BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Ascension Parish is one of 64 unique parishes in Louisiana, but what makes it so special?

The Louisiana Purchase was initially divided into 12 counties in 1804, and the L’Ascension area was dubbed “Acadia County”. The territory was divided again, and Ascension Parish came out of Acadia in 1807.

The parish sits between New Orleans and Baton Rouge and is known as Louisiana’s Sweet Spot. It’s made up of iconic cities and towns such as Gonzales — also known as the Jambalaya capital of the world — Donaldsonville, Prairieville and more.

Tour Louisiana describes Ascension Parish as where soul food is mixed with Creole art and culture. Seafood and soul food joints like On the Half Shell, Pot and Paddle and Philay’s Catfish N’ More are all over the parish. There are also places to enjoy social drinking such as Library Wine and Provisions or Sugarfield Spirits Co.

There are some hidden gems in the parish too. In Donaldsonville, there is Alvin Batiste, a local artist who lets people to watch him work and browse his gallery. In Gonzales, a play area called Kidz Kove Discovery Park is specifically designed for children with special needs. In Sorrento, candy lovers can go back in time when they visit Miss B’s Swamp Pop Candy Shop.