The Louisiana Food & Wine Festival takes place in Lake Charles, Sept. 19-22, and if you haven’t purchased tickets to this event, let’s hope it doesn’t sell out before you do. You’ll be the first to get an authentic taste of the area’s Cajun/Creole cuisine, as well as regional flavors from other southern chefs, and wash it all down with endless pours of wine, spirits, and other libations. You can purchase tickets to individual events, the entire weekend, and package deals. Although this food and wine festival is the main event, you can use this six-day itinerary to maximize your time in Louisiana's Playground. This is the best way to explore the city’s unique offerings between the festival’s multi-event schedule: 

 Gulf BeachDAY ONE - Wednesday, Sept. 18 - Boudin, Backroads, & Beaches 

If you plan to arrive early, consider these activities for a quick and fulfilling day trip along the trails of Lake Charles: 

Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail: This food trail is stacked with more than 30 stops throughout the region, and it’s ready to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Boudin is a staple snack, and traditionally, the ingredients include pork, liver, rice, onions, parsley, and dry seasonings like salt, red pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder. Bought by the pound, boudin is Southwest Louisiana's favorite finger food.  

Creole Nature Trail All-American Road: This is a 180-mile, self-driving route through rural Southwest Louisiana. It’s where you can see wildlife in abundance, book private fishing excursions, explore walking trails, indulge in back road delicacies, and take in picturesque sceneries, and more. From beachfront waves and unique terrains to bird sightings and vibrant sunsets, this is the open-air experience that you want. Lake Charles is about 30-45 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico, and this trail will lead you straight there.  

L'Auberge Casino Resort pool


DAY TWO - Thursday, Sept. 19 - Luck & Luxury in Southwest Louisiana 

The festival kicks off with Louisiana’s Celebrity Chefs Wine Dinner at L'Auberge at 6 p.m. Claim your spot at this limited-ticket, six-course dinner with Louisiana's celebrated chefs, including James Beard Foundation award winners. Each dish is expertly paired with perfect wines. But before dinner, you can experience luck and luxury at our casino resorts: Delta Downs, Golden Nugget, Horseshoe Casino, and L’Auberge. There’s 24-hour gaming at each location, but if that’s not your thing, explore their amenities at your own pace. They have everything from golf courses, spa services, thoroughbred racing, sports betting lounges, pools, live entertainment, lounges, restaurants, and more. You can stay there, play there, or both. Either way, you win.  


biscuits n jamz brunch French toast breakfast


DAY THREE - Friday, Sept. 20 - Navigate Lake Charles Like a Local 

When you purchase tickets to the Louisiana-Inspired Master Classes, you’ll receive hands-on food demonstrations from celebrity chefs, culinary authors, and beverage experts who will offer interactive learning, as well as food pairings with wine, beer, or cocktails in an intimate class setting. When the cooking classes conclude, the Fire on the Lake event will take place. Whether you’re attending the festival’s Louisiana-inspired Master Classes from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., or arriving just in time for the Fire on the Lake dining experience at 6:30 p.m., there’s still room for breakfast. Here are a few spots that the locals love: The Bekery, Stellar Beans Coffee & Edibles, Biscuits N Jamz, Leonard’s Food Quarters, Pujo St. Café, and more.


louisiana food and wine


DAY FOUR - Saturday, Sept. 21 - The Lake Charles Aesthetic: Cultural Arts & Eats 

The Louisiana Food & Wine Festival’s Grand Tasting will begin at 4 p.m., and end at 7 p.m. This is the festival’s main event, and you’ll receive endless wine tastings and food samples galore. But there’s a lot you can do before 4 p.m., so I recommend touring downtown Lake Charles. You can take a comfortable stroll through historic neighborhoods, get some Instagrammable photos of the district’s street art, shop at local boutiques and antique stores, peruse through art museums and galleries like Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center, and more. And if you want to keep the party going after the grand tasting, swing by Crying Eagle Brewing to attend the last event of their summer concert series featuring Chris Ardoin. It begins at 7 p.m. 


Luna Jazz Brunch


DAY FIVE - Sunday, Sept. 22 - Sunday Funday Vibes 

Use this morning to sleep in, you deserve it, but be ready to turn up your energy for the festival’s Sunday Jazz Brunch. You’ll probably eat your weight in beignets and bottomless mimosas, as well as sway to the best jazz music in Southwest Louisiana. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Your Sunday Funday doesn’t have to end there. You can keep the jazz vibes going into the evening at Rikenjaks Brewing Company’s Jazz Sunday, attend Swamp Pop Sunday at Golden Nugget Casino, or take the stage at Panorama Music House for Open Mic Night.  

  louisiana food and wine festival


DAY SIX - Monday, Sept. 23 - More Wine? Wine Not? 

The festival may have ended the day before, but you can still explore the neighborhood wine spots locations to grab a bite to eat and wine just the way you like it - by the bottle or glass. This is where you can find them: Bayou Boards by Gabrielle, The Wine Store, Lake Street Liquor, and The Cellar at Crave.