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8 Best Beaches Near New Orleans

During the heat of summer in New Orleans, Louisiana, there’s nothing more refreshing than escaping to a beach. These beaches are all within driving distance away, making them perfect day trips from New Orleans. Enjoy sandy shores and sunny days when you visit one of these top beaches near New Orleans, Louisiana.

Biloxi Beach, Mississippi Gulf coast beach in Biloxi, Mississippi
Credit: Gulf coast beach in Biloxi, Mississippi by © Fotoluminate | Dreamstime.com

Biloxi Beach, Mississippi

Escape Louisiana and head to Mississippi instead for your next beach getaway. Biloxi Beach in Mississippi is actually only a 1.5-hour drive away from New Orleans, making it a popular option for those in the Big Easy. The area is a popular tourist attraction in Biloxi, so there are plenty of affordable lodging options. Besides the beach, Biloxi is home to casino resorts too, which draw a number of visitors to this area of Mississippi. Biloxi Beach is near enough to New Orleans that a day trip here is possible.

Grand Isle, Louisiana Grand Isle, Louisiana
Credit: Grand Isle, Louisiana by bigstock.com

Grand Isle, Louisiana

Grand Isle, found in Southeast Louisiana, offers miles of sandy shore for beach lovers to enjoy. One of the top destinations in Louisiana, it’s about 110 miles from New Orleans and is one of the closest Gulf coast beaches to the city. This barrier island offers more than just a beach; Grand Isle is great for birdwatching, fishing and camping too. For some of the best beaches in the area, head to Grand Isle State Park.

Ship Island, Mississippi Ship Island, Mississippi
Credit: Ship Island, Mississippi by Ship Island Excursions

Ship Island, Mississippi

Another Mississippi beach near New Orleans is Ship Island. Only 12 miles from Biloxi’s coast, Ship Island makes an island getaway from New Orleans an affordable travel option. Take the one-hour ferry ride from the mainland with Ship Island Excursions to reach the sandy shores of this Gulf of Mexico island.

Dauphin Island, Alabama Dauphin Island
Credit: Dauphin Island by travelview/shutterstock.com

Dauphin Island, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama may not come to mind as a beach destination, however this Alabama city is home to a barrier island known as Dauphin Island, which is only three miles from Mobile Bay. A two-and-a-half hour drive from New Orleans, Dauphin Island is a lowkey beach destination that isn’t as crowded as some of the other beaches found on this list. If you’re hoping to crab or fish during your beach getaway, Dauphin Island is a great place to do that. Birdwatchers and history buffs will also enjoy visiting Dauphin Island, as the entire island is designated as a bird sanctuary and a historic fort, Fort Gaines, also resides here.

Holly Beach, Louisiana Holly Beach, Louisiana
Credit: Holly Beach, Louisiana by © Kellie Guidry | Dreamstime.com

Holly Beach, Louisiana

Head to the Cajun Riviera for a beach getaway at Holly Beach. Holly Beach is about four hours away from the Crescent City, but that doesn’t stop many New Orleans residents from enjoying this Cajun beach community. Collect shells, go fishing or crabbing or simply enjoy the crashing waves of the Gulf of Mexico when you visit this beachy area of Louisiana. Since Holly Beach is 40 miles from the Texas border and 50 miles from Lake Charles, it is a popular destination for beach lovers far and wide.

Navarre Beach, Florida Navarre Beach, Florida
Credit: Navarre Beach, Florida by © Michael Wood | Dreamstime.com

Navarre Beach, Florida

If you’re not willing to drive as far as Panama City, this other Florida beach is just as nice. Navarre Beach, which is a 3.5-hour drive away for New Orleans residents, offers everything you’d want from a beach getaway, like white sand and a quiet shore. Navarre Beach is actually best known for its role in Jaws, as the movie was filmed there. Another notable characteristic of this beach is that it is home to the longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico, which is a popular spot to fish and view dolphins.

Panama City Beach, Florida Panama City Beach, Florida
Credit: Panama City Beach, Florida by © Kevin Ruck | Dreamstime.com

Panama City Beach, Florida

If you don’t mind the five-hour drive from the Big Easy, Panama City Beach in Florida is a beach destination to consider. Found in northwest Florida, Panama City is home to one of the most beautiful beaches found on this list. You may never want to leave the beach during your stay here, as Panama City is home to 27 miles of sandy shoreline. However, with hiking trails, fishing piers, and Shipwreck Island Water Park all located here too, it may be worth your while to explore more of Panama City Beach’s attractions after the beach.

Lake Pontchartrain Beach, Louisiana Lake Pontchartrain Beach
Credit: Lake Pontchartrain Beach by Judy M Darby/shutterstock.com

Lake Pontchartrain Beach, Louisiana

A beach doesn’t need to be on the ocean for it to be enjoyable. This lake beach, the closest beach from New Orleans’ city center, is only 30 minutes away. The beach on Lake Pontchartrain has white sand perfect for sunbathing and picnicking. The shallow water from the beach is ideal for swimming and wading, offering the perfect way to cool off during those hot Louisiana summer days.

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