Whether you’re visiting Lake Charles, LA, for business or pleasure, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. This quaint town is on the picturesque Lake Charles coastline and is home to shops, restaurants, and attractions.
From exploring the many parks and museums to enjoying the local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Lake Charles. And, of course, no visit to Lake Charles would be complete without taking a dip in Lake Charles itself!
So, whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed vacation, be sure to add Lake Charles, Louisiana, to your list. You won’t be disappointed.
Here are 11+ things to do in Lake Charles that you’re going to love.
PRESS LADY LUCK AT THE CASINOS
Do you consider yourself lucky? If yes, you should visit one of Lake Charles’ casinos! The L’ Auberge Casino Resort and the Golden Nugget Casino Lake Charles are both excellent choices, and you’ll have a terrific time at either.
L’Auberge Casino Resort is a luxurious option, and you’ll feel like a VIP from the moment you step inside. It features over 1,800 slot machines and 85 table games. Additionally, you’ll find golf, a pool, lazy rivers, a spa, and more. If you get hungry, they have several restaurants on-site that are sure to please.
If you want a more laid-back experience, Golden Nugget Lake Charles is your place. This casino has over 1,600 slots and 79 table games. Plus, there are 12 restaurants to choose from if you get hungry.
If gambling isn’t your thing, worry not because there are plenty of other things to do in Lake Charles. You could hit the links at one of the city’s many golf courses, go for a swim in the clear blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, visit Downtown Lake Charles, or explore the iconic Creole Nature Trail.
PERUSE HISTORIC CITY HALL ARTS & CULTURAL CENTER
Lake Charles, Louisiana’s 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center is a must-see! The building has been restored beautifully and now houses an art gallery, museum, gift shop, and local history archive.
Throughout the year, the center hosts a variety of educational programs and activities, making it an excellent destination to learn about southwest Louisiana’s history and culture. The center is also home to the Charles Street Playhouse, where you can catch a live performance.
If you’re looking for a unique souvenir, be sure to check out the gift shop – you’ll find everything from Mardi Gras masks to Cajun spices!
SAUNTER CHARPENTIER HISTORIC DISTRICT
Looking for something fun to do in Lake Charles? Check out the Charpentier Historic District! This delightful neighborhood is home to dozens of beautifully restored Victorian homes and various shops and restaurants. With its convenient location near the downtown area, it’s easy to explore everything the district has to offer.
Some highlights of the Charpentier Historic District include:
- Borden Park, which is perfect for a leisure stroll or a picnic lunch.
- The Charpentier House Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Lake Charles.
- The Calcasieu Marine National Wildlife Refuge is where you can see a variety of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and birds.
- The Mardi Gras Museum is a must-see for any visitor to Lake Charles.
There’s also a variety of great shops and restaurants in the district, so you’ll find something to suit your taste.
BRING THE KIDS TO MILLENNIUM PARK
If you’re looking for things to do in Lake Charles, LA, with the kids, you’ve got to bring them to Millennium Park! It is one of the most popular parks in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and it’s easy to see why.
The park has many great features that the whole family will enjoy, including a playground, picnic areas, and walking trails. Older kids will enjoy the basketball and tennis courts, while adults can take a stroll on the walking trails.
The park is right on the lake, so you can take advantage of the beautiful scenery while you’re there. Whether you want to spend a day hiking or just enjoying some quality time with the kids, Millennium Park is the perfect spot.
HIKE SAM HOUSTON JONES STATE PARK
If you’re looking for an adventure, Sam Houston Jones State Park is a great place to visit. It has plenty of activities in the great outdoors to keep you busy and lets you explore everything the area has to offer.
With miles of hiking and biking trails and opportunities for canoeing, fishing, and bird watching, the park has something for everyone. With its scenic views of Lake Charles and the surrounding bayous, the park is also a great place to relax and take in the beautiful scenery.
Whether you’re looking for an adventure or just a peaceful escape, add Sam Houston Jones State Park to your list of things to do in Lake Charles.
CELEBRATE AT THE MARDI GRAS MUSEUM OF IMPERIAL CALCASIEU
If you’re looking for things to do in Lake Charles, you need to check out the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu! It has a lot of exciting exhibits that will keep you entertained for hours.
