Headed to the beach for spring break this year? Whether you are headed east to Destin or west to Galveston, most Southern travelers will be passing through Louisiana on I-10 to reach their destination. One way to avoid the constant cries of "Are we there yet?" is to take a few short, scheduled breaks on your road trip. The I-10 corridor provides some of the best Louisiana has to offer, including our world famous cuisine and culture. There are even a few surprises you might not know about!
If you are traveling from Texas towards the white sand beaches of Alabama and Florida, you will be driving through Lake Charles soon after crossing the Louisiana state line. Lake Charles is home to some of the state's most luxurious casinos and golf courses, as well as the Creole Nature Trail. Grab your hats, sunscreen and cameras and take your family on a detour here to discover the natural beauty of West Louisiana. If you have a Louisiana fishing license, you can spend the morning crabbing in Rockefeller near one of Louisiana's largest bird sanctuaries.
At Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours, we get a lot of requests to pet and hold small gators by our guests. While it is never a good idea to handle wild animals (especially young offspring) in their natural habitat, you can hold a baby gator at The Gator Chateau in Jennings, LA. The Gator Chateau is an education ambassador for South Louisiana, teaching visitors of all ages the importance of our preservation efforts on the gator population.
When you are back on I-10, head another hour east to discover Acadiana, the roughly two dozen parishes that make up what is collectively known as Cajun Country. Downtown Lafayette is home to one of the biggest urban downtown revivals in the South, adding new restaurants, residences, and shopping on what seems to be a weekly basis. Catch a Cajun Jam at the Blue Moon Saloon, grab some Hawk's crawfish at the Hideaway on Lee, or stop by the Acadiana Center for the Arts for the latest pulse on the fine arts scene. If you are coming through on a Friday in the spring or fall, you may want to take some time to enjoy Downtown Lafayette's oldest street party, Downtown Alive!
Acadiana is also the home of thriving St. Martin Parish, home of Breaux Bridge, Cecilia, Henderson, St. Martinville, and most of the Atchafalaya Basin. Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours offers a quick jump off and back on the interstate for weary travelers with our 1.5 hour professionally guided swamp tours that take you deep into the cypress woods of the oldest and largest swamp in the U.S. Call 337. 228.7880 to book your airboat or traditional swamp boat tours. We are open 7 days a week, year round, and we are the areas only family owned and operated fleet of airboats.
When you split off of I-10 to jump onto I-12, you have reached what we refer to as the Northshore. This area is home to many of the workers from New Orleans who commute over Lake Ponchartrain every day for their jobs in the big city. This area is also home to the Abita Brewing Company, which is open to beer lovers with all palates. I-12 was built in part as a way to travel through Louisiana while avoiding the traffic of Greater New Orleans, but don't get too sad that your beach trip won't have you covered in beignet dust. Covington, LA is home to an additional location of the world famous Cafe Du Monde, and they even have a drive through.
In the springtime, you can make a quick exit to Ponchatoula and grab a few cartons of their famously tart and sweet strawberries. A few miles later, you can take a detour into Mandeville and take a pause to enjoy views of Lake Ponchartrain. Short on time? Take a drive through the historic Southwest Louisiana University campus in Hammond and grab a Lions sweatshirt from the campus bookstore before jumping back onto I-10.
We know that the best part of a beach trip is getting there, but we also know that long road trips can be hard on the whole family. Why not treat yourself to some of the wild and wonderful sights, sounds, smells and tastes that Louisiana has to offer?
For more information, visit our website at basinlanding.com.