Discover the charming city of Lake Charles, where day-to-day life seems infinitely far away
Deep in southwest Louisiana, discover the charming city of Lake Charles. This vibrant and historic place is home to casinos, nature trails, Cajun dishes, Creole culture, shopping, Victorian architecture, museums and more. The lush green surroundings and meandering bayous that dot the landscape exude an incredible calm, and day-to-day life seems infinitely far away. Relax and explore in Lake Charles!
Have you ever thought that food could define a culture? If you really want to get to know the Lake Charles region, begin with its food, especially boudin. Boudin is a Cajun sausage which can be made from pork, shrimp, crawfish or even alligator. Lake Charles is home of the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail, a collection of locally owned markets and grocery stores located throughout southwestern Louisiana along Interstate 10 and Highway 90.
LeBleu’s Landing is a popular place in Sulphur, just outside Lake Charles, where they make their own boudin and actually show you how it’s done. Try the boudin and the boudin balls, which are made of the same meat and rice mixture but deep fried. Yum! After eating, roam through the store, to check out Louisiana food products including Cajun hot sauces, jambalaya mixes, crawfish boils and much more.
Next on the list is Billedeaux’s Cajun Kitchen in Lake Charles. This popular restaurant is right off Highway 90, a perfect stop if you’re driving through town. Locals know it as the place for smoked boudin, and it doesn’t disappoint!
Cracklins and Seafood
Inside Famous Foods, you’ll find the previous winner of the “Boudin Wars,” a contest among local restaurants to determine who makes the best boudin. Famous Foods is also known among regular patrons as having some of the best cracklins around. These are pork rinds deep fried in Cajun spices – a must-try!
Don’t miss the local seafood at Seafood Palace, which serve crawfish, crab legs, blue crab and more. Chat with the locals and learn how important food is for bringing together community and family in Lake Charles.
Nature at its Finest
After tasting the local delicacies, get out and explore nature in Lake Charles. The Creole Nature Trail is one of the oldest scenic byways in America. Follow along the trail to see American alligators, hundreds of species of birds, as well as places to fish, swim and sunbathe – it’s truly beautiful.
Shelling at Holly Beach
What other nature trail boasts 40 kilometers of natural beachfront? Holly Beach – also known as the “Cajun Riviera,” with its brightly colored stilt houses – is one of the eight relatively untouched beaches along the Creole Nature Trail. Filled with an abundance of unique shells, Holly Beach is a treasure trove for shell lovers and a favorite spot for local crabbing.
If you’re ready to see some wildlife up close, head to the boardwalk of the Pintail Wildlife Drive. Here, exotic plants peek out of the tall grass while sunbathing alligators lounge in ponds right below you. It’s a unique opportunity to watch these prehistoric creatures and get your perfect photo of them.
A marsh tour is also an absolute must when you’re on the Creole Nature Trail. Check out Grosse Savanne Eco-Tours, a tour operator that offers small, individualized tours focusing on whatever you want to see most, whether it is alligators, roseate spoonbills or other wildlife.
Like many of the attractions in the area, The Creole Nature Trail also has an app for your Apple or Android device, making it even easier and more fun to explore this beautiful nature trail alone or with friends and family!
Museums for Everyone
This area of Louisiana may be dominated by its culinary and festival scene, but you can also learn about military history. At the USS Orleck Naval Museum in Lake Charles, tour an amazing destroyer ship. It’s one thing to see a war ship in a photo, but it’s an entirely different experience to actually tour one in person.
The Mardi Gras Museum boasts the biggest collection of Mardi Gras costumes on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. They truly are a sight to see! After the museum, wander through the Charpentier Historic District. The houses are gorgeous and date back to the late 19th century.
For being a small facility in a small town, the DeQuincy Railroad Museum is full of interesting history. Check out historic train engines and cars. The building itself is a train depot from 1923. Next door to the railroad museum is a park with a playground and picnic area – a great spot for families to visit.
If you get the chance, stay at one of the area’s incredible casino resorts. These resorts are gorgeous, the accommodations are top quality and the choice of dining is extensive. The casino is open 24/7 and when you are done with gaming, you can go and have a whiskey at the barber shop!
Lake Charles and its surrounding areas have so much intriguing history and culture to experience. You will love your visit to this warm and welcoming city.