New Orleans may be the ultimate destination with its unique blend of culture, music and architecture, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore what the rest of Louisiana and beyond has to offer.

Most of our day trips from New Orleans take you to the south of Louisiana, but some of our destinations lead to Mississippi and even Alabama.

Our list includes swamps and marshes filled with alligators, famous plantations along the Mississippi, historic towns and beautiful beaches, and a strange possibility to surprise.

We have compiled a list of the top 25 day trips from New Orleans, in descending order of time.

Don’t forget to look further down the list – some of the best day trips, as the plantations along the Grande Rivière route are at the end!

Our list of the top 25 day trips from New Orleans includes swamps, bays, historic towns, trips on the Mississippi and even the Tabasco Sauce Factory.

1. Steamship Natchez

Excursions from New Orleans

The Natchez tours depart from New Orleans and are an excellent day trip by steamer from New Orleans. Natchez can start directly in the French Quarter.

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If you want a day trip from New Orleans that requires minimal effort and no travel time, the Natchez steamer is ideal.

Natchez boat trips start at the pier on rue Toulouse, a block from Place Jackson in the French quarter.

You can choose between two daily guided tours of 2 hours during the day at 11.30am and 2.30pm and a dinner cruise, starting at 7pm. Be sure to arrive in port early, as disembarkation takes place half an hour before the departure of the cruise.

As you travel up and down the Mississippi, overlooking the city and port of New Orleans from the water, the Steamboat Stompers Jazz Orchestra plays jazz and you can take a stroll by boat, buy gifts or have lunch. On Sundays the menu at Brunch Sud is a sure update if you are flexible with the dates.

The Natchez steamboat is much nicer from the parts of the boat that are outside and in good weather the Natchez steamboat is a much better option. In winter you can still enjoy the sights, the food and the music, but the warm sun adds a lot to the experience!

2. Baratarya Reserve, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park

25 minutes from New Orleans (15 miles)

Hiking route through the Baratarya Reserve which is part of the Jean Lafitte National History Park at New Orleans
The Baratarya Reserve at New Orleans is part of the Jean Lafitte National History Park.

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If you like the idea of a tour of the marshes, but don’t want to spend a long day trying to get in and out of them, and it only takes a few hours to get around them, then the Barataria Nature Reserve is less than half an hour from New Orleans.

Here you can walk on paths through the vegetation and water or take a ride on a hovercraft (one of those flat boats with a huge propeller on its back).

If the water is warm enough, you have a good chance to see alligators, and they might even come close to the boat, but even if they don’t, it will be a beautiful day.

The Baratarya Nature Reserve is not as impressive as the swampy area, and you walk along canal-like waterways instead of growing in the grass and walking past cypresses, but it’s a great option for family holidays – children will enjoy the various sights along the way.

The Jean Lafitte National History Park, to which the reserve belongs, comprises 6 different sites in very different locations, including the famous Battle of Chalmet, a few kilometres east of the French quarter where the Battle of New Orleans took place in 1815.

If you’re on your way to the Baratarya Nature Reserve, don’t accidentally go to any of the other sites!

3. North coast study – Mandeville and Fontainebleau National Park

45 minutes from New Orleans (39 miles)

Fontainebleau State Park on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, near New Orleans, Louisiana.
Lake Pontchartrain Northshore is one of the most popular day trips for locals in New Orleans.

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The North Shore is a very popular place for people who want to get out of town for the weekend.

Less than an hour from New Orleans is the northern shore of Lake Pontchart. The landscape is relaxing and peaceful – think of the huge living oaks with moss on the ground, the bayonet and some swamps.

You can visit the swamp here, but the Atchafalaya swamp (see #16 below) is the best option. The Bayou lends itself well to kayaking and paddling in the picturesque wilderness of Louisiana.

With a few good restaurants in Mandeville and several local artisan breweries, you can stay until the evening or even at night!

If you spend the night in Abita Springs (no. 6 below), the secret house is only a few kilometers to the north, so you can combine them into one trip.

4. Ponchatula, Louisiana

50 minutes from New Orleans (52 miles)

Historic town of Ponchatula, Louisiana
The small historic town of Ponchatula is just a short drive from New Orleans.

Picture of peas and willows – Ref.

Ponchatula is located in the community of Tangier known for its agriculture. In fact, which is very unusual for the region, the strawberries are the focus of interest of local farmers.

