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City Guide
How about entertainment? I’m not going to be sitting around all day doing nothing but eating crab gumbo and listening to fiddle music, am I?

Lafayette is a hotspot for live music, festivals, and art exhibitions, which tend to go on year-round as the weather rarely dips below 45 degrees. The downtown area, which is similar in ambiance to New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, is dotted with pubs, clubs, and live music venues, while the McKinley Street Strip offers a watering hole for every taste. For those who need a drink but have places to go and people to see, drive-thru daiquiri stores allow commuters to pull up to a window and order rum-laced libations from the comfort of their own cars (Word to the wise: Open containers are illegal in Lafayette, so don’t remove the piece of tape that covers the lid until you reach your destination).

If you prefer your fun under the sun, Lafayette offers a ton of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking trails to a variety of gardens, parks, guided bayou boat rides, and golf courses. Lafayette is well known for its alligator population, so please, don’t slurp down a few too many drive-thru daiquiris and dare yourself to go wrestle a gator in Cypress Lake. You will lose.

Can I take public transportation?

Most people prefer old-fashioned gas-guzzlers for transportation here, but the city bus is a reasonable option and makes frequent stops around town. Traffic is rarely backed up and even in the downtown area, plenty of parking can be found.

Any advice for future renters?

Nope. None at all.

Seriously? You’ve got nothing for us?

Fine. As the old saying goes, “Ask once and we’ll tell you no. Ask twice and you shall receive” (Psych. Made that up.)

The first thing you should know about leasing in Lafayette is that, fortunately, the average rental price is lingering around $700, and even 2BR units are available for under a grand. In other parts of town, including popular residential areas like River Ranch, Broadmoor, and downtown, it’s unlikely you’ll ever come across a waiting list.

Also, be prepared to fork over the necessary documents along with your leasing application, including names and numbers of previous landlords, references, banking info, and proof of employment. Some Lafayette landlords cover certain utilities while others don’t so be sure to factor these costs into your budget.

Finally, apartment rates in Lafayette aren’t always set in stone, so read your contract carefully and bring those infamously shrewd negotiating skills of yours to the table-many property managers are willing to bargain.

Any particular part of town you’d recommend?

Where you decide to live in Lafayette depends on your personal tastes. Downtown Lafayette and the areas immediately around it offer a mixture of historic, renovated, and brand spanking new apartments, lofts, and condos while landing leasers in close proximity to the Mall of Acadia, numerous nighttime hotspots, and a variety of shops, eateries, and small businesses. The areas surrounding the Strip offer some of Lafayette’s most budget friendly apartments (often less than $600). River Ranch is the city’s most modern ‘hood and is a popular locale.

Plenty of other neighborhoods have their own perks, quirks, and drawbacks, so be sure to visit a prospective area in person (on multiple occasions) before committing to anything.

One last question: Why do people keep asking me what “parish” I’m from?

One last answer: Louisianans use the word “parish” in place of “county.” So those who are asking you this question are actually inquiring if you come from Lafayette, Vermilion, Iberia, Acadia, Evangeline, Saint Landry, Saint Mary, or Saint Martin.

And now, wise guys and gals, you’re all set. So best of luck on your hunt, welcome to Lafayette, and remember to leave the alligator wrestling to the professionals!