In Lafayette, LA, free activities include learning about the Cajun culture at the Cultural Center, playing disc golf and other sports, enjoying the parks, shopping for local foods. Free Wi-Fi, too.
Lafayette Visitor's Center
The Lafayette Visitor's Center is an excellent first stop when you reach Lafayette. It is a great place to learn about the area. The folks working there are a treasure trove of information. You can pick up free maps, local papers, brochures for area business, etc. They usually have restaurant coupons. There's a bridge walkway over the swamp where you can watch turtles, ducks, and other pondlife. Wi-Fi is free and accessible in the parking lot. The parking lot is big enough to accommodate recreational vehicles of all sizes. Lafayette Visitor's Center is part of the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission. The location is 1400 NW Evangeline Trwy, Lafayette, LA.
Phone: 337-232-3737. Website: www.lafayettetravel.com.
The Visitor Center in Lafayette
Acadian Park offers free fun for RVers of every age. One of the more popular activities is disc golf, a game played with Frisbees on a special course through the woods. The park has an open play area, with a children's play ground and baby equipment. There are lighted tennis courts, soccer fields, basketball courts, and a backstop ball diamond. There are covered and open picnic areas with grills and fire pits. The park has restrooms and showers. Acadiana Park's 117 acres also include a jogging trail, bike/mountain bike trails, nature trail, nature station, and historical or commemorative markers.
There is a fee for overnight RV and tent camping, and possibly for some f the special event activities. However, use of the disc golf course, the trails, playgrounds, and ball courts are free. Acadiana Park is just one of many city parks and recreation areas in Lafayette. You can find more about the park and our there at the campground by clicking here. The website for Lafayette city parks is http://www.lafayettela.gov/ParksandRecreation/dpt600parkslist.asp. Acadiana Park, 1005 E. Alexander St., Lafayette, Louisiana, 70501.
Acadian Cultural Center
The Acadian Cultural Center is one of those places we return to each time we are in Lafayette. There's a movie showing where Cajuns came from and how they ended up in southern Louisiana. Music, food, the oil industry, the history of Cajuns -- those are some of the things that make up the culture of the area and they are some of the focal points of center displays. The audio video of the Cajun telling stories is always worth a few chuckles. The rangers are great about answering questions. Admission is free. If you'd like to spend some money there, the gift shop has crafts, books, and souvenirs with local flavor. Acadian Culture Center, 501 Fisher Rd, Lafayette, LA - 318-232-0789. Website: http://www.nps.gov/jela/new-acadian-cultural-center.htm.
Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market
The Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market is fairly large swap meet with over 500 booths, inside and out. The merchandise is a mix of new and used, antique and garage sale. We found everything there from cheap Chinese import stuff to made-in-Louisiana cast iron pans. Collectibles, clothing, furniture, doo-dads, produce, RV supplies, and assorted what-nots filled stall after stall. Several snack bars offer a good selection, including gumbo and jambalaya for those wanting Cajun food. The market is open Saturday and Sunday, yearn round, rain or shine. There is free parking and free admission. The Jockey Lot Flea Market, 3011 NW Evangeline Thrwy, Lafayette, LA 70507. Website: www.lafayettejockeylot.com.
Lafayette Hub City’s Farmers Market and The Oil Center's Open Air Antique & Arts Market
The Lafayette Hub City’s Farmers Market offers a Saturday morning outing for local produce and other foods. You'll find vendors selling organically grown vegetables and fruit, and such things as eggs, fish, breads, granola, salsas, roasted coffees, and flowers. The day we were there, we bought homemade tamales that were very, very good. The Oil Center's Open Air Antique & Arts Market is held at the same location, but only on the second Saturday of the month. Metal art, wood works, pottery, and textile pieces filled some booths. Other vendors were selling beadwork, paintings, collectibles, and crafts. I'm not sure if the vendor with homemade soap was part of the farmer's market or the antique and arts market. The market is open Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 noon. It is located in the Oil Center, at the LGMC Medical Plaza, across from Champagne’s Market. Admission to both markets is free, as is parking. The address for the Lafayette Hub City’s Farmers Market and The Oil Center's Open Air Antique & Arts Market is 427 Heymann Blvd, Lafayette, LA
The following website link isn't directly to the Hub City's Farmers Market, but rather to the EarthShare Gardens website. EarthShare Gardens' website also lists other farmer's markets in the areas, along with information on locally grown foods. http://earthsharegardens.org/?page_id=69
If you know of other free or very low cost things to do in this area of Louisiana (or elsewhere) that you'd like to share with your fellow RVers, just email the info to me.
Baldcypress - The Trees with Knees
Go to the page that links you to free things to do in other communities.
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Go to the RV Life and Travel blog from this page about free entertainment and activities in Lafayette.