[Family Vacation Filter]
January 28, 2010 10:31 AM   Subscribe

[Family Vacation Filter] What fun and family friendly ideas are there for a family of hipsters to go a spring vacation that's within 4-7 hour drive of Baton Rouge, LA?

We've scheduled the time off of work (April 1st-6th) and are planning on taking our first "big" vacation as a family with our young son (who will be 22 months at the time of the trip). We're not interested in flying anywhere since that would be cost prohibitive for us. What cool things are there to do within a 4-7 hour driving distance of Baton Rouge? I realize that this may be around the time that a lot of schools are on spring break and I would like to avoid that madness as much as possible but at the same time I think going to the beach would be pretty cool (minus the drunken college kids). Are there any local festivals going on around that time?

Also, my other question is if we go with the beach as an option, how does one go about finding about beach front property rentals? It would be awesome to rent out a condo or something so it had a more homey feel AND where I could maybe throw together a few meals for those times where we weren't interested in dining out. The problem is I don't even know where to start looking through the maze of rental property websites once I've figured out a location. Help me Hive Mind! If you don't, no one can!
posted by lrkuperman to Travel & Transportation around Baton Rouge, LA (9 answers total)
Go to Big Bend national park. Camp out on the edge of the Rio Grande.
posted by notsnot at 10:40 AM on January 28, 2010

(I don't have a place, but while Big Bend NP is amazing, it was at least a 10-hour drive from Houston.)
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 10:46 AM on January 28, 2010

Big Bend would require some sort of rocket car to fit into the 4-7 hour drive window.

I passed through Gulf Shores Alabama and it sounds like it would fit your bill. Seemed pretty tranquil compared to the Florida and Texas spring break spots.
posted by birdherder at 11:04 AM on January 28, 2010

Seconding Gulf Shores or Surfside, Texas. Both are chill, within your time range, and have lots of beach properties to rent. Go to VRBO.com - we've always had good luck renting through them.
posted by pomegranate at 12:17 PM on January 28, 2010

Hmmm. I'll be interested to hear what kind of answers you get. I grew up in Baton Rouge, and all of our family vacations were far longer than that.

Gulf Shores is fun, but I'll bet it will be nuts with spring breakers. What about Houston? There are some fun things to do there. Of course, in my opinion, driving to Houston to go to IKEA is fun, so YMMV.
posted by pyjammy at 12:26 PM on January 28, 2010

Vicksburg? I remember going there on a class trip in fifth grade. Could be interesting if you're into history.

Natchitoches is a very cute small town, about 3.5 hours away from BR. I went to high school there, so I'm partial to it, but there's not a whole lot to do.

Oooh, what about Memphis?

(I'm using Google Maps to look at driving directions for ideas.)
posted by pyjammy at 12:31 PM on January 28, 2010

Memphian here, to suggest our wonderful city for your vacation. We don't have beaches, but we do have food that would definitely be worth the drive. There's a childrens' museum, the National Civil Rights Museum, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studios, Graceland (if you're into Elvis, this is most definitely the place to be), among many other things. MeMail me for more details if you're interested!
posted by a.steele at 1:48 PM on January 28, 2010

Austin is a seven hour drive from Baton Rouge, says google maps. As a "hipster" family you might have been before :), but it's a fun city. If you go, visit Barton Springs- it's a really cool natural swimming pool in the city (image).

Or, go to the Hill Country, camp out, go tubing and hang out in the river. I'm no expert on where, exactly, to go, but my family went when I was a kid and it was memorably fun. You might be able to find the kind of cabin/condo you're looking for, or you could go to a state park and camp.
posted by MadamM at 5:35 PM on January 28, 2010

In the end, we settled on getting a beach rental out in Galveston so that we could have both the beach AND and be able to play around for a day in Houston (maybe even including a trip to IKEA)! Thanks MeFites! I knew I could depend on y'all.
posted by lrkuperman at 2:23 PM on February 2, 2010

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