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(Michelle Higginbotham / Special to the American Press)<br>

(Michelle Higginbotham / Special to the American Press)

Lake Charles earns destination distinction

Last Modified: Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:30 PM

By Nichole Osinski / American Press

A recent USA Today article listed Lake Charles as one of the top 10 destinations for a holiday getaway — a ranking that included Hawaii, Turks and Caicos, and Los Angeles.

Lake Charles, cited as a place “where the parades and festivities play up tradition more than titillation,” beat out sister city New Orleans.

Jennifer Miner, Kara Williams and Beth Blair, travel writers with TheVacationGals.com blog, teamed up with freelance travel writer and editor Larry Bleiberg to compile the holiday destinations list. Adding Lake Charles to the list meant asking travel experts for recommendations, as well as positive experiences.

“I grew up in Baton Rouge and fondly recall road trips around the state — the culture in Louisiana is deep rooted and like nowhere else,” Blair said. “I enjoy Lake Charles because it is a lot less touristy than some cities but still has all of the Southern charm and hospitality as the rest of the state.”

For the winter season visitors can expect the annual holiday market with merchants from around the country; the Moss Bluff Harvest Festival; and a number of shows, rides, and different cuisines to experience.

“Right now we have many events going that are unique to the area such as arts and crafts shows, Mistletoe and Moss, and the L’Auberge ice rink,” said Amos Orr, online content manager at the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“People enjoy the fact that they can get real Cajun culture but still have a traditional Christmas.”

Choosing Lake Charles for a winter vacation means skiing and snowmobiling are unlikely, but there are still ways to enjoy the outdoors — the Creole Nature Trail, Sam Houston Jones State Park, the Lakefront Promenade.

“Louisiana is a friendly part of the country and colorful part of the country and there is so much to do there,” Bleiberg said. “I think that there are places readers are used to, but Lake Charles is a surprise and people would love the welcome they would get.”

Other getaway locations on the list were Palm Springs, Calif.; Puerto Rico; Sanibel Island, Fla.; Carlsbad, Calif.; Atlanta; and Tucson, Ariz.

Posted By: Doug On: 11/20/2012

Title: Lake Charles? Really Really?

I am even more shocked than the poster above ( Gay Spooner ). I am from LCH, and I love LCH, but this is too much of a stretch to be believable. A lot of folks will be disappointed, not because LCH is not OK, but because it will certainly not live up to "holiday destination" interests.

Posted By: Gay Spooner On: 11/19/2012

Title: Shocked by this

Lake Charles? Really?

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