Lake Charles, Louisiana is home to 75 annual festivals, unique Cajun cuisine, toe-tapping zydeco music, exciting casino gaming and a variety of adventures for nature lovers or avid outdoorsmen.
For the outdoor lovers, explore the 180 mile Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. Just a few miles south of Lake Charles are 26 miles of natural Gulf beaches, walking trails into the marsh and recreation areas perfect for crabbing and fishing. Regardless of why they visit the Creole Nature Trail, they’ll experience the serenity of nature in its purest form, smell the salty air, bask in the glow of the sun and spot an alligator or two!
For a personal video tour of the Creole Nature Trail, they can check out a GPS Ranger™ handheld unit available at the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau located at 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, Louisiana. This personal tour uses GPS satellites to automatically play as they travel along the route. They can also download a free app for any Iphone or Android device by searching “Creole” in their app store. The tour/app is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.
Fishing is also a year round affair in Southwest Louisiana, and professional fishing guides are eager to help visitors catch their limit of redfish, speckled trout, flounder, black drum and many other varieties. Bank fishing and crabbing are also excellent recreation which reward with fresh Louisiana Blue Crabs and fish⎯yum!
Southwest Louisiana is a major casino/gaming resort destination with Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel, Golden Nugget Lake Charles, the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel and L’Auberge Casino Resort. In addition to horseracing, slots and table games, these casinos bring in top name entertainment and have world-class amenities such as dining, shopping, poolside areas as well as spas and championship golf courses.
Calcasieu Parish boasts seven museums for the history enthusiast, one being the USS Orleck Naval Museum. The others are the Mardi Gras Museum, housing the largest display of Mardi Gras costumes in the world; and more featuring history and art.
There’s no pomp and circumstance when eating in the Lake Charles area. There can’t be when there’s a plate of steaming crawfish pistolets, mounds of fried boudin balls and a tray of boiled crawfish and fresh blue crabs. Southwest Louisiana is well known for boasting fresh off the dock seafood, like blue crabs, shrimp, fish, oysters and crawfish, straight to the local eateries.
Another adventure and popular culinary treat is found along the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail where you can taste one of the most delicious finger foods in Southern Louisiana. So, in addition to savoring the flavor of fresh seafood, you can experience boudin and visit with shop owners, or in some cases, even see boudin made before your eyes.