Lafayette is a city located in south-central Louisiana, in the United States. It is the fourth-largest city in the state, with a population of approximately 126,000 people, as of 2021. The city covers an area of 49.2 square miles (127.3 km²) and is the parish seat of Lafayette Parish.
Lafayette is known for its rich Cajun and Creole culture, which can be seen in its music, food, and festivals. The city is also home to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a public research university with over 18,000 students.
Some other cities and towns in the Lafayette metropolitan area include:
- Broussard: A smaller city located just south of Lafayette, known for its industrial and commercial developments.
- Carencro: A small town located just north of Lafayette, with a population of around 9,000 people.
- Youngsville: A fast-growing city located just south of Lafayette, known for its high quality of life and family-friendly atmosphere.
- Scott: A small city located just west of Lafayette, known for its antique shops and Cajun restaurants.
In addition to its cultural attractions, Lafayette is also a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The city is located near the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the United States, which offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching. Lafayette is also home to several parks and nature preserves, including the Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium and the Acadiana Park Nature Station.
Overall, Lafayette is a vibrant and unique city with plenty to see and do. Whether you’re interested in Cajun cuisine, music, or nature, there’s something for everyone in Lafayette, LA.
Things to do and places to visit in Lafayette:
1. Acadian Cultural Center
Address: 501 Fisher Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508
The Acadian Cultural Center is part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history and culture of the Acadian people. The center features exhibits on Cajun and Creole culture, as well as interactive displays and demonstrations of traditional crafts and music.
2. Vermilionville Historic Village
Address: 300 Fisher Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508
Vermilionville Historic Village is a living history museum that showcases Acadian, Native American, and Creole cultures from the 18th and 19th centuries. Visitors can tour reconstructed homes, watch demonstrations of traditional crafts, and enjoy live music and dance performances.
3. Downtown Lafayette
Address: Lafayette, LA 70501
Downtown Lafayette is the heart of the city and features a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Visitors can stroll along Jefferson Street and enjoy live music, art galleries, and outdoor markets.
4. Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market
Address: 2913 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
The Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market is held every Saturday morning and features local vendors selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, and artisanal goods. Visitors can also enjoy live music and food trucks.
5. Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
Address: 515 Cathedral St, Lafayette, LA 70501
The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture and is the mother church of the Diocese of Lafayette. Visitors can attend Mass or simply admire the beautiful stained glass windows and towering spires.
6. Acadiana Park Nature Station
Address: 1205 E Alexander St, Lafayette, LA 70501
The Acadiana Park Nature Station is a 110-acre nature preserve located within the city limits of Lafayette. Visitors can hike trails, observe native wildlife, and learn about the ecology of the area at the education center.
Address: 444 Cajundome Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70506
The Cajundome is a multipurpose arena that hosts a variety of events, including concerts, sporting events, and trade shows. Visitors can check the schedule for upcoming events and purchase tickets online.
8. Cypress Lake
Address: 1000 E Alexander St, Lafayette, LA 70501
Cypress Lake is a scenic spot located within the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk, observe the resident alligators, and enjoy a picnic in the park.
9. Lafayette Science Museum
Address: 433 Jefferson St, Lafayette, LA 70501
The Lafayette Science Museum features interactive exhibits on topics such as astronomy, energy, and earth science. Visitors can also enjoy a planetarium show or explore the outdoor Science Park.
10. Atchafalaya Basin
Address: Multiple entry points throughout the region
The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest swamp in the United States and is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life. Visitors can explore the basin by boat, kayak, or hiking trail.
11. Cité des Arts
Address: 109 Vine St, Lafayette, LA 70501
Cité des Arts is a community arts center that hosts a variety of events and performances, including theater productions, art exhibitions, and musical performances. Visitors can check the schedule and purchase tickets online.
12. Heymann Center for the Performing Arts
Address: 1373 S College Rd, Lafayette, LA 70503
The Heymann Center for the Performing Arts is a premier venue for performing arts in Lafayette, hosting concerts, theater productions, and other cultural events. Visitors can check the schedule and purchase tickets online.
13. Alexandre Mouton House
Address: 1122 Lafayette St, Lafayette, LA 70501
The Alexandre Mouton House is a historic home that now serves as a museum, showcasing the history and culture of Lafayette and the surrounding area. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn about the architecture and furnishings of the house, as well as the life of Alexandre Mouton, a prominent local figure.
14. The Wurst Biergarten
Address: 537 Jefferson St, Lafayette, LA 70501
The Wurst Biergarten is a popular outdoor bar and restaurant in downtown Lafayette, featuring a wide selection of beer, food trucks, and live music. Visitors can relax in the beer garden and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
15. Jefferson Street Pub
Address: 500 Jefferson St, Lafayette, LA 70501
The Jefferson Street Pub is a popular bar and restaurant located in the heart of downtown Lafayette, featuring live music, a rooftop bar, and a variety of craft beers and cocktails. Visitors can enjoy a night out with friends or attend one of the pub’s frequent events and parties.
16. Blue Moon Saloon
Address: 215 E Convent St, Lafayette, LA 70501
The Blue Moon Saloon is a legendary music venue in Lafayette, featuring live music from local and regional musicians, as well as Cajun and zydeco dance lessons. Visitors can dance the night away or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere and good company.
17. Lafayette Public Library
Address: 301 W Congress St, Lafayette, LA 70501
The Lafayette Public Library is a modern and welcoming library with a wide selection of books, DVDs, and other materials. Visitors can check out materials, use the public computers, attend a storytime with their children, or attend one of the library’s frequent events and workshops.
18. Parc Sans Souci
Address: 201 E Vermilion St, Lafayette, LA 70501
Parc Sans Souci is a beautiful public park in downtown Lafayette, featuring a splash pad, amphitheater, and a variety of public art installations. Visitors can enjoy a picnic, attend a concert or festival, or simply take a stroll and enjoy the scenery.
19. Lafayette Consolidated Government Compost Facility
Address: 400 Dugas Rd, Lafayette, LA 70507
The Lafayette Consolidated Government Compost Facility is a unique attraction that offers visitors the opportunity to learn about composting and sustainable waste management. Visitors can take a tour of the facility and learn about the process of turning organic waste into nutrient-rich soil.
20. Bayou Teche Brewery
Address: 1106 Bushville Hwy, Arnaudville, LA 70512
Bayou Teche Brewery is a family-owned and operated brewery located just outside of Lafayette, offering a variety of craft beers and a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. Visitors can take a brewery tour, enjoy a tasting flight, or attend one of the brewery’s frequent events and festivals.