Happiest City in America

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, 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.

Allons a Lafayette!

Food & Drink In A Pinch

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.

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.

Lafayette's Best Neighborhood Bars

It's the place you swing by after a long day work, to watch the game or just to yuck it up with some familiar faces. It was the backdrop of a... Read More

Woman Owned Restaurants

March is Women's History Month, and to celebrate, we're showing support to local, female-owned businesses. These eateries are diverse in the... Read More

Bon Temps Grill

Brothers Patrick and Steven O'Bryan grew up in the hospitality industry, Patrick started as a busboy at Cafe Vermilion, and Steven worked in... Read More

Fried Chicken in Lafayette

We take fried chicken seriously in the South. However, it can be highly versatile - spicy, greasy, on a waffle, with a side of fried rice, or over... Read More

Music In A Pinch

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.


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.

Creole Music

An early 20th-century precursor to zydeco, la-la music melds indigenous American, African, European, blues, nascent rhythm and blues, and Louisiana... Read More

Zydeco Music

Zydeco is a continuously evolving Louisiana music genre that blends elements of many Black American folk and pop styles, including blues, rhythm and... Read More

Cajun Music

Cajun music is a central component and marker of Cajun identity and culture in southwestern Louisiana. Largely accordion and fiddle based, and mostly... Read More

Get Your Jam On In Lafayette

So, does all the great music you hear in Lafayette inspire you to play along? Do you have your guitar, fiddle, accordion, or other acoustic instruments... Read More

Culture & History In A Pinch

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.

Historic Lafayette Trail

Downtown Lafayette

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.

Click here to discover Lafayette's historic places.


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.

Creole Music

An early 20th-century precursor to zydeco, la-la music melds indigenous American, African, European, blues, nascent rhythm and blues, and Louisiana... Read More

Cajun Music

Cajun music is a central component and marker of Cajun identity and culture in southwestern Louisiana. Largely accordion and fiddle based, and mostly... Read More

Black Icons in Lafayette

February may be one of the shorter months jam-packed with celebratory events like the Superbowl, Valentine's Day, President's Day, and Mardi... Read More

Mardi Gras Indians of Lafayette

Living Tradition at Pontiac Point Bells, whistles, dance, and chants drape Simcoe and Surrey St. on Mardi Gras morning. The Mardi Gras Indian walking... Read More

Outdoors In A Pinch

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.


5 Epic Outdoor Experiences in...

Lafayette, 135 miles west of New Orleans, is a bustling city nestled in French-speaking Louisiana. With its laid-back vibe and vibrant culture,... Read More

Top 5 Places to Hike in Acadiana

Hiking is the perfect way for the entire family, at any skill level, to experience the outdoors without breaking the budget. It provides the opportunity... Read More

Top 5 Places to Paddle in Acadiana

South Louisiana’s waterways provide a gateway to outdoor adventure like no other. Exploration of this region in a kayak or canoe is an... Read More

Lafayette's Unique Seasons

Immerse yourself in the untouched purity of a cypress and tupelo swamp. Sway your hips to the upbeat tempo of accordions and washboards, or let the... Read More

Shopping In A Pinch

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.

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.


Holiday Shopping Guide in Lafayette,...

Shopping locally is one of the best ways to support our neighbors and build our communities! Small business owners, artists, and creators make... Read More

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,... Read More

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... Read More

Luxurious Lafayette

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

Trip Planning Resources

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...

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. 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.

Plan Your Escape

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.

Allons is the official tourism publication of Lafayette Travel. Request a Copy View Digital Version