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Sample the best of Louisiana’s culture in the town of Lake Charles, which sits near the border of Texas. Local traditions reign supreme here, so you can feast on Creole cuisine, or get into the spirit of festivals at the colorful Mardi Gras Museum. It’s a town that has preserved its history well, as you’ll experience when driving around the Charpentier Historic District.

Rent a car through Orbitz to explore the area, and the rest of Louisiana opens up to you. Wildlife refuges sit on the coast, while the bigger cities in the east of the state beckon to anyone visiting Lake Charles.


Lake Charles and beyond: Drive to cities of culture

Lake Charles is perfectly placed for the intrepid explorer. In one direction lies the wonders of Texas, and in the other you’ll find the finest cities in Louisiana. Rent a car, then drive to all these exciting places.

Beaumont, Texas

The first city you reach when you cross the border into Texas is a fascinating destination. Meet a group of fearsome reptiles in the Gator County Adventure Park, or step back in time at the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum. This open-air attraction recalls the days of the oil boom, and recreates life in Texas during that time.

Journey time: Around one hour

Distance: Approximately 60 miles

Baton Rouge

To marvel at the unusual, towering State Capitol of Louisiana, head to Baton Rouge. You can climb the tower for views of the city, which hosts a zoo, waterpark, college sports arenas, and several museums. The Louisiana Art and Science Museum and River Road African American Museum are two highlights, showcasing the city’s open relationship with its past and its forward-looking attitude today.

Journey time: Around two hours

Distance: Approximately 130 miles

New Orleans

The Big Easy is the most famous destination in Louisiana, and it’s easy to access from Lake Charles. Drive east and in a short time you’ll reach the atmospheric French Quarter, where jazz bursts out of the cafés, and parades romp through the streets. Don’t miss City Park, a vast green space that hosts botanical gardens, an amusement park, and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Journey time: Around 3 hours 10 minutes

Distance: Approximately 205 miles