Lafayette (Louisiana): Wikis


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City of Lafayette
Ville de Lafayette
—  City  —
From upper left: Statue in front of downtown fire station, Oak lined street in the University district, Downtown Lafayette, Louisiana, The Cajundome, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette quad.

Nickname(s): The Hub City
Motto: The Heart of Cajun Country
Location of Lafayette in Louisiana, within United States.
Coordinates: 30°12′50″N 92°01′46″W / 30.21389°N 92.02944°W / 30.21389; -92.02944Coordinates: 30°12′50″N 92°01′46″W / 30.21389°N 92.02944°W / 30.21389; -92.02944
Country  United States
State  Louisiana
Parish Lafayette
Founded 1821 as Vermilionville
Renamed 1884 as Lafayette
Founder Jean Mouton
Named for General Gilbert du Motier, Marquis De Lafayette
 - Type Consolidated City-Parish
 - City-Parish President Joey Durel (Republican)
 - City Total 47.7 sq mi (123.5 km2)
 - Land 47.6 sq mi (123.3 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)  auto%
 - Metro 5,252 sq mi (13,602.6 km2)
Elevation 36 ft (11 m)
Population (2000)
 - City Total 110,275
 Density 2,316.7/sq mi (894.5/km2)
 - Demonym Lafayettiens
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 70501-9, 70593, 70596, 70598
Area code(s) 337
Twin Cities
 - France Le Cannet France
 - CanadaLongueuil, Québec Canada
 - CanadaMoncton, New Brunswick Canada
 - France Poitiers France
 - Belgium Namur Belgium
 - Côte d'Ivoire Agnibilékrou Côte d'Ivoire

Lafayette is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States,[1] on the Vermilion River. The population was 110,257 at the 2000 census; a 2007 census estimate put the metropolitan area's population at 256,494.[2] It is the fourth largest city in the state. It is the larger principal city of the Lafayette-Acadiana, LA Combined Statistical Area, which, in 2007, had an estimated total population of 538,470.[3]

The city was founded as Vermilionville in 1821 by a French-speaking Acadian named Jean Mouton. In 1884, it was renamed for General Lafayette, a French military hero who fought with and significantly aided the American Army during the American Revolutionary War.[4] The city's economy was primarily based on agriculture until the 1940s, when the petroleum and natural gas industry became dominant.

Lafayette is the center of the Cajun culture in Louisiana and the US. Lafayette has a strong tourism industry because of the Cajun and Creole cultures of the surrounding region. The cuisine of the region, Cajun cuisine, is one of the most famous regional cuisines in the US.




Isaac Verot Coulee

Lafayette is located at 30°12′50″N 92°1′46″W / 30.21389°N 92.02944°W / 30.21389; -92.02944 (30.213901, -92.029363)[5] and has an elevation of 36 feet (11.0 m)[6].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 47.7 square miles (123.5 km²), of which, 47.6 square miles (123.3 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.19%) is water.

Lafayette is located on the West Gulf Coastal Plain. What is now Lafayette was part of the seabed during the Quaternary Period. During this time, the Mississippi River cut a 325 foot deep valley between what is now Lafayette and Baton Rouge. This valley was filled and is now the Atchafalaya Basin. Lafayette is located on the western rim of this valley. This land, called the southwestern Louisiana Prairie Terrace, is higher up and not made of wetland like much of the surrounding areas to the south and west of Lafayette. Because of this, Lafayette does not suffer significant flooding problems.

The Vermilion River runs through the center of Lafayette. Other significant waterways in the city are Isaac Verot Coulee, Coulee Mine, Coulee des Poches and Coulee Ile des Cannes, which are natural drainage canals that lead to the Vermilion River.



Lafayette's climate is described as humid subtropical using Köppen climate classification. Lafayette is typical of areas along the Gulf of Mexico in that it has hot, humid summers and mild winters. (See table below for average temperatures for Lafayette.)

Climate data for Lafayette, Louisiana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
Average high °F (°C) 64
Average low °F (°C) 43
Record low °F (°C) 10
Precipitation inches (mm) 5
Source: Weatherbase[7] 2009


As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 110,257 people, 43,506 households, and 27,104 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,316.7 people per square mile (894.5/km²). There were 46,865 housing units at an average density of 984.7/sq mi (380.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.23% White, 28.51% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.44% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.88% of the population. In 2005, 84.2% of the population over the age of five spoke English at home, and 11.5% of the population spoke French or Cajun.[9]

There were 43,506 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. Nearly 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 13.3% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,996, and the median income for a family was $47,783. Males had a median income of $37,729 versus $23,606 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,031. About 11.6% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.

Education and healthcare

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

See Lafayette Parish School System for more information.

