When the invigorating, crisp weather settles into Southwest Louisiana, everyone is gearing up for fall festival season. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway to create lasting memories and experience authentic Louisiana culture, look no further than Lake Charles! Fall festivals in Louisiana’s Playground celebrate everything – but especially delicious food, drinks, and music! With most festivals taking place on Saturdays, there's so much to do during a long weekend getaway! Pack in joy this fall with this fun must-do itinerary!

Crying Eagle Lunch
Seasonal brews and sensational foods at Crying Eagle Brewing Co.

Day 1: Thursday

Check-in at the hotel of your choice! The area boasts several gaming resort properties, with L’Auberge Casino Resort and Golden Nugget sitting side-by-side with rolling golf courses greeting your entrance.  Each property has a wide selection of restaurants and amenities, and you can get pampered at the luxury spas too! Closer to downtown, the Horseshoe has a sweeping view of the lake, or you choose from one of the convenient Marriott, Hilton, or other favorite-choice properties along Holly Hill Circle. After settling in, head out for a delicious drink and bite at Crying Eagle Brewing Co or from one of the state-of-the-art sports betting restaurants and bars, DraftKings and Barstool Sportsbooks, located inside the resort properties.

Fishing in Lake Charles
Fishing and hunting charters in Lake Charles and along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road.

Day 2: Friday

Getting on the water is a must when visiting the Lake Area. Luckily, licensed local guides like Captain Andrew Soileau or Captain Bradley Laningham, with Cat 5 Fishing Charters, are poised to take experienced and novice anglers on a memorable half-day or full-day tour. If you’re staying at L’Auberge or Golden Nugget, some captains can even pick you up right from the dock! Be sure to pack a cooler to haul your limit of redfish, drum, flounder, and trout. 

For lunch, indulge at Darrell’s for one of the most sought-after po-boys in Southwest Louisiana, complete with jalapeño mayonnaise! After indulging in the hardy community staple, head next door to Coffee:30 Cafe for fresh beignets for dessert. This meal calls for a walk -- through a local boutique, that is! Shop Downtown Lake Charles for antiques, women's and men's apparel, original art, and Louisiana souvenirs.

Head back to the hotel for a well-earned afternoon nap before getting dolled up for a night out on the town. Make reservations at The Villa Harlequin to indulge in fine service and elevated Louisiana classics. Or, head South of town to Bodega Wine Dive for a tasting experience of renowned wines and perfectly paired pasta and pizza, perfect for any ladies night out. Regional and national acts perform at Lake Charles casino resorts, be sure to snag tickets to upcoming live shows and check seeing your favorite performer live off your bucket list!

Coffee:30 Beignets
Fresh, homemade beignets from Coffee:30 Cafe

Day 3: Saturday

Any weekend that you visit, there are always fun special events and casino entertainment happening for you to enjoy with friends and family!  These annual fall festivals are ones that locals consider must-attend events for a true Southwest Louisiana experience. To get your Saturday started off right, head to The Bekery, a boutique, French-bakery-style restaurant serving up one-of-a-kind pastries, soup, sandwiches, and more!

One of the great things about this fall lineup is that many of the events happen in Downtown Lake Charles, making dinner a breeze with numerous delicious restaurants located within walking distance, like Pujo Street Café or 1910, both located in historic buildings along Ryan Street. Or, on the short drive back to your hotel, take the scenic oak-lined Shell Beach Drive to Restaurant Calla to end an evening of celebrations.

Must-Experience Fall Fests

Chuck Fest

Chuck Fest will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2024, in Downtown Lake Charles and will feature a full lineup of…

Luna Jazz Brunch
Jazz Brunch at Luna Bar & Grill Downtwn

Day 4: Sunday

Sunday is Funday in Louisiana’s Playground, and after all the excitement, you may want to sleep in before enjoying a late brunch as a fantastic finale to your fall festival weekend! If you are in the mood for a high-energy brunch, check out the Zydeco Brunch at Panorama Music House. Zydeco stems from Creole culture, where dancing is expected, so you'll wind up dancing your brunch calories away! If Jazz is more your genre, Luna Bar & Grill has you covered with Louisiana staples, classic mimosas, and delicious Bloody Marys at their Jazz Brunch.

A getaway is rarely complete without an afternoon being pampered at the spa or a hike at Sam Houston Jones State Park, so consider extending your stay through Sunday for a true funday experience of care-free excitement and affordable nightly rates.

And if time doesn't allow, don't worry, there is always next time.