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    Enjoy Seafood, A Pirate Festival, and Recreation In Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana

    Seeking a unique destination for escape that offers delicious Southern cooking, recreation, entertainment, and a bit of history, then plan a trip to Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana, where you'll discover all this and more.

    A visit to Louisiana would not be the same without sampling some Southern cooking, and for those who enjoy seafood there are many delicious dish to savor along the Seafood Sensations Trail. Another way to tempt your taste buds and satisfy your hunger while in Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana is to travel along the new Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail. Just pick a Brochure at the Lake Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau, located at 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, and you're on your way to discovering the best places in Calcasieu Parish to eat this juicy sausage-style rice and meat delicacy. Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana also boasts variety with Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and steakhouse selections as well as exciting festivals with sensational food to sample!

    Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana offers music fans plenty of opportunities to enjoy authentic Cajun & Zydeco or Swamp Pop music. With over 75 fairs and festivals held annually in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana, you're certain to find your groove. Of course, there's more music and entertainment to enjoy when Mardi Gras rolls around, including festive parades, cook-offs, and the grand gatherings with over 50 krewes. The tradition and pageantry of Mardi Gras are showcased year-round in the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, which boasts the largest costume collection in the South.

    Other festivals include the Contraband Days Pirate Festival each May when Modern-day pirates take over the city each May for two weeks of gleeful fun, featuring music, food and no-stop family events. Then there's the Cajun French Music & Food Festival in July, and the Marshland Festival in August. You'll also find Cajun music and local bands to help you rock the night away at local night spots and restaurants throughout the year in Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana.

    While traveling through Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana you can explore it's 180 miles of beautiful scenery that includes marshlands and Gulf beaches. Bring along your camera because there's plenty of wildlife and natural beauty to capture along the way. Enjoy a driving tour of the Creole Nature Trail All' American Road that starts in Sulphur and winds through Calcasieu and Cameron parishes before reaching its end-point in Lake Charles. Photo opportunities are as abundant as the wildlife along this magnificent trail that takes you through three wildlife refuges into the heart of Cajun trapping and fishing country.

    Did You Know? The Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana area has been listed among the Top 40 Birding Hotspots by Wildbird magazine!

    Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana are also popular golf destinations, and one of the favorite spots is the Gray Plantation, which has received the highest rating in Louisiana by Zagat Survey's 2007 edition of 'America's Top Golf Courses,' and this course is on the prestigious Audubon Golf Trail. Nearby is the Contraband Bayou Golf Club at L'Auberge, designed by world-renowned golf architect Tom Fazio, that is noted for its emphasis on the marsh and lowland features of Louisiana's natural environment. Among the recent additions of courses in Southwest Louisiana is the National Golf Club of Louisiana in Westlake. It joins Frasch Park Golf Course in Sulphur, Mallard Cove in Lake Charles and Pine Shadows all add to the charm and variety of courses in the area.

    Rediscover the South, and let your imagination soar on a getaway to Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana!

    By Leroy Worley

    Getting There:

    To order Brochures, view additional trip details on events and area attractions and recreation visit the Lake Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau, located at 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA. Or, call toll free at 1-800-456-SWLA, and you can also view packages available by visiting their website at www.visitlakecharles.org.