The city of Lafayette lies on the Vermilion River in southern Louisiana. The center of the Acadian region, it has a strong French influence due to the arrival of French colonists several centuries ago. A Frenchman called Jean Mouton established the municipality in 1821. It is named after General Lafayette, who fought in the American Revolutionary War. Many residents speak French as their first language. The area’s intriguing history centers on a former orphan trail. You’ll also find historic monuments and churches scattered around the city.

Stroll through the town center and sample Acadian food specialties, such as crawfish and smothered rabbit. In the Acadian Culture Center, staff dressed in period costume will help you learn about Louisiana’s Francophone culture and history. Watch several short movies for more information.

Visit charming St. Martin de Tours Church near the city center. One of the oldest in Louisiana, the church dates back to 1836. The elegant statue of Evangeline, a tragic character from an Acadian poem, sits in front of the church. Note the majestic chandeliers and columns in the spacious interior.

Drive north of the city to the Louisiana Orphan Train Museum. Learn about the movement that took orphans from the streets of New York to homes in rural regions across the country to enrich their lives. This took place from the 1850s until the late 1920s. Artifacts have been donated by family members of orphans who rode the trains.

A little farther north is the lovely Chicot State Park. Get close to deer and birds. Hike around the picturesque grounds and pause for a picnic.

Explore Lake Martin, an area of swamplands with a great range of wildlife and flora. Look for alligators, snakes, turtles and exotic birds. Choose a scenic trail around the lake or a guided tour of the swamps.

Lafayette is about 150 miles (241 kilometers) west of New Orleans and offers a serene alternative to the busy Big Easy.

Known for

Live Music, Festivals and Sports

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Where to stay in Lafayette

Downtown
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Downtown

Downtown is a neighborhood that welcomes all visitors.

Freetown - Port Rico
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Trover photo by Michelle M

Freetown - Port Rico

Freetown - Port Rico is a neighborhood that welcomes all visitors.

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Top Hotels in Lafayette

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Lafayette North
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Lafayette North
3 out of 5
2219 NW Evangeline Thruway, Lafayette
$70/night
Aug 18 - Aug 19
4.6/5Exceptional! (356 reviews)

"Beautiful property, well maintained. Highly recommend for the price"…"

Reviewed on Jul 20, 2019

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Lafayette North
Image for Baymont by Wyndham Lafayette Airport
Baymont by Wyndham Lafayette Airport
2.5 out of 5
2200 NE Evangeline Thruway, Lafayette
$48/night
Aug 14 - Aug 15
3.6/5Good! (509 reviews)

"Got in early was able to check me in. Friendly. But there is a pet fee that i coukdnt find on the site."…"

Reviewed on Jun 21, 2019

Baymont by Wyndham Lafayette Airport
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Wyndham Garden Lafayette
3.5 out of 5
1801 W Pinhook Road, Lafayette
$67/night
Jul 30 - Jul 31
2.6/5 (243 reviews)

"My small dog travels with me and for a small fee she was welcomed!"…"

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2019

Wyndham Garden Lafayette

Popular things to do in Lafayette

Vermilionville
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Vermilionville

Experience the traditions of the Cajuns, Creoles and Native Americans, watch live bands and cruise along the Vermilion River at this folk museum village.

Acadian Village
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Acadian Village

The fascinating life of the Acadians of Louisiana comes alive at a collection of historic buildings, including a blacksmith workshop and church.

Cathedral of St John
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Cathedral of St John

This centuries-old cathedral is famous for its Romanesque architecture, beautiful stained-glass windows, ancient oak tree and museum of religious relics.

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