15 Best Things to Do in Lafayette, LA

Best Things to Do in Lafayette, LA

Welcome y'all!

In the heart of Louisiana's Cajun & Creole Country, there's a vibrant city that fully embraces its French heritage and Southern charm - Lafayette.

Imagine a place where the food is as rich in flavor as the culture is in history, the music is as colorful as the local art, and the adventures are as diverse as the people.

This is the place I proudly call home.

So, if you're looking forward to an unforgettable journey, buckle up!

I'll take you on a virtual tour of the local life in Lafayette, revealing some of the hidden gems that make this city unique.

Get ready to experience Lafayette as only a local could, through the eyes and heart of someone who knows it best.


Welcome to the best things to do in Lafayette, Louisiana!

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Experience the Divine at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

Exterior of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
Nina Alizada / Shutterstock.com

I cannot express enough how blessed I feel to have the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in our town, symbolizing the heart of Acadiana.

This place is almost a century old and always amazes me with its red and white brick structure adorned with stained-glass depictions of our patron saint.

Likewise, this house of God is not merely a structure of bricks and mortar but a beacon of hope and faith that has stood the test of time.

I vividly remember the joy and reverence during the mass experiences, a glorious display for every holiday, from Easter to Christmas.

Facade of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
Nina Alizada / Shutterstock.com

The grounds of the cathedral are nothing less than a spectacle.

Well-kept and beautiful, the cathedral grounds are graced by the ancient St. John Oak, a marvel in itself.

The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, with its spiritual aura and historic charm, will always hold a special place in my heart.

Spend the Day at Moncus Park

There's something extraordinary about spending a day at Moncus Park.

The moment you step into the park, it's like stepping into a different world, filled with nature's beauty and a peaceful ambiance that can't be found elsewhere in the city.

Whether bringing my kids to play on the splash pad and playground or just going for a leisurely walk, this park has something for everyone.

The tree house is a favorite among the kids and is a natural spectacle, almost like something out of a fairytale!

It's always a joy to see their faces light up with excitement.

But Moncus Park is not just about fun and games. It also serves as a reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans.

On one of my visits, I had the chance to visit the Veteran’s Memorial Park, a peaceful spot dedicated to all the men and women who served our nation.

It's a humbling experience that always leaves a profound impact on me.

The bathrooms are always clean, which is a big plus if you spend the day with kids.

So, if you're looking for a place to unwind, have fun, and be around nature, Moncus Park is the place to be.

It's a little piece of paradise nestled right here in Louisiana.

Visit Hilliard Art Museum

I had always heard about the Hilliard Art Museum, particularly its rich collection from the 18th to 21st centuries, but I only recently found the opportunity to visit.

As an admirer of Louisiana art and artists, the special exhibit focusing on local talent was too inviting to pass.

Taking a stroll to the museum was an experience in itself.

Nestled amid majestic oaks, the surrounding area was an impressionist painting that came to life spotless and serene.

The museum, housed in a plantation-style building, stood like a timeless beauty, its charm accentuated by meticulous maintenance.

It almost transported me into a bygone era, and I couldn't help but admire the architecture.

Upon entering, I was greeted with various art exhibits, each more intriguing than the last.

But what stole my heart was the display of artwork by UL students from the past two decades.

The talent and creativity displayed were staggering, and I spent hours getting lost in the beautiful creations.

That section of the museum was abuzz with people, all marveling at the young talents' creativity.

Between the artwork, I also participated in visitor participation activities. Whether a seasoned art lover or an enthusiastic novice, there was something for everyone.

My heart was full of appreciation for our community's immense talent and treasure at the Hilliard Art Museum.

For anyone looking for an enriching experience, this place is a must-visit.

Enjoy the Day at Vermilionville Historic Village

A house at Vermilionville Historic Village
Elisa.rolle, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Living in the heart of Louisiana offers me the chance to explore hidden gems that hold the historical essence of the city.

One such spot is the Vermilionville Historic Village, a living history museum that is my go-to place to escape the city's hustle-bustle quickly.

As you step into the village, you are greeted with quiet serenity and a charming display of restored 18th to 19th-century homes.

I love to stroll through these historic homes, feeling like I've time-traveled back to an era long gone.

