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Cities around New Orleans

Argentine, France
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Cities around New Orleans

Good morning,

We will be visiting New Orleans, and wanted to see some cities outside New Orleans. We will not be renting a car, so which cities can we visit that are close?

We are also planning a swamp tour - we read about Cajan Swamp Tours, is that a good event for children? We did a tour a couple of years ago, where we visited 2 plantations + a swamp + lunch (combination).

Can anyone suggest free events that children (14,13,10,7.3) would all enjoy.

Thank you,

Thank you

New Orleans...
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1. Re: Cities around New Orleans

When will you guys be in town?

Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: Cities around New Orleans

Well, there are only a few real "cities," near New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles coming immediately to mind.

However, there are some some very neat, unique "towns," near-by. While Lafayette IS worth a trip, we really like a town to the south - New Iberia. Both are in "Cajun Country," but because New Iberia is much smaller, I feel that one gets a better impression of the Cajun culture there. Near-by is Avery Island, the home of Tabasco products, and worth the excursion.

Breaux Bridge is another nice town, with elements of the Cajun culture, and usually some great music - plus a Crawfish Festival.

Baton Rough is a lovely city, with the beautiful LSU (Louisiana State University) campus. However, I feel that what it has to offer is not so unique - other than the local's speech patterns, one could be in parts of Houston, TX). Though we do like Baton Rouge, with limited time, I would opt for other cities/towns.

Now, north of New Orleans, the town of St. Francisville is exquisite, albeit small. Lot of US Civil War history up there, and it's an easy drive from New Orleans.

Travel safely, and enjoy greatly!

Hunt

North Carolina
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3. Re: Cities around New Orleans

It's not easy getting to nearby cities without a car. Even to Baton Rouge, it will be a long bus ride. I like Bill's suggestions, but you pretty much need a car.

Swamp Tours are fun for kids or my kids really loved the Airboat Tour: http://www.airboatadventures.com

Free events, check out the National Jazz Historical Park: http://www.nps.gov/jazz/index.htm

New Orleans...
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4. Re: Cities around New Orleans

It would be impossible without renting a car but I would suggest The Northshore area, which is about a 45 minutes drive from New Orleans . A taxi or private driving service would cost a lot of money.

Here are some things I would recommend for those ages (the first 2 are not free activities but the others should be. The first two are well worth it on a day that isn't too hot):

1. Feed wild animals — From the shelter of a guided safari wagon, visitors at the Global Wildlife Center (26389 Highway 40, Folsom, 985-796-3585; globalwildlife.com) can see bison, giraffes, zebra, camels, deer, ostriches and other wildlife while touring 900 acres of Louisiana country where the animals roam freely. Visitors can buy grain to feed animals that approach the wagon.

2. Visit some gators — Home to more than 2,000 of Louisiana's most ancient inhabitants, the Insta-Gator Ranch and Hatchery (23440 Lowe Davis Road, Covington, 985-892-3669; insta-gatorranch.com) gives visitors the chance to get a close-up view of alligators big and small. Watch alligators swim, hold a baby gator, or book in advance to see baby alligators hatching in August.

3. Historic Downtown Covington has lots of things to occupy daytrippers. The St. Tammany Art Association (320 N. Columbia St., Covington, 985-892-8650; www.sttammanyartassociation.org) hosts art classes and has art exhibits. H.J. Smith's Son General Store and Museum (308 N. Columbia St., Covington, 985-892-0460) has been around since 1876 and offers a look into south Louisiana's storied past.

4. The Northlake Nature Center (23135 Highway 190 E., Mandeville, 985-626-1238; northlakenature.org), a 52-acre tract of land along Bayou Castine, hosts The Great Louisiana BirdFest each spring. The Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (61389 Highway 434, Lacombe, 985-882-2000) is another haven to spot migratory species.

5. Bike Ride the Trace (bike rentals would cost) — Formerly part of the Illinois Railway, the Tammany Trace (21490 Koop Drive, 985-867-9490; tammanytrace.org) is 28 miles of trail that's open to pedestrians, bicyclists, equestrians, rollerbladers and joggers. It winds through Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe and Slidell and has 31 railroad bridges from which to spot rivers, bayous and streams.

Edited: 27 August 2014, 03:29
Argentine, France
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5. Re: Cities around New Orleans

Good morning,

I love love love the suggestions of Bill and Whitenights.

Thank you

Sheffield, United...
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6. Re: Cities around New Orleans

oenocarpus - many thanks for asking the question

whitenights - many thanks for your answer, the global wildlife center looks excellent. Have altered our plans for this year and next to visit!

New Orleans...
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7. Re: Cities around New Orleans

Global Wildlife is an amazing place to visit! On our last visit, we splurged on the Private Pinz jeep tour, globalwildlife.com/safari-tour/private-pinz-… It was even more amazing because you are a small group in a jeep that goes off of the wagon trail. You feel like you are the only ones out there with the animals all around your jeep. The pictures online of the jeep tour are really want it is like. You will be face to face (inches away) from the animals.

Edited: 27 August 2014, 21:29
New Orleans...
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8. Re: Cities around New Orleans

The link didn't work in my last post. Here it is again:

globalwildlife.com/safari-tour/private-pinz-…

Birmingham, AL
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9. Re: Cities around New Orleans

If you will not be renting a car, how are you planning to travel to these "nearby" cities? I'm asking because I believe that a taxi or public transportation would be pretty cost prohibitive. Also, how close do you consider nearby to be?

I've heard good things about the Honey Island Swamp Tour. I would also suggest the Insectarium as a good place to take kids.

Argentine, France
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10. Re: Cities around New Orleans

I have done more research and realize that without a vehicle, I am limited to New Orleans. We just don't want o have to rent a car and fight traffic. The responses that I have received have been great and excellent ideas of what we can do with children within New Orleans.

]Thank you,