NOLA beaches, on the Louisiana's Gulf Coast, are best known for their fantastic powder-fine white sand and attract thousands of tourists every year. Some coastal towns are offering more entertainment, such as the casinos of Biloxi, while others are perfect for long strolls and quiet relaxation, such as Panama City Beach or the beaches on Ship Island. The beaches are also home to turtles that come to nest annually as well as many seashore birds. The annual bird migration is a popular event that brings tourists and bird watchers to Dauphin Island every year. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Biloxi-Gulfport Beach

Biloxi-Gulfport Beach
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Known as the “Riviera of the South,” the Biloxi/Gulfport area has a lot to offer visitors, who mostly come to one of many casinos. However, the fantastic white sandy public beach is reason enough to visit these two Mississippi cities that are connected by Highway 90. Perfect for a long stroll, the beach is well maintained and has chairs and umbrellas to rent as well as jet skis and kayaks. The Biloxi beachfront stretches along the Mississippi Sound and a number of barrier islands are located just off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Besides the public beach, large expanses of beaches in the area are part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a protected area that also includes wildlife sanctuaries, small islands you can reach only by boat, scenic bayous, picnic areas, nature trails, and campgrounds. 

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2.Bogue Chitto State Park

Bogue Chitto State Park
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Bogue Chitto State Park is a 1,786-acre area near Franklinton, Louisiana, with a number of diverse natural habitats that include small streams, a hardwood forest, cypress tupelo swamps, rolling fields, and upland forests. One of the most interesting features in the park is Fricke's Cave, actually a gorge filled with delicate spires made of sandstone. They were formed by water erosion of the rock surface under the pebbles. When the sandstone rock is dissolved, the pebbles show up on top as the spires. Over time, these have grown to over 2 feet high. There are boardwalks for visitors so that they can come and enjoy the view without damaging this fragile work of nature. The park has 14 miles of horseback riding trails, and the river is perfect for kayaking or canoeing while the 11 lakes are fully stocked with fish. There are campgrounds and cabins for overnight stays.

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3.Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island
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Dauphin Island is a small southern town on a same-named barrier island on the Gulf with a long history of marine culture, miles of pristine uncrowded beaches, great fishing, and a long, turbulent past. The island is located at the southernmost end of Alabama, about 3 miles from Mobile Bay. Easy to reach, it feels miles away from the modern world. Most visitors arrive across a 3-mile-long scenic high-rise bridge or by a regular ferry. The entire island is a designated bird sanctuary, and the annual bird migrations attract thousands of visitors. The east end of the island has most of the attractions, such as historic Fort Gaines, the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The best beach on the island is on the west side, a perfect stretch of fine white sand surrounded by parks, ancient oaks, and a golf course.

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4.Grand Isle

Grand Isle
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Grand Isle, known as a “Sportsman’s Paradise,” is a remote oasis on Louisiana’s rich shoreline, known for its high-class fishing and large birding habitat. Grand Isle is the only inhabited barrier island in Louisiana, with unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico, 7 miles of sandy beaches, and diverse, rich wildlife. The Butterfly Dome is home to native plants and butterflies. Just across the Grand Isle is Elmer’s Island, a home to Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge, a 230-acre barrier beachfront. At the east side of the island is Grand Isle State Park, with the best beaches on the island, a 400-foot-long fishing pier, several nature trails, and an overnight campground.

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5.Holly Beach

Holly Beach
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Located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Louisiana, Holly Beach is a charming beach-front community known as the "Cajun Riviera." You can spend a day relaxing and enjoying the sound of crashing waves in the Gulf of Mexico, stroll along the long sandy beach collecting shells, swim in warm, shallow waters, fish, crab, or sit in one of many beach bars watching beautiful people pass by. Try the local fish or some of the great Cajun specialties and wash it down with a cool, refreshing drink. The town has been damaged by two hurricanes and many quaint accommodations that tourists loved have been destroyed, but the town is working hard to recuperate and offer that famous Cajun hospitality.

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6.Navarre Beach

Navarre Beach
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Navarre Beach is the beach and neighborhood in the town of Navarre, Florida, on Santa Rosa Island, a small barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. It is protected as part of Navarre Beach County Park and consists of miles of spectacularly fine white sand. The beach became world renowned through the movie Jaws, which was filmed here. Just off the beach is the longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico, popular for watching dolphins and sea turtles or for catching fish. The beach is so large that it is possible to feel you have parts of it to yourself, while some parts are lined with condos and hotels as well as nice bars and restaurants. More Things to Do in Louisiana

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7.Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach
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Panama City Beach is a lively waterfront town in northwest Florida known for 27 miles of white sand beaches stretched along the calm, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Nearby St. Andrews State Park is one of two neighboring protected nature preserves along the Gulf, with great hiking trails and several fishing piers. The waterfront is famous for its seafood restaurants serving local daily catch. Offshore, just off the beach, are dozens of artificial reefs popular with divers as they attract thousands of colorful sea creatures. The beach is also a popular spot for watching spectacular sunsets over the Gulf horizon.

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8.Ship Island

Ship Island
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Ship Island is a popular tourist destination about 12 miles off the Biloxi coast. The main attraction is a sparkling white sandy beach located on the south side of the island. Exploring historic Fort Massachusetts is also fun. Take advantage of the free and very knowledgeable tour guides. The fort was constructed to protect the coast after the War of 1812. The Ship Island boardwalk runs along the beach and there you can find some beach supplies you may have forgotten to bring. A ferry connects the island with the mainland docks and leaves from the north side of the island. The ferry ride takes about 1 hour and if you are lucky you might spot dolphins during the ride.

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8 Best Beaches Near New Orleans



More Ideas in New Orleans: Degas House in New Orleans

To stay at the Degas House in New Orleans, Louisiana is to step back into history. Built in 1852 as a gracious home for the maternal family of Impressionist painter Edgar Degas, the beautifully-restored house is listed on The National Register of Historic Places. It also has popular tours, a museum and is a much-coveted site for weddings.

Edgar Degas was a leading figure in the French Impressionist art movement of the 19th century and is famed widely for his paintings of dancers. Degas was the son of a Haitian-born French father and a Creole mother who was born in New Orleans. Degas traveled to New Orleans in 1862 to stay with his maternal family, the Mussons. Influenced by the vibrant life there, he finished eighteen paintings and four drawings during his sojourn in the city. The restored Degas House, on Esplanade Avenue, is the only Degas house in the world open to the public. It is located on a street of mansions, which is charmingly shaded by a canopy of live oak trees.

The house was built in Greek Revival style, popular at the time, and later remodeled in an Italianate manner in the 1880s to keep up with current fashion. The owner of the Degas House has restored the home with the best of both architectural designs, and has embellished the house with fine reproductions of Degas paintings, antique furnishings and wall coverings and draperies consistent with the era. The result is an elegant Bed and Breakfast, with magnificent rooms and Creole fare served to guests each morning.

At the Degas House Inn, there are three suites, two standard rooms and four windowless garrets that are tucked into the eaves of the house. Every guest of the Degas House is served an excellent Creole breakfast every morning and given a glass of wine upon check in. Each room has antique furnishings, a hair dryer, a large-screen TV with cable television, an alarm clock, an iPod docking station, wireless Internet, a small fridge and bