The beating heart of the city, Downtown is historically where Lafayette took shape and expanded from. Today, it not only retains its character in the form of numerous historic buildings, but also offers some of the best dining and shopping options in the city. Downtown Alive!, an annual celebration dedicated to community and culture is not to be missed.
Built in 1821, Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist is renowned to host the mortal remains of Saint John and is one of the oldest religious institutions in Lafayette. Displaying Dutch Romanesque Revival style, the highlight features of this towering structure are the beautiful stained glass and the oil paintings of the Christ. Declared as a national historic landmark in 1979, it is the spiritual abode of the locals and is also a major tourist attraction of the city. Apart from conducting masses and religious ceremonies, the church also conducts baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum is known for its huge and varied collection of fine art pieces and many other historical relics. All these exhibits and artifacts are significant to the culture and history of Louisiana and they are on display here, in this 9000 square feet (836 square metres) of space. The collection includes many historical paintings, photographs and drawings from 18th to 21st century.
The house of Alexandre Mouton, a premier statesman from the city, is also called Lafayette Museum. The museum has artwork, costumes and other artifacts on display that depict the lifestyle of this famed politician and the life of the locals of the city. A must-visit for all.
Acadiana Center for the Arts is not just a regular art center but is a modern structure that aims to widen the creative avenues. All the efforts and endeavors of this center are directed in achieving this goal. The Acadiana Center for the Arts or ACA works with artists, performers and local community too; it aims to sync entertainment with culture. That's not it, ACA also runs several educational programs for educators, parents and children. It involves kids in creative activities and workshops right from a young age, thereby, introducing them to an entirely different world. Dedicated volunteers, talented artists, excellent gallery, theater equipped with requisite facilities and first class amenities is what Acadiana Center for the Arts all about.
The Children's Museum of Acadiana focuses in showing the kids how the daily life functions in a very simple, uncomplicated manner. It exhibits everyday things like a grocery store, dentist, cafes and restaurants, various professions and other such things. With their beautifully designed hands-on exhibit rooms, the museum is sure to spark intrigue in young minds. The museum offers field trips for various age groups as well.
Urns of Justice is a splendid sculpture located at the facade of John. M Shaw Courthouse on Lafayette Street. Designed by Diana Moore, this brilliant artwork was installed in 1999. A very different depiction of Justice from what we usually see, this concrete structure features two urn-like busts without lids and blindfolded faces carved on them. As such it perfectly complements the modern courthouse and symbolizes the human psyche.
A museum, a planetarium and a gallery, the Lafayette Science Museum is the culture-bearer of Lafayette. There thousands of exhibits giving a history of not just the region but also general knowledge about evolution. The planetarium programs keep changing with latest shows. A must visit when in the region.
The Ballroom is a charming hall that entices visitors with its tastefully decorated interiors. Suitable for weddings, receptions, galas and other private functions, the venue can accommodate both small and large scale events. What's more, The Ballroom offers such services as a fully equipped kitchen, bar and other facilities to make your events a complete success. A get-together attended at The Ballroom always goes home as a cherished memory. Call ahead to know more.