Lafayette could be called the city of nicknames. It’s known as the Heart of Cajun Country, the Happiest City in America, and Hub City, because of its proximity to major roadways heading north, south, east, and west. But by any name, it’s a city full of great food, fantastic music, fascinating history, and fun-filled activities.
A 43,000-square-foot entertainment complex that former Saints QB Drew Brees helped design with families in mind. The Center features a trampoline park, bowling lanes, batting cages, and a restaurant.
2723 W. Pinhook Rd.
Parish Brewing Company serves creative craft beers in their kid- and dog-friendly taproom. Stop in on a Saturday for a free tour.
229 Jared Dr., Broussard, La
Meets every Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Attended by over 70 vendors in the summer months, every week is a bit different; but safe bets are fresh produce, specialty mushrooms, baked goods, jams and jellies, coffees, artisanal soaps and other crafts, homemade dog treats, local honeys, prepared ethnic foods, kettle corn, live music, and much more.
2913 Johnston St., Moncus Park
Tour LARC’s Acadian Village, created to preserve a piece of early Acadian heritage. Seven of the eleven buildings are authentic homes of the 19th century, donated by the families whose ancestors once occupied them. All homes show the passing of time and are remarkable examples of the ingenuity of the early Acadian home builders, complete with wooden pegs, mud walls, hand-hewn cypress timbers, and high-peaked roofs. Each was moved piece by piece and carefully restored.
800 West Broussard Rd.
Possibly more well-known for their live music than the bowling, you’ll also find good food and libations.
905 Jefferson St.
There are at least three dozen parks throughout Lafayette, but a couple stand out as worth a visit.
Since 1992, Zoosiana: Zoo of Acadiana has been introducing children and adults alike to the world of fascinating creatures from around the world. Home to over 750 animals, you’ll learn about the importance of their conservation at this lush park.
Located at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and
Ambassador Caffery Parkway in Broussard.
Buckle up and get ready for an awesome time at Kart Ranch in Lafayette. Besides the fast-paced (yet safe) go-kart action on the track, you’ll find miniature golf and a huge arcade at this family-friendly attraction.
508 Youngsville Hwy.
Located downtown across from Parc Sans Souci, The French Press serves breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday in a casual family friendly atmosphere. Also, dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.
214 E Vermilion St.
Scratch Farm Kitchen is A charming downtown Lafayette breakfast and lunch spot supporting local farmers and growers, and bringing the freshest fruits, vegetables, and meats to the plate. True to its name, everything here is made from scratch.
406 Garfield Rd.
If you’re in Lafayette and looking for lunch, find yourself a po’boy. Try Pop’s Poboys, 740 Jefferson St. or Olde Tyme Grocery, 218 W Saint Mary Blvd. near the ULL campus. They are the local favorites.
In the mood for a great burger? Judice Inn has been serving “The Best Burger in Town” since 1947.
3134 Johnston St.
Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant is located in a former CONOCO gas station in downtown Lafayette. Specialties include fresh Gulf-seafood dishes like barbecued shrimp, seared tuna, and Louisiana blue crab quesadillas. Dine inside or on the breezy patio with a front row seat to Lafayette’s main street.
Café Vermillionville is well-known for upscale casual dining, Cajun/Creole cuisine, and live music, whether you are celebrating a special occasion or simply want a great meal with stellar service. Bar opens at 5:00 p.m. and dining service from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
1304 W. Pinhook Rd.
For over 80 years, Don’s Seafood has been satisfying patrons with the freshest seafood and the juiciest steaks, all made with a traditional Cajun flair. Try the White Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert.
4309 Johnston St.
And speaking of desserts, Borden’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Lafayette is the last one Bordon’s standing in the country. Entering this iconic shop feels like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1940s, when Bordon’s first opened.
Formerly the Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium, the Lafayette Science Museum in downtown Lafayette offers a planetarium, science exhibits, and more. They’ve been closed recently and say they will re-open soon. Check their Facebook page before you go to be sure. lafayettesciencemuseum.org,
433 Jefferson St.
The Children’s Museum of Acadiana’s motto is “Learning by Doing,” and, with hands-on exhibits like Architecture Alley (filled with Legos, Kapla blocks and other kid-friendly building tools) and Ami — The Acadian Ambulance (a full-sized ambulance with flashing lights), there’s definitely plenty of fun learning to be found.
201 E Congress St.
Since its opening in 1990, Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folk Life Park has become one of Lafayette’s premier tourist attractions. Sitting on a lush 23-acre site on the banks of Bayou Vermilionville in the heart of Lafayette, this historic village provides a place to learn about local history, cultural exchanges, historic architecture, and traditional music and food.
300 Fisher Rd.
Opened in 1975, this non-profit organization fosters the arts in South Central Louisiana. From ticketed music performances, free community events, and art exhibit openings, there is always something going on a AcA. See their website for event schedules, acadianacenterforthearts.org, or visit them at 101 W Vermilion St.
A fine art and interior design office from the artist Francis X Pavy. His original artwork inspired him to create textiles, wallpapers and more.
100 E. Vermilion Street
Sans Souci Art Gallery is a premier place to shop for unique fine art in South Louisiana, including traditional and contemporary pottery, blown glass, wood and metal sculptures, baskets, dyed silk, jewelry, recycled art and fine furniture.
On the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, find Hilliard Art Museum, a two-story, contemporary art museum features exquisite visual arts from artists around the world.
Sola Violins is a violin and string-instrument shop run by professional violin crafters and restorers. Not a violinist? It’s still worth a visit just to talk to the owners and craftsmen about their special role in Louisiana’s music culture.
100 E Vermilion St, Ste 102
Cajun Hatter overflows with stylish haberdashery. Crafted from nutria fur, these hats are sustainable, durable and super unique.
547 Jefferson St, Lafayette
This is the quintessential souvenir shop. You’ll find witty, Cajun-style T-shirts, sweatshirts, trinkets, and gifts. The team creates all their own designs.
310 Jefferson St
A retro music lover’s paradise! There are hundreds of vintage vinyl records in great condition, as well as Cajun and Louisiana musicians’ tapes, CDs and more.
311-B Jefferson St, Lafayette
Genterie Supply Company sells a variety of men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, and what-nots.
408 Jefferson St.
Pack and Paddle offers everything a kayaker, canoer, and general nature lover might need or want. They stock outdoor wear, gear, and boats.
601 E. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette