The beautiful city of Lake Charles is set on the edges of Prien Lake, Lake Charles, the Calcasieu River, and several bayous in southwestern Louisiana near the Texas border. Its abundant waterways make it a verdant location full of beaches and parks with numerous opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and other recreational activities. The city is also a cultural center hosting museums, theater groups, and a symphony orchestra. Its Cajun and Creole cuisine is renowned worldwide. Among the area’s many annual events are the Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival, the Lake Charles Marti Gras, the Cajun Food and Music Festival, and the Marshland Festival. Here are the top locations for vacation rentals in and around Lake Charles.

1. North Lake Charles

steel bridge
Source: Flickr / Patrick Feller

At the northern edge of the city of Lake Charles, Riverside Park on the Calcasieu River is a lovely expanse of woods and wetlands that offer nature trails, a playground, fishing piers, and a boat launch. Further south along the river is the USS Orleck Naval Museum. Housed on a destroyer that served in several conflicts, the museum has exhibits on military history as well as activities for children such as laser tag and special events. The north shore of Lake Charles has a beautiful picnic area and a white sand beach where you can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy water sports.

2. West Lake Charles

dog at the park
Source: Flickr / Becky Lai

On the west side of the city is the beautiful Lakefront Promenade, which follows along the eastern shore of Lake Charles, passing the Lake Charles Civic Center and the Veterans Memorial Park. It’s a perfect place for strolling, cycling, and enjoying a relaxing carriage ride. Family-friendly Bord du Lac Park play area features a rock climbing wall, a tree house, a pirate ship, a splash park, and other amenities. The Marti Gras Museum has the world’s largest display of Marti Gras costumes. The Imperial Calcasieu Museum highlights the history and culture of Southwest Louisiana. The extensive three-floor Children’s Museum focuses on exhibits and interactive displays of special interest to children of all ages.

3. East Lake Charles

white fence
Source: Flickr / Beau B

Vacation rentals on the east side of the city have convenient access to some great golf courses, including the Mallard Cove Golf Course and the Kayouche Coulee Golf Course. Nearby White Oak Park is set on a scenic bend of the Calcasieu River. Among its facilities are numerous picnic tables, an open-air pavilion, and an elaborate playground area. The fishing wharf and public boat launch make it easy to enjoy some of the finest freshwater fishing in the region.

4. South Lake Charles

egret near the pond
Source: Flickr / Michele

For golf enthusiasts, the southern portion of the city hosts the renowned Lake Charles Country Club and the Gray Plantation Golf Club. The kids will love Putt Putt Miniature Golf, which has two 18-hole mini-golf courses and several baseball batting cages. Prien Lake Park on Indian Bay has a spectacular view of Prien Lake and its islands. You can stroll along the trails among fountains, streams, lawns, and flower gardens and then have a picnic while the kids enjoy the playground and spray-ground.

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5. Moss Bluff

colorful bird at rest
Source: Flickr / ilouque

Moss Bluff is a community just north of the city of Lake Charles. It’s the gateway to Sam Houston Jones State Park, a large protected area of forests, rivers, and lakes. Its numerous waterways, boat launch, and boats for rent make it a popular spot for water sports and fishing. The park has several trails that are excellent for hiking and bird watching. You can also observe wildlife such as deer, bobcats, otters, alligators, and foxes.

6. Sulphur

sun shining over the lake
Source: Flickr / Louisiana Travel

The city of Sulphur is a few miles west of Lake Charles. It hosts a number of family-friendly attractions, including the SPAR Recreation and Aquatic Center, which features an outdoor water park, two indoor swimming pools, and numerous sports facilities. The Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point has interactive displays that highlight the landscape and wildlife you pass as you travel the 26-mile Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. Bayou Games is a family entertainment center where you can play laser tag and paintball.

7. Carlyss

skateboarding
Source: Flickr / biotour13

The town of Carlyss lies south of Sulphur and southwest of Lake Charles. Vacation rentals are near Black Lake, a great place for boating and fishing. They also offer an easy visit to Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area with diverse habitats such as woods, marshes, ponds, lakes, and bayous. From the visitor’s center, trails and boardwalks lead to places where you can watch over 200 species of birds, including great egrets, snowy egrets, cormorants, geese, and shorebirds. You can also observe alligators, minks, muskrats, turtles, and river otters.

8. Holly Beach

seashore
Source: Flickr / jc.winkler

Holly Beach, known as the Cajun Riviera, is south of Lake Charles on the Gulf of Mexico. This long stretch of flat sand beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, shell collecting, crabbing, and fishing. You can also enjoy windsurfing, boating, jet skiing, and fishing in the Gulf.

9. Lake Arthur

walking bird
Source: Flickr / Carol Foil

The town of Lake Arthur is southeast of Lake Charles on the shores of its beautiful namesake lake. Popular activities on the lake include swimming, tubing, boating, fishing, and water skiing. Nearby is Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, an area of marshes and open water set up to protect roseate spoonbills, ibises, egrets, and other bird species. Other animals you can spot include bald eagles, peregrine falcons, alligators, armadillos, and Louisiana black bears. The park features hiking trails, observation towers, and a nature drive.

 
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