The drive from Houston to New Orleans does not have to be a tedious experience. With 350 miles and 5.5 hours of driving between the two cities, you’ll want to make a road trip out of your drive from Houston to New Orleans. Historic sites and delicious Cajun cuisine will make this long drive enjoyable, as well as a list of exciting pit stops along the way. Check out the top destinations, from southeast Texas to southern Louisiana in this Houston to New Orleans road trip travel guide.
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The beginning of your trip should be just as memorable as the rest of it. Therefore spend some time in Houston before hitting the road. Houston is a massive city, so there is plenty to do, see and eat. You may want to take a stroll through Discovery Green, catch an Astros game at Minute Maid Park, or explore Space Center Houston. As the fourth largest city in the nation, your options are endless here.
Battleship Texas State Historic Site - La Porte, Texas
Just outside of Houston is La Porte, Texas, home to Battleship Texas. This historic site is a great rest stop option. There is no better way to stretch your legs than by browsing the history found at the San Jacinto Battleground and the battleship. Battleship Texas actually become the first battleship memorial in the Lone Star State. If you have the time, consider attending an educational program or tour offered by Battleship Texas to make the most of your experience here.
Port Arthur, Texas
After your visit to La Porte, take I-10 to Port Arthur, which is about an hour and 15 minutes away from La Porte. This Texas town is home to another battleground site and a state park. The Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site played an important role in the Civil War. Here, you can read about the skirmish that took place in 1863. Other notable stops in Port Arthur are the Museum of the Gulf Coast and Sea Rim State Park.
After visiting a couple of towns outside of Houston, you’re getting close to the Louisiana border. However, don’t drive right into the state just yet. Beaumont is a great place to stay for the night or a perfect rest stop option if you feel like driving into Louisiana instead. In Beaumont, you’ll find a couple of exciting attractions worth your time, such as the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, the McFaddin-Ward House, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, and the Beaumont Botanical Gardens.
Your last stop in Texas will be in Orange, Texas. This small Texas town has a number of great attractions. With both indoor and outdoor attraction options, Orange is an ideal stop no matter what the Texas weather decides to do. Thirty minutes from Beaumont, Orange is home to the Stark Museum of Art, Lutcher Theater, W.H. Stark House, and the Shangri La Gardens.
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lake Charles will be your first stop in Louisiana. You’re in Cajun country now! Lake Charles is home to a number of casino resorts, so you may consider staying in Lake Charles for the night in one of the luxury resorts here, like L’Auberge Casino Resort or the Golden Nugget. If gambling isn’t your thing, consider visiting the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu while you’re in Lake Charles, which is home to the largest collection of Mardi Gras costumes in the South.
An hour from Lake Charles is Lafayette, Louisiana. You will want to arrive into Lafayette hungry because this Louisiana town is known for its incredible food scene. Cajun and Creole restaurants dominate the food scene here. For breakfast, dine in at the French Press Restaurant. For a great po’boy, consider visiting Old Tyme Grocery. After filling your belly, stroll around Acadian Village, where you can tour traditional Acadian homes and learn about early life in southwest Louisiana.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
After your time in Lafayette, you’ll only be an hour away from Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s state capital. One of the bigger cities found between Houston and New Orleans, you’ll want to take advantage of the top dining, lodging and attraction options offered here. Many tourists to Baton Rouge tour the State Capitol, browse the Shaw Center for the Arts, and stroll through the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. The city is home to a number of great Cajun restaurants, however, Bellue’s Fine Cajun Cuisine never seems to disappoint.
Oak Alley Plantation - Vacherie, Louisiana
One of the most picturesque historic landmarks in the state, Oak Alley Plantation, is found in Vacherie, Louisiana, which is located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. This will be your last stop before making the hour drive into New Orleans. The beauty of this historic site does have an ugly history, as it was a slave plantation. Therefore take a tour through Oak Alley Plantation to educate yourself on the ugly truth behind these historic grounds.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The end of your road trip comes to close when you reach New Orleans, however that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy all the exciting attractions New Orleans has to offer. The Crescent City is loud, vibrant and fun. The French Quarter is a popular tourist spot where you can enjoy beignets at Cafe du Monde, listen to jazz music on Frenchmen Street, and indulge in a grenade while walking along Bourbon Street. It’s impossible to have a boring time while in New Orleans.