2. Feel That Burning Sensation on Avery Island, LA
With average highs of 65/72 in February and March, Avery Island is already a hot choice for catching some winter sun, but there are other reasons why Avery Island visitors might feel a little steam escaping from their collars and that's the Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory. Here visitors can see during free daily tours how this essential ingredient for many delicious meals and cocktails is made. Try to arrive on a Thursday, for there are no demonstrations of how the stuff is made on Fridays.
Jungle Gardens, a fabulous bird sanctuary, actually occupies the former private estate of the fiery sauce company's founder. His son, E. A, McIlhenny, converted his family's estate into the sanctuary in 1935 to try and save the snowy egrets from becoming extinct, as ladies' fashions of the day were responsible for the birds' rapid decline. Egrets have thanked the estate by gracing it with their snowy white presence ever since.
Boasting deserted bayous, Avery Island provides a habitat for shy deer, cheeky raccoons and snappy alligators. If you like nature tours, use New Iberia as your base; it's a 30-minute drive from the best spots for wildlife observation and has a smattering of good restaurants and lovely private homes that have been transformed into B&Bs. Or there’s La Quinta Inn which is 7 miles from the Tabasco Factory and Country Store, with rooms starting from $76
Should you suddenly feel the urge to see bright city lights after quiet days on one of the most popular US islands - New Orleans is just 140 miles away and Baton Rouge is even closer at 85 miles distance!