Ready for some excitement? There’s a lot to do and see at Lafayette, Louisiana. Here is our hand-picked list of the top activities and attractions in Lafayette, Louisiana, so you can make the most of your time there. Scroll down for the best things to do in Lafayette, Louisiana and the best places to visit in Lafayette, Louisiana. We at Wondrous Drifter, a Web 3.0 travel startup, have big plans to shake things up in the travel business.
Table of Contents
- The Acadiana Center for the Arts
- Acadian Cultural Center
- Acadian Village
- Alexandre Mouton House
- Avery Island
- Azalea Trail
- Bon Temps Grill
- Cajun Food Tour
- Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
- Children’s Museum of Acadiana
- Cypress Island Preserve
- The French Press
- Lafayette Science Museum
- Lake Martin Rookery
- Olde Tyme Grocery
- Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum
- Roly Poly
- Swamp Tours
- T-Coon’s Restaurant
The Acadiana Center for the Arts
Are you an art enthusiast? Don’t miss the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
It is located in Lafayette in the largely historic district of West Vermilion Street.
Acadiana Center for the Arts (ACA) was founded in 1975 as a community-supported non-profit organization that promotes the arts and culture of Acadiana.
The center presents cinema, theater, music, and visual art in James Devin Moncus Theater.
ACA provides funding for new works of art, exhibits, festivals, performances, and public art in an eight-parish area.
Additionally, the museum galleries feature a variety of exciting displays.
The Arts Grants for Teachers, Student Arts Expo, and Teaching Artists Program are just a few of the initiatives the center offers.
The more than 9,000 square feet of high-end gallery space includes 25 visual arts exhibitions each year.
The ACA showcases a wide range of talented artists from around the country and the world.
Address:101 W Vermilion St, Lafayette, LA 70501
Acadian Cultural Center
The Acadian Cultural Center is one of the top attractions in Louisiana.
Another spot to visit to learn about Cajon culture is the Acadian Cultural Center.
The Acadian Cultural Center’s mission is to disseminate knowledge about Cajun culture to the general public.
Learn about the Acadian people’s history in Lafayette and how they became known as Cajuns after being banished from Canada and settling in Louisiana.
Located near the Vermilionville Historic Village, the Cajun Heritage Center tells the story of the Cajuns or Acadians. They arrived in Louisiana from Canada and were known as Cajuns.
Acadian history and culture are on display in the center through old and new artifacts.
The French settlers brought a rich cultural heritage that still influences and makes Lafayette’s way of life unique today.
Exhibitions, films, and other special events, such as dance, music, and storytelling, are also available.
You’ll appreciate the little town more after learning about its rich and defining history.
Address: 501 Fisher Road, Lafayette, Louisiana,
The Acadian Village, a 32-acre private park in Lafayette off Greenleaf Drive, is open to the public.
The farmland has been transformed into an 1800s Cajun village with eleven buildings, seven donated by the relatives of the people who owned and lived in them.
The Bernard House, built-in 1800 and decorated with artwork depicting the Acadians’ trip from Canada to Louisiana, is the village’s oldest residence.
A reproduction of Lafayette’s old blacksmith shop still captures the weather-beaten look of the material to give the small shop an authentic feel.
The chapel is also available for visitors to see, with the ceiling and floors made out of wood, the latter as old as 200 years old.
After that, visit the Castille House, which was looted by Yankee soldiers but is still in fantastic shape.
It’s an excellent place to go for a quick stroll while learning about Acadian culture, architecture, and design!
Address: 200 Greenleaf Drive, Lafayette, Louisiana
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Alexandre Mouton House
Come visit the house of the 1st Democratic Governor in the state.
While the Alexandre Mouton House is most recognized as the house of Louisiana’s 9th Governor, it is also affectionately known as Lafayette Museum.
Jean Mouton, one of the first inhabitants of Southwest Louisiana, built the house in 1800. Alexandria, the son of Alexandre, grew up here and served as the state’s first democratic Governor.
Today, the museum devotes itself to preserving the history and culture of this well-known family. And the many other historically noteworthy families that resided in the house.
Look at the home’s distinctive architecture, furniture, and features, such as the dogtrot, which leads to the kitchen and the residence and its peculiar lifestyles.
Additionally, you may learn more about Benjamin Paxton and Judge Cornelius Voorhies, who were both residents of the town.
The Alexandre Mouton House is an architectural representation of the cultural interaction and history of the region.
From its initial French construction to its various modifications and expansions, you’ll surely love your visit here!
Address:1122 Lafayette St, Lafayette, LA 70501
Everybody knows about Tabasco sauce, but did you know it was made in Lafayette?
