Learn At The Uss Orleck Naval Museum
The USS Orleck is a retired Gearing-class destroyer that went through a lot during its time in the United States Navy between 1945 and 1982. Now, it is located in Lake Charles and acts as a museum for people to walk through and learn about the navy.
Visiting here is a great learning experience and full immersion into what this destroyer went through. If youre looking for what to do in Lake Charles, this Lake Charles attraction has to top your list. We also think that if you are looking for things to do in Louisiana this weekend, you should make a stop at this Naval Museum one of your activities for the weekend.
Fun And Free Things To Do In Lake Charles Louisiana
Lake Charles is a beautiful city that can be found in southwest Louisiana. If youre headed here, youre probably wondering about things to do in Lake Charles, Louisiana and what makes the city of Lake Charles one of the best places to visit in Louisiana. Lake Charles, LA, is the home of the Mardis Gras Museum and is known for its beautiful views, deep history, and beautiful culture. It got its name from being located by a large lake that attracts visitors and tourists all year long.
And you might wonder where is Lake Charles and what major cities is it next to? Lake Charles is located close to larger cities of Lafayette and Baton Rouge. Lake Charles to New Orleans is just 200 miles and about a 3-hour drive. Lake Charles and Beaumont are about 55 miles apart and one hour drive away. If you are planning to visit and see some Lake Charles attractions, here are the best 20 things to do in Lake Charles.
Top Restaurants In Lake Charles
“The Festival Capital of Louisiana,” Lake Charles hosts over 75 festivals each year, the most famous being Mardi Gras, the second largest in the state. The annual celebration attracts revelers with Cajun cook-offs, a children’s carnival and a lighted boat parade. The city celebrates its local heritage with “Louisiana Pirate Festival,” a two week long party in honor of the pirates that once sailed the local lake. The Central School Arts & Humanities Center is a stop on the African American Heritage Trail.
5.0 based on 120 reviews
Reviewed By mvanden – Humble, United States
The kids loved the play structure and I loved the safety features. Our toddler is a bit more adventurous so preferred the big kid area over the toddler corner, but that looked nice for the little ones.
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Things To Do In Lake Charles La: Charpentier Historic District
The Charpentier Historic District in Lake Charles offers visitors the chance to go on a self guided walking tour that spans over forty blocks. The area is well known as a place of architectural wonder and is even named after the carpenters who worked on the houses, as charpentier is the French word for carpenter.
The houses feature eclectic styles dating from the beginning of the century, and visitors should particularly keep an eye out for little details like leaded glass, ornate finishes, and towers and spires that make the area look like something out of a fairytale. There is also an app you can download that will take you on a tour of the area with explanations in multiple languages.
1205 North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70601, 800 456-7952
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Visit The Veterans Memorial Park
Another historical tourist attraction in Lake Charles is the Veterans Memorial Park where you can experience the memory and remembrance of those who fought for the United States. It is a powerful and moving place to visit, so that makes it a great one to visit. We rank this place as one of the most important things to do around Lake Charles. We think that if your kids are old enough to handle what the park stands for, you should take them for the experience and history.
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Virtual Mardi Gras Shoebox Float Contest
- Recurring daily
Visit Lake Charles is inviting everyone to jump into the Mardi Gras spirit with the 14th Annual Mardi Gras Shoebox Float
- Lake Charles Civic Center
- Recurring daily
People can see firsthand the hearse that was used to carry civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.s body almost 54
Fine Dining In Lake Charles
While the crawfish, po boys, gator and gumbo might be on the menu, there are plenty of fine dining establishments in Lake Charles as well. Thanks to the chefs at the LAuberge Casino Resort and Ember Grille & Wine Bar we ate like kings!
The selection of meals was reminisce of a fine French Restaurant in Paris.
Mediterranean-Dusted Lamb Lollichops , roasted rabbit loin to truffled macncheese, a trio of delicious salads we couldnt get enough of our meals.
A stand out was the seared foie gras w/ savoury stuffed French Toast topped with Bourbon Barrel aged maple syrup. However the show stealer of our dining adventures in Lake Charles was the Ember Prime Tomahawk, a 40oz rib eye carved table side.
Finish your meals with and Crème Brule, chocolate brownie a la mode, and a fruit medley with a sculptured pastry dish.
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Hit The Creole Nature Trail And Adventure Point
There are many great photo opportunities as you traverse this scenic byway. The Creole Nature Trail is comprised of several wildlife refuges and is connected by many highways spanning 180 miles throughout Louisianas outback. The birdlife is so abundant and varied that I couldnt help but fire off a few dozen pictures. I just wandered freely through the wildlife refuges, but there are bird watching tours and even blinds set up for the more dedicated bird photographers.
To see the Creole Nature Trail properly, we suggest a tour. It is the best way to see the abundance of wildlife. Even though it was very cold we were still lucky enough to see plenty of wildlife including an American alligator! Bran was over the moon! Bran had been hoping to see an alligator. Check!
