Here are five reasons to plan a trip to Lake Charles, Louisiana, this summer, a two-hour drive from Houston.
• Louisiana Brew Mile, June 15. Drink Crying Eagle beers during this casual one-mile run.
• Gulf Coast Shrimp & Jazz Festival, June 21-22. This weekend festival kicks off with Jazz After Dark.
• Summer Catch A Concert Series, weekly on Mondays through June 24. Free weekly concerts from the Lake Charles Community Band.
• Southwest Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Festival, July 19-20. Includes nightly fireworks, barbecue competition and beer festival.
• Arts & Crabs Fest, Aug. 17. Vote for your favorite crab dish.