7 Unique Best and Fun Things To Do in Lafayette LA

UPDATED February 5, 2024 — In this guide to the best things to do in Lafayette LA, I’m sharing everything you need to know about visiting this vibrant and culturally rich city in the heart of Cajun Country.

Known for its lively music scene, delicious cuisine and diverse festivals, Lafayette offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

During my recent 7-day trip to Lafayette, I ventured into the bayous and countrysides, out-of-the-way mom-and-pop restaurants, and fun dance spots. I found plenty of things for adults to do in Lafayette LA that I think you’ll love!

Table of Contents

Pinterest graphic reading "Things to do in Lafayette LA' with three photos of: bayou, happy man serving food, two women eating crawfish and a sign from a live music venue

Lafayette offers you one-of-a-kind experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, explore the outdoors or simply relax and unwind, Lafayette has something for everyone.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best things to do in Lafayette, from sampling the city’s signature dishes to dancing the night away at a Cajun music festival, we’re covering it all today. Let’s get into it!

1.) Dance the Cajun Two-Step at a Living Folk Museum

Touring this small historic house with front porch, door in center and two windows on each side is one of the things to do in Lafayette LA
Acadian House at Vermilionville dates from the 1830s and showcases the distinct Cajun healing traditions

Have you ever danced in a museum? On Sundays, you can dance the Cajun two-step, waltz or otherwise move to live music at Vermilionville, Lafayette’s living history museum. Join locals and visitors alike at the fascinating folk history village for the Sunday Dance (Bal du Dimanche.)

Reserve your tickets to historic Vermilionville by clicking here

The living history village is open from Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am-4 pm but closed on major holidays, including Mardi Gras.

If you can’t make it Sunday to the Cajun, Zydego or other local music concerts, check out the Cajun Jam on Saturdays. Or wander through the historic homes, gardens and buildings that dot the 23-acre village on a self-paced tour.

Vermilionville, an American Alliance of Museums Accredited Museum, is located on the Vermilion Bayou in Lafayette, Louisiana.

2.) Eating Crawfish Is One of the Fun Things To Do in Lafayette LA

two women sit at table with red and white table cloth - each holds crawfish in both hands over a black tray filled with red crawfish
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey gets instruction on how to shell crawfish from local Kaylie Le Blanc at 'The Cajun Table'

Put some South in your mouth, y’all! Eating crawfish might be messy, but it’s fun and one of the MUST-DO things to do in Lafayette LA. Ask your server or that friendly local sitting at the table next to you for some tips on wiggling the body to loosen the flesh from the shell.

The local delicacy is served up at crawfish restaurants in the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole Country. The crustaceans are such a part of the local cuisine that there are over 70 restaurants on the Crawfish Passport, a practical tool to help guide you to the best spots.

RELATED: Highly Recommended Cajun Food Tour in Lafayette

3.) Paddle A Self-guided Kayak or Canoe Swamp Tour

Tall thin trees have very wide trunks as they reach the swampy waters of the bayou
Cypress trees in bayou near Lafayette, LA | Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Launch a kayak or canoe into the waters of Bayou Vermillion to explore the swamps and eco-system of Cajun Country. You don’t have to go far, kayak and canoe launch sites are right in town, making these self-propelled water excursions some of the best things to do in Lafayette LA. 

The Bayou Vermillion Paddle Trail that goes right through Vermilionville living history village (see #1 above) offers a one-way 9.6-mile or 6.6-mile roundtrip route. So kayaking is one of the most convenient things to do in Lafayette LA.

Alligator sightings are some of the quirky things to do in Lafayette LA

Experience the majestic and natural stretches of this unique waterway with its Spanish Moss-draped cedars and wildlife (including alligators!) that live in the bayou.

You can rent your boat of choice at Bayou Vermilion District or book a tour with Pack & Paddle, Lafayette’s own purveyor of outdoor equipment.

Bring bug spray, sunscreen, water and hats, and wear your lifevests. Disclaimer: UNSTOPPABLE Stacey accepts no responsibility for your safety.

4.) Connect With Others Through Live Music

a woman with a frottoir (rubboard) and two men with guitars play on stage with blue spotlights depicting live music as one of the things to do in Lafayette LA
Becca Begnaud, Drew Landry and friends at Feed & Seed Lafayette

Connecting with others through live music is one of the best things to do in Lafayette LA. Listening to live music, whether you’re with your friends and family or with strangers or the friendly Louisiana locals, is one way to bridge gaps and make connections.

Not only does the powerful effect of Lafayette’s distinctive mix of Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music break down social barriers, but it also helps you understand the culture.

Music is an important part of culture wherever you are, but in Lafayette, there are abundant opportunities to experience the local vibe. So many musicians and performers live in the region that it is said that you can dance or listen to live music every night of the week.

Here’s some of our favorites:

Lafayette is also known for its packed calendar of music festivals, including:

RELATED: Unconventional Cajun Traiteurs and Healing Prayer in the Bayou

5.) Rock'n'Bowl® Dance Hall, Food and Bowling: Fun Things To Do in Lafayette for All Ages

black and white photo that depicts retro things to do in Lafayette with silouettes of peole with their arms raised in joy while dancing and a band in front of a sign reading: Rock 'n' Bowl with a big bowling pin
Dancers and band at Rock 'n' Bowl in Lafayette | Photo courtesy of Lafayette Travel

One of the fun things to do in Lafayette for the whole family is an excursion to Rock ‘n’ Bowl. It’s convenient location right downtown is easy to find, and inside you’ll discover something for each member of the family. Live music to entertain you, food to keep you satisfied and bowling with balls that look like overgrown billiardballs.

