Known as the heart of Cajun country, Lafayette's French, Spanish and Caribbean heritage creates one of the most unique cultural experiences in Louisiana. Whether jumping in on one of the Friday afternoon fais-do-dos (street dances), kicking back to the sounds of a live Zydeco band or dining on authentic Cajun or Creole cuisine, it's easy to see why Lafayette is the hub of entertainment in the eight-parish Acadiana. But this city works just as hard as it plays: New Lafayette event venues include a state-of-the-art convention center. Coupled with a central location between Houston and New Orleans, Lafayette provides the perfect opportunity to balance business with pleasure in the South.
Lafayette is served by Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT). Carriers flying into and out of LFT are Delta, American Eagle and Continental. There is also easy access to the city by way of I-10 and I-49.
Convention facilities in Lafayette include the new $16.7-million Cajundome Convention Center. Its impressive statistics include nearly 100,000 square feet of space, over 37,300 square feet of exhibition space and a 5,000-square-foot mall area that's ideal for sports shows. Award-winning on-site caterer Artisan Catering can also craft authentic Cajun cuisine, including crawfish bisque, seafood gumbo and stuffed catfish roulade, for seated dinners of over 2,000 people.
In addition to its convenient location near two interstates, the convention center is also located adjacent the Cajundome arena. Home to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, the Cajundome can seat 4,500 to 13,000 people. It hosts an average of 140 events per year, including concerts by top stars such as Tim McGraw, Elton John and Justin Bieber.
Special event spaces in Lafayette include Vermilionville, a historic village showcasing Cajun, Creole and Native American cultures, which has a conference room for up to 30 people and a 2,760-square-foot performance center modeled after a cotton gin. The Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium has a capacity for 2,000 people and impressive amenities, including built-in sound systems, projection screens, 16 networked laptops and Internet access, making it perfect for presentations and seminars. Additionally, many of Lafayette's more than 100 hotels provide function space as well as comfortable accommodations.
Lafayette's world-renowned cuisine could be a reason all on its own to plan a Lafayette meeting. Traditional Cajun and Creole cooking and oysters and crawfish fresh from the bayou are served at both fine dining and casual restaurants across the city. Prejean's, Louisiana Crawfish Time and Lagneaux's can cater groups large and small with the best Lafayette has to offer. Poupart Bakery is also the catering spot to try for traditional desserts, including croc en bouche and king cake. For international cuisine, try Trynd's Italian restaurant or La Fonda Tex-Mex restaurant, which has a party room for 75 people.