Staycation possibilities abound in SW La.

Published 8:23 pm Sunday, July 10, 2022

By Sudan Britton

Southwest Louisiana has much to offer at an affordable cost for locals and tourists interested in booking “staycation” excursions within the area 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 finding reliable transportation can allow people to manage money wisely when booking attractions.

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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 keep the family entertained, she said.

Southwest Louisiana has welcomed two new food trucks in the Sulphur area — Cajupinos and Chic Frys — which both offer a way to expand the tastebuds of the family.

Families and visitors are typically 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, canoing and paddle boards. A single raft is $45 and a tandem raft is $55. Visit them at

The River Rat Rentals at 1213 N. Lakeshore Drive rents out jet skis for $80 an hour and $20 for extra riders. To learn more about the inquiry, visit their Facebook page at RiverRatRentalsSWLA.

Paddle Up Lake Charles offers stand-up paddleboarding rentals, lessons, corporate paddles and parties for $20 per board. Staff members typically deliver the boards to Prien Lake, Holly Beach or any places requested by customer. Visit them on Facebook at paddleuplakecharles to learn about inquiries.

Klenke said visitors — especially international visitors — are enamored with the Creole Nature Trail, which is free to the public.

“Pack up an ice chest, sunscreen, and bug spray, put the kids in their swimsuits and old clothes, and head out for crabbing at one of the five recreation areas on Sabine National Wildlife Refuge,” Klenke said. “Bring the family home to cook dinner or spend the day at Holly Beach enjoying the sun. If interested, pre-book a pavilion to get out of the sun with Holly Beach memories.”

DeQuincy’s Oak Street Pool is open noon-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday with free admission. Klenke said the faculty swimming lessons are critical for children in areas with water and the staff offer lessons at a low-cost rate.

Southwest Louisiana has many family-friendly areas to bring the family by enjoying excursions at an affordable rate and some are even free to the public, like Adventure Cove Park, Ward 3 Recreation and Prien Lake Park. These spots have swimming facilities or water sprinklers, a skatepark, playgrounds for kids, a pavilion for picnics, and a kayak/canoe soft launch.

The Almosta Ranch at 5290 Choupique Road in Sulphur is open to the community for field trips, 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 camp sites to explore. Admission to both are free.

GameZone Esports Cafe at 4311 Maplewood Drive in Sulphur is a gaming cafe with computers, Xboxs, PS4s, virtual reality driving simulators, Nintendo Switch, foosball, snacks, drinks, and a 84-inch tv that generally plays Twitch. All-day passes are $40 and a four-hour pass is $25.

We Rock the Spectrum at 3714 Common St., Suite E, is a site Klenke encourages families with autistic members to visit for their music therapy classes and gym.