city in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States

Lafayette is a city in Louisiana. It's the unofficial capital of Acadiana or Cajun Country. This flourishing moderate sized city is home to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Music and dancing is an integral part of community life. Several restaurants and dance halls thrive in the area and the city hosts several musical festivals throughout the year.

Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

Get in edit

By car edit

  &   Lafayette is at the intersection of Interstates 10 and 49. I-10 runs through the northern part of Lafayette, linking the city with New Orleans (2½ hours east) and Houston (4 hours west). I-49 links Lafayette with Alexandria and Shreveport to the north.

  •   to   Going south of I-10, US Hwy 167 connects travelers to US Hwy 90 where it takes a southern turn and passes through New Iberia, Franklin, Morgan City, and the Houma – Bayou Cane – Thibodaux metropolitan area before reaching New Orleans. Going west of its junction with US Hwy 167, US Hwy 90 closely parallels I-10 through Scott, Rayne, Crawley, Jennings and Lake Charles to the Texas state line. Going north, US Hwy 167 becomes I-49.

By plane edit

By bus edit

  • 2 Greyhound Lines, (bus stop) Lafayette Transit System (LTS) Station @ 100 Lee Ave (bus stop at the local bus transit center north of the Amtrak station building. No Greyhound ticket counter inside train station building.). Greyhound travels primarily on I-10 (Houston, Beaumont Vidor, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans); US 90 (Lafayette, New Iberia, Morgan City, Thibodaux, Houma, Raceland and New Orleans); and on I-49/US 167 (Lafayette, Opelousas, Alexandria, Jonesboro, Ruston, Grambling State University and Shrevesport). Some variations of the Houston to New Orleans route make additional stops in Port Arthur, Orange, Baytown and/or Lake Charles while others routes continue towards Montgomery via Mobile without stopping in New Orleans. Passengers transfer in Houston, New Orleans, Montgomery and Shreveport to transfer to additional cities.

By train edit

  • 3 Amtrak, 100 Lee Ave. The Sunset Limited runs thrice weekly between New Orleans and Los Angeles via Schriever, New Iberia, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Beaumont, Houston, San Antonio, etc.

Get around edit

 
Map of Lafayette (Louisiana)
 
Residential Lafayette

While Lafayette does have a bus system that is accessible from most areas in town, driving by car is still the most popular way to get around the city. Most businesses have parking lots, and even in the Downtown area there is often plenty of parking on a normal day. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is usually the only area where visitors encounter parking troubles, but while school is in session a shuttle bus links the center of campus with the massive parking lot at Cajun Field (near the Cajundome and Convention Center), providing a quick commute with frequent service. Bike lanes are becoming a growing trend on some major roads as well. There are taxis available.

See edit

  • 1 Acadian Cultural Center, 501 Fisher Road, +1 337 232-0789. Daily 8AM-5PM. You can spend an hour or so here learning about the history of the Acadian (Cajun) people. Free, donations accepted.
  • 2 Lafayette Science Museum, 433 Jefferson St, +1 337 291-5544. Th-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 1PM-6PM, M-Th closed. Adults $12, Seniors (60+) $5, Children (2-15) $8, Ages 2 and under free.  
  • 3 University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 104 E University Ave. A large four-year university with a great campus and a small swamp containing live alligators next to the Student Union. There is a University Art Museum on campus, and an International Film Series is screened every semester.    
 
La Chapelle des Attakapas at Vermillion ville
  • 4 Vermilionville, 300 Fisher Road, +1 337 233-4077. Tu-Su 10AM-4PM. A heritage and folk-life park depicting the way of life on the Bayou. The park has costumed French interpreters, traditional craft demos, and hosts traditional Cajun music and dance parties each Sunday. $8 adults.    
  • 5 Hilliard Art Museum, 710 E. Saint Mary Blvd, 70503 (on University of Louisiana, Lafayette campus), +1 337-482-0811. Tu-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. Museum collection of over 4,000 objects including 18th-, 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century American, European and Asian art works. $4/adult, $3/senior, $2/student.    
  • 6 The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 914 St John St, +1 337 232-1322.    

