Vermilionville is a museum and cultural village that celebrates the heritage of the Acadiana region of French Louisiana. It’s a replica of a Cajun-Creole community that was typical between the years of 1765 and 1890. Vermilionville spreads across a 23-acre (9-hectare) parkland with reconstructed homes, gardens, artisan workshops and a performing arts center. It offers a range of fun and educational activities for all ages.
Stroll between the authentic buildings, which represent all levels of social class from the era. There’s a schoolhouse from the 1890s, a Catholic church, humble Acadian dwellings and an example of an aristocrat’s home. Meet costumed characters that retell the history of the Cajun, Creole and Native American people.
Pause to watch the village’s artisans perform the customary activities of the time. See demonstrations of quilting, spinning, weaving and woodworking. Admire the talents of candlemakers and jewelers. Listen to storytellers and attend open-hearth cooking shows. Many of the artisans are descendants of early Acadians and Creoles. Purchase their products as keepsakes at the village’s shop.
Go to the Healer’s Garden to observe, smell and touch a variety of plants used for medicinal purposes by the people of Acadiana. Check out the temporary exhibitions, which highlight everything from Louisiana’s indigenous cultures to the story of the Mardi Gras. Learn about the ecology and geology of the Vermilion River on a guided boat tour.
Time your visit to coincide with cinema and music event such as a weekly jam session featuring Cajun musicians. In January the village hosts the annual Cinema on the Bayou Festival, which focuses on French-language documentary and narrative short movies.
Find Vermilionville on the banks of Vermilion River and just a 10-minute drive from downtown Lafayette. Free parking is available at the entrance to the village.
Vermilionville is open from Tuesday to Sunday, except for select public holidays, and there’s an admission fee. Take a tour with a knowledgeable guide for a fee or explore using the self-guide brochures. Full event and tour details are available via the museum’s official website.