The traditionally dressed employees are always on hand, offering intriguing insights about ancient times.

Prepare to devote a couple of hours to this place, as there is much to explore and learn.

Adding to the charm of the village is the live music. Nothing beats the experience of soaking in the soulful tunes of local musicians on a quiet afternoon.

It feels a bit like a private concert, with the history of Louisiana serving as the backdrop.

As a history lover, there's something magical about stepping back in time while walking through the authentically restored 18th- and 19th-century homes.

What's excellent about Vermilionville is that it's not just a museum - it's a living, breathing representation of our past.

While wandering around, you'll often find interpreters dressed in period costumes, offering fascinating insights into the bygone era, and yes, they do have a good sense of humor.

The live music, usually traditional Cajun or Creole tunes, is something I always look forward to.

There's a unique spirit in the melodies that seem to seep into the old wooden buildings and the surrounding landscape, making the experience all the more authentic.

My friends and I had a blast when we joined in, clapping our hands and stomping our feet to the rhythm.

As much as I love history, let's talk about the restaurant.

The Vermilionville Historical Village is a testament to our rich cultural heritage, a place where you feel connected to the roots of our community.

So next time you have a few hours to spare, why not stroll down memory lane?

Discover Cajun History at the Acadian Cultural Center

Every time I drive to the Acadian Cultural Center, I'm hit with the rich aroma of storytelling.

Nestled comfortably in my hometown of Lafayette, this gem of a museum never fails to amaze me.

Whether you're a history buff or simply curious about Cajun culture, this place is a must-visit.

One of the best perks of this local treasure is the free admission.

The film "The Cajun Way: Echoes of Acadia" is a major highlight of the center.

Running at just about 45 minutes, it beautifully captures the struggle and perseverance of the Acadians who later became known as the Cajuns of Louisiana.

I've seen it multiple times, and it never fails to stir something inside me.

The exhibits here are so much more than colorful displays and artifacts. They tell stories, our stories.

They mirror our community's vibrant history and a strong emphasis on family values.

Every time I visit, I find something new, a different piece of the puzzle that paints a clearer picture of our rich heritage.

Don't miss out on a stroll outside the center's green area. It's a serene oasis, perfect for quiet reflection or even a picnic on a sunny day.

The Acadian Cultural Center celebrates our Cajun roots and reminds us of our origins.

Enjoy A Night Out at Acadiana Center for the Arts

Exterior of Acadiana Center for the Arts
ccpixx photography / Shutterstock.com

Trust me. There's nothing like a night out at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

It's almost a ritual for me - something I've done countless times.

But it's so much more than a venue. It's a sanctuary for all types of artists - visual, film, music, and theater.

I've visited this remarkable place about a hundred times, and every visit has been a wonderful experience.

The Acadiana Center, tucked away in the heart of Lafayette, Louisiana, is the centerpiece of our local art community and is beautifully designed inside and out.

For instance, the seating setup is commendable, always comfortable, and makes sense regardless of where you sit.

One aspect that has never failed to impress me is their flawless technology.

Whether it's the lighting, the sound, the visuals, or the projections, they've got it down to an art.

It's refreshing to see a venue that keeps up with the times and maintains such high standards.

But it's not just the aesthetics and technology that have me coming back time and again.

It's the feeling of intimacy, the truly unique atmosphere that the venue creates.

It doesn't matter where you're seated, you'll always have a good view, and the acoustics are fantastic - every performance is just for you.

I've seen various performances here - from live music to theater productions- and it's a new experience every time.

I highly recommend everyone, whether you're a local or just visiting, to experience a performance at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

Spend the Day at the LARC's Acadian Village

I've been a regular visitor to the LARC's Acadian Village for some time now.

This 19th-century Cajun village nestles in the heart of Louisiana, boasting a delightful mix of authentic and replicated buildings from that era.

You can experience the nostalgia of blacksmith shops and view the place's rustic charm.

Upon arrival, you're greeted by beautifully manicured lawns that instantly transport you to a different era.

The quaint charm, the historical relevance, and the tranquil surroundings make for a perfect day out.

Overall, the village offers a peek into a bygone era and a chance to appreciate the history and culture of our Cajun ancestors.

It leaves you with a sense of reverence for their craftsmanship and the hardships they endured.

