Why Lafayette Louisiana?
We are a bustling city in southwest Louisiana. Not located in wetlands, but along the Vermilion River in the south-central part of the state. This means we don’t suffer as much from floods as the other cities in our part of Louisiana. We have been described as a little-big town because of our unique contrast of city life and local Cajun traditions. We have also been nicknamed “Cajun country,” and “the Cajun heartland,” and known worldwide for our specialty foods and spices. Lafayette is the hub city of Acadiana, which is made of several other little cities (Carencro, Breaux Bridge, Henderson, Opelousas, Broussard, Scott, Sunset, New Iberia, and more). All Acadiana cities and towns have their own distinct character and are each the State proclaimed “world’s best” at something…Lafayette is known to be the State’s Festival Capital. All our little cities embrace the Cajun heritage. If you ever get the chance to visit Lafayette, here is a list of a few ways you can learn a lot about the Cajun heritage.
Visit a swamp. There are multiple swamps within the Greater Lafayette area. There is even one in the middle of Lafayette at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, which is the only on-campus swamp in the United States.
Go to Avery Island. A beautiful island owned by the McIlhenny family. The makers of Tabasco. The factory is there also. The island has a scenic drive-thru and walk-thru, wildlife, a bird sanctuary, and a botanical garden.
Stop at Vermilionville. It is an attraction located near the airport that tells the history of the Cajun people. It is a replica of an Acadian-style village. It also brings in local bands for jam sessions.
See the lights at Acadian village. Is a little village in south Lafayette that has several traditional Acadian homes. They have great festivities and lights at Christmas time, but you can also have a tour of the property during the year.
The state of Louisiana is called the “Sportsman’s Paradise” because of the wide variety of hunting and fishing within the state and in the coastal Gulf of Mexico. Originally Lafayette was an agricultural community; oil and natural gas were found here in the mid-twentieth century, which led to an economic boom. But now there’s other sources of economic contributors, a National Guard Station here, as well as a US Marine Corps Reserve Unit. IT is also an important economic sector, with the Center for Business and Information Technologies and several IT companies are located here. But education is by far the most important sector: the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, South Louisiana Community College, Louisiana Technical College and Remington College are all located in Lafayette. To get more information on Lafayette you can visit our chamber of commerce website: http://www.oneacadiana.org/
And like everywhere else in Louisiana, you can enjoy some fine music venues, in fact you can find free concerts almost all the time when the weather is nice, and of course with a concert comes a place to dance. A lot of children here learn to dance before they learn to walk, so you can trust you’ll need to learn some Cajun dances to fit in.
Learning some Cajun French wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Here are just a very few: cochon de lait literally means ‘pig roast’, Merci Beacoup “thank you” and the best: Mais Cha’ y’all come Laissez la bon temps rouler! “Come here sweetie, let the good times roll!”
Some local pictures of things you’ll find in Lafayette.
St. John’s Catholic Cathedral, Cochon de lait and Crawfish Festival.