Lake Charles Travel Guide

  • Cajun Band
    Cajun Band
    by Nevada_Dan
  • American Alligators
    American Alligators
    by Nevada_Dan
  • Cajun Jam Session
    Cajun Jam Session
    by Nevada_Dan

Lake Charles Highlights

  • Pro
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    Jmill42 says…

     Gambling, Contraband Day's festival 

  • Con
    Jmill42 profile photo

    Jmill42 says…

     Almost everything else 

  • In a nutshell
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    mrclay2000 says…

     For wildlife lovers, hunters or fishermen, a great getaway spot 

Lake Charles Things to Do

  • View Wildlife

    There are alligators and turtles in the pond near the welcome center and the lake attracts a variety of birds.

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  • Southwest Louisiana Welcome Center

    The Southwest Louisiana Welcome Center is the best place to start your visit in Lake Charles. The friendly staff here can provide you with maps and brochures of atrractions, hotels, restaurants, etc in Lake Charles and throughout the area to help you get the most enjoyment out of your visit. They have Internet access available, a picnic area, room...

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  • Sallier Oak

    Also on the property of the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, which is located on land formerly belonging to one of the early settlers, Charles Sallier, is the Sallier Oak which is believed to be almost 400 years old.

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  • Imperial Calcasieu Museum Surprise...

    One of the more interesting, and unique displays in the museum was a surprise basket. These are similar in concept to nesting dolls; but they are woven as baskets and as you open one you see another as they get smaller and smaller. Usually there is something inside the last one (like a doll or something). These were made mostly by slaves and are...

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  • Imperial Calcasieu Museum

    The area called Imperial Calcasieu once covered a large area of Southwest Louisiana. Lake Charkles was long one of the leading towns in the area. Today the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, located in Lake Charles, preserves the story of the 5 counties of Calcasieu, Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, and Jeff Davis. The museum has some nice sculptures outside...

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  • Art

    Also located in the old Central High School is the Central School Arts and Humanities Center. There are some nice examples of art on the walls inside the building. This is home for the arts council and they support all types of art from paintings, to sculpture, to plays and more. I found the separate entrances to the school for boys and girls kinda...

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  • Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Museum

    The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Museum houses the largest collection of Mardi Gras costumes in the world. It is located in the old Central High School in what is now the Central School Arts and Humanities Center. The highly original and colorful costumes are well displayed down the hallways of the former school. Hours for the museum are 1 PM to...

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  • 911 Memorial

    There is a very touching 911 Memorial by the lake along the boardwalk dedicated to the people who died that day in general, and the two from Lake Charles in particular. The memorial includes girders from the World Trade Center, a piece of granite from the Pentagon and a very nice mosaic with over 3000 pieces of colored glass, one for each victim.

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  • Lake Charles Historic District

    Lake Charles has a nice historic district with several buildings of historic and/or architectural interest. It would have many more if they had not been destroyed in the 1910 fire. Lake Charles has a couple of districts and 11 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The main picture here is the old city hall from 1911, which...

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Lake Charles Hotels

Lake Charles Restaurants

  • Best Seafood in the Area

    $15 as of January 2014. This is a fairly small place with a big sign. One of two Steamboat Bill's in Lake Charles. The decor inside is fairly basic looking. However, this place has been voted the #1 seafood place in Southwest Louisiana in a Reader's Choice poll, and also one of "Ten Great Places to Eat in the USA" by USA Today. The menu is...

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  • Fried! Fried! Fried!

    Even though they claim to use "heart-healthy" peanut oil for frying, pretty much everything on the menu at Steamboat Bills is fried. That's not a complaint, 'cause the food is WONDERFUL!Every time I leave Lake Charles I think, "I wonder how long it will be before I can eat at Steamboat Bill's again?"It's right on the Interstate-10 Service Road at...

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  • Outstanding cross-cultural dining

    My AAA guide suggested a restaurant called La Truffe Sauvage just off the interstate in Lake Charles. This turned out to be inspired guidance, because I had a fabulous meal. I did feel a little weird in a fine restaurant all by myself -- linen tablecloths, a pianist and violinist providing pleasant background music, and what looked like really good...

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Lake Charles Nightlife

  • The "happenist" joint in town..

    OK, thats not saying much. Lake Charles is definitely NOT known for its nightlife scene. Lafayette is much better and is only 50 minutes away. But, if you have to party down in Lake Chuck, then OB's is one of the longest running places in town. Whatever you want.

