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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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Lafayette's Ancient Oaks
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7 Great Happy Hours You Should Know About
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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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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.

  • New Restaurants Open in Lafayette

    New Restaurants Open in Lafayette

    Despite the challenges small businesses faced in 2020 and now into 2021, the area saw many new restaurants open. Several started as food trucks or pop-up concepts and expanded into a permanent brick and mortar. Check out these new restaurants in and around Lafayette Parish! Don't see your new

    More
  • Pizza in Lafayette

    Pizza in Lafayette

    Pizza has a long history and even more varieties adapted over the years and in different regions. According to History.com, flatbreads with toppings were consumed by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. The latter ate a version with herbs and oil, similar to today’s focaccia. But the modern

    More
  • King Cakes

    King Cakes

    Most people think of Mardi Gras as our season of merriment before Lent. Still, many of our traditions, such as the sweet and decorative king cake, actually begin with Christmas. King cakes date back to 12th century France when a cake was baked on the eve of Jan. 6 with a small token hidden inside.

    More
  • It's Crawfish Season, Y'all!

    It's Crawfish Season, Y'all!

    Crawfish, also known as crayfish, crawdads or mudbugs to some visitors, are freshwater crustaceans found in the swamps and marshes of south Louisiana. Crawfish have become as much a staple of Cajun & Creole culinary culture as the accordion or fiddle is to our music. The crawfish season differs from

    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

    More
  • Cajun & Creole Instruments: Triangle

    Cajun & Creole Instruments: Triangle

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

    More
  • 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

    More

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.

  • 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.

    More
  • Lafayette's Oldest Restaurants

    Lafayette's Oldest Restaurants

    In the late 1700s, South Louisiana was a melting pot of cultures where families, friends, travelers, and neighbors gathered around the table at mealtime. Cajun culture today still revolves around food, family, and joie de vivre—a joy of life. Many of the area’s most popular restaurants have been

    More
  • Po'boys: The Southern Sandwich Staple

    Po'boys: The Southern Sandwich Staple

    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. Throughout the U.S., you'll find a sandwich tied to just about every region of the country. The

    More
  • Best Drive-Thru Daiquiris in Lafayette

    Best Drive-Thru Daiquiris 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. Louisiana has some pretty unique laws pertaining to its food industry. Heck, there's even a

    More

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,

    More

Trip Planning Resources

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  • Lafayette Weekly (March 1-7, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (March 1-7, 2021)

    A tribute to one of country music’s greatest stars, Merle Haggard, will take place on Sunday evening at the Hideaway. The all-star band salute will feature Pine Leaf Boys Thomas David and Drew Simon, Daniel Coolik of the Revelers, and fiddler Kelli Jones. This will be the first of a series of

    More
  • New Restaurants Open in Lafayette

    New Restaurants Open in Lafayette

    Despite the challenges small businesses faced in 2020 and now into 2021, the area saw many new restaurants open. Several started as food trucks or pop-up concepts and expanded into a permanent brick and mortar. Check out these new restaurants in and around Lafayette Parish! Don't see your new

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

    Lafayette Weekly (February 22-28, 2021)

    This Wednesday afternoon, Louis Michot’s Melody Makers will play a special live stream concert to benefit coastal restoration projects. Michot’s experimental French music group with special guest Leyla McCalla will provide sounds for the wild game cookoff fundraiser. The virtual event requires

    More
  • Six Picks for a Romantic Getaway in Cajun Country

    Six Picks for a Romantic Getaway in Cajun Country

    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. With enchanting bayous, magnificent oaks, a rich history, and warm hospitality, Cajun Country is

    More
  • Best Places For Romance in Lafayette

    Best Places For Romance 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. From fairytale gardens and majestic oak trees draped with moss to Cajun cuisine fit for a king,

    More
  • Pizza in Lafayette

    Pizza in Lafayette

    Pizza has a long history and even more varieties adapted over the years and in different regions. According to History.com, flatbreads with toppings were consumed by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. The latter ate a version with herbs and oil, similar to today’s focaccia. But the modern

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (February 8-14, 2020)

    Lafayette Weekly (February 8-14, 2020)

    For the first time in recent history, Mardi Gras is canceled. Due to the pandemic, communities around the state have put festivities on hold this year for the public's safety. Although South Louisiana won't be parading in the city streets or country neighborhoods, the spirit will stay alive at home

