2-Day Family Trip to Lake Charles, LA on a Budget!

Our family took a 2-day trip to Lake Charles, LA just to get away for a little bit. We have been wanting to go to Sam Houston Jones State Park to hike the trails there.

We love to go to state parks in Louisiana to get outside and be in nature as a family. This is also how we began our travels, by exploring what’s in our state. State Parks are usually about $5 for the whole family to enter for the day.

After hiking and playing on the playground at this great Louisiana state park, we ate a burger at a local restaurant called Harry’s. I don’t remember how much the meal was, but I remember it not being too bad, maybe $20.

I was scheduled for Jury Duty and didn’t know if they were going to need me. By the way, this burger is delicious! Thank you to my uncle for telling me about this burger joint.

They didn’t, so we spent the night at my uncle’s house in Ragley, LA (not far from Lake Charles) in his RV. It was our first time as a family camping in an RV. Accommodations at a relatives are always FREE!

The next morning, we told my uncle’s dogs by and we made our way into Lake Charles. We found this really AWESOME park called Millennium Park in the heart of downtown that Amelia and Jacques had a blast playing on.

Millennium Park in Lake Charles, LA

(Let’s not lie here, I had a blast too!) Some of the best places in the city are parks because it’s a great place for kids to run around, and it’s (my favorite word) FREE!

After playing for a while at the park, I saw on TripAdvisor that there was an old Navy boat, called the USS Oeleck, docked on Lake Charles and is open as a museum for any war/navy buffs out there.

We took a tour of the boat, and it went fairly smooth. The kids started to get tired about halfway through the tour, but we did finish the tour, and they had fun seeing the first ever drone, the canons, and the control rooms of the ship.

I’ll have to look it up, but I believe that the entry fee for our whole family to take this tour was around $20.

Before heading back home, we decided to grab some lunch at Charleston’s. We didn’t really know what to expect; we were just hungry and needed something to eat. The food was good; I had the 3-meat melt and Krista had the meatloaf, which she enjoyed as well. Again I don’t remember the price that we paid, but if I had to guess it was around $25.

Hold hands in the parking lot!

All-in-all we had a great spontaneous trip to Lake Charles. Worst case scenario we were going to the Sam Houston State Park for a hike and coming home, but since I didn’t have jury duty, we made a fun 2-day trip out of it by finding a relative to stay with and finding cheap or free things to do in the city. This is how you can travel on a budget!

Gas to-and-from Lake Charles was probably about 1 tank, which costs about $30. So for a fun 2-day trip we spent about: $100. We had breakfast food and snacks with us, but we could have brought some sandwiches or pre-made lunches to help cut those costs, but it was well worth the spontaneity of it.

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