Take a road trip on your summer vacation! All of these beautiful destinations are less than a three-hour drive from New Orleans, and are perfect for a weekend getaway or a family vacation!
Mandeville is only a 45-minute drive from New Orleans. Historic Mandeville has B&Bs, cottages for rent, restaurants, bike paths, shops, and riverside parks. The Covington Trailhead is a bike path that explores surrounding Northshore communities. Gio’s Villa Vancheri, Jubilee Restaurant and Courtyard, and Opal Basil on the Trace are just some of the delicious food options available for your casual day trip.
Try out some of Mandeville’s original craft beer. The Barley Oak overlooks the lake, the Old Rail Brewing Company brews in-house beers and a well-executed pub menu; and, for a local production brewery, check out Chafunkta Brewing.
Lafayette is a little bit longer of a drive at 135 miles away. However, it’s in the heart of Cajun Country. You can find traditional smoked meats, gumbos, fried cracklins, and boudin every which way you turn. Johnson’s Boucaniere and the famed Prejean’s are some options for legit Cajun country cooking. The French Press, though only open for breakfast and lunch, has a life-changing Cajun Benedict, and is worth the early morning. Thrillist named Bread & Circus Provisions one of the Best Burgers in Louisiana.
Avery Island, LA
The same distance away from New Orleans lies Avery Island, LA. This town is perfect for a fun day of exploration. Visit Jungle Gardens, local bayous, wildlife, pepper fields, and take a Tabasco hot sauce production factory tour. Although there is no place to stay or eat on Avery Island, its sister town, New Iberia, has plenty to go around. Check into one of the adorable B&Bs. Choose between one conveniently located downtown or overlooking sugar cane fields, Lake Peigneur, or the Bayou Teche. Get your inner Cajun on with boudin and cracklins from Billeaud’s Too or Cajun Boudin Cracklins. Taste some local soul food at Brenda’s Dine in & Take Out. Or, if you want to go upscale, check out Cafe Des Amis or Clementine. The historic Lejeune’s Bakery is open on weekdays and has been making exclusively French bread and ginger cakes since 1884. Check it out when you get a chance!
Take a two and a half hour trip to the picture perfect beach of Gulf Shores. Fairhope on Mobile Bay is a quaint shore town exploding with character. This town is known for its art, check out the Eastern Shore Arts Center on Fridays, but after you worked up an appetite, visit Dragonfly Foodbar for tacos, noodle bowls, and amazing drinks during dinner time. Pinzoneshas delicious Italian fare, and Thyme By the Bay serves tapas with a gorgeous view. The Fairhope Brewing Companyserves the best beer for miles. They have a spacious taproom with many televisions, live music during the weekend, and a fantastic, friendly staff.
The longest drive on this list, but possibly the most rewarding, is that to Pensacola, FL. The Emerald Coast is just as gorgeous as it sounds. Miles and miles of stunning beaches, and an astounding history. Visit the Naval Aviation Museumand the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum tour, and if you’re lucky, watch the Blue Angels practice. The Pensacola Bay Brewery serves local beer, Peg Leg Pete’s has fresh oysters and Gulf-caught grouper. Explore the amazing views and incredible sandy shores in Pensacola, FL.
Visit Ray Brandt Auto this summer as well! Come see our new and used inventory, or get your vehicle serviced! On our website, you can take a look at our specials so that you know you’re getting the best deal. Contact us with any other questions you may have! Happy Vacationing!