Rich culture, unique businesses, fine art, delicious food and always something fun to do!
We welcome all to come explore the beauty of Downtown Lafayette.
We started the morning off at Rêve Coffee Lab, where we heard from owner and coffee mastermind, Nathanael Johnson. Inspired by the customs and spirit of his rich Cajun background, Rêve roasts every bean they brew in their micro-roastery right here in Downtown Lafayette. Supplying coffee shops and businesses across the South, they have made it a mission to work directly with farmers to ensure the highest quality cup of coffee for every customer.
Next, we stopped by Parish Ink to pick up souvenirs. With the simple goal of creating a line of apparel, accessories, and art that is focused on south Louisiana roots, their designs express cultural nuances that locals and visitors love, making this a stop you can’t pass up.
We made our way to Acadiana Center for the Arts where we toured exhibitions by AcA’s executive director, Sam Oliver, and visual arts director, Jaik Faulk. Downtown Lafayette has long served as the city’s cultural and artistic center, and with more than a dozen murals and public art pieces, our local culture enchants visitors and residents on a daily basis. This is strongly influenced by the AcA’s support of public art, festivals, exhibits, and performances across south Louisiana.
Located in the heart of downtown, we crossed the street and headed over to Vestal for our next stop. Named after the Roman goddess Vesta, often associated with fire in mythology, chef/owner Ryan Trahan chose the name to showcase one of the many unique elements in the restaurant. Centered around a 14-foot fireplace, Trahan wanted all of his guests to feel the warmth and comfort while dining at Vestal. Open flames, local seafood, and incredible cocktails make this the perfect destination for a night out.
We turned down Vermilion Street to take pictures at the Y-Lafayette letters in Parc Sans Souci and then crossed the street to showcase one of downtown’s more unique shopping experiences, Wild Child Wines. The shop functions as a friendly neighborhood wine shop and tiny bar—but with a twist. With a wine collection curated from all of their international travels, unique home decor, and a wall of tinned fish and other specialty foods, owners Denny and Katie Culbert explained how Wild Child Wines is much more than your typical wine shop. The shop also hosts events and parties and is a great way to spend an afternoon or early evening with friends.
Before heading to lunch, we popped into SOLA Violins to hear from owner and Grammy-nominated musician Anya Burgess and her husband Richard. Anya is formally trained in violinmaking, and the small shop at the corner of Jefferson and Vermilion streets focuses mostly on repairs and building instruments—one of the few shops of its kind across several southern states—and draws customers who live hours away to Downtown Lafayette.
Finally, we wrapped up our downtown walking tour at Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant. What was once an old filling station has now turned into a modern diner of sorts and features the strikingly beautiful bird that can be seen flying overhead throughout Acadiana. The vibe is what they like to call “unfancy” where first-time guests and regulars can feel comfortable while experiencing excellent service. It was the perfect ending to a great day of networking and connecting with travelers from across the world!