Attention, Texas residents—Lake Charles, Louisiana, is calling! As the first major city from the Texas border, Lake Charles offers visitors a unique blend of Cajun culture, outdoor adventure, and relaxation. And the best part, you ask? It’s just a short drive from Southeast and Central Texas communities, or you can take to the skies and fly direct from Dallas’ DFW or Houston’s IAH airport.

Lake Charles is the best of Louisiana, infused into something irresistible – and you’ll find out as soon as you check-in. Discover the ultimate in luxury and excitement in Lake Charles, which is home to three of the most opulent resorts in the south. Indulge in the lavish offerings and world-class amenities of Golden Nugget Lake Charles, L’Auberge Casino Resort, and the recently re-opened and re-imagined Horseshoe Lake Charles.

Horseshoe Lake Charles; courtesy of Kathryn Shea Duncan

Experience the thrill of gaming at any one of these luxurious resorts, where you’ll find endless entertainment options, from slot machines to high-stakes table games. Savor exquisite dining experiences, featuring everything from classic steakhouse fare to innovative fusion cuisine.

Alevan Salon Spa Sanctuary; courtesy of Kathryn Shea Duncan

When you’re not testing your luck at the casino, take a dip in the sparkling pools, lounge in private cabanas, and float down the lazy river and soak up the sun in style. Unwind in style at the on-site spasat Golden Nugget or L’Auberge, where expert therapists will pamper you with a range of indulgent treatments. There’s a variety of spa options around the community, too; if you’re out exploring and shopping, make an appointment at Alevan Salon Spa Sanctuary, one of the first multicultural hair salons in Lake Charles.

Courtesy of Kathryn Shea Duncan

For a taste of Louisiana culture, be sure to visit during the Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival on April 22 at the Lake Charles Civic Center. This year, the festival is partnering with This is Home Fest, the legendary music festival, the perfect recipe for incredible food and electrifying music, with proceeds going to support Parkinson’s research, awareness, and patient support. The event is “a wonderful free family-friendly outdoor festival that showcases local and global artistry and all the cuisine our area is known for,” says festival director Jay Ecker. The duo-festivals feature live music from regional and national acts, a variety of food vendors, and of course, plenty of crawfish, which for Louisianans, is a luxurious delicacy this time of the year.

In Lake Charles, we love to eat and know where to point our fellow foodies in the right direction. From fresh seafood to succulent steaks, the city boasts an impressive selection of restaurants that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. One such restaurant is Pat’s of Henderson, a community staple since 1948. The menu boasts classic Cajun dishes like gumbo and crawfish étouffée and are served up in a recently renovated, elegant yet cozy atmosphere that’s sure to impress.

The Bekery; courtesy of Kathryn Shea Duncan

Are piping hot coffee and fresh baked goods more your speed? Then The Bekery, located just off the majestic oak-lined Shell Beach drive, is a must! The French-inspired bakery has a full dine-in menu featuring breakfast sandwiches, omelets, soups and loaded salads – in addition to the cabinets of croissants, quiches, muffins, cinnamon buns, cookies, that excites your senses and draws you in when you open the doors.

The James 710; courtesy of Karthyn Shea Duncan

Another must-visit restaurant in Lake Charles is The James 710, an upscale eatery featuring a rotating menu of locally sourced seasonal dishes, specialty cocktails and a spectacular patio that’s air conditioned and perfect for a lunch or dinner with friends. If you’re looking for a luxurious steakhouse experience, slip into your favorite little black dress and prim-pressed slacks for reservations at Vic & Anthony’s at Golden Nugget or Ember Grille & Wine Bar at L’Auberge.

For a unique dining experience, head to Villa Harlequin in the heart of downtown Lake Charles. The Villa Harlequin offers a true fine-dining experience with an emphasis on French cuisine. The restaurant’s elegant decor and impeccable service create the perfect atmosphere for a special occasion or romantic evening.

Crying Eagle Brewing; courtesy of Kathryn Shea Duncan

Brewery seekers delight at Crying Eagle Brewing, the premium spot for enjoying a craft beer that’s brewed on-site or a specialty cocktail and woodfire pizza made fresh from the bistro. It’s the kind of place where you can stay all day. The spacious, covered patio and beer garden area boasts space for furry family members and friends to enjoy regular live music, comedian shows, and specialty events.

There’s richness in every bite, and that’s just the beginning. Southwest Louisiana has exciting new attractions, cultural festivals, and fresh menus you’ve got to taste to experience. So, round up your friends and start planning your well-earned getaway to Lake Charles today!

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