Romantically challenged? Date deprived? We handpicked some of the most alluring sights, places and tastes of Acadiana, where couples can find a way to reconnect – and fall in love all over again.
TABLE FOR TWO
If you’re planning to win over that special someone with a fine dining experience, your choices in Acadiana are plentiful. Whether you’re a purist when it comes to international dishes or you’re up for a little fusion in your menu, these restaurants are made for romance.
Downtown Lafayette’s Pamplona on Jefferson Street is a top choice for Spanish tapas and craft cocktails. The vibe is reminiscent of a Hemminway novel, and the small bites and drinks are top-notch. Marcello’s Lafayette also exudes an atmosphere found in sweeping romance novels, with its rows of imported bottles, a wall of wine barrels and a menu full of Old World, authentic recipes. If Parisian cuisine is more your style, try Acadiana’s relative newcomer Jane’s French Cuisine. The intimate bistro, with its handful of tables inside and a few on the patio, offers a seasonal menu featuring “French classics with a modern twist.”
A Taste of Home
Awarded “Most Romantic Place to Dine” by People’s Choice, Nash’s Restaurant in Broussard offers up New Orleans–inspired seafood and steaks and Italian classics in a converted Victorian home. Call and inquire about being seated in one of the tables along the bay of windows overlooking the oaks and cedars. Café Sydnie Mae in downtown historic Breaux Bridge serves the best in French Louisiana seafood and angus steaks, and the historic building it calls home is quaint and romantic. Looking for something a little more lively? Call ahead to Social Southern Table & Bar to reserve the private nook in the main dining room. You can sit together on the sofa, eat and drink, and still enjoy the bustle of the restaurant.
When it comes to romance, the scenes of Acadiana’s moss-draped oaks and sunset waters speak for themselves. From Jefferson Island to Lafayette, there are dozens of spots so picturesque that you’ll be pledging your undying love in no time.
A hand-in-hand stroll through the fairytale grounds at Rip Van Winkle Gardens on Lake Peigneur will light a fire in any relationship. Be sure to tour the historic home while you’re there, and enjoy some lunch at Café Jefferson. A few miles away, in the heart of downtown New Iberia, sits another property right out of the pages of a romance script. Shadows-on-the-Teche’s Greek Revival architecture and sweeping grounds provide the perfect backdrop for your day of romance. Tour the 3,750-square-foot home then stroll down New Iberia’s Main Street to see some of the most beautiful historic homes in the South. Finally, no list of this kind would be complete without including the legend and lore found at Evangeline Oak Park. Pack a picnic and sit under the shade of this storied tree.
Where the Wild Things Are
If nature is more what lights your fire, check out the Lake Martin Rookery. Its quintessential Louisiana landscape of cypress and tupelo trees is accented by one of the largest populations of water birds in Louisiana. Oh, and alligators, too. For another opportunity to view wildlife with the one you love, the Acadiana Park Nature Station offers a 6-mile trail system on its 150-acre wooded facility and is open from sunrise to sunset. Rather view your wildlife from afar? Zoosiana might be the perfect place to connect with nature – and your better half.
Sometimes an overnight stay is just what’s needed for the couple in love, and any one of these accommodations is a great place to start. Romance can look different from one couple to the next, so make sure you plan a getaway that’s just right for you.
Maison Mouton is a 200-year-old restored Creole house with seven guest rooms, luxuriously appointed with both period antiques and modern comforts. Enjoy an authentic Cajun breakfast every morning and social hour every evening. The B&B even offers a romance package, complete with in-room champagne, flowers and dessert (and a couples massage for an additional fee). For something less historic and a bit more spa-like, try The Carriage House at River Ranch. It’s Acadiana’s only AAA Four Diamond property and it offers a host of resort-style options, including a members-only bar and grill, pool, fitness center and access to a menu of spa services.
Quaint & Cozy
In the heart of downtown New Iberia, short-term rental Chateau Royale and it’s next-door, smaller sister Bayou Chateau are situated directly on Bayou Teche. Owners have decorated the restored spaces with tasteful design and appointed each with all the comforts of home. If tranquility and privacy are high on your wish list, then Maison D’Memoire Cottages will suit you well. Nestled in the countryside of Rayne, the B&B offers breakfast delivered to your cottage every morning, fishing on a private pond, couple’s massage, and plenty of places to soak in the romance. Looking for even more privacy and a lot more nature? Rent a floating cabin on the Atchafalaya Basin through Houseboat Adventures at Cypress Cove Landing.