Louisiana Road Trip Part 4: Dancing In Lake Charles

Following our three day adventure in Lafayette, it was time to head out West towards the Lake Charles region, only an hour’s drive away.  Enroute we got to indulge in the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail!  You can’t leave Louisiana without trying boudin, typically a mix of pork, rice, liver, onions and spicing stuffed in a hog casing.  The trail has 27 stops for you to try this delicious Cajun delight.  We tried a few on enroute with my favourite being Don’s Speciality Meats.

The Southwest region of Louisiana is fascinating.  You’ve got the huge industrial plants that dominate the skyline coupled with the large-scale casino resorts that sit on top of the beautiful Lake Charles. Then just another half an hour’s drive away is the start of the stunning Creole Nature Trail aka Louisiana’s Outback.

Where did we stay?

We stayed at the Quality Suites in Sulphur in a suite which had two double beds and a separate living area.  The hotel was great – clean, spacious and comfortable.  There was also a pool which my kids went bananas for, having been in accommodation without for a whole two days!

Comfort Suites - Sulphur

What did we do?

  • Visited the Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point to learn about the trail and the Southwest area. This is a brilliant, interactive space that kids will love.  My 6 year old loved pretending to make boudin and playing along with a Zydeco band.
    Daisy at nature centre
  • Drove south along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road.  This byway is simply stunning with beautiful salt marshes for miles that lead to the Gulf Coast.
    Creole NatureThe trail consists of 290km of highway and includes many different nature reserves.  We stopped off at Sabine National Wildlife refuge’s Wetland Walkway as it was an easy boardwalk for the kids.  If you’re lucky you might see a gator on your path!  After our walk, we drove out to the coast and visited Holly Beach, also known as the ‘Cajun Riviera’.  This is a fun spot for paddling in the surf although beware if you’re visiting in the heat of summer, there is little shade.
    Gulf Coast
  • Splashed about on the slides at the Sulphur Parks & Rec Aquatic Center
  • Toured the Charpentier Historic District of downtown Lake Charles.
    Lake Charles - Historic DowntownI downloaded the free app and we toured the beautiful area from the comfort of our car (it was hot and we had two young kids in tow!)  What makes this area so special is that as there were n architects in the area until the early 1900s, the structures reflect the individual characteristics of the carpenters (yup that’s ‘charpentier’).
  • Had one of the best night’s of our trip at the Cajun Music & Food Festival!  My travel tips is to always check what’s going on locally whether that’s online, in an information guide or through the tourist office.  We were so lucky to experience a night as a local, dancing to the live Cajun music and eating delicious Cajun fayre like jambalaya.
    Cajun Music Festival JPG

What did we eat?

  • Downtown Lake Charles has some lovely restaurants.  We chose Luna Bar & Grill for delicious food in eclectic surrounds.
    Luna Bar

For more information on the Lake Charles area, check out Visit Lake Charles

See what we got up to in New Orleans, Swamp Country and Lafayette on our Louisiana Roadtrip

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