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Family Friendly Guide to Lafayette Festivals
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30 Things to Do on a Rainy Day
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Home Grown: Farmers Markets in Acadiana
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A First Timer’s Guide to Lafayette Parish
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Two-Step Your Way Through Acadiana
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Po'boys: The Southern Sandwich Staple
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Acadiana Musical Families
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Where Food and Culture Meet in Louisiana
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5 Festivals to Add to Your Bucket List
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Plate Lunch Paradise
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Three Unique Food Experiences in Lafayette
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Boucherie: Cajun Art of Communal Butchering
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Lafayette In A Pinch

We’ve all been there.

You work hard, saving your time off to take that much-needed vacation. You’re itching to get away, and you might even be considering a trip to Lafayette. But you’ve got that nagging feeling that “maybe you shouldn’t” because it’s going to cost you…right?

Here in Lafayette, Louisiana we believe fun shouldn’t be an expense. It’s one of the reasons we’re known as the Happiest City in America even when your budget is tight and you’re in a pinch. That’s why we bundled all of our favorite things to do here in Lafayette, Louisiana at little to no cost.

So give yourself and your wallet a much-needed break. The trip you’ve been waiting for is waiting on you.

Food & Music BlockIn a Pinch BlockMusic In A Pinch Block
In a Pinch BlockCulture/History In A Pinch BlockIn a Pinch Block
Outdoors in a Pinch BlockIn A Pinch BlockShopping In a Pinch


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In a pinch - Food & Drink

Lafayette, Louisiana has the Cajun & Creole flavors you crave, along with the freshest in Louisiana Gulf seafood. New generations of chefs across South Louisiana are putting an inventive spin on time-honored recipes, making every bite of food a unique experience. Whether you’re dining at one of our local restaurants or laying newspaper down for a crawfish boil, we guarantee it’s going to taste incredible.

Happy Hour

A display of delicious bites from the Pamplona Tapas Bar

Every hour is happy here in Lafayette. While other areas might boast about their “2-for-1” cocktails or drink specials, we package all of our favorite things into our happy hours. 

Almost every day of the week, you’ll find specials ranging from freshly caught oysters to some unique pizza creations, and yes, even those coveted 2 for 1 drink specials.

Click here for a calendar that details where to go each night of the week for happy hour in the Happiest City in America.

Breweries

A Bartender pours a fresh glass for guests at Gulf Brew

Some treat brewing as a craft. Here in Cajun Country, local businesses are transforming it into an art form. Acadiana already has three established breweries that locals and visitors know and love.

Bayou Teche Brewing and Cajun Brewing continue to expand production and distribution as more and more people clamor to get a taste of Lafayette.

Click here for a list of breweries you can stop by, visit, tour, and sample some of the best beer Cajun Country has to offer.

  • Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Lafayette

    Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Lafayette

    Research shows that eating more plant-based dishes and shying away from animal protein can be better for health and longevity. Whether you’re just trying to eat healthier or you’re committed to living a vegan lifestyle, there are a fresh crop of pop-ups and established brick and mortar locations

    More
  • Breakfast in Lafayette

    Breakfast in Lafayette

    If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then there are many important factors to consider, especially when you’re in South Louisiana. Biscuits? What about a pastry? Do I want classic eggs bennie or greasy spoon fries? Of course, there are a few famous dishes you can only get in this area

    More
  • Ingrained - The History of Rice in Louisiana

    Ingrained - The History of Rice in Louisiana

    Some time in 1960s, businessmen with the Japanese electronics company Hitachi flew to southwest Louisiana, specifically, we are told, to Ville Platte. Of interest to them were the curiously high sales marks of their rice-cookers across a region otherwise alien to their products. At the time,

    More
  • The Hitachi Rice Cooker in Acadiana

    The Hitachi Rice Cooker in Acadiana

    The Cajuns' Love of Rice Some time in the 1960s, businessmen with the Japanese electronics company Hitachi flew to southwest Louisiana, specifically, we are told, to Ville Platte. Of interest to them were the curiously high sales marks of their rice-cookers across a region otherwise alien to their

    More

Music

In addition to being known as the Cajun & Creole Country, Lafayette, LA is also known as the Heartbeat of Acadiana and with good reason. Our distinctive mix of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco have people coming down from all over for a two-stepping good time. On any night of the week, you can listen to live music while sampling some authentic Cajun & Creole cuisine or kickback with a Sweet Crude Rouler that will have your taste buds dancing as much as your feet.

