So you want to plan a summer escape? Take a quick road trip and venture off the beaten path. We rounded up some great places you can travel to on one tank of gas from Baton Rouge.
Cat Island and Ship Island
These two islands just off the coast of Gulfport, Miss. are part of the Gulf Island National Seashore. Cat Island is accessible by private boat only or charter a boat to get you there. Primitive camping is allowed on this island. Ship Island is accessible by a ferry that leaves multiple times throughout the day. Ferry fares range from $19 to $29. During the summer months, the ferry can get busy so you’ll want to get there early to make sure you get a good spot on the beach. Food and chair rentals are available on Ship Island but you can also bring your own. Check their website for tips on what to bring.
Oak Alley Plantation
One of Louisiana’s most recognizable plantations gives guests a chance to explore the beautiful oak-lined grounds while learning about the plantation’s rich history. Guests can stay at one of the many cottages and enjoy a nice meal at the restaurant or in the comfort of their room. Photo courtesy: Oak Alley Plantation
The Myrtles Plantation
Dare to take a tour at this haunted plantation in St. Francisville, La. Stories of ghosts and hauntings have surrounded the Myrtles Plantation since the property was built circa 1796. Guests can experience the mystery of the antebellum plantation touted as “one of America’s most haunted homes.” The site offers daily tours of the home and bed and breakfast accommodations.
Explore an outdoor playground like no other. Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area in St. Francisville offers hills, hiking trails and even waterfalls perfect for the nature enthusiast.
Global Wildlife Center
Walk on the wild side with more than 4,000 exotic, endangered and threatened animals from all over the world! Global Wildlife is located in Folsom and offers tours where you can even feed some of the animals! Click here to learn more about Global Wildlife.
Houmas House Plantation
A little further up River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge sits this historic home located on 38 beautiful acres of land along the Mississippi River. Tour the mansion and explore the many gardens on your visit. Overnight guests can stay in one of the quaint cottages nestled within the property. There are several restaurant choices on-site from casual to chic. Photo courtesy: Houmas House Plantation
Covey Rise Sportsman's Retreat
Less than two hours away, Husser, La. brings you this hunting lodge providing full-service hunting adventures on 400 acres of property. Deer, quail, duck and pheasant are all part of the hunting experience. There are also activities for the non-hunters including fishing, hiking, cooking lessons and a tour of the Covey Rise Farm. On-site accommodations include a six-bedroom lodge or cabin rentals. Photo courtesy: Covey Rise Lodge
Come see where one of the South’s favorite condiments is made! The Tabasco Pepper Sauce Plant offers tours seven days a week as well as a gift shop and restaurant. Make sure to check out the bird sanctuary while you’re there as well.
Whitney Plantation Museum
Head to Wallace for a portal back in time. The museum holds guided tours of exhibits, restored building as well as first-person stories about the lives of the people who worked the plantations that stretch from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
Vermilionville Historic Village
One of the largest living history museums dedicated to Cajun and Creole culture resides just next door in Lafayette. It features seven restored structures from the years 1765-1890. They also have live demonstrations by artisans of the crafts essential to the life of the early settler.
Abita Mystery House
About 70 miles from Baton Rouge lives a vintage gas station turned “museum” where more than 1,000 pieces of folk art are displayed. Everything from old arcade machines to a miniature Southern town display-are all for the eye to behold.
Port Hudson National State Site
In East Feliciana lies the site of the longest siege in American history and the first-time African American troops made their first major assault during the Civil War. There is also a national cemetery in the city as well-just 20 miles from Baton Rouge.
Chicot State Park
About 80 miles outside of Baton Rouge in Ville Platte is the largest of Louisiana’s state parks with 6,400 acres of wildlife and fun. They offer several activities such as hiking, boating, fishing and even camping.
Less than 75 miles from Baton Rouge in Napoleonville, La. is this sugar cane plantation that now caters to its guests. Enjoy a wine and cheese reception in the library followed by a set dinner menu featuring Louisiana specialties. Select from two house for overnight stays — the main house or the Charlet House. Enjoy leisure activities like reading under the live oaks or playing croquet with other guests. Photo courtesy: Madewood Plantation via Facebook