Top 5 Side trips from New Orleans
If you want the full Southern experience and have an extra day or two, here are a few side trips that you may want to include in your itinerary beyond the French Quarter, Garden District and New Orleans city sites.
There are 10 large historic homes west of New Orleans along the Mississippi River. Each has something special to offer. You can take a leisurely drive and view all the lovely gardens, stopping to tour the ones that appeal to you. You can also reserve a half day or whole day tour through one of the tour companies that will pick you up from our front door.
If you are really entranced by the plantations, add an extra day to your vacation and travel a few hours north of Baton Rouge to the town of St. Francisville, one-time home of John James Audubon.
Southern Louisiana is swampland. There are many places where you can touch a wild alligator and hear fantastic tales about life lived in the rugged swampland surrounding New Orleans. There are several companies that will pick you up and offer tours on covered pontoons or raucous air boats that skim the water. If you have a car, you can drive yourself down to Jean Lafitte State Park (40 minutes) and walk the Bayou Coquille Trail into the watery wilderness.
3. Mississippi Gulf Coast
Since all of Louisiana’s waterfront property is a swamp, if you need some beach, travel just two hours east of New Orleans and drop down to one of New Orleanian’s favorite spots for R&R – the Gulf Coast. You’ll find miles of beautiful white beaches, casinos, great food, fishing, boating, history, art galleries, museums, shopping, and much more.
From the small artsy towns of Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs to the larger destinations of Gulfport and Biloxi, you are sure to find wondrous views, and memories worth the trip.
4. The Northshore
Head across Lake Ponchartrain, north of New Orleans, for about 45 minutes, and you’ll find yourself in cooler country. Rent bikes and travel on Louisiana’s only Rails to Trails conversion, the Tammany Trace. Visit the home of famous craft brewery, Abita Beer. Have some outdoor fun along the Tchefuncte River, go antiquing in Ponchatoula or visit an alligator farm. You can do all of this and still make it back in time for dinner at your favorite New Orleans restaurant.
5. Cajun Country
New Orleans is not Cajun, despite what the rest of the world may think. You’ll need to tack on an extra day to see real Cajun food, music, dance, fun and hospitality a few hours west in the small towns around Lafayette.
Visit a live Cajun radio show at a roadside dancehall in Mamou on a Saturday morning. Take a pontoon boat ride into the Atchafalaya Basin to see nutria, egrets turtles, and alligator floating around the water hyacinths or basking under the cypress trees. Follow the trail of the Acadians from Nova Scotia to St. Martinville. Spice up your travels with a trip to Avery Island, the birthplace of Tabasco sauce.
Wherever your travels may take you in southern Louisiana, you’ll find a comfortable rest awaits you at the Grand Victorian B&B. Schedule your stay with us today!