Lafayette is one of the best places to visit in Louisiana, offering plenty to see and do for travelers. New Orleans may be the state’s most popular travel destination, however, Lafayette’s history, food and outdoor opportunities are well worth a trip here. You’ll never forget your trip to this Southern city when you experience these best things to do in Lafayette, Louisiana.

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Acadian Village Acadian Village in Lafayette
Acadian Village in Lafayette

Acadian Village (Nearby Hotels)

Acadian Village is a 32-acre park that strives to preserve Acadian history. Here guests can take a guided tour through the traditional Acadian homes. Acadian Village also plays hosts to a number of events, especially during Christmas time where you can view the village lit up in holiday lights. You can even rent the grounds for your private event such as a wedding or family reunion.

Vermilionville Vermilionville
Vermilionville

Vermilionville (Nearby Hotels)

Another historical attraction to visit in Lafayette is Vermilionville, which is a replica of an Acadian-style village. This living history museum not only touches on the history of the Acadian people but also the Creole people and Native American people too. Found along the bayou, there are 19 attractions here. Not only take in the history at Vermilionville but also enjoy local music and goods from local artisans too.

Avery Island Avery Island
Avery Island

Avery Island (Nearby Hotels)

During your trip to Lafayette, you’ll want to plan a visit to Avery Island while you’re in the area. This island is home to a gorgeous botanical garden and bird sanctuary and is also where Tabasco hot sauce is made. Guests can tour the Tabasco facility and even purchase Tabasco-themed gifts in the gift shop. In fact, Avery Island is actually owned by the McIlhenny family, the makers of Tabasco.

Blue Moon Saloon Blue Moon Saloon
Blue Moon Saloon

Blue Moon Saloon (Nearby Hotels)

If you want to listen to live music in Lafayette, then you’ll want to visit Blue Moon Saloon. This house-turned-venue hosts live music on Wednesday through Saturday nights. You’ll find Cajun, country and rock artists on the stage here. This saloon isn’t just a music venue either; it’s also a guesthouse where you can actually book a stay.

Eat Enjoy southern and Cajun eats while in Lafayette, such as crawfish, gumbo, and boudin.
Enjoy southern and Cajun eats while in Lafayette, such as crawfish, gumbo, and boudin.

Eat (Nearby Hotels)

If you don’t eat the local cuisine during your stay in Lafayette, then you might as well say you’ve never visited. This town is for foodies. It’s regarded as one of the best towns in the South to visit for food. There are so many great restaurants here. However, you’ll definitely want to eat some local fare, like boudin, crawfish, and gumbo. Gator Cove is a classic choice for all things Cajun. If you want a farm-to-table experience, choose Social Southern Table. For a more casual spot, enjoy a bite at Mel’s Diner, Olde Tyme Grocery or Pop’s Po-Boys. Breakfast couldn’t get any better than at The French Press.

Acadian Cultural Center Acadian Cultural Center
Acadian Cultural Center

Acadian Cultural Center (Nearby Hotels)

Part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Acadian Cultural Center is another hotspot for Cajun culture and history. You’ll want to check out the events schedule because this cultural center regularly hosts events like live music, storytelling and ranger programs too. You can even take a ranger-guided boat tour as well.

Swamp Tour Lafayette, LA is home swampland and guided tours through the swamp.
Lafayette, LA is home swampland and guided tours through the swamp.

Swamp Tour (Nearby Hotels)

There are a number of swamps within the Lafayette area. You can even visit the only on-campus swamp in the country, which is found on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus. A great way to explore the bayou is through a swamp boat tour. There are a number of great tour companies found in the area. Spend some time exploring the swamp by airboat, where you can view local wildlife and you may even see a gator or two.

Acadiana Center for the Arts Acadiana Center for the Arts
Acadiana Center for the Arts

Acadiana Center for the Arts (Nearby Hotels)

While you’re in downtown Lafayette, stop in Acadiana Center for the Arts. This art gallery and performing arts venue is a great place to go for a show or just to see some local art. Live performances range from music concerts to ballets to plays. The art gallery here offers free admission, so it’s a great attraction for budget travelers.

Red Lerille’s Health and Racquet Club  Red Lerille’s Health and Racquet Club
Credit: redlerilles.com
Red Lerille’s Health and Racquet Club

Red Lerille’s Health and Racquet Club (Nearby Hotels)

Red Lerille’s Health and Racquet Club is not your average gym. Referred to as simply “Red’s” by locals, this gym is actually the largest gym in the South. After eating your way through Lafayette, it won’t hurt to get a workout in a Red’s. Even if you don’t feel like spending some time on the treadmill, you can still chill by one of its five pools, a perfect way to cool off during those hot and humid Louisiana days. Day passes are available.

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