New Orleans is a destination that tops many travelers’ lists, but Louisiana is full of interesting places just a short day trip away from the city. We’ve got state parks, beautiful nature, and historical sites just waiting to be explored. Pack a snack, hop in the car, and discover Louisiana with these destinations under 90 minutes from downtown New Orleans.
Baton Rouge, LA
Distance from New Orleans: 1.5 hours
As the capital city of Louisiana, Baton Rouge is full of history. Visit several landmarks, including the Louisiana State Capitol, the Old State Capitol, the USS Kidd, the Red Stick Sculpture, and the Old Governor’s Mansion. Sports fans should jump at the chance to attend an LSU or Southern University athletic game. Like New Orleans, Baton Rouge hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. For more information on things to do in the capital city, see here.
Distance from New Orleans: 20 minutes
The last land battle ever fought on American soil between the United States and a foreign enemy took place on January 8, 1815, in Chalmette just outside of New Orleans on a site now known as The Chalmette Battlefield. At the site today is a monument built in the style of an ancient Egyptian obelisk and a large open field, on which markers show the approximate locations of the American and British positions. The battlefield is a unit of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Each year, the battle is reenacted on the closest weekend to the anniversary date, but visitors flock to the site year-round.
Fontainebleau State Park
Distance from New Orleans: 45 minutes
Situated on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, Fontainebleau State Park is a 2,800 acre oasis with everything from camping grounds and bike trails to hiking, birding, boating, and a beach. The site is open daily and requires a small cash entrance fee. You’ll most likely cross the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, known as the world’s longest continuous bridge over water, which requires a small cash toll when returning to New Orleans. Pack a picnic and enjoy a day trip to Fontainebleau State Park. Bonus for movie buffs: the state park was featured prominently as a backdrop in the film adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing.
Distance from New Orleans: 30 minutes
If you’re interested in taking a traditional swamp tour, see here. But, if you’re looking for an added adventure, head to LaPlace for Zip NOLA, Louisiana’s only zipline over a swamp. View wildlife including alligators, turtles, snakes, waterfowl, whitetail deer, wild boar, racoons, and more from the safety of the treetops. There are five separate ziplines over the Maurepas Swamp, plus two sky bridges, and a 2,000-square-foot elevated spectating deck. Find more information and book your tour here. While you’re out that way, you might as well also swing by Middendorf’s to try out what very well may be the best fried catfish in the state.
INFINITY Science Center
Distance from New Orleans: 40 minutes
Located just past the Louisiana-Mississippi state border, the INFINITY Science Center is a family-friendly destination where guests can explore our earth, oceans, and space through museum exhibits, live presentations, and engaging events. The STEM-focused approach provides hands-on opportunities for learning. Enjoy a short nature film at the 3D Immersive Theater, take an up-close look at spacecraft rocket engines, or visit for a scheduled event. Purchase tickets and plan your trip here.