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Lafayette Louisiana

history geography local culture and transport services

History the Attakapas Native Americans inhabited this area when French colonists founded the first European settlement, Petit Manchac, a trading post. In the late eighteenth century, numerous Acadian refugees settled here after being expelled from Canada; intermarriage led to the Cajun culture which fostered the French language and the Catholic religion. Vermilionville was renamed in 1884 for General Lafayette, the French aristocrat who aided the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. The city and parish economy continued to be based on agriculture into the early 20th century. In the 1940s, after oil was discovered in the parish, oil and natural gas became dominant.

downtown lafayette, louisianaLafayette lies along the Vermilion River in southwestern Louisiana and is nicknamed The Hub City

Geography Lafayette is located on the Western rim of the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest wetland and swamp in the United States where, during the Quaternary Period, the Mississippi River cut a 325-foot-deep (99 m) valley between what is now Lafayette and Baton Rouge. The southwestern Louisiana Prairie Terrace does not suffer significant flooding, outside of local flash flooding.

hilliard art museumLocal Cultural Organizations include the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory of Music, Chorale Acadienne, Lafayette Ballet Theatre and Dance Conservatory, The Lafayette Concert Band, and Performing Arts Society of Acadiana; as well as the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum and the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

Lafayette is the Center of Acadiana Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole Culture

Transport Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) is located on the southeast side of the city with daily scheduled passenger airline services to Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, and Atlanta. Charter services depart Lafayette Regional as well as helicopter services and cargo jets.

cajun domeAmtrak’s Sunset Limited offers service three days a week from New Orleans and Los Angeles with selected stops in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Intercity passenger bus service is via Greyhound that operates a Station Downtown and Lafayette Transit System provides bus service within Lafayette City Limits.

The Lafayette MPO Bicycle Subcommittee has developed long-term goals for bicycling and Bike Lafayette, the local bicycle advocacy organization, actively promotes bicycle awareness, safety, and education in Acadiana. TRAIL promotes bicycling, canoeing, and pedestrian activities.

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