Pack a good pair of walking shoes to experience the diversity of architectural styles around Lake Charles. Within a short distance of the city’s lakefront, you’ll find four self-guided historic neighborhood tours: the Charpentier Historic District (showcasing the unique Lake Charles style), Margaret Place (with quirky bungalows and stylish American Foursquares), and Shell Beach Drive (notable for its magnificent lakeside homes).
The Downtown Lakefront area also hosts the city’s 1911 Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center and Historic Calcasieu Courthouse. The city hall building now features galleries with traveling art and science exhibits, and the courthouse features a restored old-time courtroom. Both were reconstructed after a massive fire in 1910 devastated most of the city center.
Nearby, visitors can tour the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, home to historical and cultural artifacts, fine arts, and rotating galleries serving the Southwest Louisiana/Imperial Calcasieu region.