Louisiana Tour – Southwest Louisiana
Continuing our Louisiana tour we’ll visit the heel of the boot – the southwestern parishes: Calcasieu and Cameron. Traveling in one of Riverside Limousines comfortable, chauffeured mini-buses will give you time to visit and plan your agenda. The southernmost part of “no man’s land “; these parishes were carved out of what was the original parish of St. Landry. We’ll start our day at Sam Houston Jones State Park outside Moss Bluff.
It’s about 2.5 hours from Baton Rouge to Moss Bluff. Originally named for a Texas statesman, the park was renamed for a Louisiana Governor from Southwest Louisiana. After our drive we can stretch our legs on the trails and enjoy the sights the park has to offer. Several trails take you into the park and give access to wildlife, flowers and the water.
From the park we’ll travel north to DeQuincy (birthplace of Smiley Louis – “I Hear You Knockin'”)and visit the Railroad Museum. Kansas City Southern Railroad completely rebuilt this station in 1923. Now a museum, the station is an outstanding example of the Mission Revival style of architecture. It’s on the National Register.
Heading for Lake Charles we’ll drive through rice country. When we arrive in Lake Charles, it’s lunch time. We’ll head for Southern Spice at 3901 Ryan Street. The food is very good and down home. They offer “home cookin”, seafood and steaks in a relaxed atmosphere. Their Seafood Stuffed Pistolettes are a real treat. From the restaurant it’s about 15 minutes to our next stop.
The USS Orlick was built in Orange, Texas and launched in May of 1945. A Gearing Class Destroyer, this ship saw action in the Korean War, Vietnam, and in the Turkish Navy. Now temporarily berthed in Lake Charles it is being restored by volunteers and looking for a permanent location. Touring the vessel while under restoration gives visitors a unique perspective and glimpse behind the scenes of this piece of history. Volunteers lead the tours and the fees go toward the expense of restoration.
After our tour we’ll head for Aunt Ruby’s Bed and Breakfast on Pujo Street in the historic Charpentier District of Lake Charles. Opened in 1911 after much of downtown was destroyed by fire, this was the first boarding house in the city. It has been remodeled. Reviewers emphasize the service received and the outstanding breakfast.
Check in, freshen up, rest, walk the historic neighborhood until it’s time to leave for supper. We’ll head to Vinton (as far west as you can go and still be in Louisiana) for supper at Comeaux’s Restaurant. Originally opened in 1994 they have changed names several times. From their Facebook page, their mission is: Comeaux’s Restaurant stands for “good food for good times”. Our mission is to provide “UNCOMMONLY GOOD”, AUTHENTIC CAJUN FOOD at a reasonable price, while providing a genuine Cajun experience.
After supper we’ll return to Aunt Ruby’s. There are places to go close by or we can sit on the porch and unwind. Next morning, after our gourmet breakfast (it really sounds outstanding) we’ll head out to see alligators and other wildlife.
Alligator’s are big business in south Louisiana. I think when people hear Louisiana, the top five things that come to mind are: Mardi Gras, New Orleans, LSU football, Duck Dynasty and alligators (maybe alligators first.)
On the way out of Lake Charles we’ll stop and stock up on boudin and other refreshments at Sonnier’s Sausage and Boudin. The Boudin authority, boudinlink.com gives them an A+ – it don’t get much better than that “cher.”
There are several swamp life tours to choose from. GROSSE SAVANNE (big pasture) ECO-TOURS offer tours lasting 2 hours to a full day general tour, customized tours and birding trips. This place has a very high WOW factor. Airboat and Alligators on Grand Chenier is part of a alligator farm/processor with one hour tours leaving each hour.
Our route to the tours will be via The Creole Nature Trail. Described as 180 miles of oohs, aahs and wows, there are numerous places to stop from beaches to nature walks. A free tour app is available to guide our way. And when you are done, your chauffeur will drive you home!
As you enjoy your Louisiana Tour in Calcasieu and Cameron Parish remember “we drive – you have fun!”