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Drive from Houston to New Orleans

Vancouver, Canada
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Drive from Houston to New Orleans

Hi there,

We are thinking of a trip to Dallas, Houston and New Orleans with plane landing and take off from Fort Worth. Would anyone know if it's a worth while trip to drive from one city to another? Is the drive from Houston to New Orleans easy and safe? Would appreciate all your opinions. Thanks so much.

knr
Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Drive from Houston to New Orleans

It is probably easier to drive between the cities when you factor in the amount of airport check-in and wait time, flight time, car rental time, etc. The drive from DFW airport to Houston is about a 3 1/2 - 4 hour drive and a straight shot down I-45. Same for New Orleans, but a longer drive, straight out I-10. If you were going to fly any routes, I would say fly Houston Hobby (HOU) to New Orleans (MSY) on Southwest, or MSY to Dallas Love (DAL) for your return on Southwest. Southwest has really good fares for these short hops.

All drives are easy and safe.

Welcome to Texas!

Bartlesville...
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2. Re: Drive from Houston to New Orleans

I agree with knr, that the drives are easy and safe and may well be no greater investment of time than flying (with all the early-arrival, check-in and security hassles of flying), but if you are driving simply to see the sights, be advised that there isn't much to see between Dallas and Houston. I've made that trek down I-45 many times, and it is a pretty dull stretch of road, with the possible exception of the pine forests which lie roughly between Huntsville and Houston and the big Sam Houston monument/statue near Huntsville. You might find the drive between Houston and New Orleans a little more interesting. From I-10, you can see swamps, bayous and forests, along with some pretty impressive bridges that span huge expanses of rivers, swamps, etc. If you want to see the Texas countryside, getting off the interstates would be more rewarding and interesting, but much slower, of course. Most of the state highways in Texas are very good, safe roads, from which you can get a better feel for the place, by driving through small towns and past farms and ranches. Can't really say much about the smaller roads in Louisiana. Most of my road travel there has been for the purpose of getting from A to B, so I've pretty much stuck to the interstates there. Also agree that, if you fly, Southwest is your best bet for convenience and price.

Austin, Texas
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3. Re: Drive from Houston to New Orleans

I've done both drives a number of times and agree that there isn't much to see between Houston and Dallas. Most of the drive from Houston to New Orleans isn't that interesting, but there are places to stop along the way -- Lake Charles, LA if you're interested in gambling -- also, if you have the time, you can get off of I-10 and see some beautiful plantation homes and have some great cajun food.

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Drive from Houston to New Orleans

If you end up looking for a place to eat between Houston and New Orleans, I highly recommend Mulates in Breaux Bridge. There's a Mulates in New Orleans that's touristy, but the one in Breaux Bridge has more of a local atmosphere and fabulous cajun food!

Marina, California
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5. Re: Drive from Houston to New Orleans

Agreed on Mulatte's in Breaux Bridge. It gets crowded though.

I-10 between Houston and Lafayette is numbingly dull. It's only east of Lafayette when you hit the swamp bridge that it gets reasonably interesting. You also hit a similar swamp bridge (although not as long) just west of the New Orleans area over the floodway.

There's a back way you can take that follows the coast that's pretty interesting. You get off in Winnie on TX 73, head east to Port Arthur, then south on TX 82 and over the Sabine Pass Bridge into Louisiana, through Cameron (there's a ferry east of Cameron that could cause you some delays, but it's free). 82 will drop you off in Abbeville and you can take US 167 north back to Lafayette and I-10. Or you can take LA 14 east to US 90 and take the back way into New Orleans, although it's really not that interesting. This route will add at least an hour to your drive though if not 2.

BTW, Baton Rouge has ridiculous traffic. The city doubled because of Katrina and the road system has many years before it catches up. If you don't want to sit in traffic, there are a couple of much more scenic drives you can take through the city (like Highland Road through the LSU campus) that'll at least get you off of the freeway. If you go through BR on a weekday, you will get stuck in traffic.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Drive from Houston to New Orleans

Thank you so much for all your advise. I think we will try driving through the cities. We are planning to go mid Nov. Is the weather generally good during that time of year? We'll be coming from Vancouver, Canada and would love to have a few days of sun shine then. Thanks again.

Bartlesville...
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7. Re: Drive from Houston to New Orleans

You should have generally warm, sunny weather during mid-November. There may be some rain, but you should have sunshine too. Although I suppose it's not unheard of for Dallas to have ice in November, you will not see any freezing temperatures, once you get a bit south of there, and very unlikely to see any in Dallas in November. That time of year, you just need to be prepared for a lot of temperature variation. You may see some cool, wet weather or it may be downright hot, so be prepared for either.

Loveland, Colorado
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8. Re: Drive from Houston to New Orleans

We will be in Houston for a few days in October for a wedding. We will have to kill some time because we are not part of the wedding party and will be on our own for part of our stay. We are staying near the Hobby Airport.

In looking at the map, how is the drive south to Galveston, across the Bolivar Peninsula, up to Winnie and back around? Would that be a good sightseeing trip? About how long would that take? I'm not real interested in museums or shopping, but would like to drive around some.

Marina, California
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9. Re: Drive from Houston to New Orleans

*In looking at the map, how is the drive south to Galveston, across the Bolivar Peninsula, up to Winnie and back around? Would that be a good sightseeing trip? About how long would that take? I'm not real interested in museums or shopping, but would like to drive around some.*

At least 4 hours. There's a ferry between Galveston and Port Bolivar that can have quite a line on certain days and at certain times, so it's hard to tell.

The drive is pretty nice, but 124 from High Island to Winnie is pretty dull. How about a drive down to Galveston then back around the bay:

I-45 to Galveston, see the Strand and the Beach. I-45 back across the causeway to Texas City, exit at 146 and head north to San Leon (you can head east to Point San Leon here, but it's not really that interesting) then onto Seabrook and Kemah. Kemah has a little boardwalk and some restaurants and kids things where Clear Lake/Creek meets Galveston Bay. It's nice.

On the way back from that, there's not much around there but you can check out Armand Bayou Nature Center. It doesn't get much attention, but I think it's really nice. Or you can take a side trip to the LBJ Space Center.

hth

Loveland, Colorado
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10. Re: Drive from Houston to New Orleans

Thanks for the tip! We'll give it a try.