15 Best Things to Do in Lafayette, Indiana

15 Best Things to Do in Lafayette, Indiana

Nestled in the county seat of Tippecanoe County of the American state 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 since been an essential part of the region. Lafayette is a small town with an environment and amenities of a large city.

This city is full of rich history, lively culture, and flourishing nature. It is also home to the famous Perdue University and has plentiful of the 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 food scene of the city is also fantastic; you will find several different cuisines on the menus of the eateries across the town such as Greek, French, Italian, Irish, and of course, American.

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

Here are some of the best places to see and best things to do in Lafayette.

Camping At Prophetstown State Park

Prophetstown State Park
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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 honours the Native American Village that was founded here in 1808.

The attractions of the park include The Farm at Prophetstown, which is 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 centre which contains a 4,200-square-foot leisure pool along with a lazy river and waterslides.

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 much more to keep you occupied.

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

Explore The Campus Of Purdue University

Purdue University
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Founded in 1869, The Perdue 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, Perdue University also provides excellent value to the community of the town 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 the Perdue University and check out its lovely campus and exciting events.

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 the 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.

The trail is almost a hidden gem of this town and is never really crowded so that you can enjoy a peaceful time in the serenity of nature.

In summers, the trail even has a full canopy cover of trees. Do not forget to enjoy this scenic natural space and enjoy the beauty of the lush nature.

Birdwatching At Celery Bog Nature Area

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 centre, 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.

Check Out Downtown Lafayette

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 truly.

It has plenty of foot traffic from both the locals and the tourists. 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 culture of the town like a local.

Take A Tour Of The Wolf Park

The Wolf Park
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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 behaviour of wolves and conducts educational programs such as lectures and seminars to educate the public.

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 know more about them along with the research done at the facility.

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

Go Hiking At Clegg Botanic Gardens

The Clegg Botanic Gardens or the Jerry E. Clegg Botanic Gardens is a natural space located next to the Wildcat Creek in Lafayette, Indiana. They are maintained by the Niches Land Trust and offer 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. Along with plant life, thee 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 attraction of the city 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.

Along with seeing all the animals from a distance, you can 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.

Enjoy A Lovely Picnic At Fort Ouiatenon

Fort Ouiatenon
Stephen B. Goodwin / Shutterstock.com

Built in the early 1700s, Fort Ouiatenon is a historical park located at the 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 blockhouse along with designated picnic spaces to enjoy a picnic in the picturesque environment of the fort and its surroundings.

It hosts its famous annual Feast of the Hunter's Moon where thousands of people dress up in period clothing and reenact fall gathering. Along with this, there are live performances, vendors, food, and much more.

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 grounds of the museum also has a sculpture garden that showcases more than 25 sculptures, nature trail with lush plant and wildlife, along with 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 the visitors with the 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. Along with wine, 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 the 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 a small gift shop in the museum as well 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 the Perdue 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 centre, gym, shuttle bus service, and so much more.

The hotel is also pet friendly so that you can stay here with your pet and explore the city with them. Clean and spacious rooms with beautiful views will definitely make your stay very worthwhile at the Homewood Suites by Hilton.

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, as well as 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.

Farm To Fork Experience 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 favourite.

The restaurant specialises 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.

Lafayette is a small Indiana town with 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 favourite thing from the list and make sure to do and see all these things when you visit this great city.