Top 3 Reasons to Visit Lafayette, Louisiana

by Marika Flatt on April 23, 2024 in Travels,

Spring in Lafayette, Louisiana, is one of the best times to take a swamp tour, paddle along a bayou, go on a cycling adventure, hike wooded trails, or take a leisurely drive to ogle azaleas. But, any time of year, you can find our most favorite parts of Lafayette!

Great music, fun times and food are trademarks of Lafayette, Louisiana.

Cajun Charm

Did you know that there is a happiest city in America? Lafayette, Louisiana, has taken that crown, yet most people have never experienced its Cajun charm. If we had to narrow it down to a few reasons why you should visit Lafayette, it would be live music and dancing, great food, and plenty to do and see in this Southern city!

Home to a rich culture of art and music, this downtown mural displays and reflects those elements that make Lafayette so unique. Photo Marika Flatt.

Louisiana is celebrating the “Year of Music” 

Out of the four nights we were there, we caught live music every night around town!

Bustling with the sounds of bowling balls striking pins and festive live music, Rock n’ Bowl is a unique experience that combines two fun pastimes for all ages to enjoy. Photo Marika Flatt.

Rock ‘n Bowl

A fun combo unique to this business is providing their customers with the opportunity to go bowling and enjoy live music at the same time. With live music on Sundays from 5 to 8 p.m. (and other times, check their schedule), and prior to the music starting, they sing the Star-Spangled Banner with participation more than encouraged. Enjoy some Cajun-styled zydeco music with a packed dance floor while waiting for your turn to bowl. We were lucky enough to catch a show by Houston band Step Rideau

Enjoy listening to music with a cold drink at Adopted Dog Brewery. Photo Marika Flatt.

Adopted Dog Brewing

Adopted Dog Brewing, Lafayette’s first and only brewery, caters to passionate craft beer enthusiasts who travel extensively to explore unique breweries. With a commitment to offering a diverse range of craft beers brewed in-house, the brewery welcomes all, including families and dogs. Visitors can expect to also be entertained by live music on the weekends; we were lucky enough to catch an acoustic show by local Abi Clair

Feed your soul in Lafayette

Johnson’s Boucanière

Originated from a grocery store in 1937, this family owned business became famous for their smoked sausages and specialty meats. Try their appetizer plate with beignets and boudin or a breakfast bowl with eggs, grits, biscuit and a protein of your choice. Paired with a sunny day, dining on their outdoor picnic tables creates a relaxing afternoon or evening to cap off a busy day.

Po’boys, gumbo or boils, Cajun cuisine offers a variety for curious contenders to enjoy. Photo courtesy Lafayette Convention & Visitors Convention.

Cajun Food Tours

“Allons Manger” is the slogan, which means “let’s go eat!”

This well-known Cajun food tour was started over a decade ago by a former Louisiana history teacher, Marie Ducote-Comeaux, who proudly presents Louisiana culture by blending information on local history with knowing exactly where to get great food! Some of the locations you will get the opportunity to visit on their tours include: Ton’s in Broussard, BJs in Broussard, NuNus market, Fezzos and T-Coons. 

Bites and knowledge from these stops are like “cultural gumbo,” they all flavor one another. These 3-4 hour food tours are a bargain, starting as low as $57 per person!

Experience pure joy with a cup of Mello Joy coffee at T-Coon’s breakfast diner in Lafayette. Photo Marika Flatt.


Make like a local, and enjoy breakfast at T-Coons diner. If you’re lucky, you’ll have Heidi as your server. One of the unique and best parts about the diner is the opportunity to enjoy your very own Mellow Joy coffee at your table. Order a brisket or sausage link omelet, which will come with a homemade biscuit and gravy and or southern grits. No better way to start your day!

Festivals abound in Lafayette

Azalea Trail – Bloom Watch 

Spring time has come when you see 20 miles of Lafayette’s city streets lined with azaleas, with some patches of bushes of gigantic proportions being over 50-years-old. Enjoy the streets filled with a blend of lavender and fuchsia and snap some photos along the way. For those who prefer a more laidback route, trolley tours are offered the first and second Saturdays in March (plan for next spring).

Festival International is a spring event you don’t want to miss while in Lafayette. Photo courtesy Lafayette Convention & Visitors Convention.

