Places to go near New Orleans in fall
June 19, 2019 9:45 AM   Subscribe

I'm planning a trip to New Orleans in late October. I'll be there about a week, mainly to experience great food and music with friends. What should we do nearby?

I've never been in the area before and we're open to driving a couple of hours to nearby things and possibly overnighting outside New Orleans.

Our group is a few west coast guys in their fifties. Hiking or boating could be fun. I'm thinking we'll do one of the touristy bayou tours. We'll have a car.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

posted by DrumsIntheDeep to Travel & Transportation around New Orleans, LA (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Avery Island features the Tabasco Factory Tour. It's about 2 hours west of New Orleans.

You should absolutely hit the Ruby Slipper for breakfast at least once.
posted by mkb at 10:18 AM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Mardi Gras World!

It’s a little touristy but it’s a warehouse of all the floats that are being worked on all year. Really great tour!
posted by floweredfish at 11:47 AM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

There are a bunch of swamp tours, those are super fun, and probably about an hour's drive. Don't do the airboat, they're really noisy, just do a regular boat.

I really like Global Wildlife Center which is about 1-1.5 hours outside of New Orleans. You basically go on a safari tour on this huge preserve in an open sorta caravan. You buy these huge bags of feed and the animals will all come up and eat out of cups you hold out for them!

Mardi Gras World is in the city proper, so doesn't technically answer your question, but it's super fun, highly recommend.
posted by radioamy at 11:55 AM on June 19, 2019

How late in October? I went to this festival once, and had a total blast. It was a nice overnighter from our main trip to New Orleans. This year it's Oct. 10-13.

Festivals Acadiens et Créoles
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:00 PM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

As I've said previously, the Barataria Preserve of the Jean Lafitte National Park is fantastic. Really beautiful and very low key/easy walking for a high rate of creature rewards!
posted by MeadowlarkMaude at 2:12 PM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

We did combo Cemetery / Garden District celebrity house tour that was a blast. I can second Mardi Gras World too. WWII museum is also worth the effort.

Maybe more ideas in my blog post from our late October trip to New Orleans 3 years ago.
posted by COD at 2:41 PM on June 19, 2019

Piggybacking on radioamy's comment:
A specific bayou / swamp tour that I really enjoyed was the Manchac Swamp kayak tour with Canoe & Trail Adventures. The pace was casual, the guide was super knowledgable about the bayou ecosystem and history, and we spotted enough birds, gators, and turtles to make it feel like we got our money's worth. :)
posted by D.Billy at 7:37 AM on June 20, 2019

Response by poster: SuperSquirrel, we were thinking of going for the Jazz and Heritage festival October 18-20

But Festivals Acadiens looks great too. Now I don't know which one to go to!

Many thanks to everyone for all the excellent suggestions! I want to do absolutely all of it. I can't wait.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 7:53 AM on June 20, 2019

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the Blues and BBQ Festival as far as something to do if you're in town at that time anyway, but it's small and not really a destination event. Festivals Acadiens is the far better festival and worth a special trip.
posted by CheeseLouise at 12:49 PM on June 20, 2019

When I went (probably 20-some years ago) Festivals Acadiens was really small - like, just a band shell in the city park small, which made it so much more fun. They had a crafters market, where I picked up a really neat little hand-carved canoe (for display, not to use in water). So, it was a nice day trip, with an overnight in a local hotel. Not a huge thang like Jazz Fest.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:35 PM on June 20, 2019

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