Strike! Spare! Gutter! All is fair in love and bowling, so get out on the dance floor or bowl to your heart’s content. It’s all up to you at Rock ‘n’Bowl de Lafayette.

6.) Sip Lafayette's Official Cocktail, the Rouler!

a tall bottle of clear rum, sliced limes and a low ball glass fille with ice and light-colored drink sit on wooden counter while a man's hand adds a cherry to the rim of the glass
The Rouler, official cocktail of Lafayette, Louisiana | Wildcat Brothers Distillery photo

At restaurants and bars around town, you can sip Lafayette’s official cocktail, the Rouler. Made from small-batch French-style rum distilled right here in Lafayette, the cocktail’s recipe for a clean, simple base is customized by each establishment.

The Rouler starts with a balance of sweet and sour, simple syrup, bitters and club soda served over ice. The core is Sweet Crude Rum by the local Wildcat Brothers Distilling. Indeed, the rum is distilled with locally-sourced sugarcane; the light natural sweetness made it a winner at the Washington Cup Spirits Competition. 

I met the Wildcat Brothers and tasted my first Rouler at the Queen Evangeline Mardi Gras Parade in Lafayette. “It’s easily mixed in large batches or by the glass,” explained David Meaux, inventor of the drink and distillery founder, pouring my cocktail from a massive thermos. People in Lafayette like to tote their camp chairs, thermoses and coolers of drinks and Cajun food to their favorite parade viewing spots.

The Rouler gets its name from the mantra of southern Louisiana: Laissez les bons temps rouler! or Let the good times roll! So sipping The Rouler is one of the best things for adults to do in Lafayette LA!

The rum pleased me so much that I looked for it at my Flagstaff, Arizona, spirits shop, and sure enough, Majestic Marketplace carries the small-batch Louisiana rum!

RELATED: Spirit Trend to Try: But First, Is Sotol Yucca, Agave or Cactus?
two guys stand in front of Mardi Gras banner of gold, green and purple with arms around each other - one in a funny little straw fedora holds a bottle of rum in his hand with an impish grin
Wildcat Brothers, Tait Martin and David Meaux, pour Sweet Crude Rum at Mardi Gras Parade | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo

7.) Savor the Unique Tastes and Textures of Boudin, a Locals’ Favorite

Boudin breakfast sammi at The Best Supermarket in Scott, LA
entry to smalltown market with two glass doors painted with Catholic images and the words 'Jesus i trust in you' with a sign on top of the roof reading 'The Best Stop Supermarket'
One of many boudin stops in Scott, LA, the home of the Boudin Festival, another fun thing to do in Lafayette LA
Boudin links sit in styrofoam container
Boudin from Kartchner's Specialty Meats

Every community has its own boudin recipe (or two), so it makes sense that if you want to dive into the Acadian culture, you should get out and drive to the various places around that are famous for the Cajun sausage. It’s one of the best things for adults to do in Lafayette LA!

So then, the Cajun Boudin Trail was born. Savor the distinctive tastes and textures created by vendors across the region. The recipe is simple: pork, rice, onions, peppers and spices stuffed into an edible casing. However, some come plumped with coarse-ground meat, while others have a more decadent pâté-type filling. I found that I liked boudin with a higher rice ratio. So, what will you find along the Cajun Boudin Trail

With over 40 local meat markets, grocery stores and gas stations that serve the luscious links, tasting this local food is a great way to explore the region. Eating boudin like a local is one of the best things to do in Lafayette LA.

If you’d rather have someone drive you around, Lafayette food tours are fun ways to experience local eats. I’m sure at least one of your stops would include boudin! Ask to be sure!

Conclusion: Unique and Fun Things To Do in Lafayette LA

Crab salad at Social Southern Table & Bar, a must-do | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo
Shrimp and grits at downtown Dwyer's Cafe where the Lafayette police officers go to eat | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo
close up of bowling balls decorated to look like billardballs in bowling rack with big screens in background
Rock 'n' Bowl offers things to do in Lafayette LA for the whole family | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo

There are so many fun and unique things to do in Lafayette LA. With the opportunities for live music, local food and unique activities, it’s almost like visiting a foreign country, but you don’t need a passport!

Did you like our roundup of 7 Unique Best and Fun Things To Do in Lafayette LA? If so, please share it with your friends on social media.

Would you like to learn about more fun things to do in Lafayette LA? Then check out Lafayette Travel for more ideas.

RELATED: Unconventional Cajun Traiteurs and Catholic Healing Prayers in the Bayou
woman stands in the middle of life-sized colorful letters that spell out 'Lafayette'
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey uncovers another fun thing to do in Lafayette LA
woman stands on rooftop with Med sea in background

Hi, I’m Stacey

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel is a travel blog focused on immersive travel that highlights food, wine and the spirituality of place. I also occasionally write about life as a Camino de Santiago pilgrim. I hope you enjoy what I post here. Feel free to leave comments! Read more…

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As is common in the travel industry, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was provided with accommodations, meals, and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review,  the author believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. 

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