The fabulous food could easily cover your Top 10 Reasons to head to Lake Charles LA, but while you're there, you simply MUST visit three other attractions.
Flock of Five may well be one of the most fascinating gift shops I've visited in a long, long time. It is housed in the former post office building of Sulphur, Louisiana and encompasses 7000 square feet. That means you'll need to allow yourself plenty of time to really inspect the lovely offerings here of local art and the craftsmanship of area artisans. Because the store is stocked with locally-made products, you can really get a sense of this part of Louisiana and its delightful culture. Jewelry, home decor, toys, food products and so much more line the shelves. Normally one store wouldn't be considered an attraction, but, believe me, this one qualifies.
Located in the Central School Arts and Humanities Center, the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu contains the largest collection of Mardi Gras costumes IN THE WORLD! So much color, intricate design, imagination and artistry will dazzle you as it did me. In the museum, you can climb aboard a Mardi Gras float, read the history of the King Cake, try on a costume yourself and get a hands-on, close-up look and feel for the amazing work put into each elegant outfit. They are so much heavier than I imagined. And, each year has a separate theme. Wow! Mardi Gras is much more than throwing and catching beads. Lake Charles, by the way, is said to have a very family-friendly celebration and hosts the second largest festival.
In 2020, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) falls on February 25, but a number of events are held leading up to that big day. In Lake Charles, festivities begin as early as January 3rd. Check the area's website for details -- visitlakecharles.org/mardi-gras
It's free, it's fun, and it's a wonderful way to get an overview of all the area's cultural and culinary flavors, along with the recreational opportunities and wildlife prevalent around Lake Charles. I loved trying my hand at a few zydeco instruments and smelling the various spices of the region. No doubt my Silver Fox would LOVE fishing in Lake Charles, and we'd both appreciate the natural beauty of Southwest Louisiana.
The staff at the Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point is very knowledgeable and eager to help point you to the places that are of the most interest to you. I'd recommend it as a great starting point when you arrive in Lake Charles to get a sense of what you'll be experiencing.
As another recommendation, Tru by Hilton in Lake Charles was a comfortable, well-located place to stay when I visited the area.
And the food? Oh my goodness!!