Cool Things to do in Lafayette, LA
September 30, 2014
Looking for things to do while in Lafayette? Enjoy the legendary cuisine, check out some gators, put on your dancing shoes, and get ready to travel back in time because Lafayette, Louisiana, has got it goin’ on and is eager to show you why. Whether you're visiting, passing through, or lived here all your life, Lafayette has so much to share! Most residents of Lafayette indulge in “Joie de Vivre” or Joy of Living. There's plenty of this joy to go around, and everyone is welcome to partake! Interested in experiencing this “Joie de Vivre?” Here are some of our favorite ways:
- Take a Cajun Food Tour! A great overview to start you off right! Lafayette’s Cajun Food Tours are rated #1 on Trip Advisor and offer any tourist or local a chance to hop on a cozy, customized tour bus to experience the city, the culture, and, best of all, the legendary food! With a brief history lesson, fun facts, stories, and multiple tasting stops throughout the tour, you’ll explore a plethora of Cajun delights. A Cajun Food Tour is the perfect introduction to all that Lafayette has to offer from its genuine hospitality to its delicious food. Both of which make Lafayette so unique.
- Visit Vermilionville! Interested in learning more about all of the cultures that shaped the Lafayette everyone loves today? Vermilionville is an outdoor living history museum located on Bayou Vermilion, which offers a time traveling experience back to Lafayette’s beginning. This quaint little town also hosts a Cajun Jam session, free to the public, every Saturday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Musicians of all ages are welcome to join in playing along with seasoned masters. Vermilionville also encourages the dancer in everyone to attend their “Bal du Dimanche” held each Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. with live Cajun music and lots of happy dancers!
- Thursdays, Check out Rhythms on the River! Lafayette locals love live music, and who can resist attending a free concert? Each fall and spring, River Ranch Town Square of Lafayette hosts these concerts every Thursday evening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Young and old are invited to grab their folding chairs and picnic blankets, settle down in the square, and sit back to listen or kick their feet up and dance while talented musicians do the rest.
- Attend a Ragin’ Cajun’s football game! The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Ragin Cajuns have been making a name for themselves, with 3 consecutive New Orleans Bowl championships under their belt; home games are packed with spirit to keep their streak going. Fans begin tailgating at Cajun Field at the crack of dawn on game days and party until kickoff. The spirit and Ragin’ Cajun pride in the newly remodeled stadium is contagious. Even new-comers find it hard not to succumb to the UL band’s groove while cheering on the Cajuns.
- See some Alligators! Not only does the University of Louisiana at Lafayette offer plenty of Ragin’ Cajun events, it is also home to a hearty congregation of alligators. Cypress Lake, located in the middle of UL’s Campus, is known as “The Swamp” and serves as a habitat for gators, native irises, turtles, birds, fish, and beautiful Cypress trees. “The Swamp” is the perfect destination for anyone looking to see some of those infamous Louisiana gators.
- Saturday’s & Wednesdays, Shop the Farmer’s Market! Lafayette’s Farmer’s & Artisan’s Market at the Horse Farm is held every Saturday morning, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. until noon and, through October and November, Wednesday evenings from 3 until 6 p.m. This marketplace is an outdoor venue for handcrafted artwork, local foods, farm fresh produce, and live music. The Farmer’s Market provides a celebratory atmosphere where entrepreneurs are encouraged and supported.
- Spend some time Downtown! Downtown Lafayette has plenty to offer with a little something for everyone. If you thought Lafayette was proud of what it’s got going on, ‘you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.’ Downtown Lafayette has 14 art galleries including the Acadiana Center for the Arts (ACA) which promotes community development, education performances, and exhibits. Downtown also hosts Downtown Alive (DTA) on most Friday evenings during the fall and spring. Like Rhythms on the River, DTA is a free live music concert for all to enjoy. On the 2nd Saturday of each month, all are welcome to view Downtown’s art galleries’ artwork during the Art Walk, a free event with trolley rides, refreshments, and plenty of...you guessed it...art! Downtown Lafayette is also home to the beautiful Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, the original hub of Lafayette’s conception. On the cathedral grounds, visit the museum, gift shop, and religious art gallery. Right outside of the cathedral is the 3rd oldest Live Oak tree in the United States. This humongous and magnificent oak is a must see. With over 40 bars and restaurants, Downtown Lafayette’s night life is worth the experience as well. Cajun, Asian, Italian, Mexican. . .DJ, band, dance club. . .Whatever you fancy, Downtown Lafayette has it!
by Whitney Ross, Lafayette Native