Best Road Trips From New Orleans

β€œThe Big Easy” is the perfect starting point for amazing road trips, taking you to vibrant cities, the history of the antebellum south, the most scenic drives, white sand beaches, crystal-clear lakes and unforgettable sightseeing opportunities.

Top Road Trip Destinations From New Orleans

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Our rankings are based only on editorial opinion, not any commercial consideration.
Aerial view of bright blue sea with small boats at Destin, Florida


πŸš— 270 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 40 minutes

Destin is famous for its stunning white beaches and amazing fishing opportunities. Here you can enjoy a walk on the scenic boardwalk, numerous golf courses, and family-friendly water parks.

On your way to Destin, spend some time by the coast and visit Bay St Louis Beach, Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport, USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile and Gulf Breeze Zoo.

Skyscrapers in downtown Houston in the evening as the sun sets.


πŸš— 350 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 15 minutes

Houston, possibly most famous for its pivotal role in space exploration, is home to the famous Houston Space Center, the lively Museum District, and a colorful art scene.

As you drive to Houston, you can also visit Beaumont Botanical Gardens, Lake Charles, Lafayette Science Museum and Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge en route.

Neon signs on Lower Broadway Area in downtown Nashville, TN at night

πŸš— 530 miles ⏱️ 8 hours

Nashville, the heart of country music, invites you to experience its rich music scene, historic landmarks, and famous nightlife scene. Must-visit places here are the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

En route, you can elevate your journey by making stops at Hattiesburg Zoo, Bonita Lakes Park, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.

Orlando, Florida, USA with a roller coaster in the park. Universal Studios is one of Orlando famous theme parks. Universal in Orlando, Florida on April 3, 2014


πŸš— 700 miles ⏱️ 11 hours

Orlando is a magical destination known for its theme parks including Disney World and Universal Studios. It's also home to vibrant shopping areas and numerous golf courses.

The best way to enjoy this drive is to follow the Gulf Coast and visit Gulf Islands Waterpark, Dauphin Street in Mobile, Pensacola History Museum, Destin and Panama City Beach.

View from below of the guitar statue sign outside legendary Sun Studio in Memphis


πŸš— 500 miles ⏱️ 8 hours

Memphis is steeped in musical history, being the home of blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll. Don't miss the iconic Graceland, Beale Street, and the soulful Sun Studio.

On this road trip, take some extra time to visit BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo and historic sights of Natchez, Vicksburg National Military Park and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson.

A white sand beach with turquoise wooden sun loungers at Biloxi, Mississippi


πŸš— 90 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 20 minutes

Discover the charm of Biloxi with its famous casinos, sandy beaches, and historical sites like the Biloxi Lighthouse and the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, perfect for a day or weekend trip.

Even though this is a relatively short drive, there are plenty of amazing places to visit such as John Slidell Park, Bay St Louis, Long Beach and the Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport.

Mobile Bay, USA with the shoreline at late afternoon evening, with the pier in the background and a fallen tree in the foreground.


πŸš— 150 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 40 minutes

Mobile is a historic city located on beautiful Mobile Bay. It is home to the USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park and is famous for its annual Mardi Gras celebration, the oldest in the US.

Following the beautiful coastline, you can visit the charming waterfront cities of Bay St Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi and enjoy wildlife spotting at Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Natchez, Mississippi at sunrise with a wooden platform leading to the distance surrounded by lush green woodland.


πŸš— 170 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 50 minutes

Natchez, perched high above the Mississippi River, is known for its antebellum architecture, historic homes, and beautiful river views. Here, you can also enjoy a drive on the famous Natchez Trace Parkway.

On your way to Natchez, we recommend visiting Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Lynyrd Skynyrd Memorial Site and Homochitto National Forest if you have some extra time.

Skyline of Dallas, Texas in the evening at sunset


πŸš— 630 miles ⏱️ 9 hours, 30 minutes

Dallas offers the perfect mix of Western charm and modern city life with attractions like the Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas Arboretum, and many world-class restaurants and high-end shops.

This route is dotted with exciting new places to discover, such as the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Houston Space Center, and Dr Pepper Museum in Waco.

Downtown Austin Skyline From Underneath Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge - Lady Bird Lake - Austin Texas.


πŸš— 695 miles ⏱️ 10 hours, 45 minutes

Known as the "Live Music Capital of the World", you can expect a buzzing experience in Austin. Not only for its music scene, Austin is also famous for its own take on delicious BBQ dishes.

En route, you can also visit Baton Rouge, Alexandria Zoo, Shreveport Aquarium, Caddo Lake, the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas and Waco.

Miami Beach, Florida on Ocean Drive at sunset, with a beach in the foreground and palm trees before a row of buildings lit up in fluorescent colours.


πŸš— 950 miles ⏱️ 15 hours, 10 minutes

Sunny Miami is world-famous for its never-ending nightlife, beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts and many amazing restaurants. Here, you can explore South Beach, the Art Deco Historic District, and the colorful Little Havana.

En route, we recommend discovering Mobile, Pensacola, and many beaches of Destin and Panama City. Once in Florida, hug the Atlantic Coast to visit Daytona Beach, Cape Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale.

Chicago, Illinois, USA with a view of the 'Cloud Gate' also known as 'The Bean' in Millennium Park in Downtown Chicago.


