By Brandy Simpson
Lake Charles
Photo gallery
Known to locals as the Lake Area, Lake Charles is a brilliant mix of a metropolitan city and the great wilderness that Louisiana has to offer.  Lake Charles serves as an important cultural, educational, and industrial hub for the southwestern part of Louisiana.  Ranked in 2010 as the number one city in Louisiana to raise a family, Lakes Charles is the perfect destination for a fun family trip.

In order to reach Lake Charles, you will first need to fly into either Houston or Dallas, Texas.  Then, you will need to fly into the Lake Charles Regional Airport (LCH).  The Lake Charles Regional Airport provides daily flights to and from both Houston and Dallas.  At (, can help you book your flights today. can help you find a great room at any one of Lake Charles' fabulous hotels.  To book your room for your trip to Lake Charles, visit (

For shopaholics, Lake Charles offers a wonderful array of shopping options.  With the ability to serve over 300,000 shoppers, the enormous Prien Lake Mall is a one stop shop for all of your retail needs.  Prien Lake Mall houses over eighty department stores and a theatre designed with a 1930s feel.  Once you've shopped all of Prien Lake Mall, head on over to the Lake Charles Power Center for over 1,000,000 square feet in stores.  

For the outdoorsman, stop by the Sam Houston Jones State Park for a bit of fresh air.  This 1,000 acre pristine park features both pine forests and lagoons.  Birdwatchers will absolutely love this park; the park is home to over 200 unique species of birds.  Located on the Calcasieu River, you can enjoy any number of water sports.  The old stagecoach road is a definite must-see if you love to hike! also suggests taking part in some of the unique outdoor experiences that Lake Charles has to offer.  There are a great number of airboat, fishing, and hunting tours available all throughout the Lake Area.

Home to five museums, the Charpentier Historic District is great place for history buffs to visit.  The Charpentier Historic District stands as a tribute to the carpenter architects who fashioned the distinct Lake Charles style.  For a night on the town, recommends booking a horse-drawn carriage ride and taking in a play at the District's theater.  View the largest collection of Mardi Gras costumes in the world at the magnificent Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu.  For a great art experience, visit the Imperial Calcasieu Museum which features the Gibson Library, the Gibson-Barham Gallery, and the Sallier Oak and Lynda Benglis Sculpture Garden.

Finally, test your luck at the slots at the L'Auberge du Lac Casino.  With a theater, casino, resort, shops, restaurants, and golf course, you'll have a blast at the extravagant L'Auberge du Lac Casino.  If you're visiting during the summer months, be sure to stop by for the Parties by the Pool event that attracts thousands of people from all across the region.