Encounter the Past
It’s still here
The fascinating heritage of Southwest Louisiana is yours to explore. This is the place where the pirate met the cowboy, and where Cajuns, Creoles, German immigrants, Midwesterners and pioneers from the South and West met to build a community and a culture like no other. Drive, walk, explore! Take a tour and take pictures.
The large Charpentier Historic District, a National Register-listed site, can be divided into several neighborhood tours which can help organize your time and tell the story of this diverse and remarkable District. Over 400 structures comprise the District. Charpentier means “carpenter” in French, the working language of many of the very earliest builders. Definitely download the Historic Lake Charles app for easy to follow Charpentier Historic District tours and an Eerie Calcasieu Ghost tour. Estimated Activity Time: 30 minutes to 1 hours
Downtown has changed a lot since the 1800s, and there is no better way to see it than by standing in the places where history happened! Several of Lake Charles’ historic buildings have been renovated into fabulous restaurants. For a list of downtown restaurants, click here. For a listing of our Top 20 Local Favorites Restaurants, click here.
Elegance, history, culture, and beautiful architecture highlight this whirlwind tour of Southwest Louisiana. The area has 8 delightful museums depicting the history of Imperial Calcasieu including the Mardi Gras Museum with the largest display of Mardi Gras costumes in the South, the Brimstone Museum, the DeQuincy Railroad Museum, the Children’s Museum, the USS Orleck Naval Museum and the Imperial Calcasieu Museum. Central School Arts and Humanities Center is located in this district, housing many fine arts including the Black Heritage Gallery as well as the Mardi Gras Museum. Estimated Activity Time (depending on number of museum visits) : 1 hour to half day
Taste the History
Southwest Louisiana’s culinary traditions stem from Native Americans, French, German, Cajun and Creole cultures who settled in the region. These influences also brought boudin to the area! The best way to taste this local favorite is by traveling the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail and visiting the 30+ different mom and pop shops, grocery stores and even gas stations.
Check out http://www.visitlakecharles.org/history to learn more about the area and download our Historic brochure.