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Known for its year-round festivals, Lake Charles is located in the heart of Cajun Country, a few miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. Amidst swamps, rivers, bayous and marshes, Lake Charles boasts a number of fishing and hunting adventures right in its backyard. When school was in recess during the summer, my buddies and I had our best times here hunting for dove and wild turkey.

As you walk through town, it’s hard to miss Lake Charles’s many fine Victorian-era homes. The city’s history is spiced with dark tales of pirates and buried treasures along the Gulf of Mexico. Overlooking a freshwater lake, it also features the only inland white sand beach on the Gulf Coast.

The city hosts over 70 festivals each year: Mardi Gras, Cajun Cook-Offs, Children's Carnival, Contraband Days, Lighted Boat Parade, Cajun French Music and Food Festival, Cal-Cam Fair, Cajun Music & Food Festival, just to name a few! If you are new to Mardi Gras, I recommend trying Lake Charles’s version at least once.

Lake Charles is also famous for upscale casinos and nonstop nightlife. The town has many casinos with entertainment shows like Las Vegas, earning it a reputation as the “Vegas of the South.” But Lake Charles’s trademark is the floating casino — not available in Vegas.

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