20 Best Things to Do in Lafayette, IN

Lafayette, IN
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Nestled in the county seat of Tippecanoe County of the American state of Indiana, Lafayette is a charmingly picturesque town with a population of about 130,000 people.

The city was founded way back in 1825 and has been an essential part of the region.

This city is full of rich history, lively culture, and flourishing nature.

It is also home to the famous Purdue University and has a large student population residing in the town.

Along with the university, Lafayette has several historic landmarks, lovely parks, vibrant festivals, excellent museums, spectacular golf courses, and so much more.

The city's food scene is also fantastic.

You will find different cuisines on the restaurants' menus, such as Greek, French, Italian, Irish, and of course, American.

With its lush nature, dazzling culture, rich history, scrumptious food, and so on, Lafayette is waiting to be discovered by you.

Interested to know more about this city?

Here are the 20 best things to do in Lafayette, Indiana:

Admire the Amazing Architecture of Tippecanoe County Courthouse

Tippecanoe County Courthouse
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On Lafayette's town square, the Tippecanoe County Courthouse is a gem.

Lafayette's public plaza is located at 4th Street and Columbia Street.

A "permanent and enduring character" was demanded by the residents of this third municipal courthouse, built in the 1880s.

Residents wrote 45 pages of detailed guidelines outlining exactly how they wanted it constructed to get the structure they desired.

There are hints of the Baroque, Gothic, Victorian, and Second Empire architectural styles in the structure's design.

Tippecanoe County Courthouse
Alex Krassel / Shutterstock.com

Because of a meticulously planned and executed $15 million worth of makeover, it will serve the community for many more decades to come.

Self-guided tours are accessible online, and organized group visits are also possible.

A static collection of Round, the Fountain Art Fair artworks, is housed in the courthouse.

Trek the Wabash Heritage Trail

Stretching over 13 miles parallel the Wabash River, Wabash Heritage Trail is a hiking trail or pedestrian path.

The trail begins from Tippecanoe Battlefield Park in Battle Ground and ends at Fort Ouiatenon.

It provides a great way to see the great outdoors and some of the best attractions in the city.

You can explore these trails along with your lovely pup as well.

This scenic natural space has various stops worth stopping for, such as the Happy Hollow Park, Davis Ferry Bridge, McAllister Park, and more.

In the summer months, the trail has a full canopy cover of trees.

Do not forget to enjoy this scenic natural space and enjoy the beauty of lush nature.

Go Hiking at Clegg Botanic Gardens

The Clegg Botanic Gardens or the Jerry E. Clegg Botanic Gardens is a natural space next to Wildcat Creek in Lafayette, Indiana.

Maintained by the Niches Land Trust, Clegg Botanic Gardens offers an excellent opportunity to bask in the beauty of nature.

There are eight nature trails that are perfect for hiking and strolling around.

The trails also have viewing platforms to see the scenic views of various landscapes along with information about the garden.

Additionally, the grounds provide shelter to plenty of wildlife.

Meet Animals at Columbian Park Zoo

Located close to downtown Lafayette, Columbian Park Zoo is a seasonal zoo.

The zoo was opened in 1908 and has since been a top-rated city attraction for both locals and tourists.

It provides a home to about 200 animals from 90 different species.

The animals in the zoo include spider monkeys, porcupines, wallabies, bald eagles, so many more.

You can also meet and feed some of the animals under the zoo’s “Meet n’ Greet” program.

Next to the zoo, Columbian Park has a walking trail, playgrounds, a baseball stadium, and picnic areas for the visitors to enjoy.

Check Out Downtown Lafayette

Building and Cars at Downtown Lafayette
Alex Krassel / Shutterstock.com

The downtown area of Lafayette is the heart and soul of the city and is the perfect place to experience its culture.

It has plenty of foot traffic from both the locals and the tourists.

Downtown Lafayette
Alex Krassel / Shutterstock.com

You will spot several walls with quirky and charming art commissioned by the city that adds to the beauty and uniqueness of the area.

Apart from that, there are several fantastic eateries, great bars, fabulous boutiques, impressive local shops, lovely art galleries, and so much more.

Check out the downtown region of Lafayette to appreciate the town's culture.

See the Extraordinary Indiana Art at Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art

Situated in the Potter-Haan Mansion, Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art is an excellent public museum and a member of the  American Alliance of Museums.

