The summer may be winding down, but that warm, carefree feeling is still lingering in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The sun's rays are just as warm and inviting as ever, and this is your golden opportunity to sneak in a little relaxation before all the fall responsibilities start to crank up.
Lake Charles is a blend of contrasts, from the abundant wildlife and great outdoors to the stunning surroundings of casino resorts that come with a Cajun and Creole twist. You can literally explore nature in great abundance one day and fall into the lap of luxury the next.
Experience the convenience of two world-class casino resorts side by side: the Golden Nugget Lake Charles and L'Auberge Casino Resort. Both offer golf courses, spa facilities, restaurants, a variety of pools with lazy rivers, and award-winning chefs. You can also enjoy restaurants and horse racing at Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel or melt into the islands at the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel.
If the outdoors is more your speed, you can reconnect with nature through the sights and sounds of the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. Choose from birding, hiking, paddle boarding along the waterways, and shelling on the scenic Gulf beaches.
After a day on the lake, head downtown where unbeatable dining experiences and eclectic shops await, or check out the sites south of town with a stop at Crying Eagle Brewing Company to sip seasonal brews on tap. Nothing pairs better with a cold brew than the new, delicious menu choices at The Bistro at Crying Eagle.
Speaking of good eats: Jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp or crawfish étouffée, boudin, and bread pudding are just a few examples of Southwest Louisiana's famous Cajun French and Creole cuisine. Luna Bar & Grill, Panorama Music House, and Rikenjaks are staples for scrumptious food and local music on the patio. Mama Reta's is the place for soul food, while Famous Foods has an excellent selection for a good old-fashioned plate lunch, cracklins, or boudin.
One of the newest attractions in the Lake Area is Della Belle Bed & Breakfast. This enchanting property definitely adds a hint of magic to your getaway. Located right along the lake, Della Belle is a premier Shell Beach Drive mansion that's been exquisitely renovated.
Spread across nine acres of scenic land, the Greek Revival main house is almost a century old and boasts five bedrooms, four full baths, and two half-baths. The luxury manor includes a grand parlor, garden parlor, billiard room bar, tearoom, pharmacy bar, formal dining room, and breakfast room. Also on the property are a delightful garden house, carriage house with an upstairs suite, and a boathouse that provides incredible panoramic views of the lake.
While you're in Southwest Louisiana, soak up some culture by checking out the cultural exhibits on display at 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center. There are a variety of galleries to explore, including the Black Heritage Gallery. Or make plans to visit the Mardi Gras Museum inside Central School Arts & Humanities Center to explore rooms on costume-making, Mardi Gras Royalty, king cakes ,and more.
On the other side of the river is the Henning Cultural Center in Sulphur, along with the Brimstone Museum located next door and with The Grove Park nearby. It's just right for a quick stroll through the gardens, complete with walking trails, flowers, and water features.
To gain more inspiration or to plan your trip, check out www.visitlakecharles.org.