Strawberries are such an important event in Ponchatula that the annual strawberry festival is held here in April, accompanied by fairground attractions, all kinds of dishes that can theoretically be cooked with strawberries, and breathtaking live music.

For those who want to see nature, north of the town of Kliebert & Sons is Gator Tours, where you can meet alligators, snakes and other animals – many of which were rescued from their former owners who lived in poor conditions.

South of Ponchatula lies the Joyce Wildlife Management Area – the wetlands offer excursions and attract birdwatchers. For cooler options, take a walk along the Marsh Boardwalk, where signs provide information about the local flora and fauna and things to see.

If time runs out, take the (more scenic) road back and follow Louisiana Highway 22 to Sorrento before returning to New Orleans. This part of the highway is known as the South Swamps, along the road that runs through many swamps and underlines how the state of Bayou got its nickname.

5. John K. Space Centre Stannis, Mississippi

50 minutes from New Orleans (50 miles)

Missile Stannis in Mississippi.
The Saturn V rocket in the John Stennis Space Center is one of 13 rockets ever built to bring people to the moon.

Sean Hannon Acrytheliphoto/Shutterstock.com

The INFINITI Science Center is located at NASA’s Rocket Propulsion and Test Establishment in Louisiana, Mississippi.

New Orleans is less than an hour’s drive away – the centre is very easy to find near I-10. The stop signal – when you encounter a giant Saturn V rocket with 5 huge F-1 engines – is hard to miss!

The museum itself is beautiful but not spectacular – it has interactive exhibitions, some NASA exhibitions and a short film about space exploration.

However, the most important reason not to come to the museum is the possibility to make a bus tour on the rocket test bench where you can see real NASA rocket engines in their footsteps. The size of things amazes the imagination, and the visit is worthwhile to buy a ticket!

6. Abita Springs, Louisiana

50 minutes from New Orleans (44 miles)

The Abita Mystery Secret House in Abita Springs is one of the strangest museums in the United States.
If you like beautiful museums and they are really random, then the Abita Springs Mystery House is for you!

Malachi Jacobs/Shutterstock.com

Abita Springs is the place to go if you want to spend a day in the sleepy city less than an hour from New Orleans. You will find attractions such as the mysterious madhouse and the path museum with local folk art.

Located 20 minutes north of the North Shore, start your visit with a stop at the mysterious house of Abita Springs.

It is a museum full of random exhibits, such as a collection of combs, a collection of old barbed wire and Buford, and an alligator – a strange 22-foot alligator – a hybrid sea bass creature made of plywood, fabric, handmade paper and beach balls.

I told you it was weird!

If you like cycling, Abita Springs is located on Tammany Trace, a 31 mile cycle path that runs from Covington to Slidell. The deserted tracks run right through the middle of Abita Springs.

7. One day fishing in the Biloxi Swamp

50 minutes from New Orleans (34 miles)

Fishing boat near Biloxi, Louisiana
The Biloxi Swamp is one of the richest fishing grounds for fish, crabs, shrimps and more in the waters.

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If you like fishing or if you have never fished in your life, there are better ways to spend a day than by fishing boat through the swamps, waterways, lakes and rivers of the Mississippi delta.

The marshy area of Biloki lies on the shores of Lake Borgna and is a huge mix of streams with grass, trees and other marshy vegetation, providing an ideal habitat for fish.

Several fish farms in the Hopedale area offer the possibility to fish for redfish, flounder, drum, speckled trout and sheep head. The best time to travel is at sunrise. Don’t forget to book in advance and allow at least 5-6 hours for a day trip.

For those who like to fish the old-fashioned way, the fishermen of the fish farms are popular, and they can be quite big.

Excursions are expensive – charge $500 to $1000 for a decent catch and throw in $10 for a fishing license (get it online in advance). At the end of your trip you can enjoy the fish cooked in one of the local restaurants for a perfect late lunch!

8. Huma – Land in Louisiana in the Bayou

at 1 hour from New Orleans (58 miles)

Black Swamp in Huma is one of the best cypress swamps you can visit from New Orleans
Cypress Swamp in Black Bayou near Huma, Louisiana.

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Many people automatically think that New Orleans embodies everything about Louisiana, but wait until you get a chance to visit Huma, an hour southwest of Big Easy.

