Southwest Louisiana is a region of diverse people and industries. Exemplified by downright southern hospitality, the fun and friendly atmosphere is coupled with a variety of activities and opportunities which will make your temporary or permanent visit, to the area a great experience.
A unique and interesting blend of deep-south tradition, French-Acadian, English and Indian heritage, Southwest Louisiana offers a multitude of activities, opportunities and experiences which make Southwest Louisiana a great place to live, work and enjoy life. There are over 75 festivals and special events celebrated every year. The Cajun Music Fest, Contraband Days, Mardi Gras, Black Heritage Festival, and the Sulphur Mines Festival are only some of the area's festivals.
Our region is home to museums which house several items and artifacts depicting the history of Southwest Louisiana. You can also walk through the past within the historic "Charpentier District" of Lake Charles which is nearly 20 blocks of unique Victorian-era homes, each with characteristics reflecting the individual style of the area carpenters who built them.
The area is home to Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino, a race track for both thoroughbreds and quarter horses. Visitors and area residents can also try their luck aboard one of Lake Charles' floating casinos – The Golden Nugget Lake Charles, The Isle of Capri, and L’Auberge Casino Resort, as well as the land- based Coushatta Casino in Kinder. For more information on recreational and cultural attractions in Southwest Louisiana, go to visitlakecharles.org to download one of the many handy apps like their events app, and their Creole Nature Trail and their Historic Lake Charles apps.
The population of Southwest Louisiana is over 295,925. It is comprised of Calcasieu, Cameron, Allen, Beauregard and Jefferson Davis. Calcasieu Parish is the center of the area with a population of 184,563. The city of Lake Charles is the financial, medical and entertainment center of the parish, with the major industry and workforce located within the metropolitan area. Other cities in the area are DeQuincy, Iowa, Sulphur, Vinton and Westlake.
Southwest Louisiana is home to a robust and diversified economy anchored by the petrochemical, education, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality industries. The region’s strategic location along the Gulf of Mexico contributes greatly to its strong petrochemical industry, which is led by such companies as Axiall, CITGO Petroleum, PPG Industries, and Phillips 66. This position affords businesses access to three developing liquefied natural gas pipelines and several active ports, including the Port of Lake Charles (one of the largest deep-water port in the U.S.), West Calcasieu Port, the East and West Cameron Ports, Mermentau River Port, and Vinton Port.
Calcasieu Parish’s rich history combined with a modern, diversified economy and numerous recreational opportunities make this area a wonderful place to live and visit. The petrochemical industry is the mainstay economically for the parish, and the past decade has seen the aerospace and gaming industries broaden that base. The Port of Lake Charles is accessible to ocean-going vessels and is only 34 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the closest of any deep-water port in Louisiana. Chennault International Airpark is a major feature for the area with more than 10,000 feet of runway, capable of handling most commercial aircraft. Lake Charles is the home of McNeese State University, a four-year, fully accredited university, as well as Sowela Technical Community College, one of Louisiana's largest vocational schools. An abundance of streams, rivers and lakes along with museums, art galleries and festivals make the parish a true paradise.
South of Calcasieu Parish is the beautiful natural scenery of Cameron Parish. The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, a 180-mile drive through “Louisiana Outback” is a paradise which features beautiful plants and wildflowers and exotic wildlife, such as alligators, rare birds and many other colorful critters, all amidst the marshes and bayous of Southwest Louisiana. Cameron’s plentiful flora and fauna attract over 200,000 visitors each year, from nature lovers looking for native critters like alligators to photographers wanting to catch a breathtaking sunset or nautical scene, to bird watchers eyeing the vast variety of species found here, to beachcombers enjoying the shoreline. Cameron Parish offers a great opportunity for hunting and fishing and is a natural backdrop for industry, especially oil and gas. With its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, it is no wonder that pipeline companies, petroleum companies, marine support vessels, offshore drilling operations and associated businesses top the list of revenue-producing businesses for the parish. For sportsmen, the area is known as “Sportsman’s Paradise” which has easy access to fishing, hunting, and wildlife which makes the region among the best in the world.