The Lake Charles region is a paradise for Cajun and Creole food lovers and hub of low-country Louisiana culture. There's no better place to tuck into in a Cajun breakfast of shrimp and grits, or explore the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail and indulge in the tasty regional meat and rice dish known as boudin. Need a quick and easy lunch? Pick up a po'boy sandwich.
While some come to Lake Charles for the abundant dining options, others enjoy different tasting experiences, like checking out the local breweries or the largest private distillery in the USA. At Bayou Rum, located just off Interstate 10 in Laccassine, LA, you can take a free tour, enjoy a rum tasting, and peruse the gift shop.
Lake Charles is also a night-life hotspot that shares New Orleans' attitude of “Laissez les bon temps rouler,” or “Let the good times roll.” Two casinos in Lake Charles, the Golden Nugget and L'Auberge Casino Resort, offer ample entertainment. Play some craps, poker, or roulette. Stake your claim on a hot slot machine, sidle up to the bar, spend some time at the pool, or catch a live concert. There's plenty to do at the casinos, and they provide a refreshing oasis from the summer heat or a rainy afternoon.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the options, head over to Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point. This visitor's center offers helpful information about everything from touring the bayous for birding and alligator sightings or the best local spots to hear a Zydeco band.
From regional cuisine and music to festivals and family fun, Lake Charles, Louisiana, presents abundant entertainment for everyone, all year long.
When to Visit Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lake Charles enjoys a sub-tropical Southern climate. Its summers are hot and humid, while its winters are generally mild. This means you can take the boat out any time of the year. Life is oriented around the water, so much so that you can park your boat at the Bord Du Lac Marina at Bord Du Lac Park and walk to the downtown. Kids love playing at the new Millennium Park right next to the waterfront, too, and it's a nice spot for fishing or to enjoy the sunset over the water.
If you're a nature lover, you can hit the trails any time. Locals have always loved Sam Houston Jones State Park, which is known for its abundant deer population. For waterfront trails and scenic boardwalks, head over to Prien Lake Park. This waterfront park is easily accessible, located near I-210. Its beautiful grounds include a fountain, waterfront seating, and buildings that are large enough to accommodate wedding parties, family reunions, and, of course, Mardi Gras revelries. Just be sure to book these spaces well in advance so you don't overlap with the numerous city festivals.
Similarly, Lake Charles' many festivals can cause hotels to book fast. You will want to book well in advance to secure your favorite property, especially when it comes to Mardi Gras. It is also important to check the city calendar for key dates. There are multiple parades and events that can span a week or more. You won't want to miss out, so do your homework before booking!
Mardi Gras isn't the only game in town, though. The Original DownTown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival takes place in April, and families should also consider the Louisiana Pirate Festival in May, which boasts its own pirate parade. The festivities roll on throughout the year, culminating with Cajun Christmas.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Lake Charles, LA:
Lake Charles, LA: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below we've posted 3 graphs illustrating avg. price patterns by star rating class in Lake Charles, LA. Browse these line graphs to evaluate the cheapest dates to make a reservation in Lake Charles for your upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotels in Lake Charles, LA
Indulge yourself with a stay at the L'Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles. This 4-star waterfront property is the ideal spot for an exciting casino getaway, a fun poolside vacation, and a relaxing golf or spa retreat, all in one. During your stay at L'Auberge Casino Resort, you can dine at one (or all) of the hotel's six restaurants, kick back near the lazy river, and play a hand at the casino tables.
L'Auberge's elegant guest rooms include leather trimmings and opulent textiles that cover a pillow top mattress. Flat-screen televisions and free Wi-Fi are among the welcome amenities you'll enjoy. If you're planning a corporate retreat, take advantage of L'Auberge's 26,000 feet of event space and 24-hour business center.
You'll also find modern style and luxury living at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. This casino resort is a great escape for gamblers and sun-seekers alike. Outdoor pools, poolside-bars, and a lake-front beach and marina make this the hotel for fun in the sun. Rent a cabana and hang out right in the center of the pool on a cushy island of your very own. The lazy river is another popular feature. After a day of sun, head to the casino floor for games of chance, and then toast your good fortune at one of the five on-site restaurants.
Affordable Hotels in Lake Charles, LA
3 Star Average Prices: $89.35
Value-oriented travelers will love their stay at Red Roof Inn & Suites Lake Charles. This roadside hotel is conveniently located near major shopping centers. The affordable hotel rates you'll find here include a variety of amenities, such as use of the outdoor pool and a free breakfast served daily.
In your room at the Red Roof & Suites Lake Charles, guests will have their choice of two queen beds or a king bed. Deluxe suites extend the living space even more with a cozy seating area, complete with a mini fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker. Guests staying for the long term can also take advantage of the hotel's laundry facilities.
2 Star Average Prices: $68.36
Lake Charles, LA Hotels with Discounts
Guests that are AAA members will discover excellent discounts at Comfort Inn Lake Charles. This centrally located Lake Charles hotel is convenient to major shopping centers and numerous dining options. The Comfort Inn Lake Charles is known for its stellar customer service, and the hotel can accommodate large groups with ease.
