Don't get me wrong, Lake Charles is great place to live. There are a lot of pluses to living in a smaller city. I know, because I was born in a big city on the East Coast and raised in another one on the West Coast. Lake Charles has a healthy mix of city living and country style, with a ton of culture, a diverse population, famous Louisiana music roots, and some of the best food on the planet.

The only problem is we're a lackluster. This city has enough property to expand and grow our entertainment industry. We already have the resources, they just need to be tapped into. A huge asset would be to satisfy the fun factor for families in the city. We have��enough adult playgrounds with all the casinos and local bars, but nothing for teens, tweens, or families with younger kids.

Lake Charles is a diamond in the rough, waiting to be discovered. Our beautiful city sits on the most traveled interstate in the world, but on the north side of town we don't give travelers on I-10 a reason to stop. The I-10 bridge is a horrible introduction to our city, because it's in grave disrepair and battered from its 68 years in service.

I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge, Lake Charles, La.
Scott Lewis

The first thing travelers see is an empty beach. I often wonder why the city doesn't rent colorful umbrellas and chairs or have a few tiki bars that sell beverages and food. People want to do things and would more than likely jump at the chance to rent bikes, paddle boats, life jackets, and other water-related gear to enjoy the beach. Parasailing would probably big with locals and visitors alike.

You only get one shot to make a first impression, right? If I could make a wish list for Lake Charles, it would include more activities and entertainment for families to enjoy. The downtown boardwalk, lighting, military park/statues/city plaques and monuments are all gorgeous and humbling. The delightful restaurants in the area offer some the most delicious grub in SWLA! The problem is that nobody can see all of that from I-10.

People get off the interstate to gas-up, eat, play, and vacation. Lake Charles is the perfect location to fulfill those needs and more. This city has the it factor and all the potential in the world to become the ultimate family vacation destination.

With that in mind, here's my wish list for Lake Charles:

A Wish List for Lake Charles

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