From diving into the Cajun and Creole meals, music, and tradition, to exploring the swamps, listed here are our prime issues to do in Lafayette, Louisiana.
After we locked in our journey to Lafayette within the southern state of Louisiana within the USA, there was one important factor we wished to see – swamps!
As we began to analysis our journey although we rapidly realised there was much more to see and do than soar on a ship and cruise by means of the flooded plains.
Seems Lafayette is a little bit of a cultural gem, and we managed to fill an itinerary with loads of actions.
White not as well-known as its neighbor, New Orleans, Lafayette provides an unimaginable glimpse into the multicultural roots of this nook of the USA’s South.
Recognized for conventional Cajun and Creole tradition, Lafayette opened our eyes and minds to wonderful delicacies, conventional music, and world-class festivals which occur yr spherical.
Along with the wealthy tradition, there are tonnes of fascinating nature spots and wildlife to see close to Lafayette.
There are quite a few wildlife sanctuaries, islands, botanical gardens, hen colonies, and extra scattered across the swamps of southern Louisiana.
You possibly can tour the character with a neighborhood information by way of boat or kayak like we did, or simply wander by means of the marked strolling trails by yourself.
Whether or not you’re into tradition, historical past, or nature, Lafayette is saturated with all three.
So if you happen to’re planning your individual trip to take a look at all of the issues to see in Lafayette, our newest journey information is precisely what you want.
The Greatest Issues to Do in Lafayette Louisiana
There are such a lot of enjoyable actions to do within the space that you just’ll end up wishing you had extra time right here!
Find out about Cajun tradition by means of dwell music occasions, meals excursions, and historic villages.
Get your repair of science on the Lafayette Science Museum, or artwork on the Paul and Lulu Hilliard College Artwork Museum. Tour a swamp or eat some crawfish.
No matter your pursuits are, you might be certain to seek out one thing that excites you on this checklist of the very best issues to do in Lafayette.
1) Go on a Swamp Tour
One of many important issues we wished to do in Louisiana was take a look at the swamps. We had heard a lot about them and seen them in motion pictures, however wished to know what they have been actually like.
So after we discovered we have been coming to Lafayette, we found that the most important swamp within the US, the Atchafalaya Basin, was a brief drive away. Hell yea!
After performing some analysis on how we may greatest go to the swamp we discovered McGee’s Swamp Excursions, a family-run eco enterprise that does boat excursions out to the basin.
We signed up for a 90-minute gradual boat swamp tour and it was sensational!
We cruised round in search of wildlife and exploring the massive delta basin. It was a lot greener than we thought it might be, and was really very stunning. Nothing like what we anticipated.
There are those who dwell on the swamp in small houseboats, and our legendary information Skip (who grew up on the swamp himself) advised us all concerning the historical past, tradition, and life of individuals right here.
It was actually so implausible and we cherished each second of it. This is among the greatest guided boat excursions you will discover for the swamps.
If you end up in Southern USA positively add a swamp tour to your bucket checklist.
2) Eat Some Crawfish
Once you get to Louisiana, everyone will ask you you probably have tried crawfish but.
It’s the primary meal right here within the state, and crawfish boils are an enormous a part of the native tradition.
There was no manner we may go away Lafayette with out seeing what all of the fuss was about.
Kaylie, a Lafayette native, caught up with us for dinner and was prepared to point out us tips on how to eat the favoured delicacies.
She rose to the problem, and took us to a small but standard diner referred to as the Crawfish Spot to offer it a go.
Curious to know what it was like? Take a look at our video from the expertise and tell us if you happen to’d give it a go too!
3) Tour the Tabasco Manufacturing unit on Avery Island
Do you know that the unique (and solely) Tabasco Manufacturing unit is discovered close to Lafayette, on Avery Island in Louisiana?
After we discovered you’d have thought Jarryd was a child going to Disneyland. He LOVES Tabasco sauce.
Tabasco sauce was invented proper right here in Louisiana in 1868, and remains to be the one place on the planet the place it’s made.
You possibly can tour the manufacturing facility the place all of the magic occurs, and wander the attractive grounds.
We realized all concerning the well-known scorching sauce and the way it was made, with the chili mash fermenting for 3 years in whiskey barrels earlier than being combined with vinegar for a month after which bottled and distributed.