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (February 1-7, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (February 1-7, 2021)

    Music returns to the Grouse Room this Friday with local top 40 cover band, Shotgun Lillie. The performance will take place outside on the courtyard stage at the new downtown venue. The Hideaway will host two of the most acclaimed accordionist to emerge in the 1990s this weekend. Dirk Powell,

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (January 25-21, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (January 25-21, 2021)

    The Hideaway on Lee is hosting a mix of experimental jazz, swamp rock, and acoustic ballads this week. Multi-instrumentalist Josh Leblanc is leading Electronic Jazz Night at the downtown club on Thursday, while singer/songwriter Derrick Savoie and his Sad Boys will take the stage Friday night. The

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (January 18-24, 2020)

    Lafayette Weekly (January 18-24, 2020)

    As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's life and legacy this week, I would like to honor the racially defying artists that made South Louisiana a mecca for unique American music. Rhythm and blues and rock and roll had a big part in the civil rights movement, and our local artists had their role in

    More
  • King Cakes

    King Cakes

    Most people think of Mardi Gras as our season of merriment before Lent. Still, many of our traditions, such as the sweet and decorative king cake, actually begin with Christmas. King cakes date back to 12th century France when a cake was baked on the eve of Jan. 6 with a small token hidden inside.

    More
  • It's Crawfish Season, Y'all!

    It's Crawfish Season, Y'all!

    Crawfish, also known as crayfish, crawdads or mudbugs to some visitors, are freshwater crustaceans found in the swamps and marshes of south Louisiana. Crawfish have become as much a staple of Cajun & Creole culinary culture as the accordion or fiddle is to our music. The crawfish season differs from

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly - (January 11-17, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly - (January 11-17, 2021)

    Although most Mardi Gras events have been canceled due to the recent peak in covid-19 cases, folks in Lafayette are still finding ways to celebrate. Whether it’s at home or at regulated outdoor venues, there is plenty of great Louisiana music to catch this week. Lost Bayou Rambler founder and singer

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly - (January 4-10, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly - (January 4-10, 2021)

    Mardi Gras season is upon us now that we’re in the new year. While we traditionally take down Christmas decorations on 12th night, we also put up our purple, green, and gold. Although this year’s carnival will be different due to COVID restrictions, the spirit in Lafayette is still alive. There’s

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (December 28-January 3, 2021)

    Lafayette Weekly (December 28-January 3, 2021)

    There probably will never be a more welcomed new year in our lifetime than 2021. Live music is often a big part of closing out the holiday season, and there are options to enjoy some local sounds in person, or virtually this New Year’s Eve. Rock n’ Bowl de Lafayette has been consistent with

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (December 21-27, 2020)

    Lafayette Weekly (December 21-27, 2020)

    Unlike most years, the amount of music to catch this week in Lafayette is limited. That being said, you'll still have the opportunity to hear some holiday favorites and locally rooted sounds during this Christmas holiday. Lafayette based crooner Marco Savvy will perform a set of spirited standards a

    More
  • Lafayette Weekly (December 14-20, 2020)

    Lafayette Weekly (December 14-20, 2020)

    There's quite a bit of music to catch this week in Lafayette. The Blue Monday Mission returns to their new location, The Grouse Room, on Monday night. The live music venue will be hosting concerts in their courtyard while COVID-19 regulations are in place. Lafayette based pop group, The Good Dudes

    More
  • Affordable Eats: 10 Dishes Under $10

    Affordable Eats: 10 Dishes Under $10

    Lafayette is a foodie town without pretension. Even James Beard recognized chefs serve up incredible dishes at reasonable prices. There are plenty of opportunities to taste your way through the world-famous culinary specialties of Cajun Country without breaking the budget. Dwight's Image courtesy

    More
  • 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
  • Lafayette Weekly - (December 7-13, 2020)

    Lafayette Weekly - (December 7-13, 2020)

    While we're still navigating how to live in the midst of rising COVID cases, Lafayette has been creative in ways to enjoy live music. The Acadiana Center for the Arts is presenting their Socially Distanced Concert series kickoff with local soul songster Ray Boudreaux along with special guests Julian

    More

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