Cajun CountryLake Charles Area
Other Cajun Country Areas:
Southwest Louisiana/Lake Charles (Calcasieu Parish), overlooking a freshwater lake, with the only white sand inland beach along the Gulf Coast, is the Festival Capital of Louisiana. Cajun Fun Country has over 75 annual festivals and special events such as Contraband Days, Mardi Gras, and the Cajun French Music Festival. Discover the Historic "Charpentier" District with nearly 20 blocks of unique Victorian era homes. Tour the Creole Nature Trail Scenic Byway, a 105-mile driving tour with four wildlife refuges and the Cajun Riviera at Holly Beach. Be sure to bring a camera because the most popular shots are of the alligators and wildlife. Southwest Louisiana has four delightful museums depicting the history of Old Imperial Calcasieu Parish, the famous Sulphur Mines, and the DeQuincy Railroad, plus a museum especially for children. Enjoy quarterhorse and thoroughbred racing, off-track betting, video poker, and three riverboat casinos on beautiful Lake Charles.
Cameron Parish is still the "place to visit." The 1,441-square-mile parish is home to four wildlife refuges. Hunting & fishing or crabbing, shelling and birdwatching on 36 miles of accessible beaches will entice visitors of all ages. Though we have no major chain hotels or motels, the friendly atmosphere of those owning cabins and camps is one of our assets. The marsh flowers and birds, alligators and marsh animals are prevalent in all refuges and along the roads leading into the parish. Over 20,000 people visit the Cameron Refuges on a monthly basis. The Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival is held each January. The Alligator Harvest Festival is held in September and the Cajun Riviera Festival in August attracts over 13,000 people. New to the area is the recently dedicated Veterans Honor Wall in front of the Cameron Parish Courthouse. The wall honors veterans of all wars, living or deceased, and includes over 1,600 names.
Jeff Davis Parish offers Interstate 10 travelers a unique opportunity. Headed east, a first glimpse of the region known as Acadiana. Headed west, a last chance to explore and experience the Cajun culture. Settled in the 1800s, Jennings, Lake Arthur, Welsh and Elton are towns which reflect midwestern influence blended with the rich culture and traditions of Southwest Louisiana's people and its diverse landscape. Stroll down brick sidewalks with gaslights. See National Historic Register homes, Victorian architecture, unique museums, a replica of the state's first oil well, scenic byways, Coushatta Indians, a wildlife refuge and lake surrounded by 100-year-old mossdraped oaks. See live alligators (we'll even let you hold one!) and Rambeaux, our 100-year-old, 100-pound turtle. Enjoy authentic Cajun gumbo, jambalaya and boudin. No matter which direction you are heading, don't miss Jeff Davis Parish!
Gateway to Southwest Louisiana, is traversed by the spring-fed waters
of the Calcasieu and Whiskey Chitto rivers, which offer some of the best canoeing in the state.
For the hunter or bird watcher, West Bay Wildlife Management Area is open year round, and
visitors can enjoy overnight camping at Little Piney Park located near the historic sawmill
town of Elizabeth. Like Louisiana seasonings, Allen's potpourri of cultures is celebrated
at Oberlin's Cajun Rendezvous, the Kinderfest, Oakdale's Springfest and Great Louisiana
Cook-off, Elizabeth's Country Christmas, and the Coushatta Indian Reservation. Allen's pioneer
flavor can be savored at Grant's Syrup-Making Mill and Christmas Tree Farm, West Bay Peach Farm,
or Gamble's Muscadine Vineyards. Lovers of Louisiana flora can stroll the shaded paths of
Fuller-Edwards Arboretum in the heart of Oakdale, while the Parish Courthouse in the Centennial
City of Oberlin beckons the admirers of early Louisiana architecture.
Adapted from the Louisiana Office of Tourism site.