Lafayette Louisiana USA, the road trip continues

Lafayette Louisiana USA

Breakfast at the Waffle House, road trip food

Road Trip – Destination Lafayette Louisiana.

This is a road-trip with my good friend and brother Stuart Spence from New Zealand AKA big Stu.  We hit the road early, he left Nashville and I left Kemah. We met at the airport and headed to Lafayette.  This is all fun and we are on our own paths of finding our place in the world.  We’ve had big changes in our lives recently and like a lot of people in their mid forties we are trying to find where we belong.  First stop on the road trip, the Waffle House for breakfast.

Lafayette Louisiana USA

St John’s Cathedral

Lafayette Louisiana USA

On the road again

Located  hours drive from Houston Tx and 2 hours from New Orleans, Lafayette is located along the Vermillion River in southwestern Louisiana.  Lafayette Louisiana is often overlooked by tourists in favour of the famous and wild New Orleans. Forget amateur tourists Lafayette Louisiana is for bonafied travelers who understand history, diversity, culture, class and the Cajun hospitality you wont find in New Orleans.  The city of Lafayette is the fourth-largest in the state of Louisiana, with a population of roughly 125,000.

This European-American city was founded as Vermilionville in 1821 by Jean Mouton, a French-speaking man of Acadian descent. In 1884, it was renamed for General Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, the French military hero who fought with and significantly aided the American Army during the American Revolutionary War.

Lafayette Louisiana USA

Downtown Lafayette

Lafayette is considered the center of Acadia, the area of Cajun culture in Louisiana and the United States. It developed after Acadians were relocated here following their expulsion by the British from eastern Canada in the late 18th century following the defeat of France in the 7 years War. There is also a strong Louisiana Creole influence in the area. The Creole and Cajun cuisines are among the most famous regional cuisines of the United States.

What to do in Lafayette Louisiana

Lafayette Louisiana is awash with restaurants and things to do whether its golfing, fishing, boating. nightlife, festivals including their annual jazz festival which is way better than the famous one in New Orleans.

Where to stay in Lafayette

My advice is to stay downtown.  We stayed in the Juliet hotel a mid ranged hotel located Lafayette Louisiana USAwalking distance to everything.  I can honestly say it was the best nights sleep I’ve ever had, however there is a Conoco Mexican restaurant across the streets that I would avoid at all costs.  I had no sooner digested my food when I threw it up in the bathroom minutes later. Boat trips on the swamps and hunting trips can be arranged easily.  The nightlife is fantastic and if you plan accordingly you can take in the jazz festival.

I found Cajuns to be very proud of their culture and their city, they are the sharpest wittiest people I’ve met anywhere in the US and I can honestly say hand on heart Lafayette Louisiana would be a great city to live in.  I really hope I can return soon.

Best places to go out in Lafayette Louisiana as recommended by locals.

All of the following are locally owned or Louisiana owned places.

Best Bars and Restaurants in Lafayette

My favorite bar to go to is The Bulldog Pool Hall and Sports Bar. During the day until happy hour is over, they play good classic rock and 80’s music. They have a beer club. If you fill up the beer card (150 imports) you get you name on a plaque and free draft beer on Sundays. My friend has his name on there 3 times. Also, if you are a current or former UL and Old Boy Rugger, you get the free beer on Sundays, too. The ULL rugby team hosts their home game parties there, too. It’s also smoker friendly.

Favorite place to eat in Lafayette

My favorite place in Lafayette is Johnson’s Boucaniere. The original Johnson’s is from Eunice. Twin brothers, Wallace and (I forget his name) Johnson opened the original in the 40’s after WW2. It has since closed. Mr. Wallace’s daughter, Lori, owns and operates the new one. It’s just as good. Daily menu and many smoked meats.

Best Margarita in Lafayette

Hands down, the best Margaritas in town are found at LaFonda’s. They are very sneaky Margs and sold by the Liter Caraff. The food is decent Mexican, but nobody goes for the food. Some really good items on the menu, however, are The Fried Rabbit, Crab Salad Stuffed Avocado and the ever popular amuse of home made corn tortilla chips with salsa and black bean dip.

Best Tapas in Lafayette

Pamplona is Lafayette’s only Tapas bar. New Orleans style cocktail bar with a killer Sazarac. They have Duck Fat Fries, Roast Suckling Pig and many other good stuff.

Cajun home cooking Lafayette 

Dwyer’s Cafe is in Downtown Laffy. Plate Lunches are a tradition here and Dwyer’s make my favorite. There is no way to finish one of their plates. Menu changes daily. Good traditional Cajun home cooking.

Best Draft Beer Lafayette Louisiana

The Tap Room has Lafayette’s best draft beer selection. On Fridays during lent, it is packed with people waiting to get some boiled crawfish and $.25 oysters on the half shell. Great hamburgers and poboys.

Best Cheap Strong Drinks smoking allowed, Lafayette

Bob’s Pub is another hole in the wall place I love to go. Cheap and strong drinks, ice cold beer, a juke box and live music 5 nights a week. Usually blues. Not much Irish about it even though it’s their logo. but it’s a great place to go for a few beers with the guys. Dark, smoker friendly and the music volume, even with the live acts, is never overpowering. Absolutely most important – Great Bartenders!

Lafayette Louisiana USA

Stuart Spence, AKA Big Stu, died the same year. Miss you x

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Hey darlin, if you are looking for a reason to make it to Laffy, I would recommend mid-October. You get Festival Acadeinne (Cajun and Zydeco music plus goo glutenous food) and the Boudin Fest is the week before and the Smoked Meat Fest in Ville Platte is the week after. Three hits in one trip.

That just came in from a crazy Cajun friend.  What a great idea.  So to my new friend Chris Cashen and my old friend Stu Spence and all those crazy guys he introduced me to.  Thank you for making this the best road trip I have ever been on.  Tomorrow we head back to Houston and have thousands of miles of highways to cover on our USA trips, then Australia, New Zealand, Europe and who knows were we might end up on this adventure called life.  I guess when you travel you meet people just like yourself.  People  who love adventure and the open road and the ability to meet new people from all over the world.  From the bottom of my heart this Irish girl thanks you all.  I don’t call anywhere home but if your ever in the same place I am, please call.

Till we meet again, all the best Sandra & Stu. Cheers.

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About Sandra

Just a girl from Ireland who wants to live everywhere. Not a planner, a winger when it comes to travel. I don't even like people who plan too much. Without spontaneity there is no depth. A jack of all trades. A great friend, loyal and passionate and I expect the same in return. Always ready for the next adventure at a moments notice.
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