Visit Opelousas and discover that it’s our unique culture, rich history and Joie de Vivre that makes us Louisiana’s authentic Cajun and Creole experience!
Opelousas, Louisiana’s third oldest city, was established by the French in 1720. In 1765, the Acadians (Cajuns) arrived in the Opelousas area and the Spanish established a garrison here in the mid-18th century. Jim Bowie, famed hero of the Alamo, lived in Opelousas before moving to Texas to join the fight for Texas independence. Opelousas became the capital of Confederate Louisiana for almost a year in 1862, and the city has the oldest remaining Governor’s Mansion in the state.
The cultural mosaic here produced the exotic and sought-after Cajun and Creole dishes like étouffée, gumbo, jambalaya, boudin and cracklins. You can dine where world-famous chefs Paul Prudhomme, Tony Chachere and Eula Savoie learned their culinary skills. After dinner, put on your dancing shoes and move to the beat of Cajun, zydeco or swamp pop at our many music venues and dance halls. In fact, Opelousas was proclaimed “Zydeco Music Capital of the World” in 2000 by the Louisiana legislature.
Opelousas is one of 34 communities designated as a Louisiana Main Street Community. The mission of Opelousas Main Street is to build long-term sustainable downtown revitalization; embrace projects to promote cultural diversity, tourism and business development, while beautifying and celebrating the history of the Opelousas Main Street District.
Opelousas takes pride in its historic downtown area. To promote new businesses and revitalize downtown, Opelousas Main Street began a public arts project. This recent community-oriented projects include Fiddle Mania and Fiddle Mania II, which featured oversized, three-dimensional fiddles, designed, painted and adorned by local artists and are now on permanent display around the historic St. Landry Parish Courthouse Square.
The concert series, Music and Market, is held each year in the spring and the fall, and features a variety of music genres like Cajun and zydeco to R&B and traditional French. The concerts, held on Fridays from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, are outdoors and in conjunction with the local farmer’s market and each concert celebrate a particular fruit or vegetable. Local vendors are also present to sell their wares.
Opelousas is a blend of new and old. The downtown area is the heart of the old city and here you will find a Opelousas offers both a city historic district and a National Historic District, showcasing much of 19th and early 20th century architecture. We know that you will enjoy this charming, storied place, with its picturesque landscape and warm Southern hospitality.
Take a step back in time, step into a culinary experience or dance the two-step. Whatever your taste, Opelousas is...Perfectly Seasoned.