If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans, you may want to consider adding a day trip or two to your itinerary. While the city itself is filled with plenty to keep most visitors busy for a few days, it is relatively small, and if you don’t live nearby, you may want to take advantage of the opportunity to see something else while you’re in the area.
Had enough of the French Quarter? Itching to get out of town and explore? As long as you’re willing to rent a car and drive a couple of hours, you can discover some pretty great places to explore to add a bit of variety to your vacation.
If you aren’t sure what’s worth a visit, here are a few potential day trips you and your family can enjoy while you’re in New Orleans:
Soak up the Sun at Biloxi Beach
Roughly an hour and a half’s drive southwest of New Orleans, you’ll find Biloxi Beach. With sugary white sands and some truly spectacular sunsets, it’s the perfect spot for a family photoshoot or a relaxing afternoon in the sun. If the idea of lounging on the shore doesn’t sound great, add a bit more excitement and get out on the water. You can rent everything from paddleboards and kayaks to jet skis from lots of local shops.
And if you’ve ever wanted to experience dolphins, sea lions, stingrays, and other marine life up close, you’re in luck. Check out the Ocean Adventures Marine Park in nearby Gulfport for a real treat.
Explore the Infinity Science Center
If you and your family like to learn about space, you’ll love the Infinity Science Center. Hop in the car and head across the state line to Mississippi. There, you’ll find the John C. Stennis Space Center – a NASA facility that isn’t actually open to the public. However, the Infinity Science Center next door offers an excellent opportunity to learn about our planet, the oceans, and space through simulators, shows, and interactive exhibits.
Sign Up for a Tour at Global Wildlife Safari
About an hour north of New Orleans, you’ll find Folsom, Louisiana, home to Global Wildlife Safari. This is the nation’s largest free-range preserve, and it cares for over 4,000 animals from all corners of the globe. Whether you sign up for a safari tour or book your own private guide, you’ll have the opportunity to see (and photograph) some of the creatures that live here, like bison, camels zebras, giraffes, and even kangaroos.
Spend a Day in Baton Rouge
If you want to keep your options open during your day trip, visiting Louisiana’s second-largest city is a natural choice. There’s plenty to see and do – you can admire the architecture at the Old State Capitol, explore the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, tour the LSU campus, or cool off at the Blue Bayou Waterpark. Grab lunch at a local favorite like Parrains, a seafood joint with mouthwatering daily specials.
As long as a rental car is part of your plan for your New Orleans vacation, it’s easy to incorporate a day trip to add a bit of excitement and variety to your holiday. From one-of-a-kind attractions to different cities, you’ll find lots of great options for day trips near New Orleans, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for your family.