This museum is dedicated to celebrating the history and culture of Mardi Gras, and it’s a great place to learn about the holiday and see some unique artifacts. Did you know Lake Charles hosts the second largest Mardi Gras Festival? The museum has an extensive collection of Mardi Gras memorabilia, including costumes, floats, and more. You can also participate in some hands-on activities, like making a mask for yourself or beads.
Of course, no visit to the Mardi Gras Museum would be complete without checking out the parade route! So, if you’re looking for things to do in Lake Charles, be sure to add the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu to your list.
Note: The Mardi Gras Museum remains temporarily closed in 2022 due to Hurricane Laura damage. They expect to reopen in a new building in early 2024.
DRINK UP AT BAYOU RUM DISTILLERY
Are you looking for a unique drinking experience while in Lake Charles? Bayou Rum Distillery is the place to go!
This rum distillery offers tours of its facility to see how they make your favorite rum. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even sign up for a mixology class to learn how to make some delicious rum-based cocktails.
DRIVE THE CREOLE NATURE TRAIL ALL-AMERICAN ROAD
The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road is one of the most scenic and beautiful drives in Louisiana. This 180-mile trail winds through some of the state’s most pristine wetlands and offers visitors stunning views of wildlife and vegetation.
The trail is a great way to experience the unique ecology of Louisiana and is perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to see some amazing wildlife, including alligators, osprey, and bald eagles.
Another great thing to do on the Creole Nature Trail is fishing. The wetlands along the trail are home to various fish, including bass, catfish, and trout.
SOAK UP THE SUN AT NORTH BEACH
Are you looking for a fun-filled day at the beach? Lake Charles, Louisiana, is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States, and what better way to enjoy them than by soaking up the sun?
North Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Lake Charles. With its white sand, calm water, and easy accessibility from I-10 — this beach stays busy.
Other beaches worth a visit include the beach and marina at L’Auberge, the beach at the Golden Nugget, Holly Beach, and the more rustic Rutherford Beach on the Gulf of Mexico.
SEE THE GATORS EYE-TO-EYE
Want to get up close and personal with some of Louisiana’s most iconic residents? Then a swamp tour is a must-do when visiting Lake Charles.
Located in the heart of the Cajun country, Lake Charles is home to various wildlife, including alligators. There are several ways to see the gators up close.
You can take a swamp tour, which will allow you to see alligators in their natural habitat. Or, for a more intimate experience, you can take a boat tour or simply just grab a kayak.
There are plenty of tour operators offering swamp tours in Lake Charles, so you’ll find one that suits your needs. Just be sure to dress for the occasion – remember, it is a swamp.
EXPLORE PRIEN LAKE PARK
There’s no shortage of things to do in Lake Charles, and one of the best activities is exploring Prien Lake Park. This beautiful 30-acre park is located on the shores of Indian Bay and features a scenic boardwalk that is perfect for a leisurely stroll.
The park also has a playground and picnic area, making it the perfect spot for a family outing. Be sure to keep an eye out for the local wildlife.
The park is also home to several species of birds, including pelicans and herons. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or an adventure, check out Prien Lake Park.
SAMPLE YOUR WAY THROUGH THE SWLA BOUDIN TRAIL
When it comes to food, Louisiana knows how to do it right and on the Boudin Trail in Southwest Louisiana, you can sample some of the best boudin in the state.
This trail features over 20 stops, each with its take on this Cajun classic. Boudin is a sausage made with pork, rice, and spices and served as a side dish or appetizer. On the SWLA Boudin Trail, you’ll find boudin in all sorts of dishes, from fine dining restaurants to casual eateries; there’s something for everyone on the SWLA Boudin Trail.
Lake Charles FAQ
What is Lake Charles best known for?
Lake Charles, Louisiana, is best known for its casinos, and for hosting the second largest Mardi Gras festival in the United States. You’ll also find it a great place to find excellent cuisine.
Why do people visit Lake Charles?
Lake Charles is a popular place to visit because of its outdoor recreation. Well known for its fishing and hunting, you’ll also find hiking trails, beautiful parks, and of course — Lake Charles itself.
Does Lake Charles have beaches?
Yes, Lake Charles does have lake beaches! There are several that we mentioned earlier in this article, but the most popular beach in Lake Charles is North Beach.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO LOUISIANA
- LOUISIANA VACATION
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- NOLA CHRISTMAS: How To Enjoy Christmas In New Orleans Like A Local
WHERE TO STAY IN LAKE CHARLES
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