The public schools in the parish are run by the Lafayette Parish School System. The system has 33 schools, 21 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and five high schools. The LPSS offers six career academies at the high school level, school curricula designed to prepare students in certain career fields.[10]

The six academies are:

The LPSS has partnered with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office to offer the Sheriff's Career Academy. The academy is open to all high school seniors in the parish. This program, offered after school, prepares students for a career in law enforcement through job-shadowing and hands-on training. Seniors that complete the course receive one high school credit.[11]

The LPSS also offer schools of choice, a program to improve racial diversity at schools and to provide a more exciting educational experience. Accepted students are allowed to attend schools outside their school zone (but still within the parish) to receive their state mandated core curriculum using specialized themes or programs. This is available at all levels, elementary, middle, and high schools, and is designed to provide a more interesting learning experience for the students in the program.[12]

Private schools

See Lafayette Parish Private Schools for list of schools.

Lafayette is home to a large Roman Catholic population and, because of this, Lafayette Parish has many private schools, with grades from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Universities and colleges

Lafayette has one university, one community college and two vocational colleges.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is part of the University of Louisiana System. It's the second largest university in the state, with an enrollment of approximately 16,000. The university has been a part of Lafayette since 1900. It is one of the top-ranked universities in the south. It has nationally-ranked nursing, architecture, and computer sciences colleges.

South Louisiana Community College (Lafayette campus) is one of the newest college systems in Louisiana. SLCC partnered with Acadian Ambulance to form the National EMS Academy. The academy offers EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic certification. SLCC is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.

Louisiana Technical College (Lafayette campus) is part of the Louisiana Technical College system, which in turn is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical college system. It offers Associate of Applied Science Degree in many different area.

Remington College (Lafayette campus) is a vocational school that offers a few Bachelor's Degree Programs, many Associate Degree Programs, along with a few Diploma Programs.

Public library system


Lafayette is home to a healthcare industry as well.

CIS is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive cardiovascular centers, with cardiologists who represent nearly every specialty in heart and circulatory medicine. Founded in 1983, CIS’ team of nearly 500 employees serves communities throughout Louisiana, as well as national and international patients, at its 11 clinics. CIS is dedicated to providing patients with the most up-to-date technology and compassionate care.

There are also numerous non-emergency clinics in Lafayette.

Lafayette is home to Acadian Ambulance the largest private ambulance service, and one of the best rated and most technologically advanced EMS services in the country.
Lafayette is also the Home Office of LHC Group, Inc. (A nation-wide home health, hospice, and long-term acute care provider with over 250 locations in 17 states) - 420 West Pinhook Road.

Government and politics

See also Notable local politicians

Since the consolidation of city and parish governments, Lafayette has had a city-parish president as its chief executive, rather than a mayor as it had previously. The current Republican city-parish president is Joey Durel. At this time Consolidation is under review. A vote will be put forth to the people of the Parish to end or continue the Consolidation by the end of 2010.

Law enforcement

Lafayette is served by four police agencies:


Lafayette is the home of the National Guard headquarters of the 256th Infantry Brigade, a military unit of over 3,000 soldiers that served in Iraq in the years of 2004-2005. The brigade was again deployed in January, 2010.

Lafayette is also home to the United States Marine Corps Reserve Unit, D. Co. AT Battalion headed by Major Skylar Mallicoat. This unit has been on several deployments, many involving America's struggle in Iraq.


Electricity, water, and waste water service

Lafayette is served by Lafayette Utilities System, a city-parish government run, publicly owned utility company. Started over 100 years ago as an electrical company, LUS has expanded into a full service utilities company. They provide electricity, drinking water, and sewage treatment to all citizens in Lafayette as well as some parts of the parish. LUS also is currently installing the infrastructure for a fiber telecommunications network. Called LUSFiber, the network would provide digital cable, telephone service, and high speed internet service to all households in the city of Lafayette. It will offer individual services as well as bundles.[13]

Natural gas service

Lafayette's need for natural gas is served by Atmos Energy.

Telephone service

Local land line telephone service is served by AT&T. Cox Communications and Lafayette Utilities System provide Voice over Internet Protocol phone service.


Cable television service in Lafayette is provided by Cox Communications. Lafayette Utilities System provides FTTH video services through LUSFiber. DirecTV and Dish Network both include Lafayette TV stations in their local packages.


Retail and shopping

Lafayette serves as the retail hub of the five parish Acadiana area. One of the major retail areas in Lafayette is the Mall of Acadiana. The mall features department stores Macy's, Dillards, JC Penney, and Sears. It also includes over 100 specialty stores, such as Express, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Talbots, Chico's, Nine West, and Coldwater Creek. Other stores that have recently located in Lafayette include Kohl's, Incredible Pizza Co., and Plato's Closet. Academy Sports and Outdoors's Lafayette location is the largest discount store in the Academy chain.

The Oil Center, downtown, and River Ranch offer a more specialized and unique shopping experience.


