Lafayette, the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun Country, is known as the hub of all things Cajun from the music and food to warm Cajun hospitality. Not so widely known is Lafayette’s cutting edge chefs that are creating inventive twists on culinary classics and a plethora of new festivals celebrating every aspect of modern life in South Louisiana.
Lafayette is a foodie’s paradise, a Cajun/Zydeco music mecca and home to the best world music festival. Any day of the week, you can dine on the best Cajun food in the world and dance to authentic Cajun and Zydeco music. Every weekend, you can choose from festivals, jam sessions and dancehalls, swamp tours, paddling or cycling, and historic attractions.
Here’s a look at some “must sees and dos”.
Any day of the week you visit Lafayette, you will find live music somewhere. Randol’s, Prejean’s and Pont Breaux’s feature Cajun or Zydeco music nightly. Blue Moon Saloon is Lafayette’s iconic music venue that features a Cajun music jam session every Wednesday with live music Thursdays-Saturdays. At Vermilionville, a 23-acre folklife attraction in Lafayette, visitors enjoy Cajun jam sessions on Saturdays and Cajun/Zydeco dances on Sundays. For more on Lafayette’s music scene, get a copy of the brand new Dancehalls brochure.
You may know about Festival International de Louisiane and Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, but Lafayette has more to offer. The Zydeco Marathon, a Boston Marathon qualifier, features post run activities including Zydeco music and Cajun food. The Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week offers experiential, immersive learning opportunities in music, dance, cuisine and culture. The South Louisiana Blackpot Festival & Cookoff features music, dancing, food, camping and jamming. The Steampunk & Makers Fair is an all-ages festival by Cité des Arts and Lafayette Science Museum showcasing and celebrating science, technology, education, art and mathematics.
Lafayette Park at the Horse Farm
In the middle of Lafayette lies 100 acres of undeveloped land once used by the University of Louisiana as a horse farm. Lafayette has chosen to turn this property into a world-class public park with input from the community. But before the park is developed, locals and visitors can enjoy the space every Saturday at the Farmers and Artisans Market at the Horse Farm where local farmers, artisans and value-added food vendors offer their products for sale. The market encourages a sustainable local food system featuring fresh, local food choices, relationships with farmers and fishers, and interactive opportunities. www.LafayetteCentralPark.org |
Spirits & Brews
TheLafayette area is home to two local breweries and two rum distilleries. Parish Brewing is an upstart local brewery that uses old-school techniques with German, Belgian and North American malted barley and other grains and the finest hops from the Pacific Northwest and Europe. Bayou Teche Brewing crafts beers that compliment local cuisine and lifestyle. Their beers include LA-31 Bière Pâle, Boucanée, Bière Noire, Passionné (passion fruit), Acadie, Courir de Mardi Gras, Saison D’Ecrevisses and Cocodrie. Both breweries have tap rooms and do tours. Bayou Teche Brewing features live music on Saturdays. Rank Wildcat Distillery creates their award-winning small-batch white rum, Sweet Crude Rum, using sugar cane grown in South Louisiana. The all natural flavor of Sweet Crude comes from the sugar cane itself, resulting in a distillate that is flavorful and fragrant. Just down the road from Lafayette is Bayou Rum, the largest privately-owned rum distillery in the USA. The beautiful facility in Lacassine, Louisiana offers distillery tours, rum tasting bar and gift shop experience.
Cajun Boudin Trail
The Cajun Boudin Trail puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to discovering Louisiana’s best boudin. The Lafayette area is the indisputable center of all things boudin. Lafayette even holds the annual Boudin Cookoff in October, where the top boudiniers come together to show off their skills. Scott, La. has been named the Boudin Capital of the World and is home to the Scott Boudin Festival. Scott has more boudin purveyors per-capita than any other place in the state and a couple of the more prominent boudin makers, no other city in Louisiana produces more links than Scott.
Grand Reveil Acadien 2015
Louisiana is inviting all Acadians to a grand gathering of Acadians in Louisiana called the Grand Réveil Acadien/Great Acadian Awakening. Hosted by Louisianians, all of South Louisiana is opening their doors to welcome family and friends who want to celebrate and help maintain the culture, customs, traditions and history of the Acadians. This celebration will be held Oct. 3-12, 2015 in four Acadian regions. New Orleans, Houma, Lake Charles and Lafayette will host events and celebrations closing with a huge renewal of pride on the last day at Festivals Acadiens et Créoles at Girard Park in Lafayette. Vive l’Acadie et vive la Louisiane!
Lafayette Travel is using its social media outlets to tell our story – the story of our food, our music, our festivals, our people, our culture. On our blog, you’ll find interviews, photo galleries, video and more on musicians and dancehalls, the many types of gumbo in South Louisiana, where to find the best plates, and the scoop on upcoming festivals and events. Keep up with the latest:
Blog – http://blog.lafayettetravel.com
Newsletter – http://lafayettetravel.com/Newsletter
Facebook – www.facebook.com/LafayetteTravel
Twitter – https://twitter.com/lafayettetravel
YouTube – www.youtube.com/user/LafayetteTravel