Summer is in full effect on college campuses across the country, including our very own McNeese State University. And sure, while your semester days are filled with classes, projects and deadlines now is the perfect time to squeeze in some fun and make plans for next semester’s extra-curricular activities.

We asked current and recently graduated MSU students what they did for fun. Below is a guide that should help anyone who is new to the college community or who is just looking for some fun!  

Where to Eat

KD’s Diner
Literally, anything on the menu is good and affordable. My favorites in college were the KD’s Breakfast and unlimited refills on my coffee. You can’t go wrong with a po’boy or burger either. They are also open 24 hours.

Order the Darrell’s special. It’s famous and absolutely delish. This was one of the first places I visited upon arrival to Lake Charles. It was a good decision!

Live bands (7 nights a week), great burgers, beers and Tuesday night trivia. This is definitely a place to “let your hair down” and relax with your buds. The outdoor patio has the best after-dark vibe and trivia night is so much fun!

Luna’s Bar and Grill
Go for the seafood, their menu is to die for. The patio is a fun place to hang out too. This is also the perfect place to bring Mom and Dad for Sunday Brunch when they visit.

Awesome sausages and hotdogs. No seriously, look...

And for dessert – walk next door to Pops and Rockets Pop Lab for a scoop of homemade ice cream or take a pick of their popsicles. If you have a fondness of 80s nostalgia, you’ll love this place!

A comfortable and laid back atmosphere, mouthwatering menu (try the Boom Boom Shrimp po'boy, Black Jack Chicken or Hangover Burger), plus a ton of televisions airing the hottest sporting events. It’s not far from the McNeese baseball field and football stadium, the perfect spot for the gang to gather after a game.



(I don’t wanna sound like your mama, but be responsible! No drinking unless 21 or older.)

Frosty Factory
This is a must when it comes football game days. And did I mention it’s the ultimate spot for karaoke?

This is the post-game scene for MSU students. Cowboys has been the most iconic place in Lake Charles for years.

OB’s Bar and Grill
This is where you will find the rest of the college students, after a game or a sorority/fraternity formal or event.


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Luna Live
After dinner at Luna’s Bar and Grill, walk right across the street for live music, comedy shows, and an awesome bar.


Things To Do

Petro Bowl
Tuesday nights is where you will find the college students going for strikes.

Putt-Putt Mini Golf
Fun any day of the week. Gather up your crew and make it a competition. Whichever team loses buys dinner!

Local Parks
Burn off some stress with a quiet walk or run at any of our local parks. Prien Lake Park is student favorite. Running and biking groups are also popular. Check out Lake Area Runners or Slow Spokes… Don't forget about water activities. There's plenty to explore via paddleboard, kayak and paddle boat. 

Prien Lake Mall
Retail therapy at its best. Plenty of shops, Cinemark movie theater (they offer student discounts!), and the American Cookie Co. Need I say more?

Coffee Shops
Sure, Starbucks is close, but have you visited Stellar Beans or Sloppy’s Downtown yet? Stellar Beans has a wide variety of coffees and teas, plus beignets on Saturday. Check out Sloppy’s for a taste of locally brewed java by Acadian Coffee Roasters. Add gourmet donut from O’Neill’s Doughnuts and it’s a good day.  

Festivals & Events
One of the many benefits of living in Southwest Louisiana is that you have landed in the Festival Capital of Louisiana! Literally every weekend! You’ll find live music events like Downtown at Sundown, Live at the Lakefront, and the Marshland Festival, foodie fests like Boudin Wars and Downtown Crawfish Festival, and fantastic art and cultural events like Spring Art Walk, Culture Fest and on stage performances throughout the year. Download the Lake Charles Events App to stay up to date on local events.


On Campus

There is a lot to do on campus too. Athletic events are FREE to students so make sure you participate and never miss a student tailgating party! The university’s Recreation Center is also a great place to stay in shape plus you can sign up for Intramural sporting teams.  Check out all of the great student organizations, recreational facilities and university events at


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There are a ton of great things to do, taste and explore in the area – all the things that make college “the best years of your life.”

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.