Located on Avery Island, the McIlhenny Tabasco Company is a household name worldwide.
Situated in the middle of Louisiana’s bayou area, the island is only a short drive from the town of Emma in southwest Louisiana.
The McIlhenny family, who created the spicy sauce in 1868 and is still in charge of today’s business, has a museum dedicated to their history.
The Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory Tour, which is given daily, is one of the island’s most popular attractions.
In the tasting room, you can see the famous sauce being produced and taste the classic condiment.
Restaurant 1868 features authentic Cajun cuisine that the state is known for.
Don’t forget to visit their shop. They have tabasco ice cream you’ll never get anywhere else!
After that, come visit the Jungle Gardens, a 170-acre bird refuge and botanical park founded by Edward McIlhenny.
Address: Avery Island Rd, Avery Island, Lafayette, Louisiana
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TheAzalea Trail is one of the best things to do in Louisiana.
You’ll know that it’s spring when flowers look more beautiful than sunsets.
The abundance of azaleas border Lafayette’s streets is a stunning and colorful city icon.
Azaleas line 20 kilometers of city streets in a rainbow of hues, including red, white, purple, pink, and a gorgeous salmon.
Some of the larger bushes have thrived for more than 50 years.
The Azalea Trail is one of the loveliest walks in Lafayette because of the undeniable charm of the blooms and how they wound through the city.
You’ll pass many of the city’s most well-known landmarks along the way: Mouton Plantation, Girard Park, St. John the Evangelist Cathedral, and Heymann Performing Arts Center, to name a few.
The Lafayette Visitor’s Center is an excellent starting place for anyone walking the Azalea Trail.
They will provide you a map and other information regarding the trail’s notable sights.
You’ll enjoy the walk even without a destination in mind.
Address:1400 NW Evangeline Thruway, Lafayette, LA 70501
Bon Temps Grill
Bon Temps Grill is a family-friendly neighborhood restaurant where you’ll want to take your loved ones to eat.
Brothers Steven and Patrick O’Bryan grew up in Louisiana together, and they always shared a love for Cajun cuisine.
In their opinion, too many places were catering to an overrated, media-created image of Cajun food and the culture of fried food.
Thus, the opened Bon Temps Grill.
You can find real “swamp edge food,” a blend of Cajun and Creole delicacies that are difficult to distinguish but are fiercely protected in this area.
The restaurant uses mesquite wood to cook its meats, imparting a subtle yet distinct flavor.
Definitely order some grilled food because that specific grill is what their menu is built upon.
True to their own experiences with food, their Cajun classics gumbo and the crawfish etouffee are local favorites.
They provide a great selection of local artisan beers and beverages on tap if you want a drink as good as your food.
Address: 1211 W Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70503
Cajun Food Tour
Traditional cuisine is a big draw in Lafayette and the surrounding area.
French colonists brought with them a unique set of culinary traditions to Louisiana. You must sample at least three of the city’s most popular meals here!
Cajun Food Trips is a Youngsville-based tour company specializing in Cajun cuisine and historical tours.
You’ll eat at some of the area’s most well-known eateries and diners. Make sure you’re hungry when you arrive; you’ll need it!
You’ll visit the Cajun Market Donut, La Cuisine de Maman, and more on this tour.
Treat yourself to their decadent slice of sweet pecan pie after indulging in some delectable gumbo, boudin sausages, and crawfish.
The alligator meat is one of the weirdest things you can try if you’re lucky enough to sample it.
Cajun Food Tours, founded in 2011, takes travelers on a culinary journey through Lafayette (in a bus), Louisiana’s acclaimed “Tastiest Town in the South.”
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
You don’t have to be in a specific religion to appreciate a beautiful structure.
This beautiful cathedral, formerly known as l’Église St-Jean du Vermilion, is a well-known attraction in Lafayette.
This Dutch Romanesque Revival-style cathedral was constructed in 1916.
While strolling around downtown Lafayette, you can’t help but notice the striking red and white brick structure towering above the rest of the city.
Learn about the building’s history and religious beliefs in the neighborhood by visiting.
The inside of the church is as stunning as it is outside, thanks to its vibrant stained-glass windows and lifelike religious statues.
The cathedral’s condition is excellent.
Among the notable elements are the Munich stained glass, which represents the patron’s life story, the Christ and Apostles oil paintings, and the massive Casavant Frères organ.
You can attend their Sunday service. It’s an excellent opportunity to get a sense of the neighborhood if you’re religious.
Address: 515 Cathedral St, Lafayette, LA 70501
Children’s Museum of Acadiana
The Children’s Museum of Acadiana teaches kids about food, health, money, and other essential subjects.
