This article is a part of the 2022 Fall Travel Guide, a sponsored collection brought to you by our travel advertising partners. You can find more fall travel destinations and events here.

Sleepy oak trees, brilliant sunshine, live music, delicious cuisine, and relaxation. In Lake Charles, Louisiana, you can find your perfect style of unwinding for your vacation where you can enjoy amenities found in larger cities without all the pressure. Conveniently located on Interstate 10, halfway between Houston and Baton Rouge, Lake Charles is known for its colorful mixture of Cajun/Creole culture, cowboys, and the coast. And, whether you’re interested in a lazy river at a resort or a natural waterway, you’re sure to make a splash in Louisiana’s Playground.

There is a luxurious side of Lake Charles that deserves to be explored. Even the locals know that the Las Vegas style gaming experience is special. Golden Nugget Lake Charles and L’Auberge Casino Resort sit side-by-side, and both sport golf courses, spa facilities, restaurants, live entertainment, and award-winning chefs. But during the summer and fall, the pools are the real jackpot. With island-worthy cabanas and intricately designed lazy rivers, this is where you’ll want to escape this fall.

Food and drink are Louisiana’s equivalent to heart and soul. And there are tons of passionate chefs and entrepreneurs thriving in Lake Charles. Of course, there are several local staples that cannot be missed—a “Darrell’s Special” po’boy: ham, turkey, and roast beef drowned in roast beef gravy served on a crunchy yet soft French loaf, an extra-large seafood platter from Steamboat Bill’s on the Lake, and you can’t visit Southwest Louisiana without sampling boudin and cracklins’ along the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail.

Another form of relaxation is stepping out into nature and just being free from all the pressures of the modern life that we all feel. Natural beauty is all around any time of the year along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. There are wildlife refuges to explore with Pintail Wildlife Drive at Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge or the Wetland Walkway at the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge being crown jewel experiences—not to mention shelling along Gulf Beaches.

An ideal place to get acquainted with the trail is at Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point, where you can see imaginative, hands-on, colorful exhibits explaining the landscape, beaches, Cajun/Creole cultures, Cajun/Zydeco music, and culinary flavors.

Living with the constant hustle and bustle of the modern world, sometimes it feels like a dream to relax in natural surroundings. If gliding out onto the water sounds like a welcome adventure for you, there are several outfitters in the Lake Area that can supply kayaks, paddleboards, and other types of watercrafts. Lake Area Adventures, Paddle Up, or Pelican Water Adventures are some of the ways to rent boats or go on tours on the water. Lighted bike tours are also available through Lake City Cruisers, or if you’d like to get a group together for a nice evening of volleyball on white sand courses, check out South Beach Sports Bar & Grill.  

Nightlife in downtown Lake Charles is on the rise with the recent opening of the Panorama Music House! This venue has been completely refurbished and now includes a rooftop bar. Luna Bar & Grill downtown also features live music and a jazz brunch on Sundays. While you are in town, be sure to swing by Crying Eagle Brewing Company for beer, wine and spirits and delicious selections from The Bistro. Crying Eagle always has a packed calendar with special events and live music, and it’s an ideal place to relax with friends and share stories. 

For a list of events, places to stay, and vacation ideas, check out or follow #VisitLakeCharles and #LouisianasPlayground on social channels.

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