5 Mother's Day Getaways
May 08 2017

5 Mother's Day Getaways

By: Jonathan Adler

Mother’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. It helps that I have the most wonderful, caring, and fun mom on the planet, but I digress. Anyway, it is a day to celebrate the amazing women in our lives and help remind us that every day should be Mother’s Day! I weighed nearly 12 pounds when I was born, so I tend to add a little note with my flowers saying, “Sorry about that!” Typical Mother’s Day activities could be getting a mani-pedi and having a day of pampering. Others include getting brunch at some fancy place and drinking $16 mimosas. But I think it would be even more special to take your mom on a full-day trip and spend some quality time outside the city. Here are the top five day trips to take for Mother’s Day. 


1. Honey Island Swamp

5 Mother's Day Getaways

New Orleans, and much of Louisiana at large, is a swamp. This is not news to anyone (or, at least, it shouldn’t be). The drive to Honey Island Swamp may not be scenic, per se, but it is definitely worth the short, 45-minute drive. Come for the early morning tour when the gators are still out and haven’t been scared away by fishing and recreational boats. Check the weather before booking because if it is raining, you won’t see much and the ride will be generally unpleasant. Also, there are swamp pigs and they eat marshmallows. It’s amazing. Hit one of the excellent Vietnamese restaurants in New Orleans East on the way back. 

2. Mobile, Alabama

5 Mother's Day Getaways

The Gulf-side city of Mobile is less than 150 miles from New Orleans, and you just have to take I-10 the whole way there. This quaint city houses plenty of excellent activities to do with mom such as museums and historic Civil War parks and forts, and it also has a close proximity to a number of white sandy beaches like Dauphin Island and Orange Beach. There are a number of beautiful historic houses, the battleship USS Alabama, and a museum dedicated to Carnival, as Mobile was actually the first city in the U.S. to have a Mardi Gras celebration. On your way there or back, you can grab a bite (or plate) of BBQ in Mississippi just off the highway. 

3. Avery Island

5 Mother's Day Getaways

Head about two and a half hours west of New Orleans and dive into Cajun country. You will notice the accents, food, and culture are different out there. Avery Island became a desirable piece of land hundreds of years ago when Native Americans discovered a massive salt dome and used this mineral to trade with other tribes. An absolute must when visiting this gorgeous landmark is the Tabasco tour. The island is home to the headquarters of the largest hot sauce company in the world and the tour is fun and informative. After the tour, walk (or drive) through the Jungle Gardens and get lost among the azaleas and camellia plants as well as the nesting snowy egrets. 

4. Global Wildlife Center

5 Mother's Day Getaways

Your mom raised you and your fellow wild animals (siblings), so what better way to say “Happy Mother’s Day” than to take her to the largest free-roaming animal park in the United States? The park boasts a variety of exotic animals ranging from giraffes to zebras and kangaroos. The animals are completely free to roam around the reserve, so no need to feel bad about seeing animals in cages like at a zoo. The safari tour is excellent and fun for people of all ages. Another plus is that you get to go over the longest over-water bridge in the world: the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. It’s pretty fun for people who don’t have to do it every day. Catch some top-notch fresh seafood along the lake afterwards at one of the many high-quality restaurants. 

5. Whitney Plantation 

5 Mother's Day Getaways

While plantation tours can be pretty uncomfortable (cue tour guide telling you that the slaves were treated really well HERE), the Whitney Plantation takes a slightly different angle to a sensitive historical subject. This 1830s sugar plantation focuses on the lives of the slaves and how they lived. In fact, it is the only plantation in Louisiana dedicated to understanding the facts of slavery. This approach does not take away from the stunning beauty of the site. Understanding how slaves lived here brings the house and fields to life. The 90-minute guided tours are very informative and just walking around the land is well worth the short trip (less than an hour from New Orleans). 

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