Do edit

  • Lafayette Pétanque Club, Girard Park. 4PM-sunset, 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. Pétanque is a deceptively simple two-player French game played with tennis-ball-sized metal orbs that is similar to bocce or horseshoes. Players score points by tossing their balls as close to a target ball as possible while trying to knock their opponent's away. It's a ubiquitous sight in parks all over France, where it is a national game of sorts, but quite rare in the U.S. Members socialize in both English and French. Visitors are encouraged. Free.
  • Listen to 101.1 FM KBON. With a combination of Louisiana country music sung sometimes in French accompanied by accordion, and sometimes in English, listening to this radio station as you travel the area very distinctly tells that you are in Acadiana, and not some other part of the United States. Free.
  • 1 Sky Zone, 3814 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy, +1 337 417-8000. Indoor trampoline park

Events edit

  • Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival (in the nearby town of Breaux Bridge). Usually occurs in early May. This annual weekend veneration of the "mud bug" brings together the best features of Cajun culture. The main centerpiece of the festival is a massive iron kettle which sees a constant flow of the festival's namesake critters throughout the day (also available in abundance in any form you could wish for.) The other centerpiece of the festival is a stage, which sees the most popular Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp Pop, and Creole musicians around. D.L. Menard was a regular performer there until a few years before his death in 2017. Other events include Cajun dancing contests and lessons, Cajun cooking demonstrations, crawfish races, a crawfish eating contest, a crawfish étouffée contest, and typical (if you can call anything crawfish-themed typical) carnival rides, activities, and vendors. $5-10 per day, or $15 for entire weekend.
  • Festival International de Louisiane, Downtown Lafayette. Four-day festival that brings musical acts and other performers from all over the world, with an emphasis on Francophone countries. The festival usually takes place the last weekend of April, and is usually a nice diversion from the expensive and often over-crowded New Orleans JazzFest the same time of year. The amazing food selection from local restaurants is moderately priced, and there are several shopping bazaars with everything from international vendors to local artists. Most importantly the festival is free, with a great deal of funding coming from donations made by Lafayette residents. Jefferson Street and most of Downtown Lafayette virtually shut-down to traffic from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening with around six stages of live music. Free.    

Sports edit

  • 2 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, 444 Cajundome Blvd (ticket office), +1 337 265-2104. Sports teams of the above university, competing in 16 NCAA Division I sports (eight for each sex) in the Sun Belt Conference. As with most major schools, the hot-button sports are typically football and men's basketball, but the most nationally competitive are baseball and softball (the latter a women-only sport in the NCAA). Most of the key sports venues are on university-owned land away from the main campus, most notably Cajun Field (football), the Cajundome (men's basketball), and Tigue Moore Field (baseball). The Cajundome also houses the central ticket office for all Ragin' Cajuns sports. Ticket prices vary by sport.    
  • 3 Louisiana Drillers, 4317 Johnston St, +1 337 504-4174, . See website for current season schedule. Enjoy an ice-hockey game at Planet Ice Rink. The Drillers play in the North American Tier III hockey league.

Buy edit

  • 1 Acadiana Mall, 5725 Johnston St, +1 337-984-8242. A decent sized shopping mall at the corner of Ambassador Caffery Pkwy and Johnston St.    

Eat edit

Lafayette is a center for great Cajun cuisine (see the Acadiana article for an overview), but don't think Cajun food is all there is to eat here. Many different styles of food can be found here, and many have developed a Cajun flair. Lafayette is truly a food-oriented city, with more restaurants than cities with a much larger population. We talk about what to eat a lunch over breakfast, and what to eat for dinner over lunch; and we're rarely disappointed with the outcome.

