Revelers at the annual Festivals Acadiens et Creoles
A beautiful day for a canoe ride
Shucking Gulf oysters
Treetop view of Downtown Lafayette
The Hilliard Art Museum at the University of Louisiana
The spread at a crawfish boil ready for the feast
Throwing beads to the crowd at the Mardi Gras parade
An airboat ride through the Atchafalaya Basin
The historic Roman Catholic St. John’s Cathedral
An accordion player overlooking the crown at the Festivals Acadiens et Creoles
Come for the food, stay for the local flavor
Lafayette was named Best Food City in the Rand McNally Best of the Road Rally, Southern Living’s Tastiest Town of the South and a Top 10 Foodie City by Livability.com, making it the best place to eat, except maybe your mama’s kitchen. Add in a dash of music, a sprinkling of history, topped with festivals and a heaping serving of fun, and Lafayette is calling your name. Lafayette’s distinct culinary identity as the capital of Cajun country, steeped in tradition, merges with a new generation of locals making it an incredibly satisfying place to eat. Southern Living touts Lafayette as a city that is shaping the South’s incredibly rich, diverse and delicious culinary landscape.
Besides the food, why do people go to Lafayette? Festivals, music and dancing for starters. Many people across the United States love Cajun and Zydeco music and this has spawned an interest in the cultures of South Louisiana. For some, it has become an addiction that brings them here where they can immerse themselves in all that makes Lafayette and Cajun Country special – the plate lunch places, the unique live music venues, the wonderful food that can be found everywhere from gas stations to fine dining establishments, and the year-round festivals and events that showcase local musicians, artists and cuisine.
Lafayette is the epicenter of all things Cajun and Creole. Any day of the week, visitors can dine on the best Cajun food in the world and dance to authentic Cajun and Zydeco music. Every weekend, they can choose from festivals, Cajun music jam sessions, Cajun and Zydeco dancehalls, outdoor activities and more. Most of all, Lafayette is a community with many artists and musicians, making the environment here incredibly creative and vibrant. The people are friendly and welcoming and this keeps people coming back for more.
Long known as a mecca for great Cajun cuisine and Zydeco music, the city also boasts world-class art museums, a professional symphony orchestra, and numerous art galleries, arts events and performances. From the dizzying spin of a Cajun two-step to the graceful swirl of the prima ballerina, from funky Cajun dance hall beats to the violin concertos in all their symphonic glory, from spicy boiled crawfish to the finest in Creole dining, Lafayette has the best of both worlds.
Lafayette’s downtown is dynamic with eclectic shops, diverse restaurants, urban parks, galleries and art spaces. The spring and fall are special times with Downtown Alive!, a weekly concert series held on Friday evenings. Downtown Alive!, a favorite with visitors and locals alike, is an institution that has been going strong for 30 years.
Lafayette is considered the center of Cajun culture in Louisiana.
Lafayette was named Happiest City in America by “Wall Street Journal’s” MarketWatch.com.
The city was first called Vermilionville.