A 1.75 mile stretch of road, Shell Beach Drive skirts the southern shore of Lake Charles. It was once the continuation of the Old Spanish Trail, and for decades before the opening of the 1950 Calcasieu River (I-10) Bridge on the north edge of the lake, transcontinental drivers were treated to some of the most sumptuous architecture and gardens on this very drive. Many properties have boathouses that reflect the styles of the houses.
Did you know?
Just to the west of the Intersection of Barbe Street and Shell Beach Drive, note the wooded land which is part of the Barbe family homestead. On the water’s edge near the intersection of Lake Street and Shell Beach Drive was located the famous Barbe Pleasure Pier, a theatre, casino and dance hall that extended 200 feet into the lake. At the turn of the last century, this was a center of recreation and entertainment—in fact the Pier was the terminus of one of the city’s several streetcar lines.