Exciting new attractions are coming to Southwest Louisiana this spring. The latest additions to the area include new developments at casino resorts, a resurgence in local craft breweries, a new market downtown specializing in locally sourced products, events promoting Cajun cultural preservation and a creative program that unites local restaurants with the fishing industry.

Casino expansion is underway in Southwest Louisiana. Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel in Vinton, La. is undergoing a $45 million expansion project slated for completion in December 2016. The first phase was recently complete by opening Rosewater Grill and Tavern with a menu that includes mouth-watering steaks, seafood, cocktails and craft beer overlooking the racetrack. Golden Nugget Lake Charles, located adjacent to L’Auberge Casino Resort, is currently adding an additional 300-room hotel tower which will be completed in the spring of 2017, bringing the resort to 1,040 rooms. L’Auberge Casino Resort recently expanded its dining options by opening Modern Pantry, a 24 hour dine in or grab-and-go restaurant offering a wide variety of options from local creole favorites like boudin and gumbo to sushi, salads, sandwiches and gelato. Isle of Capri Casino Hotel has updated its entertainment facilities by renovating their concert venue, The Lone Wolf, complete with an action-packed live music schedule.

Lake Charles, La. is welcoming developments to the craft brewery industry. Crying Eagle Brewing Co. is under construction in Lake Charles with a 15,000-square-foot facility to produce craft beer. It will feature indoor and outdoor stages, a private events space and a landscaped outdoor beer garden. Rikenjaks Brewing Company is about to make a comeback in Lake Charles, which first made its debut in the 1990s. Rikenjaks is set to make a rebirth this spring as a new venue for drinking, eating and music.

One of the latest developments to downtown Lake Charles is the new City Market and Deli. Located on Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive in a uniquely designed building, they provide fresh deli items with a neighborhood feel. City Market and Deli offers an assortment of food in the deli made daily including soups, salads, sandwiches, locally-made Pops and Rockets ice pops and a locally-blended medium roast coffee from Acadian Coffee Roasters.

The 29th Annual Cajun French Music Festival (CFMA) will be held July 15-16, 2016 at the Burton Coliseum Complex. This festival aims to preserve the Cajun traditions and heritage through music, dancing, and food. The CFMA continues to promote the preservation of Cajun culture in Lake Charles. They offer Cajun dance lessons on the 3rd Thursday of every month, Cajun jam sessions on the first Friday of every month, as well as hosting Cajun language classes at the CFMA Building.

Southwest Louisiana is known for its exciting fishing adventures. Sportsmen visit the area throughout the year to enjoy some of the best fresh and saltwater fishing around. The Catch and Cook Program now allows anglers to experience the excitement of catching thier fish, then having a local restaurant prepare it for them professionally only hours after coming out of the water. Several local restaurants in Lake Charles are now participating in the new and innovative program, bringing a brand new element of fishing to the table.

What’s Happening in Southwest Louisiana