Swamps, bogs and tall, dark cypresses growing out of the water. Take a look. Large colonial villas and historic houses with columns. Mark him too.

The plantation selected for the Oscar-winning 12-year-old slave game is called the magnolia plantation and is just a few minutes drive from the city. Some of the best Cajun restaurants with live music you’ll find anywhere in Louisiana are here – on the Bayou Terrebonne.

I don’t speak fashionably. I mean the right place for Mom and Dad, where you can find the darkest, fattest, best gumbo you’ve ever eaten. I may be biased – Louisiana Cajun okra is my favorite dish and I’m not the seafood type.

9. Bay of St. Louis and Gulfport, Mississippi

1 hour 15 minutes from New Orleans (78 miles)

Sandy and rocky beaches along West Beach Boulevard at Christian Pass and Point Henderson, Mississippi
If you want to find a great place for a day trip from New Orleans, St. Peter’s is the place to be.

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If the aim of your day trip from New Orleans is to find a pristine sandy beach where you can lie on a deckchair and listen to the sound of the waves while listening to pancake music (this section is optional), then the nearest available option is the Golfport Coast.

It takes just over an hour to get to St. John’s, Newfoundland. Louis Bay on the I-10 and crossing the Mississippi border. The golf port is a 20 minute drive along the coast, with pristine white sand on your right.

The landscape is ideal for a relaxing holiday – the poles and houses in the harbour are worth a visit, while you can have lunch at the Christian Pass or the Golfport with a view of the sea.

Be careful if you come to the Mississippi in early summer – there can be a lot of runoff in late spring and large amounts of fresh water can close the beaches due to algae growth.

10. God Chitto State Park

1 hour 20 minutes from New Orleans (63 miles)

Quiet, tree-lined pond in Bogue Chitto State Park, Louisiana
Bogue Chitto State Park in Louisiana includes the Bogue Chitto River and several ponds.

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Bogue Chitto State Park is located on the Bogue Chitto River, which winds south of Franklinton, just over an hour north of New Orleans.

Bogue Chitto is known for its diversity – you have hardwood forests on the banks of a fast-flowing river and a kilometre away there is a swamp with cypresses growing out of the water.

Access to the park is only $3 per person, and if the weather is good, you can go canoeing or kayaking on the river, picnic under a live oak tree or visit the sandstone towers of the Fricke Cave.

Before returning to New Orleans, drive to the east side of the river, cross Franklinton and stop at the C&C Smokehouse on Hwy 16. You can buy smoked sausages and meat from this fauna.

For the adventurers: Try pork cheese – it’s not a real cheese, but a terrine made with meat from parts of the pig’s head – a local dish!

11. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

1 hour 20 minutes from New Orleans (82 miles)

Louisiana Capitol and Huey Lang statue in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Louisiana Capitol overlooks Baton Rouge.

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We love a day trip from New Orleans to Baton Rouge so much that there are two on our list! It takes half the time – the other half of the journey on the Great River Road (#24 below), which takes more than 3 hours after the Mississippi bend before your plants stop along the road.

If you are passionate and want to leave early, you can take the slow road to Baton Rouge, see the sights and plantations, then have lunch and spend the rest of the day in Baton Rouge before leaving.

Baton Rouge is the capital of the state of Louisiana. Located in the heart of South Louisiana, it offers everything you can see. When you first arrive, you will notice a somewhat unusual State Capitol building.

In the cases where most states build a 2 to 4-storey building with a dome, the 137-metre-high tower with a 34-storey building was considered more suitable by the inhabitants. Especially because it was designed and built during the global economic crisis!

If you want to spend more than a day here, you have a lot to see and you don’t have to go far.

The former Governor’s House, the former State Capitol, the Capitol Park Museum, the historic district of the Spanish city, the Pentagon Barracks Museum, the LSU Art Museum – all just a 10-minute walk from the Capitol.

12. Ocean resources, Mississippi

1 hour 25 minutes from New Orleans (92 miles)

Colorful umbrellas and sun loungers by the sea at Biloxi Beach, near Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Biloxy Beach in Mississippi is one of the best places to relax if you come for a day or a weekend of relaxation.

