LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -At long last the Vinton visitor’s center is open! It’s on the south side of I-10, near the Texas line.
"Feed your soul." That's Louisiana’s tourism slogan and what they aim to deliver at the state's newly renovated welcome center near Vinton.
Lauren Holmes is the manager of the center.
"This is an entrance from I-10. You've got people coming all the way in from California, you've got Texas. It's a very important stop for the state and it's visibility to people who've never been here," she explains.
After four years of renovations, inside there are interactive displays with photos that convey the Louisiana way of life, from the fun of Mardi Gras to the thrill of riding an air boat across a sunlit marsh.
"Cajun country, sportsman's paradise, crossroads, Baton Rouge plantation country, and then New Orleans area and what we've traditionally done is we've said how each of these is unique, so we've taken the areas and said how they're all similar. So, for instance, this behind me, the celebratory aspects of the state, we have celebrations throughout the state.,” said Holmes.
Outside, porches offer places to enjoy the view or even drop a line and checkout the fishing.
"We have about 3000 square feet of porches around this building and a 434-foot seawall that was constructed," said Holmes.
There is a boardwalk planned.
"The boardwalk is a separate project that will be let out later by the Department of Transportation and Development,” she said.
And for many, the important feature of a rest stop:
"The design behind the restroom facilities was so that we could close off a side at times to clean and maintain them," said Holmes.
And of course, visitors can get a hot cup of coffee. The soft opening is now and a grand opening is planned in the future.
If you're coming from Lake Charles to visit the center, you take the Sabine turnaround and then head back east where it's on your right.
For more information on visiting Louisiana click here.