Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Whether it’s an anniversary, birthday, holiday, or simply because, if you’re planning a romantic getaway weekend for your sweetheart, come celebrate in Lake Charles! There’s plenty to do here, especially for two. Once you arrive, the magic of southwest Louisiana will inspire you, but here are a few tips to get you started. 

Photo courtesy of Isle of Capri
 Casinos – Southwest Louisiana is home to four casinos; L’Auberge Casino Resort, Isle of Capri, Delta Downs in Vinton, and the newly opened Golden Nugget Lake Charles. Each of these facilities offers exciting options for couples to enjoy. Live music, excellent restaurants, gaming, shopping, relaxing – it’s all there. L’Auberge offers a “Massage and Lodge” package which includes a guest room, spa package, and breakfast for two.

Pujo St. Cafe by www.monsoursphotography.net
Fine DiningLake Charles chefs know how to cook and serve great food! There are too many excellent restaurants to list them all here, but a few of my favorites include La Truffe Sauvage at 815 Bayou Pines West, Restaurant Calla at 1400 Market St., Ember Grille and Wine Bar at L’Auberge, Harlequin Steaks and Seafood at 501 W. College St., and Mazan’s Mediterranean Foods, 217 W. College St., and Vic and Anthony's at Golden Nugget Lake Charles. Bon appétit!

Wine Tasting – Several local establishments offer wine tasting. Try Heist Wine Bar or Pujo Street Café, on Ryan St.  The Wine Store on Nelson Rd. and Hocus Pokus on Country Club Rd. also offer wine tastings.

J&R Carriage
Carriage Rides – What could be more romantic than a ride in a mule-drawn carriage? J & R Carriage, located on Bord du Lac by the Lake Charles Civic Center, offers lakefront tours along picturesque Shellbeach Dr. and through the historic district of the city. Snuggle under a warm blanket, listen to the clip clop of the mule’s hooves, and take in the sights of beautiful downtown Lake Charles.

Photo by www.lindseyjanies.com
Music – Lake Charles boasts a thriving music scene. Take your honey out dancing! In the warmer months, outdoor concerts abound.  The casinos often bring in celebrity performers. L’Auberge Casino Resort hosts the popular summer outdoor concert series, Party By the Pool. The city of Lake Charles sponsors an outdoor concert series called Downtown at Sundown and the Arts and Humanities Council produces Live at the Lakefront. Luna Bar and Grill hosts a Jazz Brunch on Sundays. Numerous bars and clubs offer bands playing all genres of music. A few of the more popular nightclubs include Luna Live, Jack After Dark at L’Auberge, and My Place. For a coffee house vibe, check the schedule at Stellar Beans Coffee House. Lake Charles is also home to a world class Symphony. Check their website for dates.

There are 26 miles of Gulf Coast beaches along the Creole Nature Trail.
Photo by www.monsoursphotography.net 
If you’re wooing on a tight budget, Lake Charles will still make a positive impression. There are plenty of free or reasonably-priced excursions in southwest Louisiana. Weather permitting, pack a picnic, stroll along Bord du Lac or through Prien Lake Park, and watch the sunset. Take a hike at Sam Houston Jones State Park. They also have charming cabins for your overnight stay. Cruise down the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road to bird watch and look for alligators. There are also several museums in southwest Louisiana that are either free or have reasonable admission fees.

With matters of the heart, it’s not so much where you are but who you are with that matter most. But lovely Lake Charles can certainly help!

To read more of Angie's adventures, check out her blog, angiekaydilmore.blogspot.com.