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The Tabasco Factory Is The Hottest Tour In Louisiana

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Some like it hot. Some like it spicy? I love it both ways, in fact, the most used condiment in my kitchen fridge is Chipotle Tabasco Sauce. I literally put it on everything, especially my famous homemade weekend breakfasts. When I discovered that Tabasco Sauce is still made at the original factory and location that it started in back in 1868 and that it is only an hour from Lafayette I knew I had to make a visit. It is time to spice up my Lafayette adventures, Tabasco style.

Welcome to Tobasco

Welcome to Tabasco

The McIlhenny Co and Tabasco factory are located on Avery Island, which is about a one hour drive South of Lafayette. McIlhenny Co is still family-owned, but you can find Tabasco Sauce in over 180 Countries around the world.

Location of the Tobasco Factory Louisiana

Location of the Tabasco Factory Louisiana

I have a pretty full schedule while I am in Lafayette but where there is a will, there is a way. I squeezed out enough time from my itinerary to drive to Avery Island and back again plus have a bit of shopping time at the Tabasco Gift Store. When I arrived at Avery Island, I had to cross a small Toll Bridge. I paid the $1 toll fee and got my pass to be on the Island.

Entrance to Avery Island, Home of Tobasco

Entrance to Avery Island, Home of Tobasco

Avery Island is bigger than I expected it to be. I thought I would drive straight up to the factory and boom start a tour. In fact, Avery Island is where they grow some of the Peppers used to make their famous Tabasco Sauce plus there is a 170 acre Jungle Gardens that you can visit. Live Oaks, semi-tropical plants, and plenty of wildlife all for you to walk through and see. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to enjoy the gardens; I have to get straight to the factory.

The McIlhenny Co Factory where Tabasco Sauce is made

The McIlhenny Co Factory where Tabasco Sauce is made

I park my car in one of the big lots and head towards the factory. I realize when I get inside though that I am short on time, so I head next door to the Tabasco Country Store. It was a school field trip day so I had to navigate about three bus loads of kids, but I did it!

Tobasco Factory & Tour

Tobasco Factory & Tour

Tobasco Gift Shop

Tabasco Gift Shop

OMG I’m in hot sauce heaven. If you can think it there is a Tabasco version of it.

view inside the Tabasco Gift Store

view inside the Tabasco Gift Store

I pass by the t-shirts, hats, and kitchen aprons and go straight to the back of the store where I find a Tabasco tasting bar and free samples of Tabasco Ice Cream. Yes, you heard me right, Tabasco Ice Cream.

Tabasco Tasting Bar

Tabasco Tasting Bar

Yes Tabasco makes ice cream

Yes Tabasco makes ice cream

Tabasco ice cream

Tabasco ice cream

I tried it all, yes even the ice creams. They were really good, and if I had room in my suitcase, I would have bought some of the mixes. What I did focus on were all the various sauces. I had no idea that they made mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, pickles, Okra, and Bloody Mary Mix, just to name a few.

Tabasco is more than just Hot Sauce

Tabasco is more than just Hot Sauce

Tabasco condiments

Tabasco condiments

I tried everything and finally settled on four items to bring home with me. The East Asian Chile Sauce, a Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, Tabasco Family Reserve and my favourite the Chipotle Tabasco. I now have a Tabasco Sauce for any occasion.

My Tabasco purchases

My Tabasco purchases

I’ve run out of time; I have to be back in Lafayette for another adventure. I’ve already decided that the next time I am in the area I will be adding this to my itinerary. I want a proper factory tour, and I also want to explore the Jungle Gardens. Next time I won’t be so rushed, and perhaps I’ll even enjoy a bowl of Tabasco Ice Cream on their patio.

Tabasco Gift Shop patio

Tabasco Gift Shop patio

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There is a lot to see and do on Avery Island. The tours are short, just 30 minutes long and are set up for anyone to take. There is a Country Store that sells everything Tabasco. Leave room in your suitcase as there are some cool products you can't find anywhere else. Remember to bring a $1 as the toll bridge to get onto Avery Island costs $1.

  • Value for $
    10
  • Variety of activities
    8
  • Free parking
    9
  • Would I go back?
    10
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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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