Children are encouraged to learn by doing at this non-profit organization in Lafayette.
Numerous themed rooms are available to help students envision their future careers.
All kinds of professions are open to them, from doctors to veterinarians to scientists to dentists to chefs to waiters.
Don’t forget to take a lot of pictures!
Families with little children will enjoy themselves extensively visiting the gallery. Plus, there are several other youngsters to hang around with as well.
This is an experience the kids will not forget.
Not to mention there is also a place for younger kids to explore different textures available at the museum.
They host special events like Art Stomp, a few garage sales, and occasional performances held at the museum.
If you’re looking for places to enjoy with children in Lafayette, go no further than this attraction.
Address: 201 East Congress Street, Lafayette, Louisiana
Cypress Island Preserve
Thirsty for an exploration outdoors? Consider visiting the Cypress Island Preserve.
Cypress Island, a 9,500 acres of preserved hardwood forest and cypress swamp in Lake Martin, is sandwiched by both Lafayette and Breaux Bridge.
Also, you’ll find their friendly Visitor Center at the lake’s southern end.
There is a decent picnic pavilion you can eat at, and the beginning point of the 2.5 miles Levee Trail leads visitors around the lake and through the large preserve.
Observe wildlife such as alligators, birds, and amphibians in their natural habitat in the cypress-tupelo swamp.
The bottomland hardwood forest on the walking trail circles Lake Martin on one side to allow a good view.
Little blue herons, white egrets, and roseate spoonbills are among the many birds that lay their eggs from January through June.
On vacation, take a day trip to this gorgeous place and enjoy the scenery.
Address: 1264 Prairie Hwy, St Martinville, LA 70582
The French Press
French Press is where breakfast took a whole new meaning for the locals.
At first glance, it appears to be an unpretentious eatery in Lafayette’s historic downtown area. It’s simple and almost unassuming.
The French Press serves lunch and dinner (only on Friday and Saturday), but its breakfast deserves all the love.
Chef Justin Girouard, nominated for a James Beard Award, transforms his native Cajun food and transforms it into something entirely new.
Comfort food at its best, this dish is both unique and familiar at the same time, leaving you feeling full and satisfied.
All of his components are locally sourced, and he even makes his sausages from scratch.
You cannot miss his famous Cajun Benedict! Toasted French bread topped with boudin sausage and two poached eggs drenched in gumbo. Does that not sound good?
It only opens from breakfast to late lunch on regular days, be sure to come in early so you don’t miss it!
Address:214 E. Vermilion St., Lafayette, Louisiana,
Lafayette Science Museum
Learn while you have fun at the Lafayette Science Museum.
In addition to permanent and visiting exhibitions, the Lafayette Science Museum houses a digital planetarium.
Since its founding in 1969, the museum has focused on providing a good hands-on experience to visitors of all ages and backgrounds.
Whether you’re a kid or an adult, you’ll find a wealth of hands-on displays at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Displays in the museum include geology, marine biology, paleontology, and a wide range of other science topics.
The planetarium is a prominent attraction at the museum. Take a look at the night sky and discover your favorite constellations, galaxies, and planets.
The Lafayette Science Museum is an excellent choice for a day excursion with the kids.
It’s not only fun for kids; curious adults can also find something interesting and worthwhile here.
People of all ages can find something fun to do in this museum.
Address:433 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, Louisiana
Lake Martin Rookery
At Lake Martin Rookery, a short drive from Lafayette, you’ll find an abundance of native animals.
One of the most popular attractions at the site is its rookery and lake. The perfect place to take a stroll in the late afternoon.
Lake Martin’s swampy ecology is home to numerous species of colonial nesting waterbirds and native flora.
Another fantastic method to see the area is to go kayaking or boating on the lake.
While you’re here, keep an eye out for ibis, egrets, and blue herons.
Spring is the ideal time of year for the best birdwatching since the birds flock here to raise their young.
Approximately 60% of the bird species found in the United States can be seen in this area.
Alligator sightings are common too!
Many species utilize Lake Martin as a rookery year-round.
So you can see all different kinds of animals no matter what day of the year you visit.
Address:1209 Rookery Rd, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
Olde Tyme Grocery
He bought Olde Tyme Grocery in 1982 with zero knowledge about businesses.
The store had five little carts and aisles of canned goods and produce. It wasn’t much, but Glenn loved it.
He loved it for three reasons: it had charm, a deli case, and a reasonable price.
And the rest was history.
New Orleans native Glenn Murphree grew up in the city. Thus he was familiar with good poor boy sandwiches.
Poorboys or PO-boys is a Louisiana staple sandwich of fried meat or seafood tucked into French bread.
