Festival International is just days away and while thousands are drawn to Lafayette for the music and cultural experience, the parish has so much more to offer.
Two big outdoor adventures you can take advantage of are kayaking and hiking. Eric Zernich has more on how you can enjoy these activities.
One of the best ways to truly see the beauty of the natural landscape of Acadiana is by canoe or kayak. Don’t have a boat to take to the water, that is not a problem. Specialty stores across Acadiana, like Pack & Paddle, can supply visitors with a chance to get back to nature.
"Paddle & Paddle offers a lot of ways to get outdoors," says store manager Scott Bienvenu. "Canoes and kayaks are offered daily from the shop."
The team at Pack & Paddle are sure they provide the right boat for any type of adventure or experience level.
"We offer some kayaks if you are just looking to go out and do some birding, photography, to look at nature, or just go paddle around in Lake Martin. We also have some decked out fishing boats for those interested bass fishing, saltwater fishing; we got kayaks and canoes that you can rent for that as well."
If hiking or bird watching is more appealing, head to Acadiana Park Nature Station for a jump into a more grounded nature experience.
With 6 miles of trails on two separate pieces of property, Curator of Natural Science at Acadiana Park Nature Station, Stacey Scarce says that everyone has access to the trails and can experience a wide variety of native plants and animals.
"We have 150 acres of bottomland hardwood forest so those people that want to just come out and listen to birds or identify birds can do so, says Scarce. "Birds will still be migrating at that time so you could get some really unique birds here."
Most of the trails at Acadian Park are open to strollers and wheelchairs, hikers with furry friends are welcome to share the trails as well.
"We are pet friendly as long as you have your dog on a leash, they are welcomed to come here."
So whether visiting from out of town or a lifetime local, there are plenty of options for everyone to get out and experience the beautiful nature here in Acadiana.