[Lopez Robin, Unsplash]

10 Beaches to Visit Outside of New Orleans

07:00 May 16, 2024
By: Kaitlin Lowe
Summer is approaching, which means it's the perfect time to go relax on the beach. There's always so much to do at the beach, like going for a swim in the cool waters, getting your tan on, or even sipping on a fancy, tropical drink while watching the waves wash onto the shore. Although New Orleans has the delicious food and vibrant city-life, it's missing a crucial summer element: the sandy shore.

Louisiana is close to many southern beach destinations, with some locations only a couple hours away by car. This list of beaches just a short trip away can help transport you to that tropical vacation you oh-so-deserve. Grab your swimsuit and hop in the car to travel to your next beach getaway.

10 Beaches to Visit Near New Orleans this Summer

1. Biloxi Beach

[Shaggy's Biloxi, Facebook]

Just over an hour away from New Orleans, Biloxi Beach makes for a perfect day-trip getaway. From the white sand beaches to the serene waters of the Mississippi Sound, to the excitement of Biloxi, you're in for a great day. Nicknamed the "Seafood Capital of the World," you can grab a fantastic dinner at one of their coastal eateries.

Biloxi is also home to some of the best casinos on the Gulf Coast if you're ready to test your luck after a day in the sun. You can set sail on the Biloxi Schooner at sunset or take a shrimping tour if you're feeling up to it. All together, Biloxi Beach is just over an hour away and has all the essentials for the best day-off you could dream of. Grab a drink, some seafood, and just relax.

2. Gulf Shores

[The Lodge at Gulf Shores, Facebook]

Gulf Shores, Alabama, regardless of its beauty, is a little bit more of a trip. Gulf Shores is about a three hour trip from New Orleans—while that may be a tad too far for some for a day trip, the distance is more than quick enough to make for an awesome weekend trip.

Gulf Shores has beautiful waters, boardwalks, and resorts available for your upcoming stay. If you're looking for a little more out of your trip, there are plenty of options for activities, such as chartering a boat, waterparks, golfing, and amusement parks.

3. Grand Isle Beach

[Shrimp Boat, Town of Grand Isle Website]

Grand Isle Beach is just under two hours away from Louisiana, yet is a remote paradise almost hidden within Louisiana's shoreline. Grand Isle is a one way ticket to escape and adventure—you'll hardly remember you're still in Louisiana. As one of the state's only inhabited barrier island, Grand Isle offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and offers miles of beach to explore.

Grand Isles attracts surfers, beach goers, and fisherman alike. If fishing is your gig, you'll love the 400 foot fishing pier in Grand Isle. Take a dip in the warm waters of the gulf and take a break the hustle and bustle of the city.

4. Bay St. Louis

[The Blind Tiger, Website]

Bay St. Louis is just an hour away from the heart of New Orleans—perfect for a quick trip. The beach town is laid back, active, and relaxing. The town may be unassuming, but there is plenty of shopping eateries, and walking and biking trails in and around the town.

Fishers will love the fishing pier and massive marina. Check out the the Blind Tiger or Buoys Bar for some coast side seafood and live entertainment on select days.

5. Orange Beach

[City of Orange Beach, Facebook]

Only about a three hour drive, Orange Beach is the perfect destination for your next weekend trip. While most guests travel to Orange Beach for the warm waters, sunlight, and silky sand—Orange Beach, Alabama has much more to offer.

With championed golf courses, dining and retail, bars, casinos, and dolphin sighting and fishing tours, you could spend a week in Orange Beach if you have the time. Orange Beach is known as a water sports hub and hosts attractions such as a zoo and its own amphitheater.

6. Pensacola

[Visit Pensacola, Website]

Pensacola is home to the most western part of Florida, as well as exquisite beaches. Pensacola is a beautiful place to relax, regardless of what that means to you. At a three hour distance drive, Pensacola calls many New Orleanians for weekend getaways.

The beach offers many activities for adults and kids alike, a variety of restaurants, and boat tours. Pensacola has a number of hiking trails as well near the coast that can give you that extra peace and quiet your craving. Let all of your worries wash away in the crystal clear waters of Florida.

7. Fontainebleau Beach

[Louisiana State Parks, Website]

Fontainebleau Beach State Park in Mandeville, Louisiana may not offer the bright blues and silky sand that Gulf Shores or Florida beaches do—but the beach is still beautiful and is only 45 minutes away from New Orleans, so you can satisfy your beach needs in even half a day.

This 2,900 acre state park feature not just the beach, but also hiking trails, campsites, and activities. Swimming, birding, fishing, and sun bathing are all options at Fontainbleau state park.

8. Dauphin Island

[Mobile Alabama, Website]

Dauphin Island feels so exotic that you'll forget you're sitting in Alabama in a matter of minutes. Dauphin Island is two hours and 20 minutes from New Orleans, yet feels worlds away.

The long stretches of white sand beaches are convincing enough, but Dauphin Island has more activities to offer. It is home to an aquarium and a few bird sanctuaries, with the Audubon Bird Sanctuary being its most renowned. Dauphin Beach is home to three beautiful beaches: West End Beach, Public Beach, and East End Beach. The quaint beach town is closely to Mobile—so if you ever find yourself in the city, don't forget about the hidden gem Dauphin Island.

9. Destin

[Crab Island Cruises, Facebook]

Destin Beach may be more of a multiple day trip—and making the trip is totally worth it as it is just a four hour drive. With plenty of places to stay, as well as coastal eateries and bars, Destin could be the perfect place for your next trip. The waters are translucent and the sand is dreamingly silky.

Destin is also referred to as "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village," so this is truly you dream trip if you fish. Take a cruise or tour to the gorgeous Crab Island, relax on Miramar Beach, take a stroll down the Destin boardwalk, or hit the bars. Whatever your getaway includes—Destin makes sure you have options.

10. 30A Beach (or Alys Beach)

[30A, Website]

Alys Beach, or 30A Beach, may be farther than most of the options at a four hour road trip, it is an unbelievable weekend or overnight escape. Alys is a luxurious beach community from its all white Bermuda-styled residential streets to its primal location.

The sparkling and warm water of Florida and the white sand beach is beautiful all year, so 30A may call your name for a fall or spring vacation as well.

Relaxing Outside the Big Easy

While these beaches are our idea of relaxation, your's may look different. There are tons of ways to chill out around the city without making a trip to the beach. If you're looking to ease your stress and take a break from your everyday, you could always indulge in a spa day near the city. Your idea of escape might just include a relaxing walk or hike nearby. Regardless of what your take on relaxation is, take the time to treat yourself this summer—you deserve it!

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