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Avery Island, Louisiana: Tabasco Factory and Giant Buddha

You can smell it as soon as you reach the island. Take a tour; see how tabasco sauce is made! Eat at the restaurant; everything has tabasco sauce in it! The Buddha dates to 1100 AD and is in a glass-walled temple in the "Jungle Garden." If you go, bring bug spray, and watch out for Cajun gators.

McIlhenny Company

1 Main Rd, Avery Island, LA
From Hwy 90: Exit Hwy 90 at New Iberia onto Hwy 14/Center St.;Head east into New Iberia for about 3/4 mile; Turn right onto Hwy 329 (Avery Island Hwy); Follow Hwy 329 about 6 miles to Avery Island.
Daily 9-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Factory tour $5.50 (plus $1 toll to enter island). Garden tour $8.
RA Rates:
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Visitor Tips and News About Tabasco Factory and Giant Buddha

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Big Tabasco bottles.

Tabasco Factory Tour

The tour -- though self-guided -- is very well done. There are kiosks with short videos throughout across nine stations. One of the kiosks features movies with Tabasco products and commercials through the years.

At the conclusion, there's a Tabasco tasting bar -- where you can try Tabasco ice cream, Coca Cola, and chili! Plus many flavors of Tabasco not available elsewhere (sweet Chile and a sriracha-Tabasco mashup).

Other tour stops include the barrel room where Tabasco keeps for three years. The adjacent Jungle Gardens are also cool -- and features a (manmade) egret rookery with 100,000 breeding birds in season!

[Jennifer Kefer, 07/10/2022]

The Buddha.

Tobasco Plant & Giant Budda

The tour of the Tobasco Plant was interesting, but was totally self-guided; no tour guide accompanies you. We visited on a Sunday, so we missed the opportunity to see the workers in action. We'd recommend checking their website and visiting doing working hours if possible. Do not miss out on the Jungle Garden if you visit! It was by far the highlight of our visit. The gardens are filled with wildlife, beautiful flowers, and more. You drive around and can stop your car to get out and walk around, which I highly recommend. In hindsight, we'd have allowed even more time to check out this area. Just watch out for the gators!

[Agent Summer, 07/11/2017]

Factory tour.

Tabasco Factory

Avery Island is the home of the Tabasco brand pepper sauce. It's manufactured on the same site that it was invented in 1868 by Edmund McIlhenny. Visitors can take a 10-stop factory tour (recently renovated) to gain insight on the company's production, bottling, and shipping processes around the world.

[Katlyn, 05/29/2016]

Big Tabasco Sauce bottle.

Tabasco Factory and Giant Buddha

The garden tour and bird city are a separate attraction from the Tabasco Factory, with its own admission.

[Bill Weisner, 11/13/2011]

Tabasco Factory Buildings

Tabasco Factory and Jungle Gardens

The only place where tabasco sauce is made and exported worldwide. Although not an island in the "Gilligan's Island" sense, the land qualifies for the name thanks to what looks to be a drainage ditch that one could probably hop over.

But the real attraction, assuming you're not all that hot for tabasco sauce history, is the Jungle Gardens, next to the historic pepper mill. Here you drive your car through multitudinous acres of lush, tropical beauty that contains a bird sanctuary, alligator filled lakes, and the oddest thing of all, a gigantic statue of Buddha that oversees a nutria-filled lake. (Supposedly a gift to E. A. McIlhenny, the Tabasco King.) A couple of lovely gift shops are on hand to take your tourist money, but the Tabasco brand pepper sauce factory tours are free.

There are also tours of the tabasco factory during the week, but I went on the weekend and don't know how much it costs. Best time to go is fall or spring as temperatures get mighty hot during the summer in these parts.

[Keath Graham, 10/28/2000]

Feb. 2011: Shane writes "Avery Island is surrounded on several sides by bayous (small, muddy rivers), the main one of which, Bayou Petite Anse, is fairly wide and could certainly not be hopped over."

Nearby Offbeat Places

Evangeline OakEvangeline Oak, St. Martinville, LA - 15 mi.
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In the region:
Miss Rose's Bar: Happy Man, Lafayette, LA - 24 mi.

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