[Article Content and Visuals Provided by Jonathan Adler]

10 Mother's Day Getaways Outside of New Orleans

07:00 May 08, 2024
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 of New Orleans. Here are the top 10 day trips to take for Mother's Day.

10 Places to Bring Your Mother

1. Honey Island Swamp

[Provided by Where Y'at Staff]

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

[Provided by Where Y'at Staff]

The Gulf 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 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

[Provided by Where Y'at Staff]

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

[Provided by Where Y'at Staff]

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 afterward at one of the many high-quality restaurants.

5. Whitney Plantation

[Provided by Where Y'at Staff]

While plantation tours can be pretty uncomfortable, 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).

6. Biloxi, Mississippi

[Courtesy of Coastal Mississippi's Website]

If mom loves to get her tan on and is nautical at heart, hop in the car and head to Biloxi, Mississippi. This quaint city boasts miles and miles of boardwalk and beachfront. With Mother's Day falling at the time of the year when New Orleans is already unbearably hot, you and mom can catch a coastal breeze and cool off in clear salt water.

Overall, the city brings a tropical and relaxing vibe, with plenty of casinos, seafood restaurants, and even a famous lighthouse. Who could resist the allure of the most photographed lighthouse on the Gulf Coast? So head to Biloxi for a blend of relaxation and excitement. Celebrate with your mother and have a whale of a time!

7. Abita Springs

[Courtesy of Town of Abita Springs' Website]

Abita Springs is a funky and proudly weird town just over 50 miles from New Orleans. The town is picturesque and quaint, filled with activities you and mom will love. This oasis outside the city has an enticing art and farmers market, boasting over 40 vendors and live music.

For beer-enthusiast mothers, Abita Brewery should also be on your itinerary. The impressive brewery produces Abita Amber, Purple Haze, Wrought Iron IPA, and more, as well as offers tours. For a beautifully scenic stroll, head to the Tammany Trace, a beautiful trail spreading around the city. Embrace the peculiar at the Abita Mystery House. This offbeat shop is made up of a series of small outbuildings to walk through, with each small shack boasting incredible folk art and oddities for the eccentric woman in your life!

9. Fontainebleau State Park

[Courtesy of Lousiana State Parks' Website]

For the daring, adventurous, and nature-loving mother in your life, head to the Fontainebleau State Park. Less than an hour drive from the city, this park boasts hiking, kayaking, water playgrounds, birding, and many other activities.

The park is water-front, making for unbelievable views of ancient trees, wildlife, and the beach. If you're really feeling the Mother's Day love, continue your day trip into the night with a premium campsite, which has sewage, water, and electrical all set up. Unwind, explore, and connect with the great outdoors this Mother's Day.

9. Old Mandeville

[Courtesy of the City of Mandeville's Website]

For a trip perfectly suited for moms, head to Mandeville, a charming and picturesque Southern town located right off Lake Pontchartrain. Hosting one of the most popular spots on the Northshore (and boasting a great name along with it), Liz's Where Y'at Diner will liven things up with a delicious breakfast to kick-start your mom's day and mood.

For a mix of low-impact exercise and beautiful sights, ride along the scenic Mandeville Trailhead. The spot also boasts the Jean Baptiste Museum, countless adorable gift shops with clothing, antiques, and art---perfect for all moms.

10. Bogue Chitto

[Courtesy of Louisiana State Parks' Website]

Mother's Day in New Orleans is undoubtedly hot, so beat the heat with your mother by heading down to the Bogue Chitto River. Cool off with tubing, kayaking, and canoes. Bring a cooler, a speaker, and some sunblock, and you'll be prepared to relax.

Play some tunes, drink a beer or Champange, and cool off amidst the beautiful nature of the park. The state park, which is massive, has pavilions, picnic tables, a water playground, and an outdoor classroom, making it a great day for water-front adventures.

10 Day Trips to Treat Mom

Whether your mom craves history, nature, or a touch of whimsy, there's a perfect day trip waiting to explore together. From adventurous spirits to sun-lovers and history buffs to outdoor enthusiasts, these 10 spots offer the perfect Mother's Day getaway. Pack a picnic basket, buckle up, and create lasting memories on this special day!

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