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Resting on the Vermilion River in the heart of Cajun country, Lafayette is a fun little town with some great restaurants, lively music and dancehalls, and plenty of festivals that celebrate la joie de vivre. French settlers, exiled from L'Acadie (Canada's Nova Scotia) came to this area in the mid-1700s, gradually mixed with the Houma and Chitimacha Indians and became Cajuns. French language floats in the air, along with the wonderful aroma of Cajun and Creole cuisine: crawfish étouffée, jambalaya, boudin and thick, yummy gumbos. Music is a big part of the culture here, and the spoons-on-a-washboard zing of Zydeco music keeps ...

Resting on the Vermilion River in the heart of Cajun country, Lafayette is a fun little town with some great restaurants, lively music and dancehalls, and plenty of festivals that celebrate la joie de vivre. French settlers, exiled from L'Acadie (Canada's Nova Scotia) came to this area in the mid-1700s, gradually mixed with the Houma and Chitimacha Indians and became Cajuns. French language floats in the air, along with the wonderful aroma of Cajun and Creole cuisine: crawfish étouffée, jambalaya, boudin and thick, yummy gumbos. Music is a big part of the culture here, and the spoons-on-a-washboard zing of Zydeco music keeps people dancing. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and its "Ragin' Cajuns" keep the vibe youthful and lively. The nearby Atchafalaya Basin is the country's largest river swamp and canoeing through the sunken cypress trees and marshy bayous is truly amazing. Fausse Point State Park has a marked canoe trail and rentals.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Lafayette is a city on the Vermilion River in the U.S. state of Louisiana. In 1884, it was renamed for General Lafayette, a French military hero who fought with the American Army during the American Revolutionary War
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight | Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Lafayette is a year-round destination, but the city is more lively during the university's academic year.