The endless offers of today’s complex, fascinating, and fast-moving world can be thrilling. And exhausting. Bed and breakfasts in Rayne, Louisiana, suggests something a bit different, less harried. Sure, the big city action is enticing.
But when it comes time to relax, unwind, and check out from the world in an authentic way, a Louisiana bed and breakfast is the way to go.
Located hard by Interstate 10 in south-central Louisiana, Rayne has its softer side too. A small town for sure, but it has big-time connections. Just twenty minutes east to Lafayette and less than an hour’s drive west to Lake Charles will put you in the middle of the action, including the casinos.
The state capital Baton Rouge is an hour east, and two hours further will find you on Bourbon Street in the heart of The Big Easy. Several state parks and national forests are close by as well for pursuing most any form of recreation.
Ease back in your chair overlooking the water as you transition from the pressures of life to the line bobbing in the water as the early morning mist rises from the surface. Stroll the grounds with your special someone as you take in the scenic views during a romantic getaway. The settings may vary in Rayne, but one thing is certain. Hang around long enough and you’ll realize your time spent in this laid-back oasis is a long-overdue investment for your well-being.
Louisiana is home to an astonishing, almost other-worldly array of natural features that leave visitors in awe. While nearly 90% of the US population lives on the coastlines, southern Louisiana is different. Mostly swamp, tidal areas, and river systems prone to extreme flooding, urban planning isn’t possible, the exception being New Orleans (it is even below sea level!). And we’re constantly reminded how imperiled that city is every time a major storm blows in from the Gulf of Mexico.
Atchafalaya River Basin is one of these features not to be missed. Rated as the country’s most extensive swamp system, it is home to countless wildlife including alligators, snakes, raccoons, wild hogs, egrets, and the stately heron. Take a tour of this hauntingly mysterious river system and you’ll have memories that will surely last a lifetime.
Barataria Preserve is known for its raw and rugged beauty. Spanning more than 20,000 acres, the preserve has wooden walk-ways constructed above the surface of the water and muck, enabling visitors to walk through the swamp with dry feet - something that can be done in few other places on a scale this large.
Kisatchie National Forest encompasses seven parishes and over 600,000 acres. If you’re looking for a location to camp, hike, and get lost in nature, this is the one spot in the state to do it. Keep your eyes peeled on the Backbone Trail and Azalea Trail as you stop awestruck at the spectacular views.
This is just the start of nature’s many captivating destinations that can be explored across this region. Your B&B experience will surely be enhanced when you discover the natural diversity of this quiet backcountry swampland.
The history of this region stretches well beyond the earliest days of European exploration in North America. Rayne began its existence under the name Pouppeville. Not sure if there’s an English translation for the nom de francais, but it sounds like it might be interesting.
Adventurers and land speculators made their way inland from the Gulf of Mexico, establishing settlements whose influence still impacts parts of the state today. Prior to the arrival of those first foreign visitors, Native Americans inhabited the region harvesting great bounty from their hunting and fishing expeditions.
Much of the earliest people's historical record is documented and on display in the many museums and galleries across southern Louisiana. Artifacts, landmarks, weapons, and early agricultural implements tell the story of how diverse cultures extracted their living from the land, lakes, rivers, and streams.
Your B&B in Rayne makes a perfect location from which to explore the many facets of this down-low country whose early inhabitants formed some of the oldest communities on the continent.
When people think of Louisiana, thoughts of New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and a steaming bowl of gumbo come quickly to mind. And with good reason. The Gulf Coast is full of action, great food, and world-class fishing. The state’s nickname isn’t “The Sportsman's Paradise” for nothing.
But there’s a lot to see inland as well. Acadia Parish (the term “parish” is Louisiana’s version of the word “county”) is home to Rayne and several other small cities that welcome visitors to experience the charm, local food, and music all steeped in a culture that is pure Cajun. If you’ve never been to a zydeco (a high-energy, mesmerizing style of local music) concert or the “world-famous” Rayne Frog Festival, well, mon Dieu, have you missed out on a slice of life!
Several state parks and national forests are within a short drive from Rayne. Additionally, Louisiana has some informative and exciting “Trails & Byways” to explore for those interested in specific cultural attractions.
There are several of these exciting historical corridors scattered across the southern portion of the state. Routes tracing the Zydeco Cajun Prairie Byway, the Wetlands Cultural Byway, Cajun Corridor, Creole Nature Trail, and the Flyway Byway are all close enough to Rayne to make a day trip of it, and be back in time for your jambalaya dinner.
With its colorful past and deep-seated culture of diversity, Rayne is at the center point for exploring a world very different from most other parts of the United States.
Rayne’s weather can be uncomfortable for at least half the year due to the heat and humidity. Rain is frequent throughout the year but especially common from April to September. The sub-tropical climate is due to its low latitude, low-lying topography, and nearby swampland. Rivers and inland waterways also course throughout this coastal region.
