No one would ever think of shrimp with petroleum unless they were in Morgan City, Louisiana. A riverfront town that is not shy about displaying itself for tourists and visitors, this quaint town comes alive during Labor Day weekend to celebrate the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival. Known as the Jumbo Shrimp Capital of The World, Morgan City is also home to “Mr. Charlie” an old offshore oil rig that is now open to the public for viewing. During Labor Day weekend, the town puts on a festival unlike any other to pay homage to its history in the Louisiana spirit. Come explore the best things to do in Morgan City, Louisiana as you spend your weekend celebrating the community’s heritage.
1. Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival
The people of Morgan City are indebted to the shrimp and petroleum workers that have made up their community for generations now. This is why they choose to celebrate the odd pairing! What better way to do it than with music, food and local arts and crafts.
This festival lasts five days and has different events planned for each day. You can either pick and choose which days to attend or you can attend every day! This festival is one of the best ways to immerse yourself into the culture of Cajun Country.
Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival
Address: 715 Second Street, P.O. Box 103, Morgan City, LA
With a newly built facility, free breakfast, and outdoor pool and comfortable rooms, you can’t go wrong with staying at the Hampton Inn in Morgan City. This accommodation will provide you the perfect place to rest after spending your days enjoying the festival and being immersed in the culture. When the days get too hot and too long, just cool off in the pool after a long nap. This will definitely make your stay enjoyable and accessible to all the activities.
3. Shop on Main Street in Morgan City for unique finds and friendly faces
Located right on the river is the shopping area along the Great Wall of Morgan City. Here you will find a street full of shops, boutiques, and eateries that represent some of Morgan City’s finest elements. The shops range from bridal and flower shops to eateries that have been local institutions for decades such as Rita Mae’s Kitchen. Spend an afternoon shopping and after a nice lunch, you can go stand on the Great Wall of Morgan City and watch the boats pass by on the Atchafalaya River!
Rita Mae's Kitchen
Address: 711 Federal Avenue, 70380 Morgan City, LA
Website: Rita Mae’s Kitchen
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4. Satisfy your sweet tooth and grab a box of cupcakes to take back to the hotel
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
With flavors like cotton candy and wedding cake, it’s no wonder this place has been a hot spot for sugar seekers! Sweet and Simple Cupcakes and Cakes is a local institution with rave reviews for its cupcakes. This place not only has great reviews for its cupcakes but also for its macaroons, cake pops and other tasty treats. So while you’re out enjoying the festivities, make sure you save room for dessert from Sweet and Simple Cupcakes and Cakes.
Sweet and Simple Cupcakes and Cakes
Address: 209 Freret St, 70380 Morgan City, LA
Facebook Page: Sweet and Simple Cupcakes and Cakes
5. Looking for a swamp tour to take your mind off crowds? Morgan City is the perfect place
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
If you’re looking to experience the Cajun coast while being up close and personal with the wildlife then take a trip with Cajun Coast Paddling Trails and you’ll be working off the festival treats and cupcakes in no time! These trails allow you to canoe or kayak down the Atchafalaya River and experience 220 kilometers (135 miles) of haunting natural beauty. This is one break that you won’t mind taking from the festival and it will allow you to see an entirely different side of Cajun culture.
Cajun Coast Paddling Trails
Address: 900 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd, 70380 Morgan City, LA
Website: Cajun Coast Paddling Trails
6. Enjoy the local community while playing the way the locals play
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
The days can get long when they are packed with festivities so a great way to take a break and also get to know the locals is to head over to the Bayou Vista Community Center. There, you can catch a Little League baseball game or have the kids cool off in the splash pad. This is definitely one place that will introduce you to the local culture.
Bayou Vista Community Center
Address: 1333 Belleview Street, 70380 Bayou Vista, LA
Website: Bayou Vista Community Center
7. Walk onto "Mr Charlie," the only offshore oil rig the public can explore
Morgan City is home to “Mr. Charlie,” a unique feature of the International Petroleum Museum & Exposition. This museum will allow you to experience what it is like to work on a real oil field and how difficult it is to harvest one of the world’s energy sources. This is one tour that will help you appreciate why celebrating petroleum is so important to this community and why there is an entire festival dedicated to it!
International Petroleum Museum & Exposition
Address: P.O. Box 1988, 70381 Morgan City, Louisiana
Experience Cajun culture while enjoying your own pace in Morgan City, Louisiana
The Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival is a great excuse to take yourself down to the Atchafalaya Basin and enjoy some of the local traditions that come out with a flare during Labor Day weekend. This part of Louisiana prides itself on culture and its unique environment that has given it the ability to thrive in the shrimp industry and the offshore oil rigging industry. There are many events to attend during the festival itself but if you’re looking for a break from the crowds then there are lots of activities that will let you leave the chaos for a while but still enjoy the local culture. With the opportunity of a comfortable stay, great food, exploring natural wildlife and learning about the history of this town, Morgan City will be a perfect way to celebrate Labor Day.
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