Festivals

Couple Dancing at Festival Acadiens

Kick your year off with a Mardi Gras celebration like no other. Right up the road from New Orleans, we’ve got all the excitement and revelry of carnival season in a family-friendly atmosphere. Or, if you’re looking for a more “traditional” experience the Courir de Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday Run”) is an experience you’ll only find in South Louisiana.

The good times keep on rolling through April when we celebrate the largest outdoor Francophone event in the world with Festival International de Louisiane. Hundreds of performing and visual artists from 17 countries, along with Lafayette’s own artists, converge on six stages across Downtown Lafayette for five days of world music.

The fall is even busier kicking off with Festival Acadiens et Creole, a Cajun and Creole experience like no other. Taking place the second full weekend of October, this free three-day festival welcomes locals and visitors alike to share in food, music, dancing as well as arts and crafts that make the region so unique.

Click here for more details about the festivals above and download our Annual Festivals & Fairs brochure.

Concert Series

Downtown Alive

Kick off your weekend starting Wednesday in Pelican Park with the Mercredi Concert Series.

The good times keep rolling on Thursday with Rhythms on the River, a free evening concert series held in River Ranch’s Town Square.

Friday's are a double header with Bach Lunch, a free popular lunchtime music series that takes place on Fridays in Downtown Lafayette coupling local food offerings with music for all ages.

The fun continues into the evening on Friday with Downtown Alive! another local favorite concert series offering free music from regional artists of all genres.

Click here for more details about the above concert series and download our Annual Festivals & Fairs brochure.

  • Cajun & Creole Instruments: Accordion

    Cajun & Creole Instruments: Accordion

    A relatively recent invention, the bellows-driven, vibrating reed squeezebox known as the accordion

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  • Cajun & Creole Instruments: Triangle

    Cajun & Creole Instruments: Triangle

    The triangle is a simple, percussive, rhythm instrument central to Cajun music. Consisting of two

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  • Cajun & Creole Instruments: Fiddle

    Cajun & Creole Instruments: Fiddle

    A bowed string instrument, the fiddle is central to the sound, culture, and history of Cajun music.

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (May 11-17, 2020)

    Lafayette Weekly (May 11-17, 2020)

    Give a kid from Georgia a piano, and he can change the world; a gay black kid from the segregated and strictly religious south, that is. Richard Pettiman yelled the soulful gospel singing he learned in church on top of R&B swing and the power of Fats Domino's rhythm section, conjuring a force that

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Culture/History

Lafayette, LA is at the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole Country where you can truly feel the pulse of the distinct food, music, and culture we have to offer. This cultural oasis on the bayou blends contemporary sophistication of a cosmopolitan city with a unique heritage and culture hard to find anywhere this side of Europe.

Downtown Lafayette Walking Tour

Downtown Lafayette

Experience the history of Lafayette as you walk through the Downtown and Freetown areas of the Hub City. Learn about historic buildings, architecture, figures that shaped the city, and much more. Choose between the Downtown Tour (Lafayette Walking History Tour) or the Freetown Tour (Freetown Creole of Color Tour) in both English and French.

Click here to download the app via your mobile phone or get a sneak peek on your desktop by clicking here.

 

Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center

Vermilionville Artisan

The Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette, Louisiana tells stories of the origins, migration, settlement, and contemporary culture of the Acadians (Cajuns) and other area groups. Ranger programs, films, exhibits, and events share a variety of local traditions including music, story-telling, dance, and food as well as exploring the mysteries of the Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana’s wildest place.

Click here for more information on the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center including hours of operation, location, exhibits, and special events.

