Acadiana is probably my favorite part of our great country. As someone who moved here for college and then away after graduation, I can't deny the mark this area has made on me and my life. My family and I moved back about 4 months ago and we couldn't be happier living back here. When I tried to list all the things that I love about Acadiana, I ended up making somewhat of a "how-to" list of how to be a Cajun.


#1 Make that list of "go to" places to give weekend visitors the most Cajun experience they've ever had. (Even if it does not represent what your daily life is here in Acadiana!)

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No, we don't all encounter alligators on our daily commute, but some of your friends think walking through a swamp is just part of everyday life. My tip is to find the places like Pat's in Henderson, Acadian Village and Vermillionville to give them a double dose of Cajun culture. **Don't forget to tell them about the bustling campus of UL Lafayette and the technological advances in the medical and petroleum industries that have happened right here.


#2 The only WARNING on this list: You can buy almost any make/model car (domestic or import) in Lafayette, but you must drive an hour to get to the nearest Apple Store. It's just a sad fact. Moving On.

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There is simply no excuse for this. I know a lot of qualified geniuses here in Acadiana. I'm sure there is some retail space available. I mean there are several perfectly good fields around the Mall of Acadiana that would probably work.


#3 Make a DECISION: Pick which boudin is "YOUR" boudin.

Everyone has their favorite. Don's or Best Stop? Billy's or Ray's? These one word questions only make sense if you've ever tried out the most cajun breakfast offering this area has to offer. BOUDIN! That meaty, ricey, spicy goodness all wrapped up in a nice little casing. Decide which one is your favorite and criticize every. other. one. It's just a rule.


#4 Love LIVE Music.

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Music is everywhere you look in Acadiana. All year long there are things going on from festivals to concerts and other performances. Open your ears. Where else can you hear blues legend Buddy Guy and catch up with one of your favorite local bands on the same night at two different venues. Every night is Saturday night when it comes to music in Acadiana. If you're ready to listen, someone is willing to play for you.


#5 The Horse Farm is "SAVED" at long last. Now take advantage of this gem we have right in the middle of our city.

Fresh fruit, outdoor concerts, open park space and other live events. These are all great things in themselves, but what if you could do it all in once place. YOU CAN right in the heart of Lafayette! In the video above, you see the plans for The Park at the Horse Farm. The long dream of many in Lafayette, the renewed interest in creating a central park started with "Save The Horse Farm" bumper stickers on many cars in Acadiana.


#6 Head North Instead Of East For Mardi Gras

While all your friends book $400/night hotels to experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans, why not mix it up and experience Church Point or Mamou traditional Mardi Gras. The costumes may be crazy, but you can take a dive in a ditch to catch the chicken. Much better than a dive in a gutter to catch a hand grenade. (I'm from New Orleans, but this is a party like I have never seen.)


#7 You're free to leave, but you'll want to come back.

I said earlier in this post the I came to Acadiana for college, left for several years and now we're back living in Lafayette. The part that I missed the most was family feeling you get everywhere you go. Motel 6 may say "we'll leave the light on for you", but in Acadiana, we'll leave a warm pot of gumbo on the stove. #thatroux

Rob Kirkpatrick