Top 6 Ways to Soak in Southern Relaxation and Play in the Outdoors 

The outdoorsy side of Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana along with downhome food, boudin and cold brews with friends makes for a memorable weekend! Checkout some of the options to explore below. Or, for the “luxurious flipside” of Lake Charles, explore lazy rivers, epicurean delights and spas & shopping here.

  1. Outdoor Activities/Rentals: 
    Outdoor Activity Rentals
    Southwest Louisiana is known for its beautiful outdoor scenery and waterways. You can leave the bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis, and boats at home because, we got you covered! Some outdoor rental companies even feature guided tours that can enhance your experience. Drift through lush marshlands and bayous at your own pace or get your feet on the pedals for a ride around downtown and the lakefront. Check out local outdoor rental/tour companies
  2. Hang with the Crew with Brews & Spirits:
    Brews and Spirits
    One of the favorite hangouts in Lake Charles is Crying Eagle Brewing Company with seasonal hand-crafted beers, a two-story tap room, outdoor stage, beer garden and games. The Bistro on site has menu items complement Crying Eagle’s classic brews. Another “brew” is Acadian Coffee Roasters. You can see their coffee and collaborations throughout the area such as Crying Eagle to create "Pistol Bridge Porter" beer, and also, Boombox Frozen Pops & Ice Cream’s “With or Without Brew” frozen pop. For spirits, try rum! Check out Louisiana Spirits Distillery and tour the distillery. Another Louisiana sugarcane product, every drop of  Yellowfin Vodka is carefully crafted from locally sourced and bottled at a single location.
  3. Dining Outside – Al Fresco is the Way to Go! 
    Luna Patio
    When the weather is just right, it presents a great opportunity to enjoy the open air in Southwest Louisiana. Who wouldn't like to combine the love for food and the outdoors by eating outside on a perfectly shaded patio or sip a delicious cocktail on a beautiful terrace? Check out Dining Al Fresco in Louisiana’s Playground – complete with live music too – especially at Rikenjak’s, Paul’s Rib Shack and Luna Bar & Grill!  
  4. Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail: 
    Boudin Trail
    Locals love boudin! What is it? Boudin is made of varying amounts of pork meat, liver, rice, onions, parsley and dry seasonings like salt, red pepper, black pepper and garlic powder, and it’s a staple snack in Southwest Louisiana. Bought by the pound, boudin is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime in between. Check out where you can find this delectable treat
  5. Creole Nature Trail & Gulf Beaches: 
    Gulf Beaches
    Since the beaches along the Creole Nature Trail are relatively secluded they offer the perfect opportunity for finding shells without dealing with large crowds. The best part is that you can keep all the shells you find as souvenirs! See alligators, birds and experience the natural splendor of Louisiana's coastal marshlands. For hunting and fishing adventures, check out local guides. 
  6. Play in the Parks:
    Local Parks
    Local parks offer the perfect place to soak in the sun, watch the kids play, or take a brisk walk while enjoying the beautifully landscaped walking paths. Several local parks also feature access to water or white sandy inland beaches. Here’s a sampling of local parks!

    Photos (brew by Chad Moreno) (beach by Lindsey Janies)