Summers are long and hot as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, just 60 miles to the south, continually flows north, keeping the air oppressive and sticky. The numerous lakes and rivers add to the air's overall moisture content across the area, resulting in sweltering days and sultry nights.
With the resident humidity and hot summer temperatures, keep an eye out for afternoon thunderstorms that can swoop in from the Gulf or pop up for a surprise. On average, Louisiana experiences 60 days of thunderstorms annually, second only to the state of Florida!
Winters are short and typically mild to cool. However, with the humidity and dew points maintaining consistently high levels, dampness prevails throughout much of the year. Visitors who live in other parts of the Southeast US won’t notice a significant difference. But those traveling from drier regions will want to make sure their B&B air conditioning is in good working order.
Louisiana, named after France’s King Louis XIV, might as well be translated as “culinary awesomeness.” Even those who have never visited the state recognize terms such as gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, and Po’boy sandwiches. Each with their unique flavor, the dishes' diversity is a reflection of the people who create them.
Gumbo is a soup with two basic recipes. Creole-style is more tomato-based with exotic spices, while the Cajun-style is comprised of meat, fish, and ingredients such as localized vegetables and spices. As might be expected, gumbo is the official dish of Louisiana while jambalaya is another Creole favorite. The spicier side of the menu starts with the “trinity” of onions, bell peppers, and celery is mixed with chicken and sausage. After simmering in a black iron pot for hours, it’s ladled out steaming and delectable with a commercial-sized spoon.
Etouffee is an irresistible dish of zesty meats, spices, and vegetables doled out as a stew over steaming rice. Just the thought of it makes the mouth water! And a lunchtime favorite is the po’boy sandwich. A submarine sandwich on French bread and dressed with all the fixins’, spicy beef, pork, or seafood are piled high for a meal to last the whole day.
A great way to sample the local breweries, wineries, and distilleries is to schedule a tour of their facilities. Often family-owned in the smaller towns, you’ll learn more about the local history and culture as you savor true hand-crafted quality regardless of your libation. Bon appetit!
Pamper versus pragmatic. B&B luxury versus hotel efficiency. A bed and breakfast getaway has a way of winning their guests over like that. Host-friendliness, coupled with a romantic getaway, and the peaceful surroundings of the low coastal country will leave a lasting impression on all who visit. Even last-minute elopements are welcome.
Rayne bed and breakfast inns work hard to please their guests and with good reason. Innkeepers are passionate about the service they provide. Additionally, while comfort and extravagance are at the forefront of the guest’s experience while visiting the inn, the hosts are extremely safety-conscious to ensure all rooms and facilities are safe and clean.
This includes precautions about the current state of affairs with Covid-19. Speak with your hosts at check-in or phone ahead to address any questions you may have regarding their health and safety protocols.
Amenities at your favorite bed and breakfast inn can range from the expected to the exquisite. Free wifi, luxury bed with baby-soft linens, the option of a Jacuzzi or hot tub, and organic bath products and toiletries are often staples today in all guest rooms.
Other basics can include free parking, and bicycles for about-town touring. Free cancellation is the norm as well, provided you give your hosts plenty of advance notice.
Many inns will offer a private bathroom along with a full kitchen and living room making guests feel right at home. The height of luxury is a fireplace nearby for added ambiance, especially when booking a cottageg on a private lake.
Farm-to-table freshness can be counted on with your delicious full breakfast enjoyed in the dining room or the comfort of your guest room to enhance the beautiful view of a great location.
The most convenient large city providing major carrier air service is New Orleans, just a two-hour drive to Rayne. Houston Hobby or Houston Intercontinental are good alternatives but a bit farther away. It just depends on flight times and airfare that best suits you. Upon airport departure, enjoy a relaxing drive to your destination while catching the scenic beauty of the passing lowlands.
For B&Bs located near the historic district, a walk or a bike ride is a great way to stretch the legs after arriving at your destination. You will have easy access to desired attractions, including shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums, many of which are within a short distance of each other. For ventures farther afield, the convenience of a cab, Uber, or your rental car is best.
The magic of peaceful lakeside solitude in the heart of lowland Louisiana Cajun country comes alive at the Maison d’Memoire Bed & Breakfast cottages. Even its name inspires grand memories. Located on a private lake just 20 minutes west of Lafayette, it’s the perfect destination for your escape, a romantic elopement, or just plain chilling out while enjoying some of the best food this side of Bourbon Street.
Maison Daboval Bed & Breakfast is a historic inn initially built in 1892. With five exquisitely decorated rooms resplendent with antiques and period pieces from the bygone era of the railroad house, your mornings start with a full-course Cajun breakfast fit for a king.
Rayne is centrally located to all you want to see and do in the Louisiana low country. Big-city nights or quiet days by the water, you have so much to experience in this remarkable corner of the Deep South. Whether you’re looking for a wedding venue, a family reunion home base, a girls’ getaway, or simply a retreat for respite, come get your Cajun on. Once you’re here, the siren song of zydeco may not let you leave!