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7 Reasons to Move to Southwest Louisiana

Discover why this region is the perfect place for anyone to reside.

By Lindsey Hyde on May 16, 2023

Crawfish Fest SWLA
Lindsey A. Janies

Both a resident’s playground and an ideal workspace, Southwest Louisiana provides individuals with the tools they need to mold a life they’ll love. No matter where one chooses to reside – Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Calcasieu or Jeff Davis parishes – everything this great area has to offer is right at the tips of one’s fingers. Here’s a cherry-picked list of seven reasons SWLA is the perfect place to call home.

1. Excellent Mobility

It’s easy to move about freely when you live in Southwest Louisiana – no matter your destination. Many cities within the region boast highly walkable downtowns, making errands simple; while roadways, like Interstate 10 and Highway 14, allow for easy connections to other locations. Plus, Lake Charles Regional Airport offers nonstop flights to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, opening residents up to a whole world of opportunities.

2. Widespread Culture

Cajun culture runs deep in SWLA, influencing everything from the cuisine to the arts to community events. For a taste of local goodness, crawfish boil season lasts from January to July. As for the arts, while great works can be found nearly everywhere in SWLA, Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center in Calcasieu is a great place to start. And when it comes to community events, the family-friendly Cal-Cam Fair is considered a must-attend. It represents the Calcasieu and Cameron parishes.

Lutcher Theater
Lutcher Theater

3. Prime Performances

Standout entertainment can be found throughout the region.

For example, Lake Charles Symphony is enjoying its 65th season in 2022-2023, now performing in the Rosa Hart Theatre of Lake Charles Civic Center. The theater seats 2,000 people. The symphony’s season runs from October through April, with performances ranging from jazz concerts to holiday jubilees to events honoring the masters like Beethoven and Mozart.

If you’re in Jennings, be sure to check out Strand Theatre. The historic building shows mostly single- and double-feature movies highlighted by weekend vintage films. A local group called A Block Off Broadway Community Theatre often stages live play performances.

In DeRidder, Impromptu Theatre on East First Street is a popular dinner theater that houses the Impromptu Players volunteer acting troupe and musicians. The actors present three plays that are each performed five times over two weekends during the year, and several well-known famous plays are presented.

4. Strong & Steady

Flourishing SWLA is built on a sturdy, diverse economy. While it’s home to several industries, such as oil and gas, health care, education and hospitality — all of which offer excellent employment opportunities — this region is also a place where small businesses can launch and thrive. No matter one’s career dreams, they can be achieved in SWLA. 

5. Housing Hot Spot

A variety of housing options can be found throughout SWLA, from downtown apartments to cute two-story homes. Not only can residents find a home that best fits their lifestyle, but they can find one that fits within their budget. Plus, SWLA is a great place for retirees. A few communities to consider include Villa Maria Retirement Center, The Verandah Retirement Community, The Villages of Imperial Pointe, The Villas of Lake Charles, and Sulphur Retirement Community.

Wildlife Refuge SWLA
Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

6. All Outdoors

SWLA is an outdoor lover’s paradise, as the area is home to several lakes, parks and trails. Prien Lake Park in Lake Charles, for example, features walking paths, canoe, kayak and boat launches, picnic areas, an amphitheater and much more. And for those who love birdwatching, SWLA does not disappoint. Traveling the 55-mile Flyway Byway gives residents a chance to see more than 160 species of birds.

7. Places for Pups

Not only does Southwest Louisiana offer a superior quality of life for you, but also for your furry friend.

Bark Du Lac Dog Park is located in the Lake Charles downtown district on scenic property behind the City Court building. Bark Du Lac is equipped with benches, picnic tables, dog water fountains and street lights. The park has separate play areas for large dogs and small dogs.

Also in Lake Charles is the Dog Park at Enos Derbonne Sports Complex, featuring equipment like an A-frame, agility walk, crawl tunnel and dog teeter-totter. The park is open from sunrise to sunset.

DeRidder Dog Park on West Eighth Street is a 30,000-square-foot fenced-in venue that features dog water fountains, disposal stations, benches and agility equipment. The park has separate play areas for large dogs and small dogs.

And in Sulphur, Fideaux Field at 900 West Parish Road is open from dawn to dusk every day except Monday, when the park is closed until noon for maintenance. Fideaux Park was planned, designed and built by Sulphur Parks & Recreation staffers.

Kevin Litwin contributed to this article.

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