As the temperatures get hotter, it gets more and more important that you find the best place to cool off. Luckily, New Orleans is near some truly amazing beaches that provide beautiful opportunities to relax and unwind after a long day–or week–or month! We’ve found some of the best beaches around New Orleans that are sure to make your summer amazing. Which one is your favorite?
1) Biloxi/Gulfport Beach, MS
Visitors from around the greater New Orleans visit Biloxi and Gulfport when they want to soak up the sun’s rays and enjoy all that the Gulf of Mexico has to offer. Nearby casinos and resorts, including Beau Rivage and Palace Casino Resort offer interesting entertainment and of course awesome food. Numerous hotels and smaller vacation homes can be rented near the area. To soak up some culture, jet off to the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs. To get there, take I-10 E to exit 46B, I-110 and follow the road until you hit the coast. About an hour and 20 minutes from New Orleans.
2) Holly Beach, aka the Cajun Riviera
Once the favorite stomping grounds for South Louisiana natives to soak in the sun, Holly Beach sustained very serious damage following Hurricane Rita in 2005. In true Louisaina style, however, there are still those that make the pilgrimage to this beach during the summer, and they are greeted with the kind of privacy many Florida residents can only dream about. Check out thecajunriviera.com to learn about camper rental opportunities. The nearby Sabine National Wildlife Refuge is also well worth the trip. Holly Beach is about four hours from New Orleans, exit 20 on I-10 West, just past Lake Charles.
3) Lake Pontchartrain Beach, Fontainebleau State Park, Mandeville, LA
Although this is not quite the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, the sprawling Lake Pontchartrain makes for a great substitute. Families and friends gather at the shores of the lake at the state park when hot and humid days prevail. The cabins at the park are finally back in commission, making it an amazing place for a quick New Orleans weekend getaway. To get there, take exit 65 from I-12 after crossing the causeway. Turn east on 190, and the park is 2 miles away.
4) Bogue Chitto State Park, Franklinton, LA
While technically not on the Gulf of Mexico, the sandy shores and cool waters of the Bogue Chitto River offer the next best thing for beach lovers. The unique landforms you can spot on the trails at this park make it a truly special trip. Rent a cabin or just camp out, then spend the day tubing or taking a kayak down the river. It’s an amazingly pleasant way to spend a weekend. To get there, take 1-12 to US-190 North. Exit onto Hwy 25 and the park is 20 miles up the road. Approximately an hour and thirty minutes from New Orleans.
5) Ship Island, MS
For a truly secluded beach adventure in the greater New Orleans area, try Ship Island. A daily ferry takes you out to the barrier island where a completely secluded beach awaits you. Be prepared to hike a bit to hit the sand and make sure you bring an umbrella—there’s no shade pretty much anywhere on the beach. But it sure is gorgeous! One of the best day trips you can take from New Orleans—just make sure you get up early, the boat leaves at 9am. Board the Ship Island Excursions, 1040 23rd Ave., Gulfport, MS. Approximately 90 minutes driving from New Orleans, then another hour on the boat.
6) Grand Isle, LA
The beaches of Grand Isle have been a favorite destination for people in South Louisiana for many years. With raised homes right along the edge of the shore and plenty of hiking, fishing, and bird watching opportunities, the island is truly a sportsman's paradise. Take LA-1 all the way to its end. The Island is about 2 hours away from New Orleans.
The beaches around New Orleans are just awesome aren’t they? Which ones have you visited? Which do you like the best? Let us know your thoughts, we love to hear your feedback!