Quality of Life
The National Bureau of Economic Research named Lafayette, LA the happiest city in the U.S.; and that’s no surprise! Lafayette is a city well-acquainted with happiness; as we celebrate with a joie de vie in both work and play. Relocate America named Lafayette one of the Top 100 Places to Live for two years in a row and Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranked Lafayette as the ninth most affordable county to live in the country. From Festival International de Louisiane— the largest free, outdoor Francophone event in the U.S.— to Bach Lunch, Downtown Alive!, ArtWalk and Rhythms on the River, free community events are offered year-round to satisfy our city’s culture lovers. Rand McNally and USA Today named Lafayette the Best City for Food in the U.S. and Southern Living crowned Lafayette the Tastiest City in the South. With all the food, music, entertainment and art you can imagine, you’ll quickly find yourself immersed in Cajun and Creole culture. You’ll be ready to laissez les bons temps rouler in no time!
Whether you enjoy fast-paced urban living or a quieter country setting, Lafayette is a great place to live. There are approximately 125 apartment complexes in Lafayette Parish made up of studio, 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units in all price ranges. Traditional planned neighborhood developments like River Ranch, Sugarmill Pond, and Couret Farms are examples of communities with built-in amenities to service residents. Developments can be found along Vermilion River, near the university, and all of the area municipalities providing a suitable location for any size/type family.
Lafayette is the medical hub of the region because of superior healthcare facilities with a pool of talented professionals and staff, as well as local innovation and research. Lafayette’s size and accessibility have helped the healthcare industry flourish in Lafayette, and the industry has embraced the community’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Culture: The unique cultural experience one finds in Lafayette and the surrounding area (that we call “Acadiana”) is unmatched by any other community. Our long-standing commitment to our rich heritage has created many linkages to the past that can be enjoyed by visitors and residents alike.
Food: When someone says the words "Cajun" or "Creole" it is often associated with food. From our famous original dishes, including gumbo, jambalaya, po-boys, and etouffee, to our abundance of fresh seafood, the local culture is synonymous with food. Lafayette is also home to cuisines from all over the world including Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, French, Caribbean, Cuban, and many more. Nationally-recognizable chains are present and locally-owned restaurants, featuring award-winning chefs and dishes, serve their faire to hungry residents and visitors every night of the week. Because of favorable growing conditions, there are also plenty of farms providing fresh ingredients to the people of Lafayette.
Music: Like our culture and food, Lafayette-born music is known around the world. Live music opportunities abound in Lafayette – where music is more than just an artistic expression, it’s part of our history and a major part of our economy. Music of all kinds can be found any night of the week in clubs and venues, in concert halls, and in restaurants of all types.
Sports: If you are the outdoors type, this area is truly a Sportsman's Paradise; you will find easy access to golfing, fishing, hunting, water-skiing, boating, off-road motorcycling and camping throughout the parish and beyond. Lafayette is home to the largest private health club in the nation, Red Lerille’s , and offers a multitude of alternative exercise opportunities including yoga, martial arts, cheer, gymnastics, dance, pole, endurance, bootcamp and others. Lafayette is home to a wide range of spectator sports, including UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajun Athletics.
Recreation: Lafayette is home to 36 parks and 10 recreation centers which offer tennis courts, soccer fields, disk golf, hiking & biking trails, swimming pools, active sports leagues for all ages. In addition, Lafayette has two private and four public golf courses.
Leisure: With museums and dozens of art galleries, two bowling alleys, a roller-skating facility, indoor ice rink, the Zoo of Acadiana, and movie theaters, there is plenty to do during your downtime in Lafayette.
Retail and Shopping
Listed as one of the top ten “Coolest Cities in the South” by Southern Business and Development, Lafayette serves as a safe and convenient market for shopping and retail activities. With the intimacy of a small town and the sophistication of a big city, retailers— both national and local— have invested in this community offering a variety of products and services to area residents.