Ancient oak trees draped with beards of Spanish moss shift stately with some distant breeze, unconcerned with the passing of centuries, the pretty show put on by spring azaleas or the scent of creamy magnolias. Shadows On-The-Teche, an antebellum mansion and sprawling plantation preserved in museum form might well be one of the historic highlights in New Iberia, a pleasant, small city southeast of Lafayette.
More unexpected, perhaps, in plantation country, might be the full-length statue of Roman Emperor Hadrian, sculpted during his lifetime (dated to around A.D. 130) and the only one of it's kind in the United States. Take a walking tour through the historic district, brush up on rice milling basics at the Konriko Rice Mill and Company Store, and get the low-down on sugar cane production at the Jeanerette Museum in nearby Jeanerette.
If your one of those that like it hot, a trip to Avery Island might be just the daytrip to spice up your travels. The "home" of Tabasco, the factory here keeps rolling while visitors wander through on tours. Pick up odd and sundry Tabasco souvenirs, then enjoy a wander through the Jungle Gardens and Bird City.
Also within easy daytrip range is the historic town of St Martinville. Take a stroll down the atmospheric main street before setting out to tour the Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site with an interpretive center featuring exhibits on Acadian history, and the Olivier Plantation.
New Iberia is nine miles northeast of Avery Island, and 10 miles south of St Martinville.