Are you looking for a town in Indiana that can provide you with a great mix of history, exciting places to see, and good food to enjoy? Well, look no further! We’re so excited to introduce to you the great town of Lafayette. This great city is home to Purdue University, a definite MUST SEE when you are here. We’ll share delicious local restaurant recommendations, historical sites to visit, must-see parks, and family-friendly activities sure to please the whole family.
Places to Eat
1. 8Eleven Modern Bistro
You’ll find delicious meals at 8Eleven Modern Bistro, located inside the recently remolded Purdue Memorial Union Club Hotel. 8Eleven celebrates Gemini 8 and Apollo11, two of NASA’s most daring aerospace programs, and the missions’ command pilot, and Purdue alum, Neil Armstrong. In addition, they take pride in being recognized as one of the top restaurants in West Lafayette, Indiana. You will find their menu has farm-fresh vegetables, local seasonal ingredients, and a to-die-for braised beef!
2. Bruno’s Pizza and Big O’s Sports Room
Next on our list of places to try in Lafayette is Bruno’s Pizza and Big O’s Sports Room. Currently, due to the pandemic, they do not offer indoor dining but plan to open their doors to the public again soon! Bruno’s Pizza and Big O’s Sports Room has been a well-known favorite of Lafeyette locals since 1955. During your visit, you can expect friendly service within this family-owned pizza joint. You will find their menu to have a variety of appetizers, salads, specialty pizzas, different kinds of pasta, sandwiches, and even build your own pizzas!
3. Triple XXX Family Restaurant
Are you a fan of the television show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives? If so, you need to check out the Triple XXX Family Restaurant, which opened its doors back in 1929 and is known today as the oldest drive-in in the entire state of Indiana! At Triple XXX, you can expect to find the “best burger in Indiana.” They make all their burgers daily from 100% fresh sirloin! You will also find tasty hand-cut grilled pork tenderloins and barbeque pulled pork sandwiches!
Are you a breakfast fan? Then you’ll love this family restaurant! You can order breakfast foods all day long. During your visit, make sure to try their natural ice cream shakes and famous root beer made caffeine-free, gluten-free, and with pure cane sugar!
4. East End Grill
Come by and try the East End Grill, a welcoming, modern, and casual restaurant all rolled into one. Here you can enjoy a date night, grab a quick bite to eat, or even plan a business meeting. East End Grill, led by Executive Chef Ambarish Lulay, offers various menu choices using only the freshest local ingredients. In addition, their bar includes crafted cocktails, an excellent wine selection, and the best local craft beers available if you’d like a cocktail. On their menu, choose from various foods such as appetizers, soups, salads, fresh entrees, sandwiches, burgers, and more!
5. Arni’s Restaurant
Lastly, come and check out Arni’s Restaurant, located in Lafeyette’s Market Square. Arni’s is a popular family-owned pizza joint that’s been around since 1965. Arni’s two sons plan to keep his legacy alive through this restaurant. Brad and Kurt Cohen now own 18 Arni’s throughout Central and Southern Indiana. At Arni’s, you can order pizza, but they also offer various soups, salads, pasta dishes, and sandwiches! Arni’s is a family-friendly restaurant that’s been a local favorite for a long time!
Outdoor Parks and Historic Sites
6. Prophetstown State Park
Come and explore Prophetstown State Park, located just a few short minutes from the town of Lafayette. Prophetstown is open to the public and rich in geological, natural, and cultural history. Plan to experience the wetlands and prairies within this State Park, as well as some hiking, biking, and wildlife watching! You can also visit the Native American Village and learn about American Indians and the first European settlers in Indiana. Explore authentic teepees and see rawhides and beautiful Native American pottery.
7. Tippecanoe County Courthouse
You’ll also find the Tippecanoe County Courthouse in Lafayette. This courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Come and view Tippecanoe County Courthouse, a two-and-a-half-story courthouse featuring one hundred columns, a giant three thousand pound bell, nine statues, and a liberty statue located on the dome roof of this large limestone building!
8. John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge
Next, you’ll want to see the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge. This bridge connects Lafayette and West Lafayette. This impressive structure crosses over the Wabash River and is a beautiful, scenic, local hotspot! While you’re there, be sure to see the fountains located on both ends of the bridge! Myers Bridge, is the home of many festivals and events providing family-friendly entertainment all year round!
