The Town of Grand Coteau, with a population of about 1100, is located two miles east and separated from Sunset by Interstate 49. It is more than 100 years older than Sunset, tracing its beginnings to the latter part of the Eighteenth Century. The Catholic Parish of St. Charles Borremeo was founded in 1819 and became the “Mother Church” for several other Acadiana Parishes. In 1821, the Religious of the Sacred Heart founded a school for girls, the Academy of the Sacred Heart, now the oldest continuously operating girl’s school west of the Mississippi. In 1838, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) established a school for boys in Grand Coteau. Thus the town became a center for Catholic education and continues so today. In 1866, a miracle, the only one in the U.S. recognized by the Catholic Church, occurred at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, which contains a shrine venerating this event.
The entire town of Grand Coteau is a National Historic District and it contains more than 40 buildings and homes currently listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Its historic setting and serene surroundings make it a constant tourist attraction. Annual festivals held in Grand Coteau include the Rainbow Festival held at St. Ignatius School in March, the Conge’ at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in April, and the Festival de St. Charles at St. Charles Borremeo Church in October. The American Legion holds a Veteran’s Day parade in November.