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If you fancy the beach and you’ve already been to Bay St. John’s, you’ve come to the right place. If you prefer a resort experience, add an extra 10-20 minutes and travel along the Mississippi coast to Ocean Springs, or if you prefer a resort experience, add an extra 10-20 minutes and travel along the Mississippi coast to Ocean Springs.

Ocean Springs is the sea – it is located in the Gulf Islands National Sea, which is one of two that border the American Gulf Coast (the other is Padre Island, near the Mexican border in Texas).

Here you can relax on Front Beach (also called Ocean Springs Beach), visit the impressive Biloxi Bay Bridge and the Biloxi Maritime Industry and Seafood Museum.

For those who don’t want to spend the whole day on the beach, there are great art museums – check out the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs and the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art across the street from Biloxi.

But it is for the beach that one really comes to Ocean Springs – Front Beach in Ocean Springs is relaxed and the water is calm as Deer Island forms a natural bay.

The beach of Biloxi stretches further and can be calmer, and the water is still relatively calm – a few long barrier islands further into the bay break the waves before they reach Biloxi, but they are so far away that you won’t see them.

13. Journey to the southernmost point of Louisiana, Venice, in Plakemines County.

1 hour 30 minutes from New Orleans (80 miles)

Fishing boats in the Venetian marina, Plakemines Paris, Louisiana.
The Venetian Wharf, south of New Orleans, is the most southerly point that can be reached between Texas and Florida.

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You’d think New Orleans would be the southernmost point of Louisiana – miles of swamps separating the Crescent City from mainland Louisiana.

You might be surprised that you can drive south of town on Louisiana Highway 23 and then drive another 90 minutes to Venice. The highway follows the land created by the ground that the Mississippi River dropped into the bay when it fell.

Over the years, more than 80 miles of these lands have created a long strip of land on either side of the river, and Venice is the last port you can reach.

Because of its unique location it has everything to offer across the river and the bay – you can fish in almost any type of fishery here. From big tuna in the bay to redfish in many bays and swamps, to freshwater crabs.

If fishing is not your concern, take a seat at one of Venice’s great seafood restaurants and enjoy a relaxing lunch to get the best catch of the morning!

I thought I’d offer it to those who don’t like fish. The best answer is to keep reading. – Venice, Louisiana is no place for you!

14. De Soto National Forest, Mississippi

1 hour 50 minutes from New Orleans (119 miles)

The pine forests of De Soto National Forest stretch for miles across the southern Mississippi.
The mysterious pine forests of National Forest De Soto are the perfect place to get lost for a day.

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If you are tired of berries, swamps, alligators and fish and want to take a good old-fashioned day trip to the New Orleans National Forest, De Soto National Forest in Mississippi is the best option.

Named after the famous 16th century American explorer Hernando De Soto. For centuries this forest has offered everything you could wish for a perfect day trip.

Hiking trails, bridle paths, all-terrain and ATV trails, special routes for driving, rivers for canoeing, paddling or kayaking are the possibilities to explore this region.

If you want to fish, the lakes and Black Creek offer many possibilities. Alternatively, you can play activities such as hunting, shooting or even disc golf.

You know what Disc Golf is? It’s mainly a game of golf, except that you use Frisbee instead of golf balls and clubs. It’s incredibly fun, and you can spend a few hours on an 18-hole course in the recreational area of Lake Ashe.

15th St. Francis

1 hour 50 minutes from New Orleans (112 miles)

Francisville, Louisiana
The historic houses and villas of St. Francisville, Louisiana are located in the heart of the district of St. Francisville. The tree-lined streets of Francisville are great to visit.

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If you want to take a day trip to see the best of traditional Louisiana and learn more about local history, travel via the Mississippi to St. Louisiana.

I say: Courage – if you literally follow the Great River Road from New Orleans, it will take you four hours to get to St. Francis, and that’s before you know all the stops.

Instead follow the I-10 to Baton Rouge much faster and from there take the US-61 to St. John’s, Newfoundland. At least take the Great River Road (we have a shorter route on the Great River Road (#24 below)), but if you do, you should at least come before the weekend to make the most of the trip.

When you arrive at St. John’s, Newfoundland… In St. Francis you will stroll through the old town where you will find beautiful houses, shops, churches and a courthouse listed in the National Historical Register.

Just outside the town there are 6 plantations open to the public, where you can see villas and plots on the banks of the Mississippi River.