  • Ingrained - The History of Rice in Louisiana

    Ingrained - The History of Rice in Louisiana

    Some time in 1960s, businessmen with the Japanese electronics company Hitachi flew to southwest Louisiana, specifically, we are told, to Ville Platte. Of interest to them were the curiously high sales marks of their rice-cookers across a region otherwise alien to their products. At the time,

    More
  • The Hitachi Rice Cooker in Acadiana

    The Hitachi Rice Cooker in Acadiana

    The Cajuns' Love of Rice Some time in the 1960s, businessmen with the Japanese electronics company Hitachi flew to southwest Louisiana, specifically, we are told, to Ville Platte. Of interest to them were the curiously high sales marks of their rice-cookers across a region otherwise alien to their

    More
  • GRAMMYs in Acadiana: Music Goldmine

    GRAMMYs in Acadiana: Music Goldmine

    GRAMMY award-winning and nominated musicians from Acadiana Music has been the soul of Acadiana since the area's humble beginnings, with a melting pot of Cajuns, Creoles, European and Native American cultures inspiring fresh new sounds. South Louisiana has fostered folk music, country, rock, and

    More
  • Papa Noël

    Papa Noël

    You can go ahead and tell the kids that Santa Claus is real. According to the History channel, St. Nicholas was an actual person—a Turkish monk in the year 280 AD, known as the patron saint of children. Over the millennia, various cultures and countries have created their versions of the man in red.

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Outdoors

Lafayette’s an area known for its swampland dotted with moss-draped cypress trees teeming with wildlife, which makes it the perfect destination for bird watching, paddling, fishing, and numerous other outdoor activities.

Bayou Vermilion

Things to Do - Canoeing at Lake Martin

Whether you’re a professional photographer or you’re looking for that perfect Instagram photo, Bayou Vermilion is the perfect backdrop for your getaway. The Vermilion runs 70-miles through Lafayette and Vermilion Parish. The Vermilion is also home to plenty of wildlife including a variety of birds and the occasional alligator in the northern portion. There are many access points in Lafayette Parish as well as many routes you can take. Rentals are available at Bayou Vermilion District as well as guided tours.

Click here for more information on the Vermilion including swamp tours, canoe, and kayak rentals and more.

Nature Station

Tree in Lafayette's Bayou Vermilion

Opened in 1978, the Acadiana Park Nature Station is located on a 150-acre facility complete with a 6-mile trail system. The trail system will introduce you to some of the native flora and fauna of the area and the Nature Station staff is on hand to answer any questions. In addition, they also offer plenty of programming for all ages including excursions and night hikes. Surrounding the Nature Station is a public park complete with playgrounds, tennis courts, soccer fields, pavilions, and a 36-hole frisbee golf course that’s perfect for a long afternoon walk or a picnic.

Click here for more information on Acadiana Park and the Nature Station.

 

  • Instagram-Worthy Spots in Lafayette

    Instagram-Worthy Spots in Lafayette

    These days capturing the perfect photo for your Instagram feed is almost a necessity. Whether you're from Lafayette or just visiting, many places in the area serve as the perfect backdrop! We have gathered some "hidden" and not-so-hidden spots that will surely take your Insta-game to the next level!

    More
  • Getting Back to Nature in Lafayette

    Getting Back to Nature in Lafayette

    Southern hospitality is a draw for travelers. The charm of Lafayette is evident in its visual,

    More
  • In Full Boom

    In Full Boom

    While much of the country is still covered in snow and frost, spring bursts forth in Lafayette with millions of azalea blossoms in spectacular shades of pinks, purples, corals, and white. Azaleas were brought to the Gulf Coast over two centuries ago from East Asia. In Chinese culture, azaleas are

    More
  • Top 5 Places to Camp in Acadiana

    Top 5 Places to Camp in Acadiana

    Areas surrounding Lafayette offer camping options unlike any other. While the camping season can be

    More

Shopping

If you have a passion for discovering local works of art, souvenir shopping, antique shopping or just enjoy window shopping from store to store we have a great selection of locally owned shops waiting for you. Just kick back, relax and let us help plan your shopping escape to the Happiest City in America.