The elements and recipe for this well-known scorching sauce is virtually unchanged for 150 years.
Visiting the Tabasco Manufacturing unit is definitely among the best issues to do in Lafayette Louisiana.
4) Get in Contact with Nature at Jungle Gardens on Avery Island
After getting your fill of scorching sauce, discover extra of Avery Island and head to the tranquil Jungle Gardens.
Situated on Avery Island in South Louisiana, Jungle Gardens is a big inexperienced house dwelling to some fascinating points of interest.
There are about 170 acres of botanical gardens and wildlife sanctuaries. There’s additionally a bamboo grove and a historic Buddha statue.
Chook Metropolis is an egret colony and sanctuary designed to guard native egrets, as hunters used to kill them for his or her feathers to make use of in women’ hats.
These days, you may go to Chook Metropolis to admire these majestic, snowy white birds having fun with life within the marshes.
Jungle Gardens additionally hosts birding and wildlife excursions so you may see all of the wildlife that thrives within the marshes round Avery Island. Discover extra information on their web site!
- Handle: Hwy. 329, Avery Island
- Hours: 9am – 5pm every day
- Worth: $12.50 adults, $9.50 children (contains Jungle Gardens and Tabasco Manufacturing unit admission)
5) Keep in a Historic Plantation Residence
Whereas visiting Lafayette, you may all the time prolong your sightseeing and cultural immersion to your lodging.
As a substitute of staying in a traditional lodge, why not keep in a historic plantation dwelling?
There are some actually beautiful locations to remain in and round Lafayette the place historic buildings have been transformed into locally-run mattress and breakfasts.
One of many best possible choices is Maison Mouton B&B, which is the place we stayed throughout our time in Lafayette.
This cozy, centrally-located mattress and breakfast is ready in a restored Creole home from the 1820s.
Surrounded by gardens and small cottages, and full with charming, comfy rooms, the B&B is crammed with character, but nonetheless has all the trendy facilities you’d ever want.
There isn’t a higher place to expertise Southern hospitality and historical past than staying in a historic dwelling akin to Maison Mouton.
6) Discover Downtown Lafayette
On our checklist of issues to do in Lafayette Louisiana, we needed to embrace taking a while to discover the Downtown space and chat to locals.
Downtown Lafayette is a full of life space that doesn’t get practically as a lot consideration because it deserves.
With quite a few distinctive native eating places, dwell music venues, sporting occasions, museums, artwork galleries, and extra, there are such a lot of enjoyable issues to do downtown.
We’ll get into extra element about a few of the prime points of interest in a while this checklist of the very best issues to do in Lafayette Louisiana.
However simply meandering by means of the easily-walkable streets of Downtown is a good way to get a really feel for the “Hub Metropolis”.
However right here’s our prime tip for now – if you happen to love espresso, and we imply good espresso (we’re Australians, belief us), take a look at Reve Espresso Roasters.
7) Broaden Your Thoughts on the Lafayette Science Museum
Visiting the Lafayette Science Museum is among the most enjoyable issues to do downtown.
When you have any curiosity in science and the pure world, this museum is a should.
From geology, to marine biology, to paleontology, and extra, you may be taught a lot when exploring this unimaginable museum.
There’s a planetarium, a present store, sculptures and work about pure historical past, and loads of interactive displays.
Go to the web site to see what particular interactive displays are on on the Lafayette Science Museum while you’re on the town.
- Handle: 433 Jefferson Avenue
- Hours: Saturdays 10am – 6pm, Sundays 1pm – 6pm
- Price: $12 Adults, $8 children
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8) See the Lafayette Museum (The Alexandre Mouton Home)
The Lafayette Museum is a historic dwelling and backyard that preserves the historical past and tradition of the city.
Constructed round 1800 by a few of the first settlers in South Central Louisiana, the home is thought for housing Alexandre Mouton in 1825.
Mouton was the primary Democratic Governor of Louisiana. His dwelling has been preserved as a museum in order that guests to downtown Lafayette can catch a glimpse of what life was like again then.
For extra details about occasions and admission, in addition to picture galleries and tales concerning the historical past of the museum, take a look at the web site.
- Handle: 1122 Lafayette Avenue
- Hours: 10am – 4pm Tuesday – Saturday
- Price: $5
9) Go to the Acadian Cultural Middle
Visiting the Acadian Cultural Middle is one other among the best issues to do in Lafayette Louisiana.
