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Overview

Introduction to Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles is situated along the banks of the Calcasieu River and is the parish seat of Calcasieu Parish. Its notable port is connected with the Gulf of Mexico by a channel. The city is known as "The festival capital of Louisiana" due to hosting more that one hundred festivals and carnivals. Lake Charles is known for gambling, rhythm and blues music and excellent cuisine. The town serves as the major educational center for the southwest portion of Louisiana. The city is a primary petrochemical refining area and features casino gambling. In 2005 Hurricane Rita caused extensive damage.

History

The first settlers reached the area in the 1760's. In the early days, the major factor for the economy was the timber industry. The city experienced significant growth beginning in 1855 due to the construction of a lumber mill and a schooner dock by Captain Daniel Goos. His schooner was utilized for trading opportunities with ports located in Texas and Mexico.

After the Civil War ended Lake Charles resumed its role as a major lumber provider. Numerous Victorian mansions were constructed from the pine wood produced from the city's mills. The town experienced the destruction of the Great Fire of 1910. When World War II ended the petrochemical refining industry became a significant factor for the economy.

Attractions

  • Central School Arts and Humanities Center
  • Imperial Calcasieu Museum
  • The Children's Museum of Lake Charles
  • Mardi Gras Museum
  • Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra
  • Historic City Hall
  • Bord du Lac Park
  • Lake Charles Civic Center
  • Margaret Place and Shell Beach Drive
  • Louisiana Peace Memorial
  • Artisans Gallery
  • Black Heritage Gallery
  • DeQuincy Railroad Museum & City Park
  • Arts Associates Gallery

Festivals

The Contraband Days festival features Cajun food, activities for families, music and is one of the biggest festivals in the state. The Mardi Gras is also a prominent event. The city hosts a vast number of festivals and celebrations including:

  • International Food and Music Festival
  • Cajun Music and Food Festival
  • Veteran's Day Parade
  • Cal-CA-Chew (Calcasieu) Festival
  • Marshland Festival
  • Southwest Louisiana Christmas Lighting Festival
  • Celtic Nations Heritage Festival

Activities

The downtown area provides numerous opportunities for dining and enjoying live music and is well known for having a thriving nightlife. Lake Charles is a prominent region for hunting and fishing and features the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. Riverboat casinos and horse racing are available. There are numerous locations featuring noteworthy art exhibits. Tourists enjoy visiting the historic Charpentier District which showcases some of the best Victorian architecture in Louisiana. The Lake Charles Boardwalk is located along the lake and is popular for walking and enjoying the views. Sam Houston Jones State Park provides opportunities for camping, fishing and boating.

People

Total Population 74,190
Male Share of the Population 47.8%
Female Share of the Population 52.2%
Senior Citizens 14.2%
Employed Population 16+ 32,183
Age of the Population 34

Families

% of people married 36%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 24.4%
Median Earnings25+ $27,405
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $17,505
Median Earnings With High School Degree $21,899

Wealth

Median Family Income $45,979
% Above Poverty Level 75.9%
% Below Poverty Level 24.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 17 minutes
% Working from Home 1.3%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.4%
% Using Public Transportation 0.7%

Housing

People Living Alone 35.4%
Median Gross Rent $753
Median House Value $131,600

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 57.2%
US/American 0%
English 4.8%
Irish 5.7%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Lake Charles Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 132 miles E of Houston, Texas
County Calcasieu
Metro Area Lake Charles
Standard Zip Codes 70601, 70605, 70607, 70611, 70615, 70629
P.O. Box Zip Codes 70602, 70606, 70612, 70616
Company Zip Codes 70609
Phone Area Codes 337
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 30.226
Longitude -93.217

Lake Charles Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station LAKE CHARLES AP
Distance 7.7 miles
Jan Temp 41 to 61 F
Apr Temp 57 to 77 F
Jul Temp 74 to 91 F
Oct Temp 59 to 81 F
Annual Precip 57.1 inches
Station DE QUINCY
Distance 20.7 miles
Jan Temp 37 to 59 F
Apr Temp 54 to 76 F
Jul Temp 71 to 91 F
Oct Temp 54 to 80 F
Annual Precip 61 inches
Station HACKBERRY 8 SSW
Distance 26.6 miles
Jan Temp 43 to 59 F
Apr Temp 61 to 76 F
Jul Temp 76 to 90 F
Oct Temp 62 to 79 F
Annual Precip 59.5 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Lake Charles, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Drew (70607)

Sweet Lake (70605)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
DeQuincy 3,179 $42,429
Fenton 434 $48,036
Iowa 3,110 $39,122
Sulphur 20,199 $56,575
Vinton 3,379 $46,801
Westlake 4,606 $57,321

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Lake Charles Public Libraries

Library
Calcasieu Parish Library
301 WEST CLAUDE STREET
Lake Charles, Louisiana
(337) 475-8798
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Lake Charles Hospitals

LAKE CHARLES MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
1701 OAK PARK BLVD
(337) 494-3000
Emergency Service: Yes

CHRISTUS ST PATRICK HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
524 SOUTH RYAN STREET
(337) 491-7730
Emergency Service: Yes

WOMEN AND CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
(Proprietary)
4200 NELSON ROAD
(337) 474-6370
Emergency Service: Yes

W O MOSS REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
(Government - State)
1000 WALTERS STREET
(337) 475-8100
Emergency Service: Yes

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Lake Charles High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

ALFRED M. BARBE HIGH SCHOOL
2200 WEST MCNEESE STREET
337-478-3626
Serves 1,782 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.2

SAM HOUSTON HIGH SCHOOL
880 S H JONES PARKWAY
337-855-3528
Serves 1,094 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.3

LAGRANGE HIGH SCHOOL
3420 LOUISIANA AVENUE
337-477-4571
Serves 1,002 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.3

WASHINGTON/MARION MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL
2802 PINEVIEW STREET
337-433-5892
Serves 694 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.1

GRAND LAKE HIGH SCHOOL
1039 HIGHWAY 384 GRAND LAKE
337-598-2231
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 586 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.6

LAKE CHARLES/BOSTON HIGH SCHOOL
1509 ENTERPRISE BOULEVARD
337-436-9594
Serves 461 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.8

CALCASIEU CAREER CENTER
1120 WEST 18TH STREET
337-491-1720
A Non-traditional School
Serves 132 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 4.9

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