This 15,000-square-foot mansion is the home to the world’s most extensive collection of Indiana art.

The collection includes paintings, stone sculptures, antiques, vintage decor, ceramics, and so much more from renowned and celebrated artists.  

The museum's ground also has a sculpture garden that showcases more than 25 sculptures, a nature trail with lush plants and wildlife, and a 6-mile mountain biking trail.

You can take a guided tour of the estate and know all the details and quirky facts about the showcased art pieces.

Enjoy Wine Tasting at Wildcat Creek Winery

Located in the picturesque location in North Lafayette, Wildcat Creek Winery is a local rustic winery that produces hand-crafted wines made from midwestern grapes.

The winery is family-owned and operated and provides visitors with famous midwestern hospitality.

It is the perfect place to sip on some amazing wine while relishing the lovely views surrounding you.

You can sample different wines for free before purchasing a bottle.

You can also enjoy different types of cheeses, chocolates, preserves, and gift items made by local artists.

The staff is very attentive and informative and will answer all of your questions about wines.

Visit the Wildcat Creek Winery and enjoy fantastic wine with even more incredible views.

Check Out the Works of Local Artists at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette

Established in 1909, the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette is a lovely local museum that showcases the works of regional, local, and national artists through displays and exhibitions.

It also hosts other programs and events such as free concerts, lectures, artists' talks, and classes to educate the visitors.

Their thoughtful and creative rotating exhibits display the work of local artists.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and will guide you through the museum.

There is also a small gift shop in the museum, where you can buy handmade gifts and souvenirs to remember this delightful town by.

Stay Comfortably at Homewood Suites by Hilton Lafayette

Located only a few minutes away from Purdue University, Homewood Suites by Hilton Lafayette is a mid-range hotel that provides stellar services and several amenities to make your stay at the hotel as worthwhile and as comfortable as possible.

Some of the amenities provided by the hotel include workspaces, kitchenettes, pool, fitness center, gym, shuttle bus service, and so much more.

The hotel is also pet-friendly.

Clean and spacious rooms with beautiful views will definitely make your stay at the Homewood Suites by Hilton worthwhile.

Take a Stroll around Tippecanoe Battlefield Park

History enthusiasts should visit Tippecanoe Battlefield Park, one of Lafayette's major attractions.

This 96-acre park has a battlefield and a museum dedicated to the 1811 conflict between the new immigrants and the locals.

It is a popular tourist destination.

View of Tippecanoe Battlefield Park with Trees
Jim Hammer from Lafayette, Indiana, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Completed in 1908, this National Historic Landmark has an eye-catching feature: an enormous marble column.

An on-site museum commemorates the 18th-century conflict through artifacts and displays.

There are several hiking routes and picnic spaces to explore throughout the park.

You may learn about the region's history while having fun in the fresh air at Tippecanoe Battlefield Park in Columbus, Indiana.

A trip to this park would be a fantastic way to spend a long weekend.

Enjoy Mediterranean Delights at Akropolis

Akropolis is a family-owned restaurant that serves traditional Greek and other Mediterranean dishes with an excellent assortment of wines and beers.

It offers vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options to cater to everyone's needs.

The staff is very welcoming and attentive and provides excellent service.

Make sure to try the avgolemono (an egg-lemon rice soup), pastitsio (a Greek-style Lasagna), and of course, the baklava.

Try the Italian Cuisine at La Scala

Located in downtown Lafayette, La Scala is a charming restaurant that serves Italian cuisine made from locally sourced, wholesome ingredients.

It was opened in 2000 and instantly became the town’s favorite.

The restaurant specializes in farm-to-table cuisine.

It also has a full bar where you can drink and a sidebar patio for outside seating.

Do not forget to try the baked ravioli bolognese, the vegetable risotto, the gnocchi del mare, and the artichoke stuffed with goat’s cheese when you visit this fantastic restaurant.

Go Antique-Hunting at Sell It Here

At Sell It Here, you will not find your typical flea market.

The largest antique mall in Lafayette is also an upscale consignment shop mall.

It's a treasure trove of antiques and artifacts ready to be put to use.

Are you looking for resources for your hobbies?

You'll find books on anything from music, sports, video games, arts and crafts, sewing and needlework, gardening, and many more topics.

Make an appointment now and check out what everyone's talking about, or check out its gallery to view just a few of its offerings.

