Lake Charles, Louisiana



Just a two hour drive east of Houston and three hours west of New Orleans, Lake Charles in southwest Louisiana is a destination that appeals to nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers, history buffs, music and art lovers, foodies, and those of us who just want to relax poolside with a cocktail at one of the popular casino resorts, or enjoy a day soaking up the sun at the beach.

Part of the Seafood Sensations Culinary Trail, southwest Louisiana is a culinary adventure that serves up traditional Cajun dishes like gumbo and jambalaya, along with fresh seafood favorites. The area is known for boudin (pronounced ‘boo-dan’), a meat and rice finger food that can look like a meat ball or sausage, and draws its roots from Canada by way of France. The Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail features over 25 kitchens, stores and even gas stations that sell boudin.

Boasting miles of coastal wetland and woodland, and 26 miles of natural Gulf beaches, southwest Louisiana is a paradise for nature lovers looking to view birds, alligators and marsh wildlife. The area is one of the top 10 birding areas in the US. From ibis to spoonbills and plovers, over 400 different bird species are spotted annually, along with Neotropical migrants such as flycatchers and vireos, plus, migrating waterfowl, hawks and ospreys in the fall and winter seasons. There are also butterflies and marsh flowers to view in season. A main highlight for nature enthusiasts is exploring one of America’s ‘Last Great Wildernesses’ by following the Creole Nature Trail through Louisiana’s outback. One of the oldest scenic byways in the country, this 180 mile All-American Road leads you through bayous, prairies, lush marshlands, and along the Gulf coastline. There are also federal and state wildlife refuges and sanctuaries to visit on the trail.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Charpentier Historic District covers 40 blocks of downtown Lake Charles. Take a driving tour or a self-guided walking tour to view one of the finest collections of Victoria architecture in Louisiana. To view southern mansions, Greek revival estates, Victorian raised cottages, and bungalows, visit the Historic Margaret Place District and Shell Beach Drive on the southeastern side of the lake.

Lake Charles and southwest Louisiana is a destination for everyone, any time of year. Known as the Festival Capital of Louisiana, the area is host to over 75 fairs, festivals and special events throughout the year.

Local Highlights include: Lakefront Promenade, Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, Charpentier Historic District, Historic Margaret Place District, 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center, Henning Cultural Center, USS Orleck Naval Museum, Imperial Calcasieu Museum, The Children’s Museum, Brimstone Museum Complex, DeQuincy Town Hall Museum, DeQuincy Railroad Museum, Prien Lake Park, Creole Nature Trail, Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge & Visitors Center and Pintail Wildlife Drive, Sam Houston Jones State Park, Sabine National Wildlife Refuge.

Regional Highlights include: Niblett’s Bluff Park (approx. 32 miles), Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge (approx. 38 miles), Peveto Woods Bird & Butterfly Sanctuary in Cameron (approx. 55 miles), Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Grand Chenier (approx. 60 miles), Atchafalaya National Heritage Area (approx. 75 miles), Big Thicket National Preserve TX (approx. 88 miles), Cane River Creole National Historical Park (approx. 117 miles), Cane River National Heritage Area (approx. 125 miles).

Nearby Cities include: Beaumont and Port Arthur in Texas (approx. 60 miles), Leesville (approx. 70 miles), Lafayette (approx. 75 miles), New Iberia (approx. 100 miles), Alexandria (approx. 100 miles), Natchitoches (approx. 125 miles), Baton Rouge (approx. 130 miles), Houston TX (approx. 145 miles), Galveston TX (approx. 180 miles), New Orleans (approx. 205 miles).

Nearby Airports: Chennault International Airport Lake Charles (approx. 5 miles), Lake Charles Regional Airport (approx. 8 miles), Jack Brooks Regional Airport Beaumont (approx. 62 miles), Lafayette Regional Airport (approx. 78 miles), Alexandria International Airport (approx. 107 miles), George Bush Intercontinental Houston Airport and William P Hobby Airport in Houston (approx. 125 miles), Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (approx. 133 miles), Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (approx. 195 miles).


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