If you have time, the Angola Museum is 30 minutes north of San Francisville. It is the only museum in today’s high-security American prison and it tells the story of the so-called American Bloody Prison in detail.

16. Make a boat trip to the swamp area of Atchafalai

2 hours from New Orleans (125 miles)

Cypriot trees grow in the waters of the Atchafalaia swamp in Louisiana.
The Atchafalaya swamp is one of the best places to study cypresses and observe alligators.

Karen Ambrose Hickey/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve never experienced this before, there are a few things that are more Louisiana than a boat trip through alligator-infested swamps.

One of the best places to do this is the Atchafalai Marsh, about 2 hours west of New Orleans on the I-10 and just before Bro Bridge (see #17 below) and Lafayette (#20).

If you don’t know what a boat is, you’ve probably seen it in movies dozens of times. They are flat, wide boats with a huge propeller at the stern. Thanks to the propeller, the boat can cross a dense swamp without getting stuck in the weeds.

At Atchafalaya you’ll find all the main ingredients of a real Louisiana swamp: tall cypresses growing straight out of the water, standing water in bays and lakes, and alligators waving randomly at you.

It’s a unique experience, and if you’re in New Orleans and only have one day to travel, then you probably will too!

Be sure to book your visit in advance – visits can be booked in advance and usually take about 2 hours. If you make one of the trips sooner or later, you can take the Great River Route (see #24 below) to Louisiana and back for a whole day!

17. Bridge Breaux – Cajun Country Day Tour

2 hours from New Orleans (128 miles)

Lake Martin Marsh near Bridge Bro, Louisiana
Trees in Lake Martin Marsh near Bridge Bro.

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The Pont des Breaux is a town near Lafayette, which has proclaimed itself the crayfish capital of the world.

In Bayou Teche you’ll find great local restaurants where you can sample Cajun and Creole cuisine – let the crabs give it a serious try. You drove two hours to get here!

Since you are on the edge of the Atchafalaya Swamp and Lake Martin is only a few steps away from the city, you should take the time to explore nature.

From unique Louisiana cypresses and plants to birds and alligators, it’s worth spending at least part of the day outside the Bros.

In the town itself, the bridge that gave it its name is not very attractive – it is an old iron bridge that spans the Bayou Teke and connects the busier town centre with the eastern part of the town to the sea.

The crayfish festival in the Pont des Bros. beginning of May is a special time – you can taste all kinds of crayfish dishes that you can imagine (and many others you can’t).

You can also go to serious crazy events like crab races (no, really!) and crab-eating contests. Plan ahead and make it a full weekend if you have the luxury of time!

18. Daytrip to Grand Isle Beach, Louisiana

two hours from New Orleans (108 miles)

Fisherman's muscle, which extends into the Gulf of Mexico near Grand Isle, Louisiana,
Fisherman’s muscle in Grand Isle Park, Louisiana, is located directly at the southern end of Highway 1.

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Big Island is the only accessible barrier island off the coast of Louisiana and is located a few miles east of Venice (#13 above).

The reasons for coming and the list are similar to those of Venice, although the large island is slightly more suitable for visitors. Fishing is the name of the game, and you can go on a fishing boat or just watch the boats come and go from the marina.

There are excellent restaurants and bars on the island and several hotels where you can spend the night if you want to enjoy your dinner.

At the end of Grand Esel is Grand Isle State Park. The beach, which runs the entire length of the island, extends into the park. The anchorage is the most popular place for anglers, but also an ideal place to observe the birds and the waves of the park.

The beaches here are incredible and the season is long. Due to their relatively unknown location and the fact that they are two hours drive from New Orleans, they are much less visited than the possibilities along the Mississippi coast.

Take the opportunity to take a day trip from New Orleans to relax on the white sands with the waves of the Gulf of Mexico.

19. Mobile, Alabama

to 2 hours 10 minutes from New Orleans (144 miles)

Southern Charm of the Mobile Historic Center, Alabama
The Mobile Historic Center building with its cafes and shops is worth a visit from New Orleans.

Christian Hinkle/Shutterstock.com

Mobile is one of the longest day trips on our list and the only one that doesn’t take you to Louisiana or even one of the neighboring states.

To get to Mobile, you have to follow the east coast across the Mississippi River and across the state border to Alabama. The I-10 goes all the way, which should be a relatively easy 2 hour journey.

