Located in Southwest Louisiana, you’ll find classic Cajun and Creole cuisine, untouched marshlands, local festivals and festivities, high rolling nightlife, music and incredible, locally-owned businesses (shops, eateries and breweries) that you can only find in Southwest Louisiana.

Downtown Lake Charles is a walkable area of town 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. Within walking distance, you can enjoy BOOMBOX Frozen Pops & Ice Cream, Botsky’s Gourmet hot dogs, and a myriad of 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, and in Vinton, patrons can experience the heart-pounding thoroughbred racing action at Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel.

And, your taste buds will thank you as you enjoy delicious Cajun/Creole food like gumbo, jambalaya, crabs, and crawfish along the way. Make sure to head to Lake Charles while crawfish season is in full swing. You’ll know it whenever you pass by a restaurant or boiling point that serves up this popular delicacy as the spices will lure you in. We like to call crawfish “red gold” in Southwest Louisiana!

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 they also have The Bistro that serves up hot and delicious stone-fired pizza. Perfect combination with a cold brew.

While you are in town, you owe it to yourself to dive into nature and explore outdoor adventures along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. The road features 4 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.