From shopping malls and a waterpark to a well-known festival of jambalaya, there’s plenty to see and do in this city in southern Louisiana.
Gonzales is a welcoming city in Louisiana. Boutiques, independent galleries and outlet shopping centers line the pretty, tree-shaded streets. Often labeled the Jambalaya Capital of the World, Gonzales’ restaurants showcase the city’s Cajun and Creole influences. While visiting you’ll find many places to sample jambalaya, a one-pot dish of meat, fish, rice and spices.
The core of Gonzales straddles the banks of the New River, at the northern edge of the city. Visit Tee Joe Gonzales Museum, the former residence of the city’s founding father. Catch a performance by local theater groups at the Ascension Community Theatre.
Indulge in some entertainment and retail therapy at Bayou Plaza Shopping Center, one of several malls congregated on the north side of the river. It has bowling lanes, a cinema and fashion outlets. Browse the brand-name stores at Tanger Outlet Mall, situated on the outskirts of the city.
Take some time out at the city parks. Jambalaya Park has a large children’s playground while Ascension Veterans Memorial Park is home to memorials to the city’s war veterans.
Another attraction close to the city center is the Pelican Point Golf and Country Club. Visit the Houmas House Plantation, an antebellum house and garden set on the Mississippi River. It’s one of a dozen antebellum houses located in the city’s surroundings. Have some family fun on the waterslides at Blue Bayou Waterpark, just a 20-minute drive north.
A great time to visit Gonzales is in May for the annual Jambalaya Festival. Watch jambalaya cooking demonstrations and try variations of the delicious dish. Ride traditional fairground attractions and attend a beauty pageant.
Gonzales is conveniently located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It’s great for daytrips and also has a range of guesthouses and hotels. Extend your stay to visit Louisiana’s natural attractions. Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area and Elm Hall Wildlife Management Area are both less than a 1-hour drive away. Visit these wetland areas to camp, fish, kayak and spot wildlife such as alligators and waterfowl.