In the mid-1900s, he began serving poor boys to the inhabitants of Acadiana.
Over time, Olde Tyme Grocery has transformed from a cheap sandwich stop for students of the University of Louisiana to one of the area’s most popular poorboy hangouts.
Locals and visitors rave about their shrimp poor boy, which is so popular that the restaurant runs out of 500 sandwiches daily.
Address:218 W St Mary Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70506
Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum
The museum is a 33,000-square-feet complex with more than 11,000 square feet of display space.
It was named after Paul and Lulu Hilliard, the museum’s principal donors.
They donated $5 million dedicated to the construction of the current museum.
The university owns and operates the museum; it serves as a significant component of its art department.
Among the many tourists, you’ll see students drawing and teachers contemplating their next move.
Both adults and children can join the museum’s educational programs, promoting creativity.
More than 4,000 works of art from the 18th all the way to the 21st century can be found in the museum’s collection from countries spanning the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
You can also find Ancient Egyptian art, woodblock prints from Japanese, and Louisiana-based artists’ work in the museum’s collections.
The vast collection is rotated regularly, and they occasionally host traveling exhibitions.
For a quiet afternoon, this is a beautiful location.
Address: Girard Park Drive, Lafayette, Louisiana
When you visit the Roly Poly restaurant, you can get the impression that they are conducting a giveaway.
Customers are often required to wait to be seated at the counter; however, they are frequently offered complimentary beverages at that time.
Sandwiches are something that Roly Poly creates, but these aren’t ordinary sandwiches.
Because they cook everything so well, the corporation felt the need to extend its presence across the country by opening 125 additional locations.
It is no secret that their success is due to the utilization of the freshest produce, unique flavor combinations that cannot be found elsewhere, and efficient service.
The essential ingredients include lettuce, Roma plum tomatoes, freshly-sliced avocado and freshly made tortillas.
It contains pretty much anything and everything you can imagine to be in a delicious wrap!
Anything you order is guaranteed to be good.
There are literally hundreds of different combinations.
Address: 1004 Coolidge St, Lafayette, Louisiana
One of the few words associated with the state is undoubtedly swamps and the bayou.
This tour includes the exploration of the iconic Louisiana swampland.
Boating is the most fantastic method to see this swampy land.
It’s possible to examine the local flora in-depth once you’re in the water.
Heron, owl, and woodpecker perched on cypress trees are some of the animals spotted on the Lake Martin Cypress Island Preserve during the guided excursions.
You can take an airboat tour or a larger, more leisurely boat.
It will be a pleasure to show you around the canals with a knowledgeable local who will be your tour guide.
If you’re feeling more active, you can go kayaking and fishing. It is also an excellent way to immerse yourself in the area.
Keep your eyes peeled for local fauna!
You are likely to spot turtles, alligators, and snakes crawling around; better prepare your camera!
Address: 1209 Rookery Rd, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
T-Restaurant Coon’s has been a family business for four generations.
During that time, it has earned a reputation for preparing and delivering the most delicious home-cooked food in the shortest amount of time possible to its patrons in Lafayette.
T-is Coon’s, a restaurant that serves big breakfasts, filling lunches, and excellent dining alternatives.
It is owned and operated by David Billeaud, a sixth-generation native of Broussard who has French ancestry.
Even though the restaurant features daily specials, there are some tried-and-true crowd-pleasers on the menu that first-timers should try.
These include the T-Coon Breakfast Special, the Smothered Pork, Catfish Court Bouillon, or the Meatball Fricassee.
Their breakfast menu is not to be scoffed at either.
Everything on this menu, including the bread and sausages, is made locally in Lafayette or the restaurant’s kitchen.
T-Coon’s biscuits and gravy combos are, without a doubt, the one item that customers absolutely must not forget to place an order for!
Address: 1900 W Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508
The Vermilionville is one of the best places to visit in Louisiana.
Vermillionville is a living history museum dedicated to the Cajun and Creole cultures of the area.
It quickly spreads over 23 acres, so you can easily spend an entire day there.
The original period buildings are open for self-guided tours, and there are costumed historians on hand to share tales of life in nineteenth-century Academia.
The park has 19 attractions, a handful of artisans demonstrating the early settlers’ crafts, and seven restored residences open to the public.
You can learn a lot about Lafayette’s past from them, and it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon.
The town is full of historic homes that have been furnished in period style and are brought to life by locals dressed in period attire who play music and reenact daily life as it would have been in the 18th century.
If you happen to visit on Sunday, one of the buildings in Vermillionville is home to live Zydeco music.
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Address: 300 Fisher Road, Lafayette, Louisiana