Antique Shopping Trail

Stay Happy Ruffino's

Lafayette is a town of culture, food, music, festivals, and history. There is plenty to do no matter the time of year, but shopping is a nice, cool, option. Here in Lafayette, there are plenty of places to shop, but if you prefer a bit of a treasure hunt be sure to check out some of our antique shops and perhaps even take a piece of history home with you.

Click here for the complete Antique Shopping Trail guide and accompanying map.

 

Market at the Horse Farm

Crowd at Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market at the Horse Farm

Experience the beauty of one of the largest green space parks in Lafayette while shopping and supporting local farmers and artisans. With local food vendors, artisans, jam sessions, park tours, and educational seminars it’s a great way to spend a Saturday. The park and farmer’s market is open every Saturday rain or shine from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., but you can remain in the park to stroll about or plan a family picnic.

Click here for more information about the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market at the Horse Farm.

 

  • Acadiana Antique Shops

    Acadiana Antique Shops

    Lafayette is a town of culture, food, music, festivals and history. There is plenty to do no matter the time of year, but with the weather heating up, shopping is a nice, cool, option. Here in Lafayette there are plenty of places to shop, but if you prefer a bit of a treasure hunt be sure to check

    More
  • Shop Local

    Shop Local

    With a unique style and culture and warm Cajun hospitality, Lafayette is a hot spot for shopping,

    More
  • Cajun Country's Local Makers

    Cajun Country's Local Makers

    Cajun Country is home to one of the most authentic cultures in the country. After visiting, you don’t just have to tell your friends and family about it, you can let them experience it for themselves, thanks to artful, unique and tasty local souvenirs you can order online and ship right to their

    More
  • Luxurious Lafayette

    Luxurious Lafayette

    Your Guide to High-End Shopping & Dining in Acadiana Thanks to its lucrative oil and gas industry,

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Trip Planning Resources

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  • Acadiana’s Coolest Pools and Splash Pads

    Acadiana’s Coolest Pools and Splash Pads

    Louisiana’s prime location in the South means the weather can be hot and humid, but plenty of places around town provide a refreshing splash of fun. And even though Lafayette’s balmy winters, families can dive right into swimming pools and splash pads open year-round. Toddlers to tweens can’t

    More
  • Lafayette Murals

    Lafayette Murals

    Thank goodness for public art. It revitalizes, beautifies and shares the unique stories and heritage of communities. And they withstand the test of time or at least a few decades. The Hub City has done its part to contribute to a movement to restore, enrich and honor its corner of the American South

    More
  • Movies Filmed Around Acadiana

    Movies Filmed Around Acadiana

    In the last 15 years, Louisiana has acquired the nickname "Hollywood South" thanks to early 2000s legislation that created tax incentives that attracted film companies to the Pelican State. The Louisiana film industry continues to boom bringing film crews to locations throughout the state to shoot a

    More
  • Four Amazing Golf Courses In Acadiana

    Four Amazing Golf Courses In Acadiana

    Lafayette, Louisiana, aka The Hub City, is a charming town along the Vermilion River in the southwestern area of the state. While locals may focus a lot of their attention on the Ragin’ Cajuns of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, there’s another sport in town that’s worth paying attention to

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  • Lafayette Weekly (May 3-9, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (May 3-9, 2021)

    While live music is starting to make its way back into our community, many full-time players are still struggling financially. Marc Broussard and an all-star cast of musicians come together to help their own with Lost My Gig: The Concert. The benefit performance sponsored by Rader Solutions will

    More
  • Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Lafayette

    Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Lafayette

    Research shows that eating more plant-based dishes and shying away from animal protein can be better for health and longevity. Whether you’re just trying to eat healthier or you’re committed to living a vegan lifestyle, there are a fresh crop of pop-ups and established brick and mortar locations

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (April 26 - May 2, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (April 26 - May 2, 2021)

    The Acadian Superette will host Daniel Coolik and K.C. Jones this Thursday for their weekly music series. The duo recently released an eclectic covers on an EP entitled "Spirited Melancholy," while Jones also released her debut single "Heat Rises." The song is taken from her much-anticipated album

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (April 19-25, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (April 19-25, 2021)

    While venues are slowly opening back up in Lafayette, some of our favorite live music events are still limited to online streams. Festival International de Louisiana is the Hub City's largest of these occasions. Last year's experimental virtual version of the world music gathering was a hit, even