Festival International de Louisiane – April 24-28

Located in Louisiana is the largest, free outdoor Francophone festival in the country. Dedicated to celebrating the connections between Acadiana and the Francophone world, each April, enjoy five days of top-notch music, gourmet food and handcrafted arts. Featuring seven stages and  hundreds of performing and visual artists from over 15 countries, experience a cultural celebration unlike any other.

Make sure to lay your head at DoubleTree by Hilton which is centrally located in town along a serene river. With a lively lobby (to include a bar and restaurant), you’ll find this an ideal location for comfort after busy days. 

Watch our recent San Antonio Living TV segment to learn more about Lafayette. And check out for more information. We’ve included some sample itinerary information below…

Sample Itinerary in Lafayette

If you’re looking for some shops, great businesses line the main street of downtown for food, drinks, and even an indie bookstore. Photo Marika Flatt.

Tour Downtown Lafayette (Free)

Suggested stops include: Beausoleil Books & Whisper Room, Cajun Hatter, Lilou Lafayette, Parish Ink, Genterie Supply, Pavy Design Studio, SOLA Violins, Attakapas Collective Borden’s Ice Cream Shoppe (open 7 days a week), Spoonbill Watering Hole, Vestal, Pamplona Tapas & Wine, CENTRAL Pizza, Sunday’s Soda Fountain and Carpe Diem Coffee & Gelato. Downtown Lafayette provides a rich and unique experience for groups, large or small. Whether your interest is to visit, shop, dine, or play, Downtown has something for everyone from galleries to restaurants and everything in between. Home of Downtown Alive!, a spring and fall concert series, and 2nd Saturday ArtWalk as well as over 80 events annually, Downtown is your center for events and fun.

Vermilionville Historic Site in Lafayette offers scenery to be enjoyed. Photo Marika Flatt.

Vermilionville Living History Museum

Address: 300 Fisher Rd, Lafayette, LA

Open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Vermilionville sits on a beautiful tree-covered 23-acre site on the banks of the Bayou Vermilion in the heart of Lafayette, providing a place for history, music, and culture of the Acadians, Native Americans, and Creoles. Bayou Vermilion District & Vermilionville host the Bal du Dimanche (Sunday Dance) EVERY WEEK. This live music series is held in Vermilionville’s Performance Center and rustic dancehall from 1-4 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes a self-guided tour of the Vermilionville Living History Museum.

Avery Island Tabasco Factory Tour & Jungle Gardens 

Address: 32 Wisteria Rd, Avery Island, LA 70513

Tabasco Factory Tour Open 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. (Note: it is about a 30-minute drive from Lafayette)

Jungle Gardens Open 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Recommended tour time is 90 minutes for Factory Tour and 60 minutes for Jungle Gardens. Built on a salt dome, it’s a mysteriously beautiful place where the red peppers grow, the factory hums, and abundant wildlife can be seen in Jungle Gardens.

Dinner Suggestion – Bon Temps Grill (pronounced bon-ton)

1211 W Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA

Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Cajun & Creole Restaurant

Brothers Steven and Patrick O’Bryan, raised in Louisiana with a passion for authentic Cajun cuisine, founded Bon Temps Grill, a neighborhood restaurant that seemingly blends their love for food and creating memorable moments with friends and family. Bon Temps Grill is a go-to destination in Lafayette for good times and genuine Cajun flavors.

Breakfast Suggestion: Five Mile Eatery 

Address: 317 Heymann Blvd, Lafayette, LA

Open 6 a.m.-3 p.m.

Five Mile Eatery, Market & Co-op

Delivering farm-fresh, seasonally changing menus in a thoughtfully designed retail space, this establishment in the Oil Center not only embraces sustainability but also actively supports the local community. Celebrate the distinct flavors and values of our region using organic,wholesome ingredients in our offerings.

Travel Editor Marika Flatt enjoyed beignets and Mello Joy coffee on her Cajun journey at T-Coon’s. Photo Marika Flatt.


Cover photo courtesy Lafayette Convention & Visitors Convention

Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career in 2002, and can be seen as a contributor on TV shows across Texas, such as KVUE, Daytime (FOX), San Antonio Living, Good Morning Texas, and KXAN!  Marika spent five years as the voice of the “Weekend Trip Tip” on NPR’s Texas Standard pre-Covid. She is happiest while dancing and dining with family!