Broussard is a very small city in southern Louisiana. Though it may seem like there isn’t much to see with a population under 10,000, the city has left much of its history untouched and intact. This allows visitors to marvel at historic sites while enjoying the small-town, cozy energy. Read on to find out about the best things to do in Broussard!
1. Meet the animals at Zoosiana
Zoosiana, also called the Zoo of Acadiana, is quite arguably the main attraction in Broussard. The 18-hectare (45-acre) zoo boasts more than 750 animals from about 130 different species. The zoo is an accredited zoological park and maintains a commitment to preserving endangered species.
Its 150,000 yearly visitors can be sure that the animals they’re viewing are treated with the utmost respect and best care. In addition to being able to roam the park freely, visitors can also enjoy safari train rides, giraffe and parakeet feedings, live animal shows, a petting zoo, and several different keeper talks explaining in-depth about the animals they care for. The zoo also offers special events and kids’ camps, and the ability to reserve certain areas for birthday parties or your own special event.
The park is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closes one hour earlier in December. Tickets are 11.99 USD for adults, 10.00 USD for senior citizens and 7.99 for children. Younger children two and under receive admission for free, and admission may be different if you attend the zoo during a special event.
Zoo of Acadiana
Address: 5601 Hwy 90 E, 70518 Broussard, LA
2. Watch the birds flock to Cypress Island Preserve
Situated just outside Broussard, the Cypress Island Preserve is a great place to head if you’d rather view wildlife outside of cages. Throughout the first half of the year, thousands of birds making their winter nests allow for a spectacular view. Whether you’re a seasoned bird watcher or not, a number of great egrets, little blue herons, cattle egrets, snowy egrets and roseate spoonbills will have you amazed. Especially if you make the visit anytime from February through the end of July, the rookery area is a must-see while the different bird species rear their young.
From fall to spring, a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) long levee trail is easily accessible and easy to walk for children, adults, and seniors. The 3,845-hectare (9,500-acre) reserve is protected by The Nature Conservancy, and most of it consists of cypress-tupelo swamp and bottomland hardwood forest habitat. Along with the array of birds that migrate to the area, visitors may also be able to spot American alligators in all different sizes. Visiting the preserve and using the walking paths are free for all visitors, and volunteer docents are available at the visitor center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekend day. During the spring, the center is also open Wednesday through Sunday.
Cypress Island Preserve
Address: 1264 Prairie Hwy, 70582 St. Martinville, LA
Website: Cypress Island Preserve
3. Take a step back through history at Acadian Village
Acadian Village is Broussard’s greatest offering for history buffs. It offers the Lafayette parish’s oldest authentic version of how life was like in 19th century Louisiana, including preserved historic homes situated next to winding bayous. Other than tours and field trips, the village has also been voted as Acadia’s best spot for weddings and receptions. Self-guided tours are 8.72 USD for adults, 7.63 USD for seniors, 6.54 USD for students aged 5-17 and free for children four and under.
Various guided group tour rates are available for 20 or more. The tour allows you to see a variety of small historic houses, chapels, museums, and shops, and you’ll learn what they were used for as well as who lived there once upon a time. The general store is a replica of a traditional store and allows visitors to purchase Louisiana souvenirs and hand-made crafts.
Address: 200 Greenleaf Drive 70506 Lafayette, LA
Website: Acadian Village
4. Take a load off at Parish Brewing
After you’ve explored most of the wildlife and history that Broussard has to offer, take a load off at Parish Brewing. All of the beer is brewed locally, on-site in Broussard, and it’s never pasteurized. Several of the beers have an annual or limited edition release, so be sure to find your favorite flavors while they’re still there. The beer’s availability is always marked online on their website. You can also take a tour of the brewery on Saturday from 12 to 2 p.m.
Address: 229 Jared Dr., 70518 Broussard, LA
Website: Parish Brewing
5. Stroll by Broussard's historic sites
The city of Broussard has several properties listed on the national historic register, that are made available through the Broussard Chamber of Commerce. Of those listed, many are available at the historic Acadian Village. However, a few have been renamed, but still remain historic buildings available for casual site-seeing. The St. Julien House was built by the widowed Marguerite Roy St. Julien in 1910, and is now the La Belle Maison Senior Center.
Similarly, Nash’s Restaurant in Broussard is a beautiful historic building that was once known as the Comeaux home. Known for its delicious Italian and steak dinners, the restaurant itself is also a beautiful piece of history. Aside from heading to Acadian village, seeking out the historic buildings on the chamber’s website could serve as a fun adventure for your whole family.
Broussard Historic Sites
Website: List of Broussard’s Historic Sites
Relax in Broussard
Broussard is a great place to visit, especially if you’re from a big city and looking for a relaxing vacation where you’ll be able to marvel at some splendid sites. Not too many places boast such a preservation of history and nature, and it definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. Overall, the small town has much more to offer than you may think at first glance!
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