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The city of New Orleans offers something of interest and excitement to every visitor. This whole region, consisting of the city and its environs, is a haven for those seeking city life, annual festivals, food culture, family fun, natural wonders, historic sites, and outdoor recreation. Now is a great time to visit The Big Easy. The open wounds of Katrina are long gone, but a few of the visible scars still remain. So, you can enjoy everything this city has to offer and also appreciate what its residents have overcome recently.
New Orleans is a mixture of cultures. That blending comes together in the food, the music, the people, and the vibe. But if you explore the city from a hotel room, you miss out on much of that blending. A much better option is to rent an RV while you are in the Crescent City. Some people like to “rough it” in a simple camper or trailer. That’s not an option in a hotel room -- to rough it, you’d probably have to stay in a part of town that’s also rather rough. There are also lots of high-end RV rentals in New Orleans, though. These vehicles offer many of the amenities of a nice hotel room at a fraction of the cost.
Before you pack your bags, it’s a good idea to plan your trip. Read on for tips to help plan an RV vacation in New Orleans that you are sure to remember.
Many people go to New Orleans and only see the sites in and around downtown. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. You could easily stay in the Big Easy for a week or two and not get the total experience of places like the French Quarter. But Louisiana, in general, is a place known for its outstanding outdoor attractions. So, there are lots of things to see and do just outside the city. One of the main reasons people rent an RV in New Orleans is that they can experience these places at their own pace and on their own terms.
With an RV rental in New Orleans, you can easily explore the various parks and nature preserves nearby that feature the best of the local environment, including saltwater estuaries and sanctuaries for swamp life. There are no less than three state and national wildlife refuge areas within a short drive of the city, and visitors are welcome to fish, hunt, camp, hike, or go boating in the various salt and fresh waterways. The estuaries and grasslands in this region of the Gulf of Mexico are unique, with few other places existing like it on earth.
Crescent Park probably belongs at or near the top of your destination list. This open, marsh-like space offers sweeping views of downtown New Orleans, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, and some of the large ships that come in and out of the port. There’s always lots of activity, so it is a great place for a run or a stroll. There are lots of local shops as well, so you can soak up the local culture.
While in town, also check out a Kayak-iti-Yat (“where y’at” on a Kayak) tour of the Mid City area. There are lots of historic homes and unusual wildlife. The normally-placid water is great for beginning kayakers who are just there to enjoy the scenery in an unusual way.
Of course, what is a visit to New Orleans, especially if you rent an RV, without at least one swamp tour? Local ecologist Paul Wagner began the Honey Island Swamp Tour in 1982. The expert guides at this park know exactly where to find large groups of alligators, nutria, waterfowl, turtles, and other exotic wildlife. For the nerdier tourists, there’s ample opportunity to learn about wetlands ecology. For everyone, there are photo ops galore.
There are lots of great RV trailer rentals in New Orleans, and also lots of great RV parks in and around the city. We especially recommend Three Oaks and a Pine, which is right near the French Quarter. The park is also very secure, very large, and it has lots of nice facilities, like a lounge, laundromat, and shower facilities. The Bayou Barataria RV Park is outside town in Harvey. It has great onsite management and, as the name implies, is right on the bayou.
Honorable mention goes to Pontchartrain Landing, which is just a stone’s throw from the Gulf of Mexico, and Jude Travel Park, which is quite nice but books up quickly.
While on an RV vacation in New Orleans, you can explore the various old cemeteries, heritage plantations, and historic battlegrounds throughout the area. Many significant conflicts and political events took place in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana during the Civil War. Not to be forgotten are the annual festivals that include the notorious Mardi Gras festivities and many other special events.
New Orleans has an excellent public transportation system with lots of trolleys. So, it’s nice to leave your New Orleans motorhome rental securely in the park while you explore the city. In fact, the quaint, clean, and efficient streetcars are an attraction unto themselves. Take our advice and get the unlimited Jazzy Pass.
Jackson Square is also a very nice place to visit. There is plenty of music and food, people and fun. If you haven’t been to the Big Easy in a while, the World War II museum should definitely be on your radar. This huge museum is widely regarded as one of the best in the United States. There are lots of films and interactive exhibits along with tons of artifacts.
RV rentals in Orleans Parish make an excellent way to explore this one-of-a-kind place. Find your perfect fit and start packing for New Orleans!