Grab a Beer at People's Brewing Company

This brewery began in 2009.

Its beers are made by hand and cater to a wide range of palates.

It brews beers that you want to consume.

Everyone will be satisfied with the variety of year-round, seasonal, and specialty beers at this establishment.

Styles from the past excite this brand.

It serves everything from American IPAs to Belgian Strong Ales to English Pale Ales.

Visit the brewery to experience its flavorful brews.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Camping at Prophetstown State Park

Green Grass at Prophetstown State Park
Jen Bowman / shutterstock.com

Located in West Lafayette, where the Wabash meets the Tippecanoe River, Prophetstown State Park is the newest addition to the park system of Indiana.

This state park honors the Native American Village founded here in 1808.

The park's attractions include The Farm at Prophetstown, a living history farm or museum that showcases the olden days of the Native Americans’ culture.

Aside from the museum, it also has an aquatic center that contains a 4,200-square-foot leisure pool and a lazy river and waterslides.

two horses in Prophetstown State Park
Stephen B. Goodwin / shutterstock.com

The park also has a year-round campsite where the visitors can camp with amenities such as RV-accessible campsites.

The state park also has hiking trails, biking trails, picnic areas, and so on, to keep you occupied.

Visit the Prophetstown State Park to enjoy the fun amenities and experience Indiana's lush nature.

Green Grass at Prophetstown State Park
Yinan Chen, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore the Campus of Purdue University

Entrace of Purdue University in Indiana
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Founded in 1869, Purdue University is a world-renowned public research university with a beautiful and large campus with red brick buildings.

It is located in West Lafayette and is a significant part of the community.

The university offers top-tier education through various programs and degrees.

Aside from excellent education, Purdue University also provides excellent value to the town's community through multiple events, including Saturday football games at the Ross-Ade Stadium and Boilermakers sporting events and traditions such as Spring Fest and Purdue Grand Prix.

Make sure to stop by Purdue University and check out its lovely campus and exciting events.

Go Birdwatching at Celery Bog Nature Area

Lush View of Celery Bog Nature Area
Qsthomson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in the picturesque green space of West Lafayette, Celery Bog Nature Area is a natural wetland area covering an area of over 195 acres of land.

This tranquil green space includes a nature center, wetlands, trails, and more.

There are almost 7 miles of nature and paved trails where you can explore the lovely greenery and spot plenty of wildlife such as mallards, herons, turtles, beavers, frogs, rabbits, opossums, and many more.

The site is primarily a haven for birdwatchers as it is home to more than 120 species of birds.

Visit the Celery Bog Nature Area to experience the serene environment and the plethora of wildlife of this scenic town.

Take a Tour of the Wolf Park

View of a Wolf at  Wolf Park in Indiana
ShutterSpeedFreak / shutterstock.com

Established in 1972, Wolf Park is a research facility located about 10 miles north of the city in Battle Ground.

It examines, analyses, and studies the behavior of wolves and conducts educational programs, such as lectures and seminars, to educate the public.

View of Wolves at  Wolf Park in Indiana
Serge Melki from Indianapolis, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park also offers guided tours of the preserve led by informative and friendly staff members to the visitors.

While on tour, you will be able to spot various animals such as foxes, coyotes, and bison and learn more about them.

The park also hosts various events such as camping for kids, animal birthday parties, Howl Nights, and more.

Enjoy a Lovely Picnic at Fort Ouiatenon

A Parade at Fort Ouiatenon
Stephen B. Goodwin / Shutterstock.com

Built in the early 1700s, Fort Ouiatenon is a historical park located southwest of Lafayette near the Wabash River.

In the 18th century, it was used as a French Trading Post.

Now the beautiful historical park has living history museums and replica blockhouses, as well as designated picnic spaces to enjoy the picturesque environment of the fort and its surroundings.

Lovely Picnic at Fort Ouiatenon
John Schanlaub, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It hosts its famous annual Feast of the Hunter's Moon, where thousands of people dress up in period clothing and reenact fall gatherings.

Along with this, there are live performances, vendors, food, and much more.

Final Thoughts

Lafayette is a small Indiana city with a big town environment and amenities.

This city has it all, from amazing culture to lush green spaces.

What are you waiting for?

Visit Lafayette, and do not forget to tell us your favorite thing from the list and make sure to do and see all these things when you visit this great city.