πŸš— 1,000 miles ⏱️ 15 hours

Chicago is perched on the shores of Lae Michigan and is home to world-class museums, and iconic landmarks. During your visit, don't miss the Willis Tower Skydeck, Millennium Park, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Many places you can visit on this sizeable road trip include Tuscaloosa, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Nashville, Mammoth Cave National Park, Louisville and Indianapolis.

A panoramic view of a pentagon-shaped Fort Gaines along Mobile Bay in Dauphin Island, Alabama, USA, in fair weather

πŸš— 180 miles ⏱️ 5 hours

Gulf Shores is beloved for its spectacular beaches and family-friendly attractions. This is the place to head to if you'd like to spend some time under the sun, dip your toes in the sand and have fun enjoying water activities.

En route, take a break at Bay St Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi, and pay a visit to the beautiful Dauphin Island before arriving at Gulf Shores.

The stunning Cypress Lake in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana.


πŸš— 140 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 5 minutes

Lafayette offers a deep dive into Cajun culture with its live zydeco music, delicious cuisine, and colorful and ever-so-popular festivals that celebrate the rich heritage of Southern Louisiana.

We recommend extending your road trip to visit Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge and Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge.

A fishing pier stretching into the Gulf of Mexico in Grand Isle, Louisiana

Grand Isle

πŸš— 110 miles ⏱️ 2 hours

Visit Grand Isle, a peaceful beach getaway famous for its fishing piers, beautiful beaches, and birdwatching opportunities in the lush Grand Isle State Park.

This is a relatively short road trip, so you can take some time to discover new places en route such as Destrehan Plantation, Des Allemands, known as the "Catfish Capital of the Universe", and Larose Regional Park.

View of Geiger Lake in the wilderness of Pine Belt Region of Hattiesburg, Mississippi


πŸš— 110 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 45 minutes

The short drive to Hattiesburg is perfect for a charming day trip. Hattiesburg is home to Hattiesburg Zoo and the University of Southern Mississippi, so you can expect a lively and young atmosphere during your visit.

If you have some extra time, we recommend visiting John Slidell Park, Pearl River and Paul B Johnson State Park on your way to Hattiesburg.

The 1911 Historic City Hall in Lake Charles is a public art gallery and hosts travelling exhibitions.

Lake Charles

πŸš— 210 miles ⏱️ 3 hours, 5 minutes

Lake Charles is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with its inspiring natural beauty. It is also home to several luxurious casino resorts, so you will also find a thriving gaming and nightlife scene here.

Make sure to put aside some time to visit the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Lake Martin, and Lafayette Science Museum en route to Lake Charles.

Sage green and white traditional facade of the plantation in St Francisville, framed by tree brances

St Francisville

πŸš— 110 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 50 minutes

A charming small town near New Orleans, St Francisville offers a quaint Southern escape with beautiful plantations, charming bed and breakfasts, and peaceful and relaxing landscapes.

You can visit Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area on the way, and if you'd like to spend some time in a big city before discovering small-town Louisiana charm, we recommend making a stop in Baton Rouge.

White facade of the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church on a cloudy day


πŸš— 25 miles ⏱️ 30 minutes

The shortest road trip on our list, this drive to Destrehan is a great day trip adventure. Here, you can explore Destrehan Plantation, one of the oldest homes in Louisiana, offering a glimpse into the state's antebellum past.

As Destrehan is a small town that is a stone's throw from New Orleans, the drive itself will be pretty quick. On the way, we recommend visiting Lafreniere Park.

Oak Alley Plantation in southern Louisiana along the Great River Road down to New Orleans.


πŸš— 50 miles ⏱️ 1 hour

Vacherie is home to the famous Oak Alley Plantation, where you can walk down the spectacular oak-lined avenue and explore the historic grounds and exhibits.

This road trip is steeped in history and we highly recommend visiting Destrehan Plantation and Whitney Plantation to learn more about Louisiana's antebellum history.

Fontainebleau State Park, Louisiana with a sunset over Lake Pontchartrain seen from Fontainebleau State Park, a trees silhouette in the foreground.

Covington, Mandeville and Slidell

πŸš— 75 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 40 minutes

Explore the charming Northshore towns of Covington, Mandeville, and Slidell, known for their scenic lakefront views, delicious local eateries, and inviting small-town vibe.

On your way to these pretty small towns, you will enjoy a scenic drive across Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, and have the opportunity to visit Fontainebleau State Park and John Slidell Park.

Longer road trips from New Orleans

Capitol building in the background with close-up of colorful tulips on a sunny day

πŸš— 1,080 miles ⏱️ 16 hours, 20 minutes

Visit the nation's capital to explore its many monuments and museums. Highlights include the Smithsonian museums, the National Mall, and the US Capitol.

Aerial view of Central Park, New York

πŸš— 1,510 miles ⏱️ 25 hours

Experience the unparalleled energy of New York City, from the iconic sights of Times Square and Central Park to the cultural landmarks like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Broadway.

Los Angeles, California, USA downtown cityscape at sunset.

πŸš— 2,240 miles ⏱️ 35 hours

Discover Los Angeles, a city of dreams featuring Hollywood, world-class museums, diverse neighborhoods, and beautiful beaches. Don't miss attractions like the Getty Center and Griffith Observatory.