I think that when we return to the Creole Nature Trail I will bring my fishing rod along with my camera. Its not only a great destination for nature photographers it also has great fishing two of my favorite things. For more information on the Creole Nature Trail visit the Lake Charles Website for details.
- Location: 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, la
Visit The Lake Charles Casinos
Lake Charles is a gambling mecca with four high-end casinos among the most popular Lake Charles attractions. During my visit, I stayed at the LAuberge Casino Resort, a full-service casino owned by Pinnacle Entertainment.
If you want to check out the Lake Charles casinos, then this is one not to miss. With all of the fun stuff to do in Lake Charles, hanging out at this swanky hotel ranks as one of the best options. Beyond gambling in Lake Charles, its easy to love staying at the LAuberge Lake Charles since the staff is fully focused on creating a luxurious experience. The rooms are super comfortable, and there are several excellent restaurants and shops at all price points.
Beyond being a casino with 24-hour gambling, the property is one of the best Lake Charles hotels and is convenient to many attractions in Lake Charles. For me, as a non-gambler, the highlights at LAuberge Casino Resort were the pool and the spa. The pool is quite massive and has a lazy river with a swim-up bar. Near the pool area, the spa is a relaxing indoor oasis. I felt completely rejuvenated after enjoying a Swedish massage and a dip in the hot tub.
LAuberge Casino Resort is located at 777 Avenue LAuberge, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States.
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Crying Eagle Brewing Company
The company was named the crying eagle in honor of a legendary Indian chief, Calcasieu, who had a very particular battle cry and whose name translates to eagle. Calcasieu is also the name of a nearby river.
The brewing company has lots of different craft beers on sale, theres a favorite for all tastes. The locally crafted beers have a unique flavor and special connection to Louisiana. The locals that run the place are enthusiastic and friendly brewers, if you have any questions about how they make their beer you can pop in for a chat!
Get cozy in the brewerys modern taproom and laidback beer garden, the best places to meet locals and other travelers and socialize over a tasty and refreshing beer.
Do A Little Putt Putt Golf With The Family
If you want to look into more things to do with kids in Lake Charles rather than simply for adults, enjoying some mini golf is a very fun yet affordable way to have fun with the whole family.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons
This fun Putt Putt Golf course is open from 3-10pm on weekdays, 10am-11pm on Saturdays, and 12pm-10pm on Sundays. Maybe visit soon if youre looking for things to do in Lake Charles this weekend. We certainly think this is a great place to visit when youre looking for what to do in Louisiana.
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Shelling On The Creole Nature Trail
Stop at Lake/Charles/Southwest Louisiana Visiotrs Bureaus on N. Lakeshore to pick up your shelling guide. Then start out for a fun day of shelling on the 26 miles of natural beaches on The Creole Nature Trail. See how many different shells you can find. The guide provides a great resource to the different types of shells you may find on the beaches of the Creole Nature Trail. Mitchells Wentletrap is my favorite shell. Key your eyes open to find one of these beautiful shells. On the beaches you might also see unique animals to this area including a brown pelican or a Portuguese Man-of-war. The shelling guide features 8 Shelling beaches with Rujtherford & Holly beach typically being the best fr shelling, with a map to help you plan your route.
The last place on our list of low cost and free things to do in Lake Charles, Louisiana, is the Crawfish Farm Tour. This seasonal tour is given from March- May. The Crawfish Farm Tour takes you pond side to learn about their habitat and pond ecology. In addition, you will also learn about the harvesting and distribution process. Tour fee is $8. Minimum of 10 for a tour. Call to see if you can join a group for a booking to meet the 10 person minimum if you are a small group. More information can be found at jeffdavis.org or call 1-800-264-5521.
What Is There To Do In Lake Charles Besides Gamble
From museums to outdoor adventures to Mardi Gras Lake Charles has so much to offer besides gambling.
Not visiting during Mardi Gras season? Be sure to visit the Mardi Gras museum and be amazed by the costumes and even stand on a float!
Explore history at any number of the area museum. Get outside. Take an airboat tour. Go birding or fishing.
I list all my favorite things above, but see how my friends over at 2foodtrippers enjoy their time in the city.
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Where To Stay For Sightseeing In Lake Charles
Lake Charles has a wide range of lodging in the area, from large resorts to small budget hotels. If you have a particular interest in downtown attractions or locations, like the Creole Nature Trail just beyond downtown, you are best to find lodging closest to the activities you want to do.
- LuxuryHotels: Without a doubt, the Lake Charles luxury hotel options include the large resort complexes like the Golden Nugget Hotel, which has on-site activities like a championship golf course and lazy river. L’Auberge Resort Lake Charles is located on the waterfront and has luxury amenities like a spa, golf course, and restaurants.
