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Experience the Cajun “Joie de Vivre” in Lafayette, Louisiana


The city of Lafayette’s rich heritage represents a colorful combination of ancestry, from French and Spanish to Native American and African. This unique mixture of cultures has created a city full of excitement, with a blend of music, food, and activities that brings joy to visitors.


Our guide will help you explore the city’s Cajun legacy, introduce you to the area’s flavorful cuisine and lively music, and suggest ways to make the most out of your adventure in the heart of Acadiana.



Cajun Culture


Lafayette is known as the “Capital of Cajun Country.” With its rich Acadian heritage, the city’s “joie de vivre” can be experienced through music, food, and daily life. The best place to start immersing yourself in the Cajun culture is the Acadian Cultural Center, where visitors can learn about the area’s French-Canadian roots. Stories of Acadian origins, settlement, and culture can be discovered through informative films and exhibits.


The Acadian Village gives visitors a look into 19th century Louisiana. A stroll along the bayou will reveal authentic Cajun homes from the era, furnished with period antiques. If visiting around the holidays, you won’t want to miss “Noel Acadien au Village.” The village comes alive with a half-million Christmas lights illuminating the Acadian homes. The holiday festival offers live entertainment, carnival rides, and photos with Santa.


For a hands-on experience of what life was like for Acadian, Native American, and Creole residents from 1765 to 1890, visit Vermilionville, a living history museum. Like the Acadian Village, Vermilionville contains restored authentic homes, but the park also offers live demonstrations for visitors to get a more authentic experience of daily life during the period. Local artisans demonstrate crafting techniques performed by early settlers, such as cotton spinning and candle making.


Experience the flavors of Louisiana with Cajun Food Tours. Guests can hitch a ride on a tour bus for a trip around the city with six different tasting stops. Treat your taste buds to all the delicious flavors of Cajun-style cooking, from boudin and cracklins to crawfish bisque. Daily tours are available to teach visitors about Cajun food, as well as the history and culture of Acadia.      



Gator Country


You absolutely cannot visit Lafayette without touring the swamplands. The Atchafalaya Basin, covering 595,000 acres, is one of the most ecologically varied regions in the country. The basin is home to hundreds of different plant and animal species, including – of course – the alligator. Visitors can choose from dozens of swamp tours, where they can glide through the mist-laden waters in hopes of spying a gator on the bayou bank.


Though swamp tours are a popular attraction, the wetlands have much more to offer. The freshwater is a fisherman’s paradise, with everything from striped bass to catfish waiting to be reeled in. Bird enthusiasts can grab a pair of binoculars and see how many species they can spot around the swamps. There are almost 400! The basin is also a great place for biking, camping, and canoeing.




»Acadian Cultural Center
»Acadian Village
»Cajun Food Tours
»Atchafalaya Basin
»Acadiana Center for the Arts
»Children’s Museum of Acadiana
»Lafayette Science Museum
»University Art Museum
»Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission