The mythic Acadian girl made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic 1847 poem gives this parish its name. The largest city and parish seat, Ville Platte, or “flat city,” is named for the area’s relatively horizontal topography. Popular legend holds that the city was founded by Marcellin Garand, a French major in the Napoleonic Army. Today, Ville Platte is known as both the “Smoked Meat Capital of the World” (celebrated in an annual June festival) and the “Swamp Pop Capital of the World” (memorialized at a local museum). The town of Mamou is home to Fred’s Lounge, a 70-plus-year-old bar and Cajun dance hall only open on Saturday mornings. Arrive early; it fills up quick. On Mardi Gras morning, costumed revelers go door-to-door collecting ingredients for a gumbo to feed the whole town during the famed Courir de Mardi Gras. The town of Basile houses the Nathan Abshire Museum, celebrating the life and career of the man who helped popularize Cajun music beginning in the 1940s. Evangeline Parish is also home to Chicot State Park, a man-made lake surrounded by rolling hills.

Inspiration Journal

Lafayette's blog showcasing the food, music, culture and history at the heart of Cajun & Creole Country.

See All Posts

Blu Basil

Dang Nguyen has one of those origin stories that makes you want to try his food. He's a Vietnamese American who owns and operates two Lafayette restaurants: Saigon Noodles on…


In the olden days, when you wanted something handcrafted, you went straight to the source. Burgersmith, a play on the word blacksmith, takes the concept of handcrafted and applies…

Getting to Lafayette

The city of Lafayette, LA is located in the center of Lafayette Parish at the intersection of I-10 and I-49 between New Orleans and Houston and only 35 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico.

Learn More