Acadian historical past is a large a part of the native life in Lafayette, and it’s price studying a bit about it.
“Acadians” refers back to the group of people that migrated from France to Nova Scotia and different elements of northeastern North America within the seventeenth and 18th Centuries.
A few of them additionally settled in Louisiana, and the descendants of the Acadians ultimately grew to become often called “Cajuns”.
The Acadian Cultural Middle used displays, movies, artwork, and occasions to teach guests concerning the historical past, actions, and tradition of the Acadians and their descendants, the Cajuns.
It’s free to go to, so if you happen to’re within the tradition and historical past of the world, it’s price testing the Acadian Cultural Middle.
- Handle: 501 Fisher Street
- Hours: 9:30am – 4:30pm, Tueday – Saturday (closed on holidays)
- Price: Free
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10) Step Again in Time on the Acadian Village
For extra training concerning the historical past of Cajun nation, additionally take into account visiting the Acadian Village.
The Acadian Village sits on 32 acres of land only a 15 minute drive outdoors downtown Lafayette.
Designed to protect Cajun tradition, the village is a formidable duplicate of an genuine 1800s Cajun village.
There are 11 buildings in complete, 7 of that are precise houses which were donated to the Acadian Village by descendents of the unique inhabitants. There’s additionally a blacksmith store and luxurious farmland, all with a peaceable bayou operating by means of the village.
To see what a Cajun neighborhood actually appeared like a whole lot of years in the past, positively see the Acadian Village while you go to Lafayette.
- Handle: 200 Greenleaf Drive
- Hours: 10am – 4pm, closed Sundays
- Price: Free
11) Tour the Vermilionville Residing Historical past Museum
Vermilionville Historic Village, often known as the Residing Historical past Museum, is a novel place to go to in Louisiana Bayou Nation.
Devoted to educating guests concerning the historical past of the world’s native folks, Vermilionville Historic Village provides an enriching and interactive studying expertise.
The village celebrates and appreciates the tradition of Native People, Creoles, Acadians, and different teams of people that thrived within the space all through historical past.
Study concerning the instruments of Cajun and Creole music, flick through historic artifacts, tour seventeenth, 18th, and nineteenth Century houses, and extra.
- Handle: 300 Fisher Street
- Hours: 10am – 4pm, Tuesdays – Sundays
- Price: $10 adults, $5 college students
12) Discover Cypress Island Nature Protect on Lake Martin
Probably the most enjoyable issues to do in Lafayette Louisiana for nature lovers is head out to Lake Martin and tour the Cypress Island’s Nature Protect.
This can be a great spot to see native natural world, particularly as a result of it’s much less swampy than different nature preserves within the space.
You possibly can simply drive there and discover the swamp by way of strolling, canoeing, or kayaking with none hassle.
Situated in between Lafayette and the small city of Breaux Bridge, Lake Martin is dwelling to numerous reptiles, amphibians, and birds.
A stroll alongside the strolling trails of Cypress Island will most definitely give you views of 1000’s of nesting shorebirds. It’s additionally probably you’ll spot some alligators within the waters.
There’s a kayak rental store on the finish of Lake Martin Street if you wish to get out on the water and paddle round Lake Martin.
For guided excursions by kayak or canoe, take a look at Pack and Paddle, a neighborhood firm that runs excursions of the world.
Cypress Island Nature Protect is run by the Nature Conservancy, and their purpose is to revive and protect the wildlife and surroundings of the swamps on this nook of Louisiana.
You possibly can go to Cypress Island Nature Protect without spending a dime throughout daytime. The Customer Middle is open from 10am – 4pm on Wednesdays by means of Sundays.
13) Style the Native Delicacies with Cajun Meals Excursions
The most effective issues about touring in Louisiana is indulging in loads of genuine Cajun delicacies.
Made with contemporary native elements and bursting with taste, the Cajun meals round Lafayette is mouthwatering.
Guided meals excursions are the simplest technique to style all the very best dishes from the very best native locations.
Cajun Meals Excursions is a top-rated native firm that takes its friends by means of the guts of Cajun nation. Pay attention, be taught, and most significantly, eat!
