Here are some itinerary ideas to experience in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana. Or, check out our themed itinerary listings.
Spa facilities, top name entertainment, fine dining options, retail shopping, and more can be found in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana’s gaming resort destination. In addition to playing slots, Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel boasts live thoroughbred racing, and off-track betting. Melt into island time with the Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel with its great musical entertainment. L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort is the perfect place to float down a lazy river, hit a round of golf or relax in Spa du Lac – all after hitting the big time.
Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana is a golf destination unto itself. There’s Gray Plantation which has received the highest rating in Louisiana by ZagatSurvey’s 2007 edition of “America’s Top Golf Courses,” and this course is on the prestigious Audubon Golf Trail. The Contraband Bayou Golf Club at L’Auberge, designed by world-renowned golf architect Tom Fazio, is noted for its emphasis on the marsh and lowland features of Louisiana’s natural environment. The most recent addition to the exciting courses in Southwest Louisiana is the National Golf Club of Louisiana in Westlake. It joins Frasch Park Golf Course in Sulphur, Mallard Cove in Lake Charles and Pine Shadows all add to the charm and variety of courses in the area.
Adventure abounds along the beaches of Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana. First, Lake Charles is home to the only white sand inland beach along the Gulf Coast. Then, driving along the world famous Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, you can see alligators and wildlife at wildlife refuges, on the way to the beach on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. The sand is made of fine shell fragments that have been pulverized into a fine powder. With the slow slope sea bottom, it’s easy to find whole shells that look virtually perfect, so bring your buckets! The beaches are extremely remote and virtually unspoiled in what we call “Louisiana’s Outback.”
Authentic Cajun & Zydeco or Swamp Pop is a main staple at the more than 75 fairs and festivals held annually in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana. A full long weekend during Mardi Gras each year features parades, cooking events, glittering regalia of over 50 krewes and Cajun tunes. Other featured festivals include the Contraband Days Pirate Festival each May, the Cajun French Music & Food Festival in July or the Marshland Festival in August – just to name a few. Cajun music and local bands can also be found in night spots and restaurants throughout the year.
Part of Louisiana’s Seafood Sensations Trail, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana has steaming seafood creations at its many restaurants packed with just the right flavors that have been simmering for centuries. Get hands-on with crawfish and crabs in the spring or dip your spoon into a hot bowl of thick gumbo in the cooler months. Also, tempt your taste buds and satisfy your hunger with a spicy boudin trail adventure! The all-new Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail Brochure offers a comprehensive guide on the best places in Calcasieu Parish to eat this juicy sausage-style rice and meat delicacy. Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana also boasts variety with Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and steakhouse selections. Also, festivals and tailgating bring people together with food, and the party does not stop until the last gumbo pot goes dry!
Culture & Festivals
For colorful adventures in food, atmosphere, culture and charm, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana has a variety of delights. Enjoy everything from the Mardi Gras Museum to the DeQuincy Railroad Museum. Or, drive down memory lane to view Victorian mansions in the Charpentier Historic District, shaded by live oaks. Excitement awaits as Southwest Louisiana boasts many festivals—to say the least. Start the year off with style. Mardi Gras festivities include balls, parades and food cook-offs. The Contraband Days Pirate Festival has over 100 different events including a parade, carnival, live music and of course, the mayor walking the plank. Add in the Marshland Festival, Red,White Blue & You and the Southwest Louisiana Christmas Lighting Festival, and you know the possibilities are endless!