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, Louisiana. But you’ve got that nagging feeling that “maybe you shouldn’t” because it’s going to cost you…right?
Here in Lafayette we believe fun shouldn’t be an expense or something you budget for. 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.
Lafayette, Louisiana has the Cajun & Creole flavors you crave, along with the freshest in 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.
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.
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.
In addition to being known as the Cajun & Creole Country, Lafayette 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.
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.
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.
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.
Lafayette is at the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole Country. 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.
Lafayette Parish has a long and profound history. The indigenous Atakapa-Ishak, Choctaw, Chitimacha, and Opelousa were some of the first to inhabit the area. Numerous Acadian refugees settled in this area after being expelled from Canada after Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War. They married other settlers, forming what became known as Cajun and Creole cultures. Both cultures spoke French and were deeply Catholic.
Lafayette Parish is still at the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole country, with a living and vibrant history that is evident whether you’re grabbing a bite to eat, visiting a gallery or museum, or dancing to Cajun or zydeco music at a local dancehall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether your passion is for their rich cultural history, the bustling culinary scene or distinctive blend of Cajun and Zydeco music, you can be sure you will leave with a smile on your face. Start planning your trip to the Heart of Louisiana's Cajun & Creole...
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. The eight parishes that comprise the area are Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, and Vermilion. Acadiana is made up of 22 South Louisiana parishes that extend from south of Alexandria in the center of the state, to Lake Charles on the west, south of New Orleans on the east, and to the Gulf of Mexico in the south.
Lafayette, LA is at the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole Country, an area known as the ‘Happiest City in America’ and it’s no mystery. Whether your passion is for our rich cultural history, the bustling culinary scene or distinctive blend of Cajun and Zydeco music, you can be sure you will leave beaming from ear to ear. Plan your escape to the Happiest City in America.