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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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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