Many of the attractions in Southwest Louisiana are free or extremely affordable. Check out some free opportunities to explore Louisiana’s Playground!
Southwest Louisiana highlights art and history with several local galleries and museums. The following locations offer free admission: McNeese State University’s Grand Gallery and Abercrombie Gallery, 1911 Historic City Hall also housing the Black Heritage Gallery, and the Henning Cultural Center. An added outdoor bonus; marvel at 375+ years of deeply rooted history at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum’s most iconic landmark, the Sallier Oak. Click here for a list of area museums, galleries and art events.
Nature is always free to enjoy. Plan a trip along the Creole Nature Trail including visits to national wildlife refuges, walking trails and Gulf Beaches, but first, make a stop at Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point. Adventure Point will give you tips on the best areas of the trail, depending on the season, where you’ll spot wildlife; including alligators, and share the story of our area’s Cajun culture through hands-on exhibits on the landscape, food, and music.
Lake Charles offers several free concert series throughout the year, so cut loose and enjoy the music! Live at the Lakefront, Groovin’ at the Groove, Downtown at Sundown, Crying Eagle Concert Series, and Catch a Concert rock the spring and summer months. During the fall, check out Music at Morganfield or Chuck Fest – which is a celebration of Lake Charles’ art and music scene. Dancing is always encouraged. Many local fairs and festivals are free to attend, so be sure to check out the calendar of events.
Take in some fresh air and a little sunshine. Relish in feeding the ducks, bird (or people) watching, or make plans for a lakefront picnic. Plus, the kids will love Millennium Park.
The area’s past is preserved in the Historic Charpentier District. Step back in time with a walking or driving tour of Historic Charpentier District, with one of the finest collections of Victorian architecture in the state, dating from the late 1800s. This tour is wonderful throughout the year but is especially beautiful during springtime. Download the Historic District brochure.
With over 16 parks in the area, there are plenty of outdoor options for exercise, playground fun for the kiddos, and if your four-legged family members are in tow – we’ve got several dog parks to visit too! Prien Lake Park in Lake Charles or The Grove in Sulphur are popular spots to walk, enjoy nature or have a picnic lunch. Also, check out other parks in the area.
Nothing beats fresh, local fruits and vegetables. Visit any of Lake Charles’ farmers' markets to see what's in season for produce, homemade breads, jams, honey as well as pre-made, organic meals like vegetarian sushi, pasta and chicken salads, quiches and vegan egg rolls. Another bonus - free samples! Learn more about Lake Charles’ Farmers Markets.
*Schedules/Availabilities are subject to change. Please confirm dates/times before visiting.