Mobile is one of the oldest cities on the Gulf Coast and there’s plenty to see and do here – certainly enough for a day trip and more than enough if you want to go all weekend.

Fort Conde is an interesting visit – it’s just a large-scale reconstruction of the original, as the old building was gradually destroyed to make way for the city of Mobile.

The historic district is a great place to walk around and see some buildings from the 1830s. There are some very good art and history museums.

Don’t miss the battleship USS Alabama. It was built and dismantled after the Second World War. You can visit it to see everything that was on board and also the fighter planes of that time in Memorial Park.

In the afternoon you will cross the Mobile Bay and spend some time in Fairhope, a beautiful town with artistic culture and great local restaurants. Have an early dinner before you go back to New Orleans.

If you come in the summer, the beaches of the Gulf Coast are a great way to spend a few hours. However, if you only come for the day, it can be difficult to adjust, and there are other equally beautiful beaches near New Orleans.

20. Immersion in Cajun Culture in Lafayette, Louisiana

to 2 hours 10 minutes from New Orleans (136 miles)

A breathtaking cypress lake in the centre of Lafayette, Louisiana.
The beautiful cypress lake in the centre of Lafayette is one of the most remarkable city parks you have ever seen.

Sittichai Sukreep/Shutterstock.com

Two hours drive from New Orleans, in the opposite direction, on the I-10, you are in Lafayette, in the heart of the country of Cajun.

Cross the Atchafalai Swamp (No. 16 above) and cross the Bro Bridge (No. 17) – you can easily add this point to your itinerary for another day trip.

Lafayette is rich in cultural attractions, and the two most important are Vermillionville and the village of Acadia. Both are located just outside the city centre and describe in detail the history of the Akadic (Cajun) population.

The Acadian people first settled in what is now Quebec and parts of the northeast coast of the United States. During colonization, wars and expansions in the 18th century, the city was an important source of wealth. In the 19th century they were moved to Louisiana, creating a unique cultural mix, inspired by French culture.

The two villages, with their houses and other buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The photographs, which date from the 19th century, offer an amazing glimpse into the lives of these people when Louisiana took root.

Downtown Lafayette is also well worth a visit, with its many restaurants, bars and lively music venues, as well as quirky shops along Jefferson Street.

Besides the museums there are several beautiful parks, including the famous Cypriot lake (see picture above). There are several city parks where you feel so far away from the noise and crowds!

21. Visit to the Tabasco Sauce House on Avery Island

to 2 hours 15 minutes from New Orleans (138 miles)

The building of the Tabasco Museum on Avery Island, Louisiana.
On the island of Averie there is a factory and the official museum of the famous Tabasco sauce.

Cheri Alguire/Shutterstock.de

The journey from New Orleans to Avery Island on Highway 90 takes just over two hours. The word island is often used in Louisiana, and its use is quite flexible – don’t expect to have to take a ferry to get here. Several bays and rivers divide the country into technical islands, but all this represents a very large part of the continent.

Avery Island lies on a huge rock salt deposit that is estimated to contain several kilometres of pure salt.

But what is best known on the island is that it is home and the only factory in the world that produces tabasco sauce. Wherever you find the spicy sauce, here it is made!

You can take part in a guided tour of the company. There is an enormous amount of information and video material that describes every step of the production process in detail.

Finally, go to the Tabasco country shop. In addition to souvenirs and gifts, there is a wide range of sauces and foods, all based on Tabasco. We’re talking about things like very hot soup and tabasco ice cream. You know you have to try!

22. Natch, Mississippi

to 2 hours 45 minutes from New Orleans (172 miles)

Rosalee Historic Mansion in Natchedes, Mississippi
Rosalee Historic Mansion is one of the many large mansions and plantations in Natchedes.

Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

One of the best places to discover the true culture, history and architecture of the South is strangely enough located in Nutchez, almost 3 hours north of New Orleans.

At the end of the list we arrive in the realm of fairly long journeys, so if you want to make the best of the day, you have to leave early and plan to eat late, on the road or before you leave!

Natchez lies on the Mississippi River and is the oldest European settlement along the river, founded 2 years before New Orleans.

The city is full of character – it has the best lobbies, some of which are open to visitors, and several beautiful plantations inside and outside the city.

