On our last day in Lafayette, we decided to head a little south to New Iberia, were we had the Best house tour ever before hitting the Tabasco factory tour ! (If you missed my post on it, you can find our Rip Van Winkle post here…)
Afterwards, we drove over to Avery Island to check out the Tabasco factory and their free tour. It costs $1 (per vehicle, not per person) to get onto Avery Island; the Tabasco factory is the first left after the toll booth, very easy to find…
They have a parking area just for their tour and gift shop customers.
When you walk in the front doors, there is a small lobby with the time of the next tour posted on a whiteboard; tours are given every 20 minutes. The factory asks that you ‘sign in’ on a computer, but they mostly just wanted to know where you were from, and signing in wasn’t mandatory. Just past the sign-in area, there is another small lobby that has a exhibit showing what the pepper fields look like, and a couple of monitors showing the Tabasco making process.
As we filed in to watch a 12 minute film on the making of Tabasco, we had to stop for a photo op…
On the way in the door, the ‘tour guide’ was handing out adorable, tiny bottles of Tabasco sauce, and she even gave them to each of the kids that wanted them…
We sat in a small auditorium, with about a dozen retirees, for the movie then we went out a door at the opposite end of the room, and filed down this hallway, where we could check out the bottling operation.
At the end of the bottling hallway, there was a small museum.
Then it was outside and just a short walk to the onsite gift shop…
Which was super cute! They had everything Tabasco imaginable, and then some…
We did buy something. A bumper sticker!
There was the cutest little sampling counter, where we got to try everything from different flavors of Tabasco sauces, to Tabasco Coca-Cola,
and even Tabasco flavored ice cream!!!
Daniel was excited because the gift shop had a penny squisher. He’s really great about letting the littles squish some of the pennies that collects…The Tabasco factory was pretty interesting! The Tabasco factory also has a garden – the Jungle Garden, on the island. But since we had just done such a nice tour of the house and gardens at Rip Van Winkle, we decided to skip it and try something a little different. We should have done the Jungle Gardens – now we hear that they are very neat; we WILL do them next time we are in the Lafayette area!
Instead, we had opted to drive up the road a little to the Shadows on the Teche mansion. It looked really interesting, and while I was checking out the tour times online, it looked like we could get there in plenty of time for one of the last tours! Except that I totally read over the THURSDAY thru Sat. schedule going on right now. It was Wednesday of course! No tour for us. LOL! By then it was getting too late to drive back down to the Jungle Gardens, so we instead decided to visit Zoosania!
The zoo has a cute little train for the kids called the Antelope Express… and a super playground area… We loved the alligator exhibit… it was cold while we were there, so they didn’t move. at all. lol! (and yes, one of them is a statue, but only one 😉 )… I did like the snake enclosures here – lots of glass, and the animals were easy to check out. They were also low so the littles could look in themselves, without a boost… The kids really got a kick out of the parrots. They were really great at saying ‘hello’ if you talked to them, and one of them would wave back at you.
Zoosania was a cute stop for the littler kids – prob Emma and down, tho the bigger ones liked some of the more active animals and the parrots.
We had such a fun visit to Lafayette! This year is the first time we’ve slowed down enough to check out the area (we’ve overnighted here once, no stops), but we feel like really didn’t slow down enough; there is a ton of stuff to do here!