15 Best Things to Do in Lake Charles

Lake Charles
Jacob Boomsma / shutterstock.com

Lake Charles, Louisiana, is one of the best cities to visit with your friends and family.

The city is also known as the ‘Lake Area’.

This is because there are plenty of lakes and other water bodies in Lake Charles city and nearby.

The southwestern location of this city makes it extremely rich in culture.

It is beautiful and picturesque.

If you are a culture enthusiast, you will absolutely love this place.

Lake Charles is also home to several museums, art centers, parks, nature trails, casinos, and resorts.

If you are in Charles Lake, you shouldn’t miss out on these attractions.

For example, one of the museums is the Imperial Calcasieu Museum.

It is famous for its artifacts and the 400-year old Sallier Oaktree.

The city is also famous for its Casino industry.

One of the famous casinos here is the L’Auberge du Lac.

Here is a list of things to do in Lake Charles:

1911 Historic City Hall

1911 Historic City Hall
travelview / Shutterstock.com

This art museum and cultural center is spread over 3 floors.

The building has excellent architecture.

It exhibits the great cultural and historical background of Louisiana.

History enthusiasts are sure to have a great time here.

It features a wonderful art gallery.

The 4-sided manual clock of this museum is worth mentioning.

The Christmas village display is very nice to see.

Admission to this museum and art and culture center is mostly free to the public.

Many residents of Lake Charles still remember the Titanic Museum that had come to the town about a decade ago and was housed at Historic City Hall.

It’s a place where folks go for things that promise fun and entertainment.

Recently, Hurricane Laura had caused extensive damage to the roof of this important center of art and culture.

And the rain continued to damage the interiors which housed a lot of art including those of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

More recently, Hurricane Delta caused flooding on the street and water entered the building.

You must visit this art center which is restored to its original glory and is once again holding exhibitions.

Louisiana Pirate Festival

The Louisiana Pirate Festival is conducted on the shores of Lake Charles and earlier it was known as the Contraband days.

The festival spans a period of 12 days in the first two weeks of May.

This is one of the most important festivals in the cultural calendar of the city with over 200,000 people attending the festival.

The festival began in 1957 and it celebrates the city’s seafaring traditions.

The two-week mega event is spread over both sea and land.

During this festival, several musicians and band artists perform on the shores of Lake Charles.

It’s a family-friendly event marked with local arts and crafts, games, carnival rides, costume contests, and cannon demonstrations.

This festival is rated among the top 20 events in the Southeast US.

The best time to visit Lake Charles is between April and May and September to October.

The summers are harsh and the overall climate is humid.

The winter is brief.

L’Auberge Casino Resort

L’Auberge Casino Resort
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

This is the most famous casino resort in Lake Charles.

This is a 26-story building with around 1,000 guest rooms, a premier meeting place, and a golf course.

People come here to enjoy gambling games such as Baccarat, Blackjack, and EZ Baccarat.

It also has several table games and poker room games.

The casino boasts 1,600 slots housed in a glass dome with a grand vaulted ceiling.

Additionally, it has facilities such as luxurious accommodations in the form of rooms and suites.

Each room has an LCD television, free access to Wi-Fi, a makeup mirror, a cozy mattress, and a coupon to the gym.

Another attraction is the packages they offer for the suites such as the Royale Suite, Marquis Suite, and so on based on the amenities available in each of them.

The special features of these suites range from a perfect view of the golf course to the comfort of the oversized clawfoot tub and a marble shower.

Contraband Bayou Golf Club

This 18-hole golf club is located at the L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles.

This club was built by the famous golf designer Tom Fazio.

This is a wonderful place for golf players to spend.

The design of this 7,077-yard and par-71 golf course complements the typical lowland marshy features of Louisiana.

It has 8 spectacular lakes on the edges.

The natural vegetation and aquatic features challenge the skills of the golfers.

Every cart is equipped with touchscreen GPS.

The staff at the course is friendly and skilled.

You also have a beverage cart service that offers snacks, sandwiches, and cool drinks.

Many of the golf magazines have rated it as the best golf course in different categories.

As a magnificent golf course within a Casino resort, it’s certainly one of the places you would like to visit.

What’s more?

L’Auberge Casino Resort where this golf course is situated is known for its luxurious facilities including hot water pools.

Golden Nugget Lake Charles

Golden Nugget Lake Charles
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

This casino has a 22-story building with nearly 1,000 guest rooms, a large golf course, a meeting place, bar and dining facilities, and a waterfront.

It is famous for the wonderful casino experience it provides to the guests.

It also has poker rooms and table games.

Golden Nugget offers a variety of cuisines, helping you experience the rich culture of Louisiana.

Amenities they provide include spa and salon, bars and dining areas, pools, fitness centers, marina, tennis courts, and scooter rentals.

Mardi Gras Museum

Mardi Gras Museum
Team at Carnaval.com Studios, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is indeed an asset of Lake Charles as it displays the history, culture, and traditions of Louisiana.

This museum has 6 rooms, each of which exhibits matters of cultural and historical importance.

The subjects range from the origin of Mardi Gras to the costume collection and Mardi Gras parades.

The largest Mardi Gras costume collection is worth mentioning.