More than 1000 houses in Nutschez are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and if you have correctly calculated the time of your excursion, the Nutschez Pilgrimage is an event that takes place twice a year for several weeks in spring and autumn.

During this period, some of the best classic private houses open their doors to visitors for excursions, which is a unique opportunity to see these buildings in their current use.

23. Jackson, Mississippi

2 hours 50 minutes from New Orleans (187 miles)

Mississippi Capitol and Jackon Center, Mississippi
Jackson is the capital of Mississippi and you can see it on a day trip from New Orleans.

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Just north of Nutschez and 45 minutes east of the Mississippi River is the town of Jackson. The journey here is as long as that to Nutchez on the I-55, which passes almost north of New Orleans.

If you want to visit Jackson on a day trip, such as to Natchez, an early morning departure is recommended and gives you time to explore all the main sights.

Jackson was one of the most important cities in the time of the civil rights movement, and there’s something to do here – the Smith Robertson Museum is located on the grounds of the first public school for African-American students, and is well worth a visit.

The historic Farish Street area is a place where you just have to walk around and immerse yourself in history – this is where the 19th and 20th centuries took place. It was one of the largest black business communities in the country in the 19th century.

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is an ideal place to complete your cultural tour.

Since Jackson is the capital of Mississippi, don’t lose sight of what it has to offer. There are two buildings of the State Capitol – the old one is a museum, but you can also visit the new building to see it.

Near Jackson Fondren you will find some picturesque shops and bars, as well as many museums, galleries and curiosities. The Mississippi Museum of Art is best known for its large collection of American artists and its special attention to Mississippi painters.

24. See plantations along Great River Road

2 hours 50 minutes from New Orleans (123 miles)

The Oak Alley plantation near Vacheri is just one of the many amazing plantations along the route de la Grande Rivière.
The Oak Alley Plantation is located along the Great River Road upstream of New Orleans.

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This is an impressive day trip from New Orleans, highly recommended if you want to immerse yourself in the culture and history of Louisiana.

The driving time is a bit misleading – the Great River Road from New Orleans to Baton Rouge takes 3 hours, but only 1 hour and 20 minutes back on the I-10, and unlike the other directions on our list, driving is part of the experience!

The route to the Great River is not a specific road in the strict sense of the word – it’s rather a number of different roads running along both sides of the Mississippi River.

In some states this road is very busy and you see huge signs that are easy to follow. In Louisiana you need a few clues, and you may not see a single clue on your way if you don’t look hard enough!

Some of the country’s most remarkable plantations are located along the Grande Rivière road. The Oak Alley Plantation has a famous oak street leading to the front door, and the Whitney Plantation is a museum dedicated to slavery in the south of the United States.

The stop can take 2-3 hours, so choose the plantations you want to see and plan your trip in advance!

25. Charleswax, Louisiana

3 hours 10 minutes from New Orleans (207 miles)

The historic town hall of Karlssee 1911 is a public art gallery and a venue for travelling exhibitions.
The historic town hall of Lake Charles, dating from 1911, is a public art gallery and at the same time an amazing building.

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For the furthest option on our list, the trip on the I-10 west of New Orleans will take just over 3 hours.

Charles Lake is known for its festive atmosphere – the capital of Louisiana hosts more than 75 different festivals throughout the year, and the state’s second largest carnival hosts unusual events such as the Louisiana Pirate Festival.

Located near the border with Texas, Lake Charles is known for its casinos and gambling and the surrounding nature.

Of course – Sam Houston State Park, some of the local footpaths, 5 National Wildlife Refuges and more local reserves are amazing for exploring the best parts of Louisiana’s wildlife, but there are many places much closer to New Orleans for day trips in the woods and bays for alligator viewing.

If you come to town for a party and plan to spend some time in the local casinos, you might want to spend the night instead of coming home early in the morning. In places like the Golden Nugget Casino and the nearby L’Auberge lake, you’ll find great accommodations, spa facilities, restaurants and endless playing opportunities not to be missed in Las Vegas.

Don’t miss the historic parts of Lake Charlemagne – The historic district of Charpentier has around 400 houses and buildings, and the historic town hall of 1911 is a great place to see art and learn about the city’s history.

If you want to take the scenic route to Lake Charles, the Grande Rivière, Baton Rouge, the swamp of Atchafalaia, the bridge of Bro and Lafayette, they are all at the top of our list at our discretion.

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