Guests at the Comfort Inn Lake Charles will enjoy the free breakfast served daily, including favorites like yogurts, pastries, coffee, cereal, and fresh fruit. You can also bring your own snacks and microwaveable meals to be cooked and stored in your room's mini-fridge and microwave. Before you head out, be sure to take advantage of the Comfort Inn's outdoor pool and fitness facilities.
Value Hotels in Lake Charles, LA
When you're looking for a Lake Charles hotel that feels like home, look no further than TownePlace Suites by Marriott Lake Charles. This modern hotel offers generously sized guestrooms that are good for small families or business professionals. Room layouts feature king beds and a sofa bed, while the kitchenette comes stocked with a full refrigerator, stovetop, and microwave, allowing you to save by cooking in your studio suite.
There's no need to cook breakfast during your stay, because you can simply head downstairs and partake of the free daily hot breakfast. Guests can also barbecue on the hotel grill, take a swim in the outdoor pool, or exercise in the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Lake Charles' on-site fitness center.
Experiencing Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, LA
Outside of New Orleans, nobody does Mardi Gras in the USA like Lake Charles, Louisiana. The city's 50+ krewes are the masters of merriment, and you'll find multiple parades taking place across the week leading into the Royal Gala on Monday evening, before the Krewe of Krewes Parade on Fat Tuesday afternoon.
At the Royal Gala, the krewes unveil their Mardi Gras royal wardrobes, each with a court of kings, queens, dukes, duchesses, captains, courtesans, and jesters. You can get tickets at the door, and children are welcome to accompany you for a night of music and dancing.
Leading up to the big day, there are themed events catering to all tastes, from gumbo to king cake cook-offs to a Mardi Gras lighted boat parade. The Krewe of Barkus features costumed pets with their owners, and Motor Gras hosts a parade of hot rods, classic cars, and motorcycles.
Even if you missed the official Mardi Gras festivities, you can still get in the spirit with a visit to the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu. This museum showcases an awe-inspiring array of Mardi Gras costumes, in the hundreds! You'd never guess that so much glitter and spangles were displayed on the second floor of a school building. It can be a bit hard to find, so be sure to call ahead to confirm hours and directions.
Whether you are heading to Lake Charles for a festival or simply plan to play at the area's casinos and waterfront, enjoy your stay and let the good times roll!
'You have a strange relationship with calamity when you're a writer; you write about it; as an artist, you objectify and fetishize it. You render life into and that's a creepy thing to doâ€ were the words of the notable screenwriter and playwright â€“ Anthony Robert 'Tonyâ€ Kushner, who received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in the year 1993 for Angels in America. Tony Kushner grew up in the beautiful city of Lake Charles, which is also known as the 'Festival Capital of Louisianaâ€.
The City of Festivals
Lake Charles is located on the actual Lake Charles, Prien Lake, as well as the Calcasieu River. It is also the 5th largest incorporated city in the state of Louisiana in the U.S., along with being a major cultural, educational and industrial hub of the entire southwestern region. The city hosts more than 75 festivals in one year, which makes it easy for any tourist to find a great hotel for their stay all year round. Hotels in Lake Charles host volumes of guests almost every month, and the influx of people coming to participate or simply enjoy the vividly captivating festivals of this city is never low. Lighted boat parades, carnivals for children and Cajun cook-offs are conducted on a regular basis in many areas of this region, and Lake Charles celebrates its heritage with the famous 'Contraband Days', which is a party hosted in honor of the great pirates who once sailed atop the local lake and goes on for two whole weeks. Lake Charles has a great amount of significance, since it is a major center for refining of petrochemicals, tourism, gaming, as well as education. You'll find a number of waterways and lakes within the metropolitan areas too, which is what really makes Lake Charles special.
Find a Great Place to Lodge
Lake Charles has a number of fairly priced cheap hotels that provide sufficient facilities and swift services at a better price than fancy hotels. You can find great rooms in cheap hotels like Springhill Suites, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express, or Best Western Bayou Inn & Suites.
Travel Like a Nomad â€“ Lodge Like a Lord
If you are looking for Lake Charles hotels with the best modern day amenities that any tourist could ask for, there are quite a few places that you can choose from. Places like Red Roof Inn, Comfort Suites, L'Auberge Casino Resort, or Golden Nugget Hotel offer great accommodations and excellent services to make sure you enjoy your stay. Hotels in Lakes Charles are highly particular in their services, and you'll find all of them housing some great cafes and restaurants to wine and dine in as well.
Try a Boutique Hotel for an Altered Traveling Experience
Since there is a large number of tourists constantly traveling in and out of the city, Lake Charles hotels started to adapt to the crowds. If you look in the right places, you can find great independent hotels at a very low price and still enjoy great services in a quaintly designed facility. The Isle of Capri Casino, Steamboat Bill's, Days Inn, Super 8, and Howard Johnson express all are names of some great boutiques that you will find in Lake Charles, catering to a humble clientele and offering a home away from home.