9. Wabash Heritage Trail
Wabash Heritage Trail, a thirteen-mile pathway along the Wabash River, is a great place to get some fresh air and view the natural beauty, scenic spaces, and shady trees covering the entire trail! You’ll also find a large selection of popular, well-known touristy attractions starting at Tippecanoe Battlefield Park and ending at Fort Ouiatenon. Wabash Heritage Trail also includes Davis Ferry Bridge, McAllister Park, and Happy Hollow Park. During your visit, you can expect to see many happy joggers and bicyclists enjoying the trail.
10. Jerry E. Clegg Botanic Gardens
Clegg Botanic Gardens, located close to Wildcat Creek in Lafeyette, is a great quiet place to relax, enjoy a scenic walk, and escape city noises. There are eight walking paths to choose from at the botanic gardens, including gazing towers, to learn the history and facts about these gardens. Come and see Prairie and oak savanna restorations, extensive beds of early summer wildflowers, Indiana rare flowers and plants, gorgeous large trees, and bridges.
Exciting Things for Kids to Do
11. Columbian Park Zoo
Columbian Park Zoo is an excellent place to visit with kids in downtown Lafayette. The zoo is home to 200 different animals from 90 distinct species. Along with observing all the zoo animals, you can choose to participate in the “Meet and Greet” program, designed to allow visitors to view up close and feed some of the animals.
12. The Imagination Station
The Imagination Station is Lafayette’s well-known science center for kids! Imagination Station, created by ASSET Inc. (The Association for Science, Space, Engineering, and Technology), developed exhibits and activities to help teach children about technology, science, and space. Imagination Station’s exhibits have changed over the years, but they still maintain the goal to spark curiosity in science in our youth. This science center invites you to bring your kids to learn about all types of sciences through play!
Fun fact, in 1999, astronaut Mark Brown helped to dedicate Imagination Station.
More Things To Do and Places to See
13. Purdue University
Make sure to visit the beautiful Purdue University, established in 1869 and located in Lafayette. Purdue is known as one of the largest universities in the United States. Check out the Purdue Memorial Union and grab a self-guided tour map at the Great Hall Welcome Center or download Purdue’s free campus tour map located on their campus app. Don’t forget to check out the “Unfinished Block P” sculpture, the Stadium Mall, Purdue Mall Fountain, the Gateway to the Future arch, and finally, the John Purdue Statue on their gorgeous campus!
Another fun fact for ya, the official mascot of the Purdue Boilermakers is a replica of a Victorian-era locomotive!
14. Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art
Come and view the gorgeous Haan Mansion Museum, home to one of the most extensive collections of Indiana art in the world! Haan Mansion, built in 1904, moved to Lafayette, where it served for many years as a residence. Over the years, the museum has collected an impressive collection of art, and today hosts a large variety of art created by acclaimed artists from across the state. When you visit, you can also gaze at several pieces of 19th-century American-made furniture.
Available tours are self-guided, with guided tours available for groups of up to fifteen people. Tours will touch more on the mansion’s history and access to the mansion museum’s Sculpture Garden and Nature Trails.
15. Fort Ouiatenon
And any history buff will want to visit Fort Ouiatenon, once a french trade station, near the Wabash River southwest of Lafayette. Fort Ouiatenon, built in the early 1700s, offers a unique historical feel due to its actorthat dress in historical attire and create many historical reenactments. You can also participate in a fall gathering called “Feast of the Hunter’s Moon.” In addition, at Fort Ouiatenon, you can attend concerts, watch skilled crafters, buy homemade snacks, and enjoy other popular seasonal activities. Come and see during your visit the spectacular living history exhibits, model blockhouse, and live performances.
16. Sweet Revolution Bake Shop
End your perfect trip on a sweet note, come and visit the Sweet Revolution Bake Shop found in historic downtown Lafayette! Sweet Revolution offers a great menu of sweet treats such as pies, turnovers, danishes, macarons, galettes, scones, cheesecakes, cookies, and cookie and pie bars. You can also enjoy baked goods and savory varieties such as quiches, chicken pot pies, freshly baked croissants, and muffins. Sounds delicious to us, so come check out Sweet Revolution!
Visit Lafayette, Indiana!
When it comes to Lafayette, you now know why this town makes a perfect location to visit, due to its historical sites, calming parks, fun attractions, great places to eat, and exciting places to see! Here at Life in Indiana, we hope our guide of Lafeyette helped you locate the top places we feel need to make your list!
Do you know other places in Lafayette we need to add to our list? What are your favorite places to visit from our guide? Comment and share; we’d love to hear from you