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Named after Peter Hammerdal, a Swedish immigrant who settled in the area in 1818, Hammond is a lively city to the northwest of New Orleans and east of Baton Rouge. It emerged as a commercial center when the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad arrived in 1854 before becoming a Confederate hub for shoe-making during the Civil War.
Today, Hammond is both a residential area and distribution hub for southern Louisiana while being home to the Tangipahoa African American Heritage Museum. Its proximity to wildlife reserves and the historic sites of New Orleans makes it the perfect place to rent an RV while discovering Tangipahoa Parish.
Book a motorhome rental in Hammond and drive east to the Fontainebleau State Park, which sprawls along the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. It was once the site of a sugar cane plantation and brickyard owned by Bernard de Marigny, with its crumbling 19th-century ruins still visible today. Follow the interpretive nature trail to learn about the park’s plant life and animals or take a dip in the waters of Lake Pontchartrain from the sandy beach.
Also nearby is the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge in Pearl River, a 36,000-acre tract of Pearl River Basin swampland. It extends along the border between Louisiana and Mississippi, with boat trips along the Old Pearl River the best way to explore its habitats. Keep your eyes peeled for Swainson’s warblers and tyrant flycatchers that migrate here, as well as endangered gopher tortoises, white-tailed deer, and bald eagles.
Directly south of Hammond is the Joyce Wildlife Management Area, which encompasses an extensive area of freshwater marsh and around 100 acres of ancient Ponchatoula cypress trees. Black-bellied whistling ducks, hooded mergansers, and mottled ducks are frequently spotted, as are alligators and a range of other amphibians. The best way to access the park is along the Swamp Walk boardwalk that leads from the northwest corner of the swamp across its water-filled habitat.
Pick up your RV rental in Hammond and pull into the Calloway RV & Campground, which offers a range of fully-equipped RV sites with access to Wi-Fi. There’s a swimming pool, volleyball court, and recreational center, as well as a scenic lake where guests are welcome to fish.
A 15-minute drive east of Hammond will take you to the Reunion Lake RV Resort, a luxury RV campground that’s been fused with a waterpark. Aside from its lakeside RV sites, there’s a lazy river, family pool and cabanas, not to mention an adults-only swim-up bar where you can grab drinks.
If you prefer a forested setting, book a spot at the Hidden Oaks Family Campground that hosts a range of kid-friendly events throughout the year. There are both 30 and 50-amp full hookup sites to select from and plenty of grassy picnic areas where you can mingle with other guests.
Pick up your campervan rental near Hammond and head to the Dr. Charles Smith African-American Heritage Museum where some of the country’s most prominent African-Americans are celebrated. This highly-unique, open-air museum features tributes to black historical and cultural figures, from Maya Angelou to Denzel Washington. It’s just a short drive from the Tangipahoa African American Heritage Museum whose changing exhibits revolve around family life, the Civil Rights movement, arts, and entertainment.
Traveling with kids? Don’t miss a visit to the Louisiana Children's Discovery Center, which is packed with hands-on exhibits that explore the worlds of science, safety, and music. They can get active in the Construction Zone and at the Creation Station, crawl through the Tactile Tunnel, or learn the ropes of agricultural living at the Cow & Strawberry exhibit.
Hammond makes a good base for visiting New Orleans, which lies around one hour’s drive to the south. Wander along Bourbon Street in the historic French Quarter, then admire the stunning St. Louis Cathedral and Spanish architecture of Jackson Square. Learn about the American experience at the National World War II Museum or browse the folk art on display at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, then discover New Orleans’ legendary live music scene along Frenchmen Street.
Hammond is home to plenty of supermarkets where you’ll find all the groceries you need, as well as fast food restaurants and cafes for dining out. There are also numerous gas stations if you want to fill up your camper rental in Hammond.
Whether you’re visiting Tangipahoa Parish for its wildlife-filled swamplands or family-friendly museums, book an RV in Hammond and start planning your next adventure.