It includes the costumes of Carnival ball royalty, Mardi Gras Indians, Cajun Mardi Gras, Brazil carnival, Gay carnival, Walking clubs, and many more.

Imperial Calcasieu Museum

This 58-year old museum is known for its historical and cultural exhibitions.

It displays the rich culture of Louisiana.

Its mission is to support art and artists and provide education regarding arts to all age groups.

However, this museum is presently undergoing renovations.

Another attraction here is the 400-year old Sallier oak tree, which is named after Charles Sallier.

It is believed that he had built his summer house beneath this tree.

This tree assures a wonderful sensory experience for the visitors.

How this oak tree has held out against hurricanes and other calamities is still a wonder.

Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point

Creole Nature Trail Road sign
Michael Kaercher / Shutterstock.com

This is a magnificent destination for nature lovers.

The crocodile populations and bird species are preserved here.

The landscape and wildlife here are sure to overwhelm your eyes.

Wildlife enthusiasts can make the most out of this spot.

As it is located around 200 miles from the Cajun culture and around 30 miles from the Gulf coast, the scenic background is splendid.

It also provides facilities for fishing and boating.

You also get a chance to learn tips and tricks to locate a crocodile in the lake.

Charpentier Historic District

Farm house at Charpentier Historic District
travelview / Shutterstock.com

This district is surrounded by Lawrence, Kirkman, Iris, Hodges, and Louisiana Street.

It incorporates an area of 158 acres of land.

The buildings of historic significance within the district exhibit outstanding architecture.

This is a must-visit destination in Lake Charles.

It is sure to surprise you.

The style of architecture reflected in this locality points back to Victorian fashion.

This destination can promise you a feeling as though you really stepped back into history.

Prien Lake Park

Prien Lake Park
CTtcg, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is a perfect destination for nature lovers.

Its location along the Calcasieu River contributes to its magnificent landscape which is sure to gift you a breathtaking experience.

Visitors can enjoy their evenings with their kids.

You are also allowed to take your pets in for a walk.

It offers services such as parks and picnic spots.

And one can also enjoy boating.

It specifically features crabbing directly from the bank of the lake.

The attractions that you can explore while boating include Lake Charles Civic Center Sea Wall, Calcasieu ship channel, Westfork of the Calcasieu River, among others.

Millennium Park

This destination is perfect if you are planning a trip with your kids.

Kids love to play and this park has lots of amenities meant for kids.

The play area provides climbing rods and splash pads with shades.

The treehouse for kids to climb is worth mentioning.

Kids are sure to love it.

Additionally, it features a toddler zone.

This park is perfectly safe for kids.

Hence, you can enjoy your time without being worried about your kids.

It also has a Water Park with fountains.

The walking paths are very attractive.

Another attraction of this park is the 9/11 memorial, built-in memory of the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center.

However, even adults can spend a wonderful time here by enjoying the evening breeze.

White Oak Park

As the name suggests, this park is dotted with oak trees.

The scenic background of this park is worth capturing on your camera.

This park has a protected area of 810 acres and is enlisted among the Allegheny County Parks.

It also features athletic fields meant for training in various athletic events.

This is sure to give a wonderful experience to the bike riders.

The park has an extensive network of bike trails that runs through the mountains and is hidden among the woods.

It also has a very large off-leash Dog Park.

So, your pet is sure to enjoy the trip.

Drew Park

This park in Lake Charles offers a great recreational spot.

It has lots of greenery and blooming flowers.

It also features a large playground, picnic tables, and gyms.

Drew Park has several picturesque spots where you can click pictures with your friends and family.

Another attraction is the recreational center that provides several video games and table games.

You can also have snacks and watch television here.

Several summer day camps are hosted in this park.

Drew Park is located close to Charles Drew Community Center in Lake Charles.

If you aim to enjoy the outdoors without tiring yourself, this could be a great place for you.

You can play softball or basketball with your friends.

Grosse Savanne Eco-tours

An eco-tour is an excellent way to explore the magnificence of nature.

Grosse Savanne Eco-tours provides trips for small groups of visitors under the supervision of a guide.

You get a chance to see the sights around the freshwater and saltwater marshy areas.

Grosse Savanne Eco-tours offers a protected area of approximately 50,000 acres where you can explore without any restriction.

This eco-tour is a great way to explore the wilderness, especially the bird species.

You can have a glimpse of more than 400 bird species here.

It’s a great place for nature, birding, and wildlife viewing.

You can spend your day leisurely exploring private nature trails, a boat tour in marshes, or gaining educational experiences.

Sam Houston Jones State Park

Sam Houston Jones State Park
Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com

As the name suggests, it is named after the 46th governor of Louisiana who played an instrumental role in setting up this park.

It incorporates an area of 1088 acres.

This park is known for its cypress trees.

Additional attractions include the trails for walking and biking.

It is also a great spot to go camping and is home to several disc golf tournaments.

Nature lovers can enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake with ducks and geese swimming in it.

This park is famous for its wildlife that includes squirrels, bobcats, and so on.

This 1,087-acre park is located close to the most productive birding zone of Louisiana.

It’s an excellent place for bird-watching as, within a range of 30 miles, you can see about 200 bird species.