In Lake Charles, Louisiana, you'll find classic Cajun and Creole cuisine, untouched marshlands, local festivals and festivities, high-rolling nightlife, music, and locally owned shops, eateries, and breweries.
Downtown Lake Charles is a walkable area with a hyper-local focus. Here, you can experience Alexander Art Studio, complete with a larger-than-live mural on the outside of the building, which is a must-stop photo opportunity. You can find fleur-de-lis paintings, souvenirs, and specialty items. A short distance away, you can enjoy Boombox Frozen Pops and Ice Cream, Botsky's Gourmet hot dogs, and myriad other interesting finds from one of the Lake Area's favorite restaurants, Luna Bar & Grill, to the newly opened Panorama Music House.
For luxurious surroundings, check out Las Vegas-style gaming at Golden Nugget Lake Charles and L'Auberge Casino Resort. These properties sit side by side and offer golf courses, spa facilities, restaurants, live entertainment, and amazing pools with a lazy river. The Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel has games of chance, restaurants, and a dance floor with live entertainment — great for anyone wanting to Cajun two-step. In Vinton, patrons can experience the heart-pounding thoroughbred racing action at Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel.
Please your taste buds by enjoying delicious Cajun/Creole food such as gumbo, jambalaya, crabs, and crawfish. Make sure to head to Lake Charles while crawfish season is in full swing (typically March, April, and May). You'll know by the spice in the air whenever you pass by a restaurant or boiling point that serves up this popular delicacy. You'll soon know why locals call crawfish "red gold."
If you are unable to make it to Lake Charles during crawfish season, you can always enjoy the bounty of the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail. Or try the local spirits at Bayou Rum and YellowFin Vodka, and craft beer at Crying Eagle Brewing Company. Crying Eagle features a tap room, beer garden, gift shop, live music, and The Bistro, which serves up hot and delicious stone-fired pizza. It's the perfect combination with a cold brew. Additionally, the brewery is now open on Sundays: "Bacon, Eggs & Kegs" provides an opportunity to enjoy brunch items such as breakfast pizzas, frittatas, and beer mimosas.
You also owe it to yourself to dive into nature and explore outdoor adventures along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. The road features four wildlife refuges, walking trails out over the marsh, Gulf beaches, and endless opportunities to reconnect with nature and unplug from the day-to-day. The Creole Nature Trail is one of only 43 All-American Roads in the nation, and the sunrises and sunsets along the marshlands and Gulf beaches boast some of the most brilliant shades of pink, orange, gold, and violet.
For a relaxing escape, check out places to stay and things to experience at www.visitlakecharles.org.