 9 or 10 a.m., depending on the day, and closes around 7 p.m. except on Sundays when it closes an hour earlier.
How Far Is Abbeville LA from the Coast of Louisiana?
If you’re interested in seeing the Gulf Coast and walking along the shoreline, Abbeville, LA, is only about a 20-minute drive to Intracoastal City, located in Vermillion Bay. You can also see the Gulf of Mexico at Cypremort Point State Park.
You can drive 45 to 50 minutes from Abbeville and head over to Shark Island. The park covers about 185 acres, and you can walk along the sandy beach, go fishing, and view the wildlife in the area.
Is Abbeville LA Worth a Visit?
Although Abbeville, LA, may not be on your list of places to visit when traveling through southern Louisiana, it may make the list now. Even stopping for just a day will open the door to learning more about the area’s history.
Plus, you can’t miss out on eating some fresh crawfish either. Spend a night or two in the area before heading to New Orleans or Lake Charles. Get in a round of golf or explore a nearby beach if you just want to relax.
What will be on your list of things to do in Abbeville, LA?
Even though these items are not in Abbeville, go do them if you stay here. 1) Take the short drive to St. Martinville and see the legendary giant oak tree memorialized in Longfellow’s poem Evangeline. It sits in a attractive park on the banks of Bayou Teche in St. Martinsville. 2) Go get a poboy at Old Tyme Grocery in Lafayette on W. St. Mary’s Blvd.