Located in south-central Louisiana, Lafayette is known as being the “Heart of Cajun Country,” and the largest city of Acadiana. The first settlers in the area were the Acadians who were forced from Nova Scotia, Canada in 1755. The Acadians would then reach the area that would become Lafayette in 1763 on the banks of the Vermilion River, at the western fringe of the Atchafalaya Swamp Basin.
Due to the relatively harsh and isolated environment, settlement of the area was relatively slow. It was not until 1836 that the town of Vermilionville was officially incorporated, and by 1884 the city officially would change its name to Lafayette.
The Acadian legacy still plays a major role in the city to this day. Many of the city’s residents still speak French fluently, and Acadian culture is still alive and well in the city. From Cajun food and zydeco music to the Rajin’ Cajuns of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette is truly one of America’s most unique and special cities.