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  • Most Stylish Casino In Lake Charles

    This casino is very new and very stylish, perhaps the most impressive building in the area. The hotel stands out for miles on the flat bayou landscape. The staff is very personable and professional. While I didnt see any signs, one would feel very uncomfortable if not dressed a bit better than work clothes. The doormen have white shorts, white...

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  • Hang on to Your Cash

    I was there on Oct 9 for the first day of operation after Hurricane Rita. The casino was built as a veritable fortress and didnt receive much damage. There are four restaurants in the casino but only one was open that night. The casino floors were packed however with people just wanting to get out .....a curfew had been in affect since the...

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Lake Charles Transportation

  • Lake Charles Regional Airport

    This is the "red-headed stepchild" of all airports. Pray you never have to fly in or out of here. The people working here are nice, though.Seriously, Continental and Delta service this airport. But, as you can see from their website, they actually had to get businesses to sponsor Delta, just so they would stay.

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  • Private car is a mustand only one...

    The airport (LCH) is served by only Continental Express to Houston with 4 or 5 flights a day. It is a very expensive airport to fly into since CO controls the market. Taxis can only be called and cannot normally be hailed. The public bus is not very extensive.

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  • Private car is a mustand only one...

    The airport (LCH) is served by only Continental Express to Houston with 4 or 5 flights a day. It is a very expensive airport to fly into since CO controls the market. Taxis can only be called and cannot normally be hailed. The public bus is not very extensive.

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Lake Charles Local Customs

  • A few differences in culture and customs...

    Some differences between the rest of the this country and southwest Louisiana. It is unlikely you will hear Spanish spoken in this region. Most speak English, with a thick southern accent. If you are around older people they likely will speak Cajun French as their first language. Most Cajun people also speak English. The language will be close to...

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  • Expect Politeness!

    I was always amazed at the politeness with which I was addressed while being there. Whenever I asked a yes or no question, I always got a crisp "Yes, sir!" or "No, sir!" When I would thank someone, the response was always "Yor Welcum"

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  • Graveyard Protocol

    Like much of Louisiana, Lake Charles is either at or barely over sea level. Graveyards throughout the state often show mausolea above ground to avoid seepage and flooding characteristic of extensive shallows. Though the graveyard depicted is nothing like the countless tombs aboveground in the necropoli of New Orleans and elsewhere, the prevailing...

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Lake Charles Warnings and Dangers

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    My Car Iced Up

    by Basaic Written Mar 14, 2014

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    Do not let the location of Lake Charles (on a lake in Southern Louisiana) fool you. They can get some adverse weather. When I visited in January 2014 they had an ice storm. The steep bridge along Interstate 10 over the lake was impassable. You can't go around it either without driving a long way.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Lake Charles What to Pack

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    by Ken_Weaver Written Oct 15, 2005

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    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: The first few days after Hurricane Rita, I hardly noticed the mosquitos. However, the last 4 days I was there I was eaten alive by mosquitos even with repellent.

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Lake Charles Off The Beaten Path

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    by John_P_LSU Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Drive the Creole Nature Trail National Scenic Byway, a 180 mile loop-trail to the coast and back.

    www.creolenaturetrail.org
    [image obtained from internet]

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Lake Charles Sports & Outdoors

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    by Jmill42 Updated Jun 11, 2003

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    The McNeese State Cowboys are a division I-AA school. They are a very good I-AA. Actually, at this moment they are the number 1 ranked I-AA school. The stadium is pretty good and the environment is as well. So, if you are in town on a home date and need your sports fix, then MSU is actually a good place to get it. Their baseball team is pretty decent as well. The most famous alum, however, is in basketball. Joe Dumars, who was the starting guard beside Isiah Thomas for the Detoit Pistons of the NBA for their two consectutive championships in the early '90s.

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Lake Charles Favorites

  • Me and Ray Charles

    One of the great characters that I met was a guy actually named Ray Charles. He worked for a contracting company that supported the Citgo Refinery. He supervised a group of workers that grilled our meats on huge live charcoal pits. He also could get me just about whatever I needed to make our operation work.

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  • Route to the Sea

    Lake Charles (the lake) communicates with both the Intracoastal Waterway (that runs all the way to New York City) and the Gulf of Mexico by a narrow channel between the southern tip of the lake and the gulf. Commuters can cross the channel via a traffic ferry that runs on a slow scale, but as a port the lake and environs are generally busy. Ships...

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  • www.visitlakecharles.org (I...

    www.visitlakecharles.org (I stole Gumbeaux Gator from their website... check it out) [image obtained from internet]

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Map of Lake Charles

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