Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana have so much to offer, from beautiful natural habitats and scenic rivers, to inviting sunsets on the lakefront, along with unique area attractions. Lake Charles is an inviting place to call home. There is a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment experiences for your enjoyment in Lake Charles and SWLA. The downtown district in Lake Charles is quickly becoming the heart of the city with its preserved historical atmosphere and restored historical structures, and great dining, shopping and leisure options.
Also downtown, on the shore of our fresh water lake, is the only white sand inland beach on the Gulf Coast. A boardwalk stretches the length of the lakefront connecting the beach to a series of waterfront parks, including Millennium Park, the Veteran's Memorial Park and the September 11th Memorial. The city hosts many events on the lakefront including, water sports shows, boat parades, firework displays, and festivals. The Lake Charles Civic Center and Arcade Amphitheatre provide venues for a variety of live entertainment.
Area Attractions Include:
Parks and Trails: If outdoors is where you like to be, check out the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, any of the local or state parks, or any of the other fun outdoor activities. Hunting guide services can take you to prime fishing spots and hunting blinds, with no shortage of wildlife for the taking.
- Creole Nature Trail - All American Road
- Tuten Park
- Veteran's Memorial Park
- Bord du Lac Park
- Lakefront Promenade
Festivals & Fairs: Southwest Louisiana hosts over 75 annual festivals, from the second largest Mardi Gras in the state of Louisiana to Contraband Days: Louisiana Pirate Festival to Holiday celebrations, there is plenty to keep you busy.
- Mardi Gras
- Contraband Days
- Martin Luther King Festival
- Cajun French Music & Food Festival
- Banners - McNeese State University
- Black Heritage Festival
- Southwest Louisiana Garden Festival
- Palm Sunday Tour of Homes
- Memorial Day Avenue of Flags
- Texas/Louisiana Crawfish Festival
- Lake Charles Symphony Pops
- Marshland Festival
- Bayou Blues & Zydeco Festival
- Lake Charles Gatorman Triathlon
- Cal-Ca-Chew Food Festival
- International Music & Food Festival
- Mistletoe & Moss Holiday Market
- Veteran's Day Parade
- SWLA Christmas Lighting Festival
- New Year's Eve Pops
- Southwest Louisiana District Livestock Show & Rodeo
Arts & Culture: Arts and culture are alive and well in Southwest Louisiana. You will find diverse styles and mediums of art. Whether you spot a mural or statue on the street, peruse through one of the many quality galleries partake in a concert from the Lake Charles Symphony, or enjoy a theatrical performance from a local theatre or ballet company.
- Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA
- Children's Theatre Company
- Lake Charles Little Theatre
- Artists Civic Theatre Studios (ACTS) Theatre
- McNeese State University Theatre
- Lake Charles Symphony
- McNeese Banners Series - Arts & Humanities Series
- Lake Charles Civic Ballet Co.
Gaming & Nightlife: Looking for a first rate casino gaming getaway? You will hit the jackpot in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana. From golf greens and spas to horseracing and island time getaways, you will fall in love with the variety of casino venues. In addition, you can experience a vibrant nightlife with headlining entertainment at the casinos or local artists at the more intimate live music venues.