- Mid-RangeHotels: If your Lake Charles trip centers on the outdoors and the Creole Nature Trail, you can stay at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, which is only a 10-minute drive to the trail, so you can make the most of your day on it. For a location close to town, the Hampton Inn is an option close to the Charpentier Historic District and many of the Lake Charles museums.
- BudgetHotels: It is not hard to find budget hotel options in Lake Charles. The Red Roof Inn & Suites Lake Charles is a family-friendly hotel close to all the main attractions, like the Children’s Museum and the . Another budget-friendly option is the Best Western Plus Lake Charles Inn & Suites, which is centrally located between the airport and downtown attractions.
Visit The Uss Orleck Naval Museum
The USS Orleck Naval Museum is a floating museum of the USS Orleck DD 886 WWII destroyer. It was in service during WWII, Vietnam and The Korean war. It has been fully restored and visitors can tour the ship to see what life for military soldiers. History buffs will love taking a tour of this ship to learn of its warring history. Check out details at their website
- The USS Orleck Naval Museum is located at: 604 N. Enterprise Blvd., Lake Charles, Louisiana
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Events In Lake Charles
There are many ways to enjoy local sounds and delicacies. Lake Charles, the Festival Capital of Louisiana has more than 75 festivals and special events each year, including , the Louisiana Pirate Festival, the Black Heritage Festival, the Cajun French Music & Food Festival and the Calcasieu-Cameron Fair. Savor delicious food at one of our culinary festivals or catch a live concert just about every weekend! View our calendar of events to see whats going on this week in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana.
Kid Friendly Activities In Lake Charles
Kids love Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana because we’re extremely family-oriented, and there are loads of things for them to do! Family activities such as outdoor recreation to swimming, camping, mini-golf, laser tag, bowling and waterparks, we have it all here in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana for you to enjoy. Check out the top 10 things to do with kids in Lake Charles!
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Outdoor Activities For Kids
Grand Isle State Park: Venture off the coast of Louisiana to be rewarded with expansive Gulf views and a launching point for excellent deep-sea saltwater fishing. Play in the sand, splash in the surf, camp on the beach or take a nature hike to spy numerous species of birds and other wildlife.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve: Stroll the boardwalks of the Barataria Preserve deep within Louisianas wetlands, past palmettos, bald cypress trees and bayous filled with alligators. At the visitor center, kids can earn their Junior Ranger badge and view the animals living in Louisianas wetlands. Chalmette Battlefield and cultural exhibits highlighting Cajun culture are also located here.
Tammany Trace: Bike, walk, run or ride a horse along Louisianas top-rated rail-trail, an approximately 30-mile route that travels from downtown Covington through the historic communities of Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe and Slidell. Kids will particularly enjoy the inclusive Kids Konnection Playground in Mandeville the beach and nature trail at Fontainebleau State Park and scenic Camp Salmen Nature Park in Slidell.
Bogue Chitto State Park: At this state park in Franklinton, visitors will experience a variety of natural habitats along the scenic Bogue Chitto River. The 1,786-acre site includes small streams, cypress-tupelo swamps, a forests and a rolling landscape. Rent a horse and ride along the seven or 14-mile equestrian trails through the park.
Enjoy A Free Concert With Music At Morganfield
If you are looking for some fun and romantic things to do in Lake Charles, going on a cute date at Music at Morganfield park is a good option. This is great for romantic things to do in LA.
Throughout the year, there are many free concerts offered where you can go out, bring a lawn chair, and dance the night away. You will leave wanting to visit Lake Charles for more. If you are looking for things to do in Louisiana at night, this should make it on your list. There are of course so many other things to do in Lake Charles at night, but we think dancing is awesome.
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Take Your Fish To One Of The Catch And Cook Restaurants In The Area
That fishing trip is even more memorable when you can experience your fresh catch prepared by an amazing local chef in Lake Charles as part of the Catch and Cook program.
Find all of the requirements and local participating restaurants Catch and Cook program.
A few of our prize fish made their way to Jack Daniels Bar & Grill. This is where Chef Lyle Broussard created the most AMAZING and mind-blowing culinary creations with our fish.
The flavors and ingredients that I experienced were a testament to how fortunate Lake Charles is to have him.
The four dishes that he created from our fish were Fried speckled Trout with crawfish cream sauce & charred white corn grits , Blackened redfish on the ½ shell with roasted garlic potatoes, grilled baby vegetables, jumbo lump crab meat with citrus cayenne butter , Seafood stuffed flounder with homemade pepper jelly sauce. Pan seared speckled trout with blackened pecan lemon butter, fried Brussel sprouts, and prosciutto bulls blood tossed in lemon oil .
The environment at Jack Daniels Bar & Grill is definitely laid back but the food quality still hits a high standard. BBQ fans will have lots of options with entrees made with Jacks own sauces and glazes.
Kids can enjoy sitting by the semi-truck and playing a round of foosball or cornhole while they are waiting for their food.