Located in Lafayette Parish, Lafayette, Louisiana is an excellent moving destination for families and singles. It has a population of over a quarter of a million inhabitants. It is situated on the West Gulf Coastal Plain on the Gulf of Mexico with the Vermillion River running through its center. Lafayette has a sub-tropical climate, being hot and humid during the summer months and cool to mild in the winter. Transportation links are good and the city is served by the Lafayette Regional Airport.
The first inhabitants of the area were the Attakapas Indians and some of their burial mounds are still visible along the riverside. The city of Lafayette was originally founded by Jean Moutin in 1821 under the name of Vermilionville but, in 1884, was renamed Lafayette in honor of the French Marquis of Lafayette who had greatly helped the American army during the American Revolutionary War. Up until 1765 the area was populated mainly by Indian tribes, but thereafter Arcadians started arriving and the ruling French and Spanish governors of the time gave them land to settle in the vicinity of Lafayette. Numerous wars were fought in the area, among them Battle or Irish Bend, the Battle of Fort Bisland and the Battle of Vermillion Bayou, which was fought in 1863 between forces led by Union Major General Nathaniel Prentice Banks and Confederate Major General Richard Taylor.
The economy of Lafayette is based on the petroleum and natural gas deposits indigent to the area and the petro-chemical industry. The shipping industry, agriculture and tourism contribute greatly to the economy. The city also has a large information technology sector and a manufacturing base.
Lafayette is the home of Cajun and Creole cuisine. Many eateries, from fine restaurants to casual snacks are on offer for the visitor to experience these two native to the area cultures. The city has numerous sites of interest dedicated to the Cajun culture, including an arts center and a reconstructed Cajun bayou village. Also of interest are museums, a cultural center and a performing arts venue. There is a very lively night life in Lafayette, with bars and clubs, live music and dance venues. The Mall of Acadiana is a shopper's paradise with many stores selling well known American brand name products together with a host of specialty shops; and look for original French antiques at the Jefferson Street Market. Lafayette is a sports-minded community, with the Cajundrome used for both basketball and as a convention center, tennis courts and a football arena. Visit the zoo, the planetarium and the National Wetlands Research Center.