Cajun Meals Excursions combines historical past classes with culinary experience and means that you can pattern the perfect of the native delicacies.
You possibly can be part of a strolling meals tour by means of downtown Lafayette or hop on a meals tour by custom-made tour bus that travels to some additional spots like Breaux Bridge.
They actually have a full day Cajun expertise that features a swamp boat tour of Lake Martin and Cajun dance classes, whereas after all that includes native Cajun dishes all through the day.
14) Watch or Play Stay Music at a Cajun Jam
Probably the most enjoyable issues to do in Lafayette Louisiana is head to a Cajun Jam.
That is basically a laid-back, casual dwell music jam the place anybody can take part. Free to enter and open to all, a Cajun Jam is a full of life and thrilling technique to expertise Cajun music and native tradition.
A few of the greatest musicians from the Lafayette space attend the Cajun Jams, so it may be tremendous spectacular to only watch. Should you’re a musician, be part of within the enjoyable!
Two of the preferred dwell music occasions in Lafayette embrace:
Cajun Jam on the Moon
Cajun French Stay Music Jam
15) Catch Stay Zydeco Music
Cajun tradition and music is fairly well-known in Lafayette amongst vacationers, as the world is a part of “Cajun Nation”.
However a lesser recognized kind of music that’s completely price testing is Zydeco Music.
This style of music which originated in southern Louisiana is an intoxicating mixture of black Creole, French Creole, and Native American sounds, language, and beats.
Accordian and guitar are standard devices, and the music blends rhythym and blues with jazz and conventional people music. It’s extraordinarily distinctive and exquisite.
A few of the greatest dwell music venues for listening to Zydeco tunes in Lafayette embrace El Sid-O’s Zydeco and Blues Membership and Blue Moon Saloon.
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16) Attend a Free Music Pageant
As a result of Lafayette is such a vibrant, multicultural, inventive place, the town typically hosts unimaginable music festivals which can be fully free!
So if you happen to’re a music lover and also you’ve already hit up a Cajun jam or a dwell music venue, take into account heading to Lafayette throughout one among these superior festivals.
The preferred is the Pageant Worldwide de Louisiane, hosted yearly on the final weekend on April. This five-day pageant celebrates French heritage by means of wonderful dwell music performances and plenty of scrumptious meals.
One other among the best festivals in Lafayette is the Festivals Acadiens et Creoles. Hosted on the second full weekend of October, this free music pageant makes a speciality of Cajun, Zydeco, and Creole music.
17) Tour the Paul and Lulu Hilliard College Artwork Museum
The Hilliard College Artwork Museum is a prime attraction in Lafayette for artwork lovers.
Situated on the College of Louisiana in Lafayette, the Hilliard Artwork Museum is a visible arts museum that focuses on training.
With three important galleries showcasing worldwide artwork in addition to American Southern Gulf Coast artwork by means of work, artifacts, sculptures and extra, there’s a lot to see right here.
See historical Egyptian artwork, Japanese prints, and images from native Louisiana artists. There are additionally rotating particular displays, which you’ll be taught extra about on the web site.
The museum was initially named the Paul and Lulu Hilliard College Artwork Museum, after Paul and Lulu Hilliard who donated $5 million to the development of the museum.
- Handle: 710 East St. Mary Boulevard
- Hours: 9am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday (shut at 8pm on Wednesdays and open at 10am on Saturdays)
- Price: $7.50
18) Convey the Kiddos to the Youngsters’s Museum of Acadiana
Should you’re touring by means of downtown Lafayette with children, that is the right place to entertain them for a day.
The Youngsters’s Museum of Acadiana is for kids ages 10 and below. It promotes training and neighborhood engagement, so it’s a good way to get your children concerned within the native tradition.
With a deal with interactive displays and actions, the Youngsters’s Museum will get your children concerned in native crafts, cultural lessons, video games, and different hands-on tasks.
- Handle: 201 E. Congress Avenue
- Hours: Time slots obtainable on the web site
- Price: $7 (Free for infants below 1)
19) Go to the Rip Van Winkle Gardens at Jefferson Island
A fast 30-minute drive south of Lafayette will deliver you to Jefferson Island, a stunning attraction stuffed with nature and historical past.
Jefferson Island is called after Joseph Jefferson, an American actor who grew to become well-known for taking part in the function of Rip Van Winkle on stage. The function was primarily based on the nineteenth Century brief story of “Rip Van Winkle”.
