Local Area

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Local Area


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4 College Freshman

Local Area: West Lafayette and Lafayette have enough attractions to keep the students occupied. If you want to go to a major city, Indy and Chicago are a short drive away.

1 person found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Local Area: Not a crazy amount to do. It's close enough to Chicago to take days trips.

5 College Junior

Local Area: I enjoy the college campus feel, and the safety of this school because it is predominately college students.

2 Recent Alumnus

Local Area: It is a safe and friendly community. but lack of museums and attractions are a down part.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: People are very nice and welcoming. There are quite a few things to do off campus but most activities are centered around campus or near campus.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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West Lafayette revolves around Purdue University and very little else. The tranquility of West Lafayette serves Purdue students in the best way possible, allowing them to focus on their academics without many distractions. However, the Lafayette area is filled with restaurants, parks, historical attractions, and other diversions that are very similar to other medium-sized cities in the nation. Keeping an open mind and stretching your imagination will net you with plenty of activities. And if all else fails, Indianapolis is only an hour’s drive away. 

To most students, hanging out with their buddies on significant places like Memorial Mall and the Union are the most amusing. When the weather is warm, nothing beats getting a bunch of friends and running through the famous fountains. Greater Lafayette has numerous places to walk, especially the walking bridge that connects West Lafayette and Lafayette over the Wabash River. When winter hits, head over to the outdoor skating rink at the Wabash Landing, or grab a sled (or lunch tray from the dining halls) and sled down Slayter Hill. Don’t let your laziness conquer you. You are here for a very short time and are responsible to make the best of it. If you’re friends opt for a walk around campus at 3 a.m., go for it! At Purdue, fun can be created out of anything.


Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Lafayette was named after the Marquis de Lafayette and was staked out and named by William Digby on May 25, 1825.
  2. The Battle of Tippecanoe was fought several miles outside what is now Purdue University in 1811.
  3. Elliot Hall of Music, capable of seating 6,027 people, is one seat larger than New York's Carnegie Hall.
  4. Happy Hollow Park, according to legend, was so named because there used to be an illegal location in the 'hollow,' and people would head there to 'get happy.'
  5. In its early days, Lafayette was a major shipping area. Cargo was shipped in from all parts of the country and then transferred to New York by train.
Notable Natives
  • Bill Bailey (aka Axl Rose) - lead singer of Guns N' Roses
  • Amelia Earhart - famous aviatrix, former Purdue faculty member
  • Shannon Hoon - late lead singer of Blind Melon
  • Anissa Jones - former child actress
  • Ward Lambert - famous Purdue basketball coach
  • Sydney Pollack - director of "Tootsie," "The Talented Mr. Ripley," and "Sense and Sensibility"
  • Tangra Riggle - Miss Indiana 2003
  • Alvah Roebuck - one of the founders of Sears & Roebuck
  • Vernon Smith - Nobel prize-winning economist, former Purdue faculty member
  • Izzy Stradlin - rhythm guitarist for Guns N' Roses
Local Slang
  • Concretes: Frozen custard
  • Hoosier: A term that generally refers to poor white people; students from Indiana University (Purdue's rival) are called by this name.
  • Pop: The Midwestern term for any carbonated non-alcoholic beverage
  • Tool: As in 'he/she's a tool'; meaning dork, nerd, or someone that did something stupid
  • Word: A positive response to any statement, question, or idea
Points of Interest
  • The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette i
  • The Tippecanoe Battlefield
Shopping Centers
Tippecanoe Mall
Movie Theaters
Goodrich Eastside 9
300 Farabee Dr. N.
(765) 447-3446
Movie Theaters
Goodrich Lafayette 7
3525 McCarty Ln.
(765) 447-3446
Movie Theaters
Goodrich Wabash Landing 9
300 E. State St.
West Lafayette
(765) 447-3446
Major Sports Teams
  • Indiana Pacers: basketball
  • Indianapolis Colts: football
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Chicago: IL: 2 hours
  • Indianapolis: IN: 1 hour

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 204 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 205 responses

  • 6% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 58% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 19% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 11% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 6% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 205 responses

  • 33% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 28% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 40% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 205 responses

  • 6% Totally.
  • 58% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 36% No way.



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