  • Agave Cantina, 200 E Vermilion St, +1 337 289-0000. M-W 11AM-10PM, Th-Sa 11AM-11PM. Tex-Mex with some Tex-Mex / Creole fusion dishes. Inside and outside eating.
  • Another Broken Egg, 112 Rue Promenade, +1 337 504-3365. Terrific breakfasts and brunches.
  • Artmosphere, 902 Johnston St, +1 337 233-3331. M-Sa 11AM - 2PM, Su 11AM - midnight. Eclectically decorated restaurant, bar and hookah bar with live music and a wide variety of great food.
  • 1 Borden's Ice Cream Shop, 1103 Jefferson St. Noon - 8PM. Ice cream, ice cream dishes and soda fountain.    
  • Cafe Sydnie Mae, 140 E. Bridge St., Breaux Bridge LA, +1 337-909-2377. Su 9AM-2PM; M Tu closed, W-F 5-9PM; Sa 11AM-2PM, 5-9PM. Steaks, Seafood & Spirits.
  • Charley G's, 3809 South Ambassador Caffery Pkwy, +1 337 981-0108. Specialty in seafood. Excellent bar. Live piano music.
  • The French Press, 214 East Vermilion St, +1 337 233-9449. Great local and French food, lunches and breakfasts. One of Lafayette's most celebrated for good reason.
  • Hub City Diner 1412 South College, +1 337 235-5683. Louisiana cooking in a diner atmosphere.
  • LaFonda Restaurant, 3809 Johnston St, +1 337 984-5630. Tex-Mex menu with great margaritas.
  • Johnson's Boucaniere, 1111 St John Street. Tu-F 10AM-3PM; Sa 8AM-3PM. Casual place known for great boudin, bbq, and smoked meats.
  • Judice Inn, 3134 Johnston St, +1 337 269-1653. Popular little joint for cheeseburgers and beer.
  • Julien's Po-Boys, 1900 W. University Ave, +1 337 232-5168. Two other locations in Lafayette. Serves great po-boy sandwiches and spicy platters.
  • Maesone Noodle House, 4807 Johnston St, +1 337 406-0850. Great noodles, mixture of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Laotian cuisine.
  • Olde Tyme Grocery 218 W St Mary +1 337 235-8165. Great po-boy sandwiches. The atmosphere is basically a few tables in an old grocery building. Lots of character!
  • Prejean's, 3480 North I-49, +1 337 896-3247, . Su-Th 7AM-9:30PM, F Sa 7AM-10:30PM. Touristy but enjoyable Cajun food. $8-20.
  • Taco Sisters, 3902 Johnston St. M-Sa 10:30AM - 8PM. Tacos & burritos, convenient drive-thru.
  • Thai Cuisine, 607 Kaliste Saloom Rd, +1 337 261-0000. Thai food; try the Pad Thai.
  • Tsunami, 412 Jefferson St, +1 337 234-3474. Sushi and Japanese cuisine.
  • Scratch Farm Kitchen, 406 Garfield street, +1 337 296 2364. Su-M closed, Tu-Sa 9AM-2PM. Farm to table restaurant serving breakfast and brunch. Food is always super fresh and drinks are delicious!

Drink edit

Downtown Lafayette Hosts live entertainment nightly with its variety of clubs and kind of resembles New Orleans' French Quarter on a smaller scale. The Strip on McKinley Street with its row of bars right next to The University of Louisiana is another popular venue. Where it used to the run of college students from The Keg to the McKinley Street Pub, the scene is now represented by new members like La Honda Discotheque and Freetown Boom Boom Room.

Most visitors to Lafayette are often surprised by another feature of the local drinking scene: drive-thru daiquiri stores. Open-container laws are seemingly disregarded as customers can purchase potent frozen drinks without leaving their car, and then simply drive-off. Exercise caution, though, as cops still consider these drinks to be open alcohol containers, as evident by the styrofoam-cupped drinks are often handed to customers with a piece of tape over the lid opening.

For you bar and club patrons, last call in Lafayette is at 2AM Monday through Saturday, and at midnight on Sunday nights.

  • 1 The Greenroom, 229 Jefferson St., +1 337 233-4255. 4PM-2AM. Great local bar in Downtown Lafayette with a easygoing vibe. Several local and imported beers on tap, with the widest bottled beer selection in town. Nightly drink specials, pool tables, shuffleboard, foosball, and plenty of good people.

Sleep edit

Go next edit

Routes through Lafayette
HoustonLake Charles  W   E  New IberiaNew Orleans
Lake CharlesRayne  W   E  Baton RougeNew Orleans
ShreveportOpelousas  N   S  END
Lake CharlesRayne  W   E  New IberiaNew Orleans
AlexandriaOpelousas  N   S  → Jct W   EEND


This city travel guide to Lafayette is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.