Lafayette has some manufacturing and fabrication businesses, including:

Information technology

The city also has an IT community including such businesses as:

Culture and contemporary life


Lafayette is home to the Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns, the athletic teams of The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It is home to the Louisiana Hurricanes , a semi-pro football team that plays at STM Stadium. Between the years of 1995 and 2005, Lafayette was home to the Louisiana IceGators ECHL hockey team; in 2009, the IceGators returned as a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League.[14] As of 2009, Lafayette is home to the Lafayette Wildcatters of the Southern Indoor Football League. It is also home to the Lafayette Bayou Bulls, a semi-pro football program which started in 2003. Lafayette is home to three sports venues: the Cajundome, Cajun Field and Blackham Coliseum.


Lafayette is known in the region for its nightlife. On weekend nights, Downtown Lafayette turns into a nightlife hub in the Acadiana region. Downtown Lafayette offers a diverse range of clubs and sports bars like The Green Room and Marley's, live music venues like Grant Street Dancehall and The Blue Moon Saloon, dance clubs like Stan's Downtown and Nitetown, and the Miami-style nightclub, Karma. Outside of the downtown area, Lafayette offers many other types of establishments, like The Taproom, a beer specialty bar, The Bulldog, a sports bar very popular with UL students, Fast Eddie's, a poolhall, and Buffalo Wild Wings, a restaurant and bar.[15]




Currently, Lafayette is served by Cox Communications; however, Lafayette Utilities System (Lafayette's parish owned utilities company) is installing infrastructure and preparing to offer LUSFiber, a fiber optic network offering digital cable, telephone, and high speed internet services.[16]

Lafayette is home to:

  • KATC 3.1/RF28, Cable 5, (ABC)
  • KLFY-TV 10.1/RF10, Cable 11 (CBS)
  • KADN-TV 15.1/RF16, Cable 6 (Fox)
  • KLWB, 50.1/RF50, Cable 10 (CW)
  • KLPB-TV 24.1/RF23, Channel 12, (PBS) Louisiana Public Broadcasting
  • AOC 1, Channel 15, Acadiana Open Channel, one of two local programing channels.
  • AOC 2, Channel 16

Lafayette is also served by:


See List of Lafayette radio stations for full list.

Popular radio stations in Lafayette:


Points of interest

Lafayette is the heart of Acadiana and the center of Cajun culture in Louisiana and the United States. As such, Lafayette has many cultural places of interest.



Lafayette is also served by U.S. Routes 90 (known as the Evangeline Thruway for part of its route) and 167 (also known as Johnston Street). Ambassador Caffery Parkway, named for Jefferson Caffery, serves as a partially completed loop around Lafayette. Other arterial roads serving Lafayette include Verot School Road (LA 339), Congress Street, Kaliste Saloom Road (LA 3095), Carmel Dr. (LA 94), University Avenue (LA 182), and Pinhook Road (LA 182).

Sister cities

Lafayette has six sister cities:[17]

Six intersections in the downtown area are each named after one of its sister cities.

See also


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007 (CBSA-EST2007-01)" (CSV). 2007 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  3. ^ "Table 2. Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007 (CBSA-EST2007-02)" (CSV). 2007 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  4. ^ Niles' Weekly Register, BALTIMORE, June 26, 1824; LAFAYETTE
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Historical Weather for Lafayette, Louisiana, United States of America". 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "LPSS Career Academies". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  11. ^ "LPSS Sheriff's Career Academy". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Lafayette Schools of Choice". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  13. ^ "LUS Services". Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  14. ^ Foote, Kevin (May 15, 2009). "IceGators to skate again; join the discussion". Lafayette Daily Advertiser. 
  15. ^ "Nightlife - Downtown Lafayette Directory". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  16. ^ "LUSFiber". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Lafayette's six sister cities". Retrieved October 16, 2009. 

External links

Redirecting to Lafayette, Louisiana

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Lafayette [1] is a city in Louisiana. It's the unofficial capital of Cajun Country. This flourishing moderate sized city fortunately escaped the worst of the one-two punch of hurricanes Katrina and Rita which devastated much of south Louisiana on either side of the city in 2005.

The city is home to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Music and dancing is an integral part of community life. Several restaurants and dance halls thrive in the area and the city hosts several musical festivals throughout the year.

Get in

Interstate 10 runs through the northern part of Lafayette, linking the city with New Orleans (2.5 hours east) and Houston (4 hours west). Interstate 49 links Lafayette with Alexandria and Shreveport to the north, and Dallas by way of Interstate 20.

Lafayette Regional Airport [[2]] Handles flights from American, Delta, and Continental Airlines. Major cities connected to Lafayette include Dallas, Houston, Memphis, and Atlanta; providing connections with national and international flights.

