Clear streams, piney woods and idyllic communities filled with antiques shops, galleries and restaurants are found throughout St. Tammany Parish, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Only forty minutes from the French Quarter in New Orleans, revel in Northshore art, cuisine, culture and the great outdoors.
There are about 80,000 acres of national wildlife refuge set aside in the parish, including Big Branch NWR and the Northlake Nature Center on Bayou Castine. Birdwatching is popular on the Northshore, and many endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers live here.
The Tammany Trace, a jewel of a bike trail threading through 31 miles of St. Tammany Parish, is a great way to enjoy the Northshore outdoors.
Kayakers, paddle-boarders, and canoeists find easy access along many of the bayous and rivers and on Lake Pontchartrain. Join a guided swamp tour of the pristine Honey Island Swamp in Slidell, or go fishing with one of over a dozen experienced charter captains in Slidell. Learn more about paddling in Louisiana.
Kids especially enjoy the swamp tours, and holding or even hatching baby alligators at Insta-Gator Ranch. Or, they can get up close and personal with giraffes, camels, llamas and more at the amazing Global Wildlife Center.
Exciting flavors inspire menus in elegant dining spaces and mom-and-pop seafood emporiums all along the Tammany Taste. Find happiness in perfectly fried shrimp or a mountain of spicy boiled crawfish. Enjoy wine-tasting at the Pontchartrain Vineyards or beer-tasting at Abita Brewery.
The Northshore offers a range of accommodations. You can stay at a boutique hotel, in quaint cottages off the beaten path, familiar and convenient hotels, or go camping at two waterfront state parks, Fairview-Riverside in Madisonville and Fontainebleau in Mandeville.
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Ten Things to Do With Kids on the Northshore
Go Visit: Louisiana’s Northshore videos