By Sudan Britton
Southwest Louisiana has a lot to offer affordably for locals and tourists interested in booking “staycation” tours in the region this summer.
Anne Klenke, vice president of destination development/community engagement for Visit Lake Charles, said the best way to budget is to plan accordingly. Knowing how to make accommodations and find reliable transportation can help people manage their money wisely when booking attractions.
A few activities that can be intriguing and inexpensive for families are Frisbees, beach balls and flying kites, which are a few fun ways to entertain the family, she said.
Southwest Louisiana welcomed two new food trucks to the Sulfur area — Cajupinos and Chic Frys — both of which offer a way to expand the family’s taste buds.
Families and visitors are generally always looking for ways to get into the water during the summer, Klenke said.
The River Raft Rentals at 318 Phillips Road in Westlake offers kayaks, canoe and paddleboards. A single raft is $45 and a tandem raft is $55. Visit them at riverraftrentals.com.
The River Rat Rentals at 1213 N. Lakeshore Drive rents jet skis for $80 per hour and $20 for additional passengers. To learn more about the survey, visit their Facebook page at RiverRatRentalsSWLA.
Paddle Up Lake Charles offers stand-up paddle board rentals, lessons, corporate paddles and parties for $20 per board. Staff members usually deliver the boards to Prien Lake, Holly Beach or any other location requested by the client. Visit them on Facebook at paddleuplakecharles for more inquiries.
Klenke said visitors — especially international visitors — are enamored with the Creole Nature Trail, which is free to the public.
“Pack a cooler, sunscreen, and insect repellent, put the kids in their bathing suits and old clothes, and go crabbing in one of Sabine National Wildlife Refuge’s five recreation areas,” said said Klenke. “Bring the family home to cook dinner or spend the day at Holly Beach soaking up the sun. If interested, pre-book a pavilion to step out of the sun with Holly Beach memorabilia.”
DeQuincy’s Oak Street Pool is open 12:00-6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00-5:00 p.m. Sunday with free admission. Klenke said the faculty’s swimming lessons are essential for children in areas with water, and the staff offers lessons at low prices.
Southwest Louisiana has plenty of family-friendly areas to bring the family along to enjoy excursions at an affordable price and some are even free to the public, such as Adventure Cove Park, Ward 3 Recreation, and Prien Lake Park. These spots have swimming facilities or water sprinklers, a skate park, playgrounds for children, a pavilion for picnics and a kayak/canoe launch.
Almosta’s Ranch at 5290 Choupique Road in Sulfur is open to the community for excursions, tours, camps, and a petting zoo for ages 5 and up.
Klenke also encouraged families to visit 1911 Historic City Hall Arts and Sam Houston Jones State Park, which offers five hiking trails, disc golf and campsites to explore. Admission to both is free.
GameZone Esports Cafe at 4311 Maplewood Drive in Sulfur is a gaming cafe with computers, Xboxes, PS4s, VR driving simulators, Nintendo Switch, foosball, snacks, drinks, and televisions. 84 inches which usually plays Twitch. One-day passes are $40 and a four-hour pass is $25.
We Rock the Spectrum at 3714 Common St., Suite E, is a site that Klenke encourages families with autistic members to visit for their music therapy classes and gym.