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Cajun Gumbo and Swamp Tours in Lafayette, Louisiana with Toby Dore

Best things to do in Lafayette Louisiana Toby Dore atchafalaya basin landing

Swamp tour at the Atchafalaya Basin Landing

I’m really excited to interview Toby Dore of The Cajun Traveler about Lafayette, Louisiana. Toby’s tips for the best things to do in Lafayette are awesome because he was born and raised only 25 miles away. Toby came to Lafayette for a job as a professor and loves the food, music, and people of the city. He says that the food and festivals are some of the most attractive parts of living here. Toby says that Lafayette has a festival for just about everything.

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Best things to do in Lafayette Louisiana Toby Dore festival international

Dancers at the Festival International

Lafayette, Louisiana

Before European and Canadian settlers arrived, the area of Lafayette was the home to the indigenous Atakapa-Ishak, Choctaw, Chitimacha, and Opelousa Indians. In the 1820s, the groundwork for the city was laid when Jean Mouton, the son of an exiled Acadian, and his surveyor, John Dinsmore, Jr., laid out a cross-grid town, with streets named for presidents. The city formally became Lafayette in 1884 when another city named Lafayette was incorporated into New Orleans.

Today, Lafayette is the 4th largest city in Louisiana. It is very hot and humid in the summertime, while the rest of the year can be quite unpredictable. In the winter, it can be 20* and dry one day, then 80* and humid the next.

Toby recommends visiting in April or October for the best weather and entertainment. He especially likes the Blackpot Festival & Cookoff, which is a celebration of the music, food, and culture of Southwest Louisiana and beyond. Toby also suggests attending the Original Southwest Lousiana Zydeco Festival. It is the world’s largest Zydeco and LaLa music festival and celebrates the spicy culture of Louisiana Creoles.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Lafayette Travel, the tourism promotion and marketing coordinator for all of Lafayette Parish. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Lafayette Louisiana Toby Dore gumbo

Cajun gumbo

Getting around Lafayette

The local airport is Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT), which is a regional airport about 3 miles from downtown. It offers flights from American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United. Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) in New Orleans is another good option and is only about 2 hours away. You’ll find more flight availability at this larger airport and might be able to save money/miles when booking your flight if you’re willing to make the drive.

Toby says that there’s no need to rent a car. You can use Uber and Lyft to get just about everywhere. Local buses are available, but Toby says that they are not very reliable. Toby also says that you should stay away from the city cab.

Visiting some of the attractions outside of the city may require a car, such as a tour of the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island. If you need to rent a car, click here for the best offers from Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Best things to do in Lafayette Louisiana Toby Dore My Tabasco purchases

Toby’s Tabasco purchases after his tour

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Toby Dore about Lafayette, Louisiana. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Green dots = best things to do in Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Lafayette, Louisiana

Who is Toby Dore?

Toby Dore is a college professor at his alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His schedule as a professor allows him to travel more than the average person. He has now traveled to over 30 countries in Central America, South America, and Europe. Toby writes tips for Louisianan travelers and his journeys on

His experiences using Airbnb rentals while traveling led Toby to invest in his own Airbnb rentals in Lafayette. Toby now owns more than 10 Airbnb units conveniently located near the downtown area. Plus, if you need to rent a car, he has a SMART Car ForTwo available via Turo.

Best things to do in Lafayette Louisiana Toby Dore on steps

Here are a few articles that he’s written:

You can connect with Toby at his website and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – Bluffworks

This episode is brought to you, in part, by Bluffworks. Whether I’m traveling for business or pleasure, it’s important to have clothes that make me look good AND feel great. I wear Bluffworks jeans, slacks, dress shirts, and blazers because they’re wrinkle-free and are designed for the modern traveler. And if they get dirty, a quick spin in the washing machine and they’re good as new.

Go to and use the promo code from the image below to save 10% off your order. There are many styles to fit your needs so you can stay wrinkle-free when you travel.

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Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Cutler Bay Florida Lorena Tomasini headshotListen to the next episode when Lorena Tomasini of shares her tips for Cutler Bay, Florida. We talk about the gardens at the Charles Deering Estate, the diverse food culture of South Florida, and riding bikes to the marina. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Lafayette? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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Related episodes

To learn more about Louisiana, please listen to our other podcast episodes for the state: