Travel like a local.


Creole Nature Trail, Smoked Boudin & Delta Downs in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Best things to do in Lake Charles Louisiana - Shalisa Roland - Pintail Boardwalk by Brice Perrin - Lake Charles CVB

Take an evening stroll along the Pintail Boardwalk. Photo by Brice Perrin. Courtesy of Lake Charles CVB.

I’m really excited to interview Shalisa Roland, the director of public relations for Visit Lake Charles, about Lake Charles, Louisiana. Shalisa’s tips for the best things to do in Lake Charles are awesome because she moved here six months ago from Shreveport and loves the can-do spirit of the locals.

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Best things to do in Lake Charles Louisiana - Shalisa Roland - Hollier's Cajun Kitchen by Kathryn Shea Duncan - Lake Charles CVB

Sample some of the delicious local cuising at Hollier’s Cajun Kitchen. Photo by Kathryn Shea Duncan. Courtesy of Lake Charles CVB.

Lake Charles, Louisiana

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Lake Charles, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Pool and casino at Golden Nugget - Lake Charles CVB

Cool off in the pool and ride the lazy river before heading to the casino at Golden Nugget. Photo courtesy of Lake Charles CVB.

Getting around Lake Charles

The local airport is Lake Charles Regional Airport (LCH), which is about a 15-minute drive to downtown. It’s primarily serviced by American Airlines and United Airlines through their commuter planes. If you want more airline or flight choices, Houston is two hours west, and New Orleans is three hours east.

Shalisa says that you should get a car if you want to explore the surrounding areas. For the best rental car offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz. However, if you want to stay in the city’s core, you can get a taxi or use Uber and Lyft to get around.

Lake Charles is one of many cities along the GATOR Road Trip, which covers many stops along the Gulf Coast. NerdWallet found that this area may offer the cheapest road trip in America.

Iowa Chicken Run at Mardi Gras 2022 by Kathryn Shea Duncan

Witness the Iowa Chicken Run during Mardi Gras. Photo by Kathryn Shea Duncan. Courtesy of Lake Charles CVB.

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Shalisa Roland about Lake Charles, Louisiana. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Green dots = best things to do in Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Who is Shalisa Roland?

Shalisa Roland is a Texas native and Louisiana adoptee. Originally from Nacogdoches, Texas, Shalisa left her hometown to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mass communications at LSU Shreveport. There, she discovered her passion for travel and tourism at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. With six years in the hospitality industry, Shalisa decided to move from North Louisiana to Southwest Louisiana in early 2022 as the director of public relations for Visit Lake Charles.

Being part of the area’s comeback story drives her to share the authentic stories of the Calcasieu Parish with the rest of the world for a living. Her philosophy is that travel produces the most well-rounded, open-minded, and creative humans on the planet. You can go to school for decades and earn an infinite amount of degrees, but nothing prepares you for the real world like travel. The farther you travel outside of your comfort zone, the more you can dive into other destinations. You’ll experience cultures, people, experiences, and food to expand your mind to unimaginable dimensions. It will never be the same again. Your vision sharpens, and your interpersonal skills become pristine. Those skills can navigate you through the world when school cannot.

Best things to do in Lake Charles Louisiana - Shalisa Roland at Krewe of Krewes Mardi Gras Parade by Kathryn Shea Duncan of Visit Lake Charles

Shalisa at the Krewe of Krewes Mardi Gras Parade. Photo by Kathryn Shea Duncan. Courtesy of Visit Lake Charles.

Here is more information about this destination:

You can connect with Shalisa on her website and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Horse racing at Delta Downs - Lake Charles CVB

Visit Delta Downs to watch the horse racing. Photo courtesy of Lake Charles CVB.

Stay tuned for our next episode

WeTravelThere - Connie Pearson at a book signing in Decatur, AL

Connie Pearson at a book signing in Decatur, AL

Listen to the next episode when Connie Pearson of There Goes Connie shares the best things to do in Hartselle, Alabama. In this episode, Connie and I talk about the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Festival, the story behind Tom’s Wall, and catching a show at The Princess Theatre. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Lake Charles? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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Related episodes

To learn more about cities along the Gulf Coast, please listen to our other episodes:

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