Summer sometimes seems insanely busy between camps, end of the year festivities, and life. It’s really hard to slow down and make summer memories. So here are day trip attractions that are within three hours of New Orleans for you to visit. Most of them are in Louisiana, but some are in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Get the kids, pack the car, and make some memories because before you know it, summer will be over and school will be starting again.
So technically this is in Jefferson Parish, but it’s so far removed from the main part of the parish, it’s a destination for most of us! Grand Isle has beaches, a butterfly dome, Elmer’s Island and whole lot more.
Fontainebleau State Park
Located in Mandeville, Fontainebleau has beaches, hiking trails and a splash pad. The entrance fee into the park is only $2 per person.
Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours:
Take a swamp tour through the Barataria Preserve and check out all the wildlife that live there including alligators!
Northlake Nature Center:
Also in Mandeville, the Northlake Nature Center has hiking trails and a variety of children’s activities.
Global Wildlife Center:
Take a safari wagon tour and feed giraffes and other animals that are roaming free.
Tickfaw State Park:
Tickfaw is one our favorite state parks. Spend some time in the nature center learning about local animals and wildlife, take a hike on one of the trails, and then play in the splash pad to cool off before heading home.
This beautiful island in South Louisiana is home to the Tabasco manufacturing plant. Cost to get on Avery Island is $1 and tours of the plant and gardens are an additional fee.
Louisiana Science and Art Museum:
Take a drive to Baton Rouge and visit the Louisiana Science and Art Museum. The museum has hands on galleries and exhibits that are perfect for little ones to explore.
Located on the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, the USS Kidd is a Fletcher-class destroyer. Walk through the ship and see why she was called “Pirate of the Pacific”.
Rural Life Museum:
Take a trip back in time at the Rural Life Museum and see what life was like in 18th and 19th century Louisiana.
River Road Plantations:
Another great trip idea for your little history buff. Visit some of the plantations along River Road such as Destrehan, San Francisco and many others to see what life was like living on a Louisiana Plantation.
Children’s Museum of Acadiana:
Take a trip to Lafayette and visit the Children’s Museum of Acadiana , the museum has lots of hands on learning for children of all ages.
Lafayette Science Museum:
While you’re in Lafayette stop by the science museum for interactive science fun.
Zip N Fun Adventure Park:
Take a drive over to Gulfport for this fun rope and zip-lining course through the trees!
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center:
Lynn Meadows is a favorite for my kids. They, yes even the 14 yr old, asks to go every time we visit Gulfport. And since it’s just blocks from the beach, you can go play in the sand after your visit before heading home.
Institute for Marine Mammal Studies:
Do your kids love dolphins and other marine animals? Then IMMS is a MUST visit. Kids get to see dolphins interacting with their trainers, birds, touch marine life, and learn about conservation efforts.
To Infinity and beyond…. Explore and learn all about space, NASA and our space program at the Infinity Science Center. Included in your visit is a tour of Stennis Space Center!
The USS Alabama is a WWII Battleship that is in Mobile, Alabama. Visit the memorial park, to tour the battleship.
Gulf Coast Exploreum:
While you’re in Mobile, visit this science center full of 150 interactive exhibits!
Naval Aviation Museum:
The Naval Aviation Museum may be slightly outside the 3 hour window but it’s worth the drive. We visited it a few years ago during spring break and there was so much to do, we couldn’t see it all. On select days you can even watch the Blue Angels practice, all for FREE!
What’s your favorite road trip destination?