The Lake Charles area is gearing up for the 55th anniversary of the Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival, May 1-13, with four music stages, carnival rides, contests, great food and activities for kids. This event is based on the legend of pirate Jean Lafitte, and each year, the pirates sail in from Lake Charles and force the mayor to walk the plank! One of the main attractions to the festival is Josh Turner on his Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Tour sponsored by the Isle of Capri, and he will be performing on May 11. More information on Contraband Days can be found at www.contrabanddays.com.
In addition to Contraband Days and over 75 annual festivals, Cajun Culinary creations await in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana! You can explore the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail, which is a unique way to experience attractions while sampling a scrumptious staple snack. And, it's no secret that Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana is also a premier casino gaming destination. Delta Downs Racetrack, Casino & Hotel in Vinton offers live thoroughbred racing as well as off-track betting options. In an all-inclusive complex with restaurants and a food court, you can enjoy round the clock gaming action with slot machines and soak in concerts and performances by top entertainers.
On the shores of the lake sits the Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel, where you can melt into island time and lounge near an outdoor pool area, complete with a hot tub and rock slide. Entertainment options abound as well as fun karaoke nights, concerts, an arcade, gaming action, restaurants and more. L'Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles features Spa du Lac, the acclaimed Contraband Bayou Golf Course, games of chance, a lazy pool, headlining entertainers as well as an assortment of dining options from casual to elegant.
Historically speaking, step back in time and let Southern sunlight stream through sleepy oaks in the Charpentier Historic District. Here you will find Victorian mansions on the National Register of historic places. The area is home to five museums and many art galleries. The Mardi Gras Museum houses the most Mardi Gras costumes of any museum in the world. The Imperial Calcasieu Museum has rotating exhibits as well as artifacts of historical significance to the area, At the DeQuincy Railroad Museum, visitors can learn about the roots of a railroad town. Other museums include the hands-on Children's Museum and the Brimstone Museum Complex, featuring rotating exhibits at the Henning Cultural Center.
After a day of cultural recreation, why not pamper yourself in our spa facilities or hit a hole in one on award winning golf courses? We have great greens in the area including Graywood, which is on the esteemed Audubon Golf Trail; L'Auberge Casino Resort's Contraband Bayou Golf Course, designed by the acclaimed Tom Fazio; Frasch Park and Bayou Oaks in Sulphur; Mallard Cove and Pine Shadows in Lake Charles; and the National Golf Club of Louisiana in Westlake.
In the great outdoors, you can catch some of Louisiana's most striking natural offerings such as attractions along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, also known as Louisiana's Outback. Visit the recently renovated Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge, the Wetland Walkway where visitors can walk out onto the marsh and see alligators and wildlife. You can also spend time hunting, fishing and crabbing in Louisiana's Outback. To plan, visit www.visitlakecharles.org or call 800-456-7952.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times