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Introducing Lafayette

Lafayette has been blighted by sprawl and its accompanying traffic, but if you stick to the historic downtown, this friendly city opens up like an oyster. History blends with live local music and world-class cooking, and small-town Acadiana is 15 minutes away in any direction (just not at rush hour).

From I-10, exit 103A, the Evangeline Thruway (Hwy 167) goes to the center of town via the visitor center (337-232-3737, 800-346-1958; www.lafayettetravel.com; 1400 NW Evangeline Thruway; 8:30am-5pm Mon-Fri, from 9am Sat & Sun). Find wi-fi internet access at the Mello Joy Cafe Downtown (337-232-0006; 625 Jefferson St; 7am-7pm Mon-Sat, 8:30am-1:30pm Sun).