Lafayette is located along Interstate 10, between New Orleans and Houston, TX. It is 35 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and 15 miles west of the Atchafalaya Basin.
Lafayette is in Lafayette Parish, which is located in the hub of the eight-parish area in the heart of Acadiana. Acadiana includes the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion.
A majority of the 600,000 residents of Lafayette Parish are called Acadians or “Cajuns.” The name comes from the Acadian settlers who were forced to leave Canada in 1755 and find a new home.
The Cajuns are famous for their style of cooking, which includes spicy dishes like gumbo, crawfish etouffée and jambalaya.
Lafayette’s downtown area, along Jefferson Street, began an ongoing revitalization in the 1990s and is once again the cultural center of the city. Restaurants, galleries, shops, museums, bars and weekly live music events can be found downtown.
Today, about 45 percent of the people in Acadiana still speak French as a second language, although the “Cajun French” dialect has words unique to the area, like “cher,” “canaille,” “boucherie” and “ca c’est bon.”
Though the area is predominantly Catholic, every major religion is represented in Lafayette, including Protestant, Jewish and Muslim religions.
Lafayette got its name in 1884 to commemorate the Marquis de La Fayette who fought in the American Revolution. It was originally named Vermilionville by early settler Jean Mouton. The 250th anniversary of the birth of the Marquis was celebrated throughout Lafayette during 2007.
Lafayette Parish is one of the smallest parishes in the state with an area of 178,560 acres or 279 square miles. It is bound on the north by St. Landry Parish, on the east by St. Martin and Iberia Parishes, on the south by Vermilion Parish and on the west by Acadia Parish.
Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) is working to make Lafayette one of the most connected cities in the nation. LUS Fiber, a division of LUS, recently built a progressive Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network to offer TV, Internet and phone services to homes and businesses in the city over the world’s leading technology. The network’s expanded bandwidth plays a key role in Lafayette’s economic development and has garnered regional, state and national interest. LUS Fiber is the first Louisiana municipal broadband system to offer communication services over a 100 percent fiber optic network.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second-largest, four-year public university in the state.
Government Contact Information
Director of Parks and Recreation
Director of Planning, Zoning and Codes
Director of Public Works
Traffic and Transportation
Downtown Development Authority
Lafayette Economic Development Authority
Lafayette Consolidated Government Information
Lafayette Parish Tax Collector
City of Lafayette Tax Collector
Lafayette Parish Assessor