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Welcome to Southwest Louisiana

Located only 140 miles (225.30816 km) east of Houston, Texas and 206 miles (331.525 km) west of New Orleans, Louisiana, Lake Charles has a lot to offer travelers seeking casino gaming, delicious food, outdoors adventures and entertainment. Our people will make you feel at home as you explore our casinos, golf greens, live music, arts, history, Cajun cuisine , not to mention year-round fishing.

Maybe you’re coming to attend a conference or to visit family and friends, or just up for exploring a bit of the American South. Southwest Louisiana is perfect for family trips, group tours, reunions or conventions. We hope you enjoy your visit to Southwest Louisiana.

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Creole Nature Trail All-American Road

Take the family out and explore the Wetland Walkway.

The Creole Nature Trail beckons to everyone with a sense of adventure.  This is Louisiana’s Outback where you have the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors along the Creole Nature Trail as you view alligators  and over 400 bird species right from your vehicle. Shelling on the natural Gulf beaches and  world-class saltwater fishing are also available along the trail. Download the free smartphone app, available in multiple languages, before you leave home by searching “Creole” in your app store. Once on the trail route, turn on location on your device, and the app will auto-play as you approach points of interest.

Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point

Adventure Point exterior


Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point brings to life many of the intrinsic qualities that make this area unique. Through imaginative, hands-on displays, you can learn the best places to spot alligators and migrating songbirds, take a peek at wildlife found in bayous and marshes, smell the mouthwatering aromas of Cajun/Creole cooking, and “play along” with a Cajun and Zydeco band.




Every year, birds and bird lovers flock to the trail to see both year-round and seasonal migratory birds. In a typical year, more than 400 different species can be spotted in this area, a true birders’ paradise! The region’s flat ground and open water make it easy to spot and photograph the birds.  Great birdwatching destinations include: The Peveto Woods Sanctuary in Cameron Parish; the Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge; Sabine National Wildlife Refuge; and Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge. No longer a best-kept secret, the trail has been named among the Top 40 Birding Spots in North America by Wildbird Magazine and has been proclaimed as one of the Top 10 Birding Destinations in the country.

Casino Resorts

2013 Gaming Group Slots


Casino resorts in Southwest Louisiana are four-star properties with full amenities. Golf courses, world class spas, lazy rivers and swim up bars plus a large variety of dining and shopping are just a portion of what these resorts have to offer.  There are trolleys at Golden Nugget Lake Charles and L’Auberge Casino Resort that allow patrons to easily experience both properties. Catch live horseracing at Delta Downs Casino & Hotel along with casino action or melt into island time at the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel, right on Lake Charles.

Culinary Explorations

Enjoy a Cajun potluck with family and friends!

Food takes center stage here in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana.  Southwest Louisiana’s culinary traditions stem from Native Americans, French, German, Cajun and Creole cultures who settled in the region. Enjoy the flavors of delicious Cajun/Creole foods: boudin, gumbo, jambalaya, crabs, crawfish, and bread pudding smothered in rum sauce. There are foodie tours of Bayou Rum, the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail (boudin is a traditional pork, rice and spice mixtures stuffed into a casing), or try organic micro-roasted coffees at Acadian Coffee Roasters or seasonal specialties at local farmers’ markets while you’re in town. If you prefer brews in the form of beer, check out our home-grown breweries: Crying Eagle Brewing Co. and Rikenjaks Brewing Company.


Cajun Festivals


You’re in the Festival Capital of Louisiana! We host more than 75 fairs, festivals and special events each year.   Mardi Gras in Lake Charles is family-friendly and super-sized with the second largest Mardi Gras festival outside of New Orleans. Visit www.swlamardigras.com for a full listing of events. Don’t worry if you are not visiting during Mardi Gras season. You can experience the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu year round including lavish costumes, animated mannequins and a “parade float” where you can practice saying “Throw me something, Mister!”

Visiting during the first 2 weeks of May? Watch out for pirates arriving for Louisiana Pirate Festival. Visit www.visitlakecharles.org/events for more information on upcoming festivals and seasonal events.


2015 Charpentier

The heritage of Southwest Louisiana is fascinating. This is a place where pirates met cowboys, and where Cajuns, Creoles, German immigrants, Midwesterners and pioneers from the South and West built a community and a culture like no other. The Charpentier Historic District, a National Register-listed site, can be divided into several neighborhood tours.  Over 400 structures comprise the District. Check out www.visitlakecharles.org/history to learn more about the area. Make sure to download our free Lake Charles Historic Tour app, available in multiple languages.


Are you a tour operator looking to bring a group tour via bus to Lake Charles, or a receptive operator who needs assistance with accommodations or attractions? If so, we’re here to help. Please email us all the details and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Getaway Guide
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Getaway Guide

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Boudin Guide
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Boudin Trail

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