The southern plantation fashion dwelling of Joseph Jefferson and the encompassing Rip Van Winkle Gardens are a powerful attraction on Jefferson Island that makes a pleasant little tour from Lafayette.
Wander by means of the semi-tropical gardens, admire the Victorian structure of the mansion, and marvel on the bushes which can be over 300 years outdated.
- Handle: 5505 Rip Van Winkle Street
- Backyard and Present Store Hours: 9am – 5pm
- Residence Excursions: 10am -4pm
- Price: $12
20) Bask in Some Treats at a Native Bakery
Should you’re craving one thing a little bit completely different than crawfish and Cajun meals, head to one of many cozy native bakeries in downtown Lafayette and luxuriate in some dwelling baked items.
Lafayette has some wonderful bakeries that promote contemporary bread and pastries, in addition to meals and take away snacks.
A neighborhood favourite is Poupart Bakery. Opened in 1967, that is the oldest authentically french bakery on the town.
Poupart Bakery is family-run and has every day specials obtainable. Take a look at their instagram and take a look at not drool over the attractive, colourful muffins!
Talking of cake, Piece of Cake Lafayette is the very best place to go for artisan muffins. This can be a favourite amongst locals for elaborate, custom-order muffins, however you can even pop in for a scrumptious slice of cake or pastry to-go.
One other genuine french bakery is Keller’s Bakery Downtown. Situated in a historic constructing, the bakery was based by the Keller household, a household of bakers who migrated to the USA from the Alsace Area of France within the 1700s.
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21) See a Present on the Acadiana Middle for the Arts
Final on the checklist of the very best issues to do in Lafayette Louisiana is heading to the Acadiana Middle for the Arts.
This cultural middle has so many issues to see and do, from ticketed performances to free public occasions to artwork galleries and extra.
You could possibly come for a dwell present, akin to a dance recital, a play, or a musical. There’s a lot music that performs on the Acadiana Middle as properly, from rock bands, to people teams, to opera singers.
There are all the time touring arts performances coming by means of the Acadiana Middle. You could possibly simply see a well-known band sooner or later after which see a small native artist the subsequent.
The Acadiana Middle for the Arts can be dwelling to visible artwork exhibitions and galleries that you could see at any time. Cease in to browse, or e book a present prematurely for while you’re on the town.
- Handle: 101 W Vermilion St.
- Hours: Galleries are open Tuesday – Saturday from 9am – 5pm
- Price: Depends upon which occasions/exhibitions you might be attending. Discover extra information on the web site.
The place To Keep in Lafayette, Louisiana
Now that what to do in Lafayette, listed here are a few of the top-rated lodging choices to your keep.
Sadly there are not any hostels in Lafayette, as the town just isn’t but on the favored vacationer path of the USA.
However there are some nice finances inns and motels for these trying to save cash. And there are many nice mid-range lodging choices, in addition to some pricier choices for these with money to spend!
Greatest Finances Lodging: Woodspring Suites
For lodging below $100 USD per evening, Woodspring Suites has a few of the greatest rankings.
It isn’t immediately within the metropolis middle, so having a automobile could possibly be helpful as it’s a few kilometers to most points of interest. However it is a beautiful, quiet place to stick with all of the facilities chances are you’ll want, like a health middle, flat display screen television, and kitchen services.
Greatest Mid-Vary Lodging: Hilton Backyard Inn
The Hilton Backyard Inn is a top-rated lodge close to downtown Lafayette that’s nonetheless very moderately priced.
With rooms costing round $150 USD per evening, you get to get pleasure from prime quality rooms and repair with out spending a fortune.
There’s an on-site restaurant as properly, and the lodge is near all of the highlights of downtown.
Greatest Luxurious Lodging: Maison Mouton B&B
We talked about this unimaginable historic plantation dwelling mattress and breakfast earlier within the article. However if you happen to’re in search of the very best lodging in Lafayette, that is it.
One of the best factor about Maison Mouton B&B is that the costs are very affordable for such a surprising place.
A keep in a beautiful, cozy room with backyard views surrounded by big oak bushes is simply round $150-200 USD per evening, relying in your dates. You additionally get a scrumptious dwelling cooked breakfast, after all.
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