And that, in my opinion, makes every visit worthwhile.

Take an Afternoon Stroll Down Girard Park Dr

I love the subtle charm of Girard Park Dr., Nestled in the heart of Lafayette, Louisiana.

This quiet street is home to many local attractions and everyday conveniences.

It's a place where the city's traditional southern vibes merge with the buzz of a vibrant community, creating a relaxed and exciting atmosphere.

Every morning, as I lace up my trainers for a brisk walk, I am greeted by the scent of dew-soaked grass emanating from Girard Park - our crown jewel.

The park is a flurry of activity throughout the day, with joggers, cyclists, and families bringing infectious energy to the area.

Following the trail around the park, I often gravitate toward the palpable academic spirit that fills the air around the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The campus is just a stone's throw away from Girard Park Dr and is a proud emblem of the city's dedication to education and research.

Girard Park Dr isn't just about parks and universities, though.

The street has a thriving food scene, with many local restaurants serving an enticing array of cuisines.

My favorite is a small Cajun eatery tucked away in a corner - their gumbo truly hits the spot on chilly Louisiana evenings.

Living here never feels monotonous, thanks to the assortment of retail stores, cozy cafes, and entertainment venues dotting the street.

Whether I need a quick coffee fix, a new book to read, or a place to catch the latest movie, I know I can find it all without straying too far.

No matter where I am on Girard Park Dr, I am constantly reminded of Lafayette's unique blend of southern charm and modern living, making it a place I am proud to call home.

If you ever find yourself in our quaint city, I encourage you to walk down Girard Park Dr - you won't be disappointed.

Enjoy the Day at the Children's Museum of Acadiana

Exterior of the Children's Museum of Acadiana
Nina Alizada / Shutterstock.com

One of the joys of living in this area is having the Children's Museum of Acadiana right in our backyard.

With its various interactive exhibits designed to engage children in crafts and practical knowledge, the museum becomes a part of every local family's life.

Our family has been frequent visitors here. My youngest practically grew up amidst the colorful exhibits.

Regardless of its somewhat dated appearance, which we adults might notice, it is nothing less than an adventure palace for the kids.

Local businesses that sponsor various rooms and corners only add to its charm.

Nothing beats the glee on my 3.5-year-old's face as she explores for hours without a moment of boredom.

The $21 entrance fee for two adults and a child seems meager, considering how much fun and learning is packed into a visit.

Surprisingly, one of the museum's most memorable aspects is the restroom ceiling—quite a sight worthy of a few photos.

The museum offers an all-day pass, allowing families to leave and return as a child's schedule permits.

You will need a lot of energy and probably some caffeine to keep up with the ceaseless activity!

The Children's Museum of Acadiana remains integral to our community and childhood experience.

After all, nothing compares to the joy of seeing children learn and play with unbridled enthusiasm.

Discover Nature at Acadiana Park

One sunny afternoon, I decided to take a break from the city bustle and head down to the Acadiana Park Nature Station.

This park, a sprawling 150-acre facility, has become my sanctuary whenever I long for a peaceful retreat.

I followed a disc golf course through the woods and found myself on a charming wooden pier trail.

As I strolled, I noticed a cluster of blue caterpillars swarming a fence railing.

Then, as I leaned in for a closer look, I heard a voice behind me gently informing me that the blue ones were not poisonous.

I turned around to find a woman offering me a caterpillar to hold. It felt like a scene straight out of a video game.

After my unexpected encounter with the caterpillars, I was guided to a quaint museum that I had inadvertently bypassed.

Though it was about to close, I explored a few of its exhibits – snakes encased in enclosures, fossilized insects, and charts of local plants and animals.

Don't underestimate this small museum; it carries a wealth of knowledge.

The nature trail offered a different charm, each pathway named cutely and certain areas marked for regrowth.

Moreover, the calm beauty of the foliage and the tranquility of the surroundings made my day – a perfect way to unwind and forget the world.

Acadiana Park Nature Station is a hidden gem in our locality.

Greet Saturday Mornings at Lafayette Farmers and Artisan Market

Saturday mornings have had a new vibe since I discovered the Lafayette Farmers and Artisan Market at the Horse Farm.

When I arrive, I'm greeted by many vendors selling everything from fruits and veggies to handmade artisan goods.

