Local Culture:  Some of the best places to experience true Southwest Louisiana culture are at our fairs and festivals! Virtually any weekend, you can catch a local band, eat some delicious Cajun cuisine and pass a good time!  Download the free Lake Charles Events App to have area event information at your fingertips.

Where are the best places to eat?  Culinary explorations abound in Southwest Louisiana! For Cajun restaurants and Louisiana food products, check out this link.  For a list of the Top 20 Restaurants voted on by the locals, click here.

Top 10 Things to DoThere are so many things to do in Southwest Louisiana, from cultural events to the great outdoors, live entertainment and casino gaming.  Get out and explore! 

Kid-Friendly:  For ideas on kid-friendly activities, check out this blog that discusses area parks, museums and activities.


Getting to Know the Culture:  Southwest Louisiana is the Festival Capital of Louisiana with over 75 fairs and festivals annually.  The people enjoy life, are friendly and are passionate about their culture.  Visit with the locals at many festivals. Check out the upcoming events the Lake Charles Events App or at www.visitlakecharles.org/events.

What’s the Difference Between Cajun and Creole?  Creoles are of French and European descent, mainly aristocracy, with influences from Africa, France and Spain. Cajuns were French settlers of Nova Scotia, Canada, mostly peasants who were exiled by the British in the 1700s and settled along waterways and bayous.  Discover more here!

What’s the Difference Between Cajun and Zydeco MusicTraditional Cajun music, with its waltz-like quality, has an emphasis on the fiddle and accordion.  Learn how to Cajun dance here.

Zydeco is performed to the blend of accordion, washboard, spoon and anything else that makes noise.  Lyrics are often performed in Creole French. 

Where to Shop?  From specialty items in boutique stores to the vast selection of area malls, such as Prien Lake Mall, and the treasures of the distant past, shopping in the lake area is an adventure.  The Cottage Shop Cultural District offers specialty gift items, spices, art, clothing boutiques and an eat-boutique located on Ryan and Hodges Streets. For fresh produce and homemade goodies, Southwest Louisiana has several farmers markets.  For bulk items, there is also a Sam’s Club in Lake Charles.  And if you’re looking for authentic, local products, check out this video to learn where to find local products.


Mileage to Other Cities:  Lake Charles is located on I-10 between Houston and New Orleans so access to many cities is quick and easy. Here’s a list of nearby cities and mileage from Lake Charles.

Maps:  Download a free map of Calcasieu Parish, including Lake Charles, Sulphur, Westlake, DeQuincy, Vinton and Iowa, as well as the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road through Cameron Parish.

Seasonal Weather Information: Southwest Louisiana has a sub-tropical climate with pleasant spring and fall days.  Our winters are mild with rare snowfall and summers are hot and humid.  October tends to be the driest month and it is typical to have brief afternoon thunderstorms during mid-summer.  Click here to see the average high/low temps.

Local Libraries:  If you are interested in obtaining a library card and exploring the Calcasieu Parish Public Libraries, please click here.

Drivers License:  There are several places locally to get a local driver’s license.  Check out the Department of Motor Vehicles website here.

Healthcare:  Over 300 physicians practice in the region, with a number of dentists, oral surgeons and orthodontists supplementing that number.  Lake Charles is home to four hospitals:  Christus St. Patrick Hospital, Lake Area Medical Center, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women.  Sulphur is home to the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.  A “911” emergency system exists in Southwest Louisiana for emergencies.

For further questions, check out www.visitlakecharles.org/newintown or find Newcomer Information on the Chamber SWLA’s website here.  Or contact us for more information at touristinfo@visitlakecharles.org or 337-436-9588.

Find out why we love to call Southwest Louisiana Home. Watch the video below.