Washington, first named Church Landing, was the site of the first Catholic Church (built in 1770) in St. Landry Parish.
Located on Bayou Courtableau, and a thriving steamboat town in the 1800s, Washington served as the largest port between New Orleans and St. Louis. Steamers worked their way through a maze of bayous and rivers to carry cargo to New Orleans.
Plantation homes, cottages, warehouses and other buildings from those steamboat days are still standing serving as restaurants, bed and breakfast inns, and shops. Much of the original town is included in the Washington Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Trolley car tours provide an enjoyable way to see the town’s historic sites. Antique lovers can spend hours browsing through treasures at the numerous shops along Main Street.
The Old Schoolhouse Antique Mall is now hosting more than 100 antique dealers and opens every weekend. The second weekend in April and October is the Semi-Annual Antique Fair & Yard Sale that attracts thousands of shoppers.
Nature walks and birding are popular activities in the hardwood forest of the Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area.
The Washington Cultural District was named in July 2014 as part of the Louisiana Cultural District program.