New Orleans is an excellent destination for your next holiday. With its humid, subtropical climate, it’s likely to be good weather whatever the time of year and the other big plus is that the wildlife is beautiful. Culture is the main draw for most people visiting the city, but although its coastline is mostly lakeside, that doesn’t mean it compromises on the quality of its beaches.
Visit the Beach
New Orleans does boast some lakeside beaches, which are truly beautiful. However, for those who long for the open sea, Biloxi Beach in Mississippi is only an hour and a half’s drive from the city center. So, if you want some saltwater, then this is the place to go! With white sands and blue seas, this is the best the beach can get. Sand dunes and grass provide an excellent spot for a picnic or sunbathing in privacy while the vast expanse of flat sand stretches out for what seems like miles toward the ocean.
Biloxi doesn’t bill itself as a “dog beach,” but if you keep your dog under control, then it’s a great place for a walk with them. If you’re holidaying as a couple, then why not bring a bottle of wine and watch the sunset, as the red sky over the dunes is a sight you’ll never forget. And if you’ve brought your family along, then there’s plenty of entertainment nearby, including several family-friendly restaurants to escape the midday sun.
Tour the Garden District
The subtropical climate here means that New Orleans is home to some beautiful flora. Walking tours of the Garden District are an excellent way to learn a little about the city and take in some captivating homes and gardens. The tours start a couple of miles southwest of the French Quarter and will take you around the Garden District. The tours usually operate on a pay-as-you-feel basis, which makes them an affordable option. Also, this neighborhood, especially, is full of old-world charm, with stunning architecture that will have you dreaming about relocating permanently.
Eat at Liuzza’s by the Track
Slightly less glamorous than the Garden District is Liuzza’s by the Track. This restaurant is a solid neighborhood corner joint, although you’re unlikely to find a starched white table cloth, as the food and the personality here more than makes up for it. Liuzza’s by the Track is horse-themed (which could amuse your family for hours!) and employs a no-frills, quality food policy. Enjoy a beer or a Bloody Mary while you choose from the simple menu. The gumbo here is famous among the locals while the shrimp and oyster po-boys are some of the best comfort food you’re likely to find. If you fancy splashing out, then try the fried seafood platter — a little bit of everything so that you can be sure you aren’t missing out.
Watch Some Sports
Home to lots of great sports teams, but for some sports, New Orleans can be expensive getting your hands on some tickets. Luckily that’s not the case for NBA fans, as you can get tickets to see the New Orleans Pelicans upcoming games for as little as $10. If you’re traveling with the family, then the NBA is especially good fun as you watch them marvel at all the man mountains. After the New Orleans Pelicans’ recent signing of Jordan Smith, who is a staggering 7 feet tall, everyone is bound to be amazed at both his athleticism, the excitement to the game that he brings and let’s face it, the sheer size of the man!
Visit the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge
Situated only 15 minutes from the French Quarter and covering an enormous 24,000 acres, this enormous marshland is the biggest urban marshland in America! It’s a much under-visited attraction, but that’s part of its charm. Established in 1990, the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge is home to an exotic marshland habitat, with fresh and brackish water, coastal forests and incredible plants and wildlife.
It’s at its best when the water levels are high, and on days like these, you are highly likely to see alligators and snakes. On any visit, you should be able to spot plenty of exotic plants and wading birds. On land, however, you’ll find white-tailed deer, otters and even wild boars. Maybe the best time to visit is the winter when thousands of migratory birds make it their home before making their way down south. In the spring and summer months, you can find plenty of beautiful flowers, such as water lilies, lotus flowers and stunning water hyacinths. Watching the birds to the soundtrack of the noisy bullfrogs is a marshland experience that you should not miss.
Eat at Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar
Finish your visit with a trip to Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar. It’s a favorite among the locals, so try to keep the secret! As the name suggests, seafood is the order of the day here. Oysters are fresh, juicy and unbelievably plump, so you can either opt for them straight from the water or with a quick chargrill. The gumbo here is also an excellent dish for fussy eaters, and the Swamp Platter gives you a taste of most of the menu’s highlights. If you aren’t sure what you fancy, then there’s a fresh seafood market right next door where you can pick out what you’d like to have cooked for you. It’s perfect.