Get around

While Lafayette does have a bus system that is accessible from most areas in town, driving by car is still the most popular way to get around the city. Most businesses have parking lots, and even in the Downtown area there is often plenty of parking on a normal day. The University of Louisiana is usually the only area where visitors encounter parking troubles, but while school is in session a shuttle bus links the center of campus with the massive parking lot at Cajun Field (near the Cajundome and Convention Center), providing a quick commute with frequent service. Bike lanes are becoming a growing trend on some major roads as well. A expanding taxi industry has grown-up around Lafayette recently.

  • Acadian Cultural Center, 501 Fisher Road, (337) 232-0789, [3]. 8AM-5PM daily. You can spend an hour or so here learning about the history of the Acadian (Cajun) people. Free, donations accepted.
  • Vermilionville 300 Fisher Road, (337)233-4077 [4] Tuesday-Sunday 10-4. $8 adults. A heritage and folklife park depicting the way of life on the Bayou. The park has costumed interpretors and traditional craft demos.
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette 104 E University Ave. [5] A large four-year university with a great campus and an alligator swamp next to the Student Union. There is University Art Museum on campus, and an International Film Series is screened every semester.
  • Festival International de Louisiane, Downtown Lafayette, [6]. Four day festival that brings musical acts and other performers from all over the world, with an emphasis on Francophone countries. The festival usually takes place the last weekend of April, and is usually a nice diversion from the expensive and often over-crowded New Orleans JazzFest the same time of year. The amazing food selection from local restaurants is moderately priced, and there are several shopping bazaars with everything from international vendors to local artists. Most importantly the festival is free, with a great deal of funding coming from donations made by Lafayette residents. Jefferson Street and most of Downtown Lafayette virtually shut-down to traffic from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening with around six stages of live music. FREE.  edit
  • Mall of Acadiana. Decent sized shopping mall at the corner of Ambassador Caffery Pkwy and Johnston St.  edit
  • Prejean's, 3480 N. I-49, 337-896-3247 ([7]), [8]. Su-Th. 7AM-9:30PM; F,Sa 7AM-10:30PM. Touristy but enjoyable Cajun food. $8-20.
  • Bisbano's Pizza 1540 Johnston St (337) 233-0420. Good pizza; free wi-fi.
  • Hub City Diner 1412 South College (337) 235-5683. Louisiana cooking in a diner atmosphere.
  • LaFonda Restaurant 3809 Johnston St (337)984-5630. Tex-Mex menu with great margaritas.
  • Randol's Restaurant 2320 Kaliste Saloom Road (337)981-7080, [9]. Popular Cajun family style restaurant with a dance floor and a bar. Live Cajun or Zydeco music every night.
  • Judice Inn 3134 Johnston St, (337)269-1653. Popular little joint for cheeseburgers and beer.
  • Olde Tyme Grocery 218 W St Mary (337)235-8165. Great po-boy sandwiches. The atmosphere is basically a few tables in an old grocery building. Lots of character!
  • Julien's Po-Boys1900 W. University Ave (337) 232-5168. Two other locations in Lafayette. Serves great po-boy sandwiches and spicy platters.
  • Downtown Lafayette Hosts live entertainment nightly with its verity of clubs and kind of resembles New Orleans French Quarter on a smaller scale.
  • The Strip, McKinley Street. A row of bars right next to The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. From The Keg to the McKinley Street Pub there is a bar for every college niche.  edit
  • The Greenroom, 229 Jefferson St. Lafayette, LA 70501, 337-233-4255, [10]. 4pm-2am. Great local bar in Downtown Lafayette with a easygoing vibe. Several local and imported beers on tap, with the widest bottled beer selection in town. Nightly drink specials, pool tables, shuffleboard, foosball, and plenty of good people.  edit

For you bar and club patrons, last call in Lafayette is a 2am Monday through Saturday, and at 12am on Sunday nights.

Most visitors to Lafayette are often surprised by another feature of the local drinking scene: drive-thru daiquiri stores. Open-container laws are seemingly disregarded as customers can purchase potent frozen drinks without leaving their car, and then simply drive-off. Exercise caution, though, as cops still consider these drinks to be open alcohol containers, as evident by the styrofoam-cupped drinks are ofter handed to customers with a piece of tape over the lid opening.

  • Hampton Inn Lafayette, 3941 State Road 26 East, 1-765-447-1600 (Fax: 1-765-449-9963), [11]. $100 (for an extra $20 get the jacuzzi suite).
  • Lafayette Microtel Inn & Suites, 301 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy, 1-337-235-9010, [12].
  • Ramada Lafayette, 120 E. Kaliste Saloom Rd., +1 337-235-0858, [13].
  • Blue Moon Guesthouse, 215 East Convent Street, 1-877-766-BLUE, [14]. A clean, safe, and very hospitible hostel located in downtown Lafeyette.  edit
Routes through Lafayette
Lake Charles  W noframe E  Baton Rouge
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