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Hotels in Lake Charles

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Catch the festival fever in Lake Charles, Louisiana

This city at the heart of Calcasieu Parish boasts a rich and fascinating history that includes tales of piracy, Civil War battles and sulfur mining. You may feel like you've journeyed back in time while strolling past the plantation-style homes and 1900s-era architecture of Shell Beach Drive, Margaret Place and the Charpentier district. Travelers are encouraged to learn all about the sweetly Southern town at the Mardi Gras Museum, the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, the U.S.S. Orleck Naval Museum and the DeQuincy Railroad Museum.

After learning about the rich history of Lake Charles, visitors can relax while taking a leisurely drive along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road to look for alligators, or step into some sizzling gaming action at one of the local casinos for an enthralling night.

The festival capital of Louisiana

Think of festivals in Louisiana, and the thrills of Mardi Gras are sure to come to mind. While the big blowout that happens just prior to the Lenten season is certainly a major event, it's by no means the only popular festival held in Louisiana every year. People love to party in Southern Louisiana; with more than 75 annual festivals that take place in Lake Charles to prove it.

Royal Gala

Held at the Lake Charles Civic Center Coliseum the evening before Mardi Gras, the Royal Gala allows visitors a rare up-close glimpse of the colorful costumes and headdresses worn by parade participants. With more than 60 extravagantly outfitted “krewes,” the Fat Tuesday parade in Lake Charles is the second biggest in the state.

Contraband Days

A unique Lake Charles tradition, the two-week festival that celebrates the life and legend of local pirate Jean Lafitte comes around every May. Family-oriented in nature, Contraband Days is jam-packed with games, carnival rides, pirate-themed attractions, food booths, and live music on multiple festival stages.

Cajun Food & Music Festival

Shake a tail feather every July to the lively beat provided by the Lake Charles Chapter of the Cajun French Music Association. Savor tasty Cajun specialties like gumbo, cracklin's and jambalaya, while waiting to hear if they call your lucky raffle ticket number. Arts and crafts booths and a variety of games add to the festive atmosphere of this yearly Cajun festival.

How to get there

Lake Charles Regional Airport (LCH) is a small commercial airport located about five minutes out of town. The largest airlines serving LCH are United and American Airlines, which fly in from hubs in Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth. Some visitors even fly into Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY), rent a car and make the three-to-four-hour scenic drive from New Orleans to Lake Charles.

Where to stay

To be near the lake and local attractions, there are plenty of Lake Charles hotels downtown to choose from. The Howard Johnson Inn is one such hotel close to the Charpentier district, with moderate rates and neighboring entertainment spots.

Business district

If you’re lucky enough to be doing business in the area, the Super 8 Lake Charles Sulphur is 20 minutes from Lake Charles Regional Airport and offers high-speed Internet.

Best time to visit

The weather tends toward comfortable coolness from December to May; this also coincides with the time when Mardi Gras is in full swing. If you don't mind your weather as hot as Tabasco, visit Southern Louisiana during summertime. Come enjoy Southern hospitality from this city steeped in history any time of year.