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (April 12-18, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (April 12-18, 2021)

    Blue Monday returns this month with a tribute to three of Lafayette’s greatest blues artists. The local musician fundraising event will pay homage to the late guitar great Lil Buck Sinegal, pianist and singer Carol Fran, and zydeco soul multi-instrumentalist Major Handy at the Grouse Room. Cajun

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (April 5-11, 2020)

    Lafayette Weekly (April 5-11, 2020)

    Local pop piano man Hunter DeBlanc takes the stage at the new Grouse Room downtown on Wednesday night with his Janky Piano Show. The performance will be an intimate concert with games and prizes to coincide with his mix of radio hits and catchy originals. Friday night will see up-and-coming

    More
  • Breakfast in Lafayette

    Breakfast in Lafayette

    If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then there are many important factors to consider, especially when you’re in South Louisiana. Biscuits? What about a pastry? Do I want classic eggs bennie or greasy spoon fries? Of course, there are a few famous dishes you can only get in this area

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (March 29-April 4, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (March 29-April 4, 2021)

    With Lent coming to an end this week and covid restrictions being lifted, live music seems to be back in full swing. Louisiana French preservationist and musician Jourdan Thibodeaux will provide sounds with his high-profile bandmates Cedric Watson and Joel Savoy at the Hawk’s Boil Up crawfish feast.

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (March 22-28, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (March 22-28, 2021)

    With vaccines in circulation and bar restrictions lifted, live music is almost close to being back to some sort of normal in Lafayette. Cajun and zydeco sounds return to Hub City staples like the Blue Moon Saloon and Cowboys Nightclub this week. Modern Cajun accordion favorite Kevin Naquin and his

    More
  • Ingrained - The History of Rice in Louisiana

    Ingrained - The History of Rice in Louisiana

    Some time in 1960s, businessmen with the Japanese electronics company Hitachi flew to southwest Louisiana, specifically, we are told, to Ville Platte. Of interest to them were the curiously high sales marks of their rice-cookers across a region otherwise alien to their products. At the time,

    More
  • The Hitachi Rice Cooker in Acadiana

    The Hitachi Rice Cooker in Acadiana

    The Cajuns' Love of Rice Some time in the 1960s, businessmen with the Japanese electronics company Hitachi flew to southwest Louisiana, specifically, we are told, to Ville Platte. Of interest to them were the curiously high sales marks of their rice-cookers across a region otherwise alien to their

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (March 15-21, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (March 15-21, 2021)

    St. Patrick's Day celebrations were the first events to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year. This Wednesday will make up for what we missed last year with rare performances by two of Louisiana's most legendary artists. Downtown Alive! also returns this week with a virtual concert by

    More
  • GRAMMYs in Acadiana: Music Goldmine

    GRAMMYs in Acadiana: Music Goldmine

    GRAMMY award-winning and nominated musicians from Acadiana Music has been the soul of Acadiana since the area's humble beginnings, with a melting pot of Cajuns, Creoles, European and Native American cultures inspiring fresh new sounds. South Louisiana has fostered folk music, country, rock, and

    More
  • Lafayette's Work Spaces On The Go

    Lafayette's Work Spaces On The Go

    As Louisiana moves through its phased reopening of businesses, please check with restaurants, stores, and attractions for information on openings, capacity, and available amenities before making plans. Sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what you need to get your creative juices flowing.

    More
  • Lafayette's Best Coffee Shops

    Lafayette's Best Coffee Shops

    While traveling, most people wish to immerse themselves completely in the local culture, cuisine and history – no matter the destination. Certain destinations are better for this than others, and Lafayette, Louisiana is one of them. In Lafayette, you will find yourself lucky enough to be able to

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  • 12 Things You’ll Only Find in Lafayette

    12 Things You’ll Only Find in Lafayette

    As Louisiana moves through its phased reopening of businesses, please check with restaurants, stores, and attractions for information on openings, capacity, and available amenities before making plans. For travelers looking to immerse themselves in a true cultural experience, put Lafayette on your

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