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Lafayette (Louisiana)

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Lafayette [11] is a city in Louisiana and is the government seat of Lafayette Parish.


It's the unofficial capital of Acadiana or Cajun Country. The city's moniker as the heart of Acadiana means that a visit to Lafayette allows you to quickly and easily travel to the surrounding local communities, each with their own rich history and importance. This flourishing moderate sized city fortunately escaped the worst of the one-two punch of hurricanes Katrina and Rita which devastated much of south Louisiana on either side of the city in 2005.

The 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.

Jefferson Street, in Lafayette's old downtown, has a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars.

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 (2.5 hours east) and Houston (4 hours west). I-49 links Lafayette with Alexandria and Shreveport to the north.

By air[edit]

Lafayette Regional Airport [12] handles flights from American, Delta, and United Airlines. Major cities connected to Lafayette include Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta; providing connections with national and international flights.

By train[edit]

Amtrak [13] provides service to Lafayette via the Sunset Limited, running between Los Angeles and New Orleans.

By bus[edit]

Greyhound Lines [14] runs thru Lafayette several times daily, with service going west towards Houston, east towards Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and north towards Alexandria and Shreveport.

Get around[edit]

While Lafayette does have a primitive bus system that is accessible from most major areas in town, this system is still fairly undeveloped, and in most cases, will hit a stop only once an hour. 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 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, but are still in need of work. Avoid cycling on Johnston Street from the Univ. of Louisiana to Ambassador Caffery Parkway between the hours of 6AM to 8 AM and from 4PM to 6PM, Monday thru Friday. An expanding taxi industry has grown-up around Lafayette recently. Uber operates in the city.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Acadian Cultural Center, 501 Fisher Road, +1 337 232-0789, [15]. 8AM-5PM daily. You can spend an hour or so here learning about the history of the Acadian (Cajun) people. Free, donations accepted.
  • Lafayette Science Museum, 433 Jefferson Street, +1 337 291-5544, [16].
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette 104 E University Ave. [17] A large four-year university with a great campus and an alligator swamp next to the Student Union. There is University Art Museum on campus, and an International Film Series is screened every semester.
  • Vermilionville 300 Fisher Road, +1 337 233-4077 [18] Tuesday-Sunday 10AM-4PM. $8 adults. A heritage and folklife park depicting the way of life on the Bayou. The park has costumed interpretors and traditional craft demos.
  • Hilliard University Art Museum (University Art Museum), 710 East Saint Mary Blvd. (# I-10 West for 131.2 miles # Take exit #103A/US-167 South (Evangeline Thwy (US-90)) for 2.7 miles to Taft. # Turn right on Taft St. for 0.9 miles to the Intersection of Taft and E. St. Mary Blvd.), +1 337 482-2278, [1]. Tues - Friday, 9-5; Sat. 10-5. The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana is Acadiana’s new architectural landmark and the largest art museum on the gulf coast between Houston and New Orleans, the University Art Museum features a variety of changing exhibitions, and a continuing schedule of lectures and programs. All this in the tranquil beauty of University of Louisiana, Lafayette campus and just blocks away from the Oil Center and galleries, shops and famous restaurants of downtown Lafayette. $4 Adult, $3 Senior, $2 Child/Student. (30.21,-90.4) edit
  • Festival International, Downtown Lafayette LA.  edit
  • Swamp Tours- Lafayette is perfectly positioned for visitors to hop on a swamp tour in the surrounding bayous.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Festival International de Louisiane, Downtown Lafayette, [2]. 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.  edit
  • Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, Girard Park, [3]. Three day festival held the second full weekend in October celebrating the music, crafts, and food of South Louisiana. The festival is sectioned into three parts. The Festival de Musique showcases Cajun and Zydeco music. The Bayou Food Festival showcases Cajun and Creole foods. The Louisiana Craft Fair includes a market where visitors can buy local jewelry, artwork, and handmade items from area artists, while also featuring handmade items from the Houma Indians,. Free.  edit
  • Rock 'n' Bowl de Lafayette, 905 Jefferson St, +1 337 534 8880, [4]. The famed New Orleans live music venue/bowling alley offers your choice of bowling, live music, food at its Sainte-Marie restaurant, or the ability to rent a private suite above the action.  edit
  • LA ICE, 3607 N.W. Evangeline Thruway, Carencro, +1 337 896-2040 (fax: +1 337 896-2047), [5]. The only ice rink in Louisiana.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Acadiana Mall. Decent sized shopping mall at the corner of Ambassador Caffery Pkwy and Johnston St. Includes over 100 stores and is anchored by Dillard's, Macy's, J.C. Penney, and Sears.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

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.

