What's in store for the season? Pumpkin spice and everything nice!
The first cold snap always immediately sets everyone’s jaw for gumbo in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana. Cooler, crisp weather is also known as “gumbo weather,” and it’s the perfect time to get cozy in some of the most luxurious gaming resorts in the Gulf South and explore nature, local culture or holiday events. Here are some of the top things to do in Southwest Louisiana this fall!
Depending on where you visit in Louisiana, gumbos will have slightly different ingredients, and the base will also vary – as in how dark the roux is. The roux in Lake Charles is a deep brown color, but a little lighter than in some areas of the state. The go-to for Southwest Louisianans is chicken & sausage gumbo, but there is a variety of seafood gumbos to be found as well. Here are some hot spots for gumbo that will warm your soul on a chilly day: Seafood Palace, Steamboat Bill’s, Hollier’s, LeBleu’s Landing, Leonard’s Food Quarters & Southern Spice. Learn more about how to make a gumbo!
If you like the crackle of a fire during the cooler months, then you’ll love L’Auberge Casino Resort being aglow with their iconic fireplaces throughout the resort – especially inside Ember, the crown jewel dining spot for drinks and appetizers or a full-fledged dining experience. Vic & Anthony’s at Golden Nugget has a modern wine cellar feel to it, and both properties have firepits on the beach side to warm up while outdoors. Also, check out Chart House at Golden Nugget for balcony firepits overlooking the Country Club golf course. Delta Downs’ Rosewater Grill & Tavern boasts a close-up view of the track for watching the thoroughbreds race, and all properties have live entertainment and special events – ideal for a fall weekend getaway.
Break out your binoculars! During the fall and winter, the Creole Nature Trail birding population soars as hundreds of thousands of migrating birds make their annual migration following the Central and the Mississippi Flyways. The trail is home to more than 400 bird species annually, making it one of the Top 10 Birding Destinations in the country. Year-round, there is an endless array of raptors, waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds residing in this lush environment. Check out the birding guide! Pintail Wildlife Drive is one of the best places to see waterfowl from the comfort of your car. For more outdoor adventures, check out Gulf beaches for shelling and walks along the beach.
Lake Charles is teeming with musical talent from Zydeco to Cajun to folk, country and rock. There is a good mix to enjoy over dinner or brunch. Crying Eagle Brewery and The Bistro located inside is a hot spot for local music, brews and perfectly paired Bistro menu items. Brunch is a total activity in Lake Charles, and many of the experiences feature live music too at Rikenjak’s, Luna Bar & Grill and Tia Juanita’s, but you won’t want to miss the over-the-top Bloody Marys at MacFarlane’s or exquisite selections at the Villa Harlequin or Restaurant Calla. Check out other restaurants with live music!
After filling up on all the Cajun/Creole cuisine in Lake Charles, you can work it off – in a fun way – of course. Instead of a spin class, try a lighted bike tour in the Lake Area! Lake City Cruisers offers a wide variety of tour times and an assortment of light-up bikes for a night on the town. If golf is more your thing, Golden Nugget and L’Auberge Casino Resort both have courses on property. Nearby in Westlake, The National Golf Club of Louisiana, has recently gotten some upgrades, including a new restaurant on site which is scheduled to open sometime in October. If you’d rather have a honey hole than a hole-in-one, there are plenty of fishing adventures to be had in Southwest Louisiana. Check out one of our guides in the area to get out on the water! Finally, for Hollywood-style laser tag or good old-fashioned axe throwing, Game2Life is your hot ticket, or get your game on at South Beach for volleyball or relax at the bar & grill.
In addition to Crying Eagle Brewing Company with seasonal hand-crafted beers, a two-story tap room, outdoor stage, beer garden and games. Another “brew” on the Brews & Spirits Trail 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.
*Photo Credits: Lindsey Janies & Parker Brand Creative