Home > LA > Love Where You Live > Unity Without Boundaries in Southwest Louisiana

Unity Without Boundaries in Southwest Louisiana

Southwest Louisiana parishes share history, commerce and natural beauty.

By Rebecca Deurlein on May 16, 2023

Lake Charles SWLA
Jeff Adkins  

Right along the Gulf of Mexico, nestled between several major lakes, Southwest Louisiana is a hidden gem when it comes to quality of life. Whether you are starting a family, building your career or are on the cusp of retirement, this region will exceed your expectations as a home base.

Part of what draws people to the area is the uniqueness of its Cajun-influenced culture, which permeates everything from the accent and dialect to the food and music. Economic opportunities abound here, accompanied by the taste of homemade gumbo and the deeply rooted music that this side of the country is known for.

Unique to Louisiana, traditional county lines are instead separated by parishes. This harks back to its founding days when, under France and Spain’s rule, the Roman Catholic Church drew territorial lines based on church parishes. In the Southwest region, the parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis boast assets grounded in the region’s geographic location, history and diversity.

Allen Parish

The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana has played a significant role in the growth and economy of this parish. The gaming casinos dominating this area have created jobs and generated revenue that has led to government improvements and growth.

The Coushatta Casino Resort is the state’s premier land-based casino resort, and Koasati Pines Golf Course is another draw, an 18-hole championship course that challenges the best.

Beauregard Tourist Commission
Beauregard Tourist Commission

Beauregard Parish

If you love nature, Beauregard is your spot. Flush with lakes, a wildlife preserve and natural beauty, Beauregard sits atop one of the world’s largest aquifers.

The economy here relies on this parish’s industrial base – paper, chemical production and plastics – as well as the insurance industry. History lovers will want to visit DeRidder, which features a collection of historic buildings and structures. A must-stop while touring the town is a visit to the Beauregard Museum.

Calcasieu Parish

Its history is notable. Calcasieu Parish (named after an Attakapas Native American chief) is located on a strip of land that somehow managed to go unclaimed by either Spanish control or the Louisiana Purchase. Originally containing all five parishes, new boundaries were drawn over time and parishes formed. But in the true spirit of Louisiana, the people of this region work together.

That’s evident in the development of outdoor space that draws so many to this region.

Rick Richard, a businessman and entrepreneur born and raised in Louisiana, says there’s plenty to love about this area.

“We have all the Cajun music and food amenities that complement our history. But we’re always looking toward the future and the continuing development of tourism. We have a wide array of waterways, and the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana is developing a 26-mile perimeter around Lake Charles called Bayou Greenbelt, utilizing a connection of waterways.” 

Rick Richard, a businessman and entrepreneur

Cameron Parish

With sprawling Gulf marshland that makes this parish Southwest Louisiana’s largest, this coastal community is a leading commercial fishing port.

Its economy is based on its strategic location and is known for oil, natural gas, agriculture and the fishing and trapping you would expect.

Cameron sees about 200,000 visitors a year to Sabine, Rockefeller, and Cameron Prairie national wildlife refuges, along with the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, with neck-craning views of wildlife and wildflowers.

Jeff Davis Parish

Both Cajun and Native American influences are alive and well in Jeff Davis, a place that embodies its heritage and culture.

Creed Romano, president and CEO of Jeff Davis Parish Economic Development, says that visitors find the culture here to be unique.

“Jeff Davis Parish has a lot to offer visitors who are looking to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Southwest Louisiana and experience our unique Cajun heritage,” he says. “Whether you are interested in taking a crawfish farm tour or learning about our rice industry, looking to do some world-class birding and searching for the elusive yellow rail, boating on Lake Arthur, enjoying the beauty of the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge or taking a scenic drive on our Flyway Byway, Jeff Davis Parish has something for everyone.”

Array ( [0] => 161670 [1] => 161641 [2] => 161617 )
Array ( )
Array ( )
Array ( [0] => 161670 [1] => 161641 [2] => 161617 )

More To Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Keep up to date with our latest rankings and articles!
Enter your email to be added to our mailing list.