  • Prejean's, 3480 N. I-49, +1 337 896-3247 ([19]), [20]. Su-Th. 7AM-9:30PM; F,Sa 7AM-10:30PM. Touristy but enjoyable Cajun food. $8-20.
  • Judice Inn 3134 Johnston St, +1 337 984-5614. Legendary local hamburger joint since 1947. Don't ask for french fries! The no-nonsense burgers are served with your choice of chips. Great milkshakes, as well.
  • Deano's Pizza 305 Bertrand Drive, +1 337 233-5446. Pizzeria serving Italian classics and cajun twists on pizzas. Great for families with small game room for kids.
  • Alesi Pizza House 4110 Johnston St, +1 337 984-1823. First introduced pizza to Lafayette in 1957. Watch the pizzas get made through the large window into the kitchen.
  • Maesone Noodle House 4807 Johnston St, +1 337 406-0850. Great noodles, mixture of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Laotian cuisine.
  • Bisbano's Pizza 1540 Johnston St, +1 337 233-0420. Good pizza; free wi-fi.
  • Charley G's 3809 South Ambassador Caffery Pkwy, +1 337 981-0108. Specialty in seafood. Excellent bar. Live piano music.
  • 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.
  • Randol's Restaurant 2320 Kaliste Saloom Road, +1 337 981-7080, [21]. Popular Cajun family style restaurant with a dance floor and a bar. Live Cajun or Zydeco music every night.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Thai Cuisine 607 Kaliste Saloom Rd., +1 337 261-0000 [22] Fantastic Thai food, especially stir fry.
  • Artmosphere 902 Johnston St, +1 337 233-3331. Mon-Sat 11AM to 2PM, Sun 11AM to midnight. Eclectically decorated restaurant, bar and hookah bar with live music and a wide variety of great food.
  • Sakura 3218 Johnston St, +1 337 989-9698 [23] Fantastic sushi bar and restaurant. Also has great teriyaki, tempura, and other kinds of Japanese cuisine.
  • The French Press 214 East Vermilion St, +1 337 233-9449 [24] French food. Great lunches and breakfasts.
  • Another Broken Egg 112 Rue Promenade, +1 337 504-3365 [25] Terrific breakfasts and brunches.
  • Agave Cantina 200 E Vermilion St, +1 337 289-0000, [26]. Mon-Wed 11AM-10PM, Thur-Sat 11AM-11PM. Great Tex-Mex with some Tex-Mex / Creole fusion dishes. Inside and outside eating.
  • Tsunami 412 Jefferson St, +1 337 234-3474, [27] Excellent sushi and Japanese cuisine.
  • Pho Tien 3533 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy, +1 337 456-3813 Fantastic Vietnamese, especially noodles
  • Cafe des Amis, 140 E. Bridge St., Breaux Bridge LA, 337-332-5273, [6]. Zydeco Breakfast every Saturda morning 8:30-11:30 AM.  edit
  • T-Coon's 1900 West Pinhook St, +1 337 233-0422, [28] Excellent Zydeco cuisine. Serves breakfast and lunch. Mello Joy coffee served.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The Greenroom
  • Downtown Lafayette Hosts live entertainment nightly with its verity of clubs and kind of resembles New Orleans French Quarter on a smaller scale.
  • The Greenroom, 229 Jefferson St. Lafayette, LA 70501, +1 337 233-4255, [7]. 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.  edit
  • Corner Bar 3103 Johnston St, +1 337 456-3063. Clean, smoke-free bar with great beer selection. Popular with the after-work crowd. Outdoor seating available. Small food menu.
  • The Grouse Room 1919 Kaliste Saloom Rd #303, +1 337 806-9098. Sophisticated lounge for drinks with live music and members-only scotch room.
  • Legends 413 Jefferson St. Cocktails, bottled beer. Burgers and munchies can be ordered from the grill at the back; if not quite "legendary" as the menu claims, they satisfy. 8 locations in the area.
  • The Strip, McKinley Street. A row of bars right next to The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. From The Keg to the McKinley Street Pub there is a bar for every college niche.  edit

For you bar and club patrons, last call in Lafayette is a 2AM Monday through Saturday, and at 12 midnite on Sunday nights.

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 the drink is no longer immune if the tape which seals the lid is broken or if the straw punctures the hole.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hampton Inn Lafayette, 3941 State Road 26 East, +1 765 447-1600 (Fax: +1 765 449-9963), [29]. $100 (for an extra $20 get the jacuzzi suite).
  • Lafayette Microtel Inn & Suites, 301 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy, +1 337 235-9010, [30].
  • Ramada Lafayette, 120 E. Kaliste Saloom Rd., +1 337 235-0858, [31].
  • Blue Moon Guesthouse, 215 E Convent St, +1 337 234-2422 (toll free: +1 877 766-2583), [8]. checkin: 5PM-10PM; checkout: 11AM. A clean, safe, and very hospitible hostel located in downtown Lafeyette. Dorms $18+, privates $75+.  edit
  • The Juliet, 800 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA, US, 70501, +1 337 261-2225, [9]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: noon. $109.  edit
  • Clarion Inn Lafayette Airport (Clarion Hotel), 1421 SE Evangeline Thwy, Lafayette, LA (2 Miles from Lafayette Regional Airport), 337-232-9000, [10]. Clarion has FREE Wi-Fi, Airport Shuttle and Parking. The hotel has nightly, weekly, monthly and group rates. Relax by the pool and courtyard or get in shape at the Fitness Center. The hotel is Pet Friendly.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Lafayette does not have a high crime rate, you can walk on any side of town and be safe. The north side does have some what of a higher crime rate, but it's still relatively safe.

Get out[edit]

Routes through Lafayette
HoustonLake Charles  W noframe E  Baton RougeNew Orleans
ShreveportWoodworth  N noframe S  END
HoustonLake Charles  W noframe E  HoumaNew Orleans

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