Prien Lake Park

Day Trip Itinerary: Lake Charles

Get to know Lake Charles, whose restaurants, casinos, hiking and attractions lend it undeniable appeal. 

Breakfast Options

Stellar Beans

Stellar Beans is a full-service coffee bar, also offering specialty teas, smoothies, breakfast items and more in a relaxed venue decorated with local art.

KD’s Diner

KD’s Diner is open 24/7 serving up home-cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner plates. Voted “Best Breakfast” in the 2021 SWLA People’s Choice Awards. Try a customer favorite, The Rafferty – complete with hash browns, roast beef, ham, and turkey topped with jalapeños, cheese, sour cream, bacon bits and two 2 eggs cooked any style. Talk about breakfast of champions!

Morning Activities & Attractions

Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu

The Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu is housed within the historical Central School Arts & Humanities Center, in classrooms converted into galleries that feature decades of costumes and artifacts. It’s one way to experience Fat Tuesday any time of the year. **Museum is temporarily closed for relocation.

Creole Nature Trail All-American Road

The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road is a 180-mile byway meandering through the area’s beaches and bayous – a great way to see the local wildlife. Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point is the interactive attraction and visitor center, where friendly staff there will help cater your tour.

Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge

Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge was established to preserve and protect wintering waterfowl and their habitat. Located at the intersection of two major flyways, the refuge has an important role in management for migratory birds. The Wildlife Refuge also offers fishing opportunities at both the Gibbstown Unit as well as the East Cove Unit.

Mardi Gras Museum Imperial Calcasieu in Lake Charles.

Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu

Pujo St. Cafe Bread Pudding recipe in Lake Charles

Pujo St. Cafe

LeBleu's Landing in Lake Charles

LeBleu's Landing

Creole Nature Trail

Creole Nature Trail

Lunch Options

Darrell’s Famous PoBoys

At Darrell’s, they swear “Unless You Use at Least 10 Napkins, You're Doing it Wrong.” This local eatery has been serving up some of the best po’boys in the state since 1985. Favorites include the Darrell’s Special (with ham, turkey and roast beef drenched in their homemade gravy), the Surf & Turf (sliced roast beef & sautéed shrimp cooked in roast beef gravy & homemade butter sauce) and the smoked Bar-B-Q Beef covered in house-made BBQ sauce.

Botsky's Premium Hotdogs

Botsky's Premium Hotdogs is a unique spot with signature dawg and burger creations and over 35 different toppings, resulting in a nearly unlimited number of tasty combinations. From classics like the Chicago Dog, New York Dog and Seattle Dog, to fun choices like the Intercontinental, Flamethrower and Duck Norris – there’s truly something for everyone.

LeBleu’s Landing

LeBleu’s Landing is part Cajun grocery store, part down-home restaurant in nearby Sulphur. This is where you can find varieties of boudin links, boudin balls, smoked sausage, cracklin’s and more Cajun fare.

Pujo St. Café

Pujo St. Cafe is a local favorite with an extensive menu featuring everything from seafood, steaks, pastas, and more. Try the signature Oysters Pujo – pecan-crusted oysters topped with a spinach, tasso and smoked gouda sauce.

Afternoon Activities & Attractions

Charpentier Historic District

The Charpentier Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is full of turn-of-the-century homes designed and built by local carpenters. Spend enough time walking beneath giant old live oaks, checking out the distinctive Lake Charles-style architecture, and you may find yourself looking at real estate listings and daydreaming about staying in town for much longer than your visit. You can also explore the area with Lake Charles Carriages, a full-service carriage company that offers relaxing tours through Lake Charles.

Prien Lake Park

Prien Lake Park offers 29 acres of outdoor serenity on the water. Take advantage of canoe and boat launches, a kids playground and Spray Ground water park, numerous picnic areas and more. Or, simply take a walk along the water at sunset for amazing views.


If you’re looking for something more appealing to the “big kids,” L’Auberge Casino Resort is a world-class Lake Charles destination that features some of the state’s best golfing, outdoor pools and hot tubs, and service worthy of the ample praise L’Auberge has received since it opened in 2005. Golden Nugget Lake Charles is a one-stop shop for all of your entertainment needs and wants. And in Vinton, just right outside of Lake Charles, head to the Delta Downs Racetrack, Casino and Hotel for action packed horse races and hot slots.

L'Auberge Casino in Lake Charles

L'Auberge Casino Resort

Horseracing at Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino Hotel in Vinton, Louisiana.

Delta Downs Racetrack

Golden Nugget Lake Charles

Golden Nugget

Dinner Options

La Truffe Sauvage

La Truffe Sauvage is an exquisite fine-dining experience with dishes reflecting the influence of France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Southwest Louisiana. House-made breads and desserts are a regular feature. Plus, their climate controlled wine-room has an extensive inventory of fine wines from all over the world.

121 Artisan Bistro

121 Artisan Bistro features an open kitchen line where you can see the chefs preparing each oven-baked entree in a stone hearth. House features include the 121 Meatloaf with marsala brandy cream and sautéed cremini mushrooms, and the Beef Tips & Grits in a veal Milanese sauce with creamy rosemary grits.

Luna Bar & Grill

Luna Bar & Grill has been serving a diverse menu to the area since 2004. They’ve got a list of sandwiches, each paired with a unique astrological name. Plus delicious seafood dishes like the Redfish Apollo topped with crabmeat au gratin sauce, Chicken Ella with Louisiana crawfish and basil cream sauce, or Steak Sinatra with grilled shrimp and white wine mushrooms. This spot also offers cool outdoor dining and live music.

MacFarlane's Celtic Pub

MacFarlane's Celtic Pub houses over 140 beers and a huge selection of Irish whiskey and Scotch. Perfect libations to pair with pub food like scotch eggs, fish & chips, burgers, Shepard’s Pie, Bangers & Mash and more.


Check out another Day Trip Itinerary: What to Do in Baton Rouge.