If you are a foodie like me, the prepared food section is like heaven on earth!

It's always bustling with activity and filled with the aroma of mouth-watering snacks, juicy pork, and Mediterranean delicacies.

The market isn't just about food; it's also a hub for talented artisans. It's incredible how much talent and creativity you can find here!

The 9-11 am Cajun jam session adds charm to the market atmosphere, filling the air with great Cajun and Creole music, making the area feel alive and festive.

There've been times when I've spotted international vendors, too, like one showcasing beautiful Moroccan showpieces.

My Saturday mornings at the Lafayette Farmers and Artisan Market are always filled with delightful surprises.

It's become my go-to place for fresh produce, unique finds, and soulful music. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Explore Lafayette Science Museum

Exterior of Lafayette Science Museum
Nina Alizada / Shutterstock.com

Whenever I decide to take the day off work and spend it at the Lafayette Science Museum, I always get that same excitement.

This place offers a unique experience that never gets old, no matter how often you visit.

The exhibits have numerous displays and interactive learning areas that keep kids and adults engaged.

Likewise, the museum does an incredible job of keeping everything clean and well-maintained.

It's evident that a lot of care and thought has been put into the management of the place.

I always look forward to exploring the realms of paleontology, marine biology, and geology.

The museum's exhibits take an exciting and engaging approach to these subjects, making the learning experience fun and memorable.

Dinosaur exhibit in Lafayette Science Museum
Archibald Hill / Shutterstock.com

There's also a planetarium with a domed screen that offers an immersive cosmos experience.

It's primarily oriented towards children but has something to offer for everyone.

As a regular visitor, it’s impressive how every visit feels like a new adventure.

Of course, not all experiences are perfect - the clerks, for example, could be a bit friendlier.

But that's a negligible downside in an otherwise fantastic place.

With its well-curated exhibits and interactive learning areas, Lafayette Science Museum has something to pique everyone's curiosity, making it a perfect afternoon.

Interior of Lafayette Science Museum
Infrogmation of New Orleans, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spend An Exciting Day at Kart Ranch

I remember the fun days I spent at Kart Ranch!

It's been a tradition since my daughter was just a wee thing, and every visit feels just as exciting as the first.

They've made several updates over the years, and it's always a pleasant surprise to see what's new.

Now, there are more games than ever - each just waiting to entertain and challenge you.

I remember our last visit, a school outing for my daughter, and we played every game.

They were all in excellent condition, save for one or two that were out of order, but that didn't dampen the spirit of our day.

If you ask my daughter, she'll rave about the fantastic pizza they serve. It's always piping hot and loaded with toppings.

But for me, the highlight is the mini-golf. It's beautifully maintained and adds just the right amount of challenge to keep it interesting.

Plus, it's always fun to compete with my nephew, who's just as competitive as I am.

But let's not forget about the go-karts and bumper boats - they add an extra dash of thrill to the day.

Although a tad bit pricey, the gaming area offers a good selection of games and is always brimming with enthusiastic energy.

Kart Ranch has been and continues to be the perfect place for affordable family fun.

There's something for everyone, and every visit is a day well spent.

Jump into Fun at Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Tell you about when my family and I decided to bounce off some extra energy at Sky Zone Trampoline Park.

We landed in a universe of fun and excitement, filled with trampolines that took our delight to the next level.

We arrived just as a local school group was leaving, their laughter and high spirits a testament to their good time.

The staff handled the swarm of kids with aplomb, ensuring everyone was safe and having the time of their lives.

I remember wondering if we'd find the place in a bit of a mess, but it was spotless.

Whoever oversees cleanliness does a fantastic job; I was genuinely impressed.

I loved seeing the joy on my son's face as he bounced around, which made the extra cost worthwhile.

Every city has its hidden gems, and Sky Zone Trampoline Park is one of them for us in Lafayette.

It's a place where kids can be kids, adults can unleash their inner child, and fun can defy gravity.

No wonder we find ourselves gravitating there time and again.

Final Thoughts

Lafayette is a vibrant, lively hub of culture, arts, and history.

It has a wealth of experiences to offer.

When you visit our city, you'll realize that Lafayette is not just a place to live – it’s a place of adventure, culture, and friendly faces.

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