Lafayette Cajun culture bursts with flavor and fun.
For travelers looking to immerse themselves in a true cultural experience, put Lafayette on your bucket list. Louisiana’s Cajun Country in Lafayette is one of the most unique places you’ll find in the United States. Among fields of rice and sugarcane, bayous and cypress swamps, you’ll discover authentic music, incredible cuisine and joie de vivre—a genuine joy of life you won’t find anywhere else.
Lafayette has been noted by CNN as one of the best places to experience French culture in the United States. The area was settled by Acadians in the late 1700s who were exiled from Canada when they refused to give up speaking French and practicing Catholicism. They found refuge in South Louisiana, and today, their French roots remain strong.
Boudin & Cracklins
These Cajun food specialties are so good, they deserve their own category. Early settlers in Acadiana did not live high on the hog—they lived off the entire hog! Their resourcefulness led to two great inventions: boudin and cracklins. A pork sausage stuffed with rice, green onions, and seasonings, boudin is served smoked or grilled as well as stuffed into po’boys or king cake. Even better than pork rinds, cracklins are fried morsels of pork fat with the pork skins.
Tabasco sauce hails from Cajun Country on beautiful Avery Island, where founder Edmund McIlhenny first made the world-famous pepper sauce in 1868. Take a tour of the factory and museum or dine in the local restaurant. The gift shop is the perfect spot for getting souvenir sauce for friends and family back home.
A One-of-Kind George Rodrigue
Acadiana’s native son George Rodrigue became famous for his Blue Dog paintings, but before creating the pop-art icon, he documented the distinct Cajun culture through paintings and sculpture. Fans can see his work at galleries in Lafayette, New Orleans and California, but little know about this hidden gem: his 12-foot monument depicting the poet Longfellow and the reunion of Evangeline and her lost love Gabriel. Rodrigue created The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Monument in Italy in the early 1980s and had it shipped back home to Acadiana where it now stands on Asma Blvd. off of Kaliste Saloom Road.
Borden’s Last Ice Cream Shoppe
Dating back to the 1800s, Borden’s became one of the most recognized dairy brands with its iconic Elsie the Cow mascot. Visitors to Lafayette can savor a blast from the past in the very last Borden’s in the world. The Lafayette outpost has been a mainstay since 1940 and still serves old-fashioned ice cream malts, shakes, sodas, and scoops as well as ice-cold milk right out of the machine. It’s the perfect ending to a sweet trip to Lafayette.