Lake Charles, LA

Travel Guide
Lake Charles Historic District featuring a house
Enjoy mouth-watering cuisine, foot-tapping music and summer festivals in this city in the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun country.

Lake Charles is located in the heart of Louisiana’s Acadiana region, also known as “Cajun Country.” The city embraces its heritage with mouth-watering Cajun cuisine and upbeat music on nearly every street corner.

Lake Charles hosts more than 75 annual festivals. Contraband Days is one of the most popular and attracts more than 200,000 visitors. Held over 12 days in May, the celebrations feature Cajun food, live entertainment and music. Mardi Gras festivities also draw huge crowds each year.

Sample a traditional treat such as boudin (sausage) or gumbo, a type of stew served over rice in restaurants in downtown Lake Charles. Visit a bar or club to hear zydeco, a blend of Cajun music, rhythm and blues.

L’Auberge du Lac is a casino resort with a 26-story hotel, 18-hole golf course and a spa. Browse shops and then stop for a meal at an array of international restaurants. Check out the activity on the casino floor or spend time lounging by the pool.

Discover the history of Lake Charles and its surrounding five parishes at Imperial Calcasieu Museum. The space also houses an art gallery. Behind the museum, enjoy a picnic under the shade of the 375-year-old Sallier Oak.

Explore the lake and surrounding swamplands through parks and along the area’s many trails. Wander between swampy lakes and past cypress trees at Sam Houston Jones State Park. Enjoy views of the lake at Bord du Lac Park or North Beach.

Lake Charles is one of the most humid cities in the country. While the weather is comfortably warm for most of the year, temperatures soar during summer months. Go swimming in the lake to cool off in summer.

Interstate 10 connects Lake Charles to Houston in the west and New Orleans in the east. It’s a 2-hour drive to Houston and a 3-hour trip to New Orleans. Lake Charles Regional Airport, located south of the city, offers flights to Dallas and Houston. The easiest way to get around is by rental car.

Where to stay in Lake Charles

Lake Charles Historic District featuring a sunset

Lake Charles Historic District

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the district boasts 281 contributing buildings with architectural styles like Colonial Revival and Queen Anne Revival. Explore the 1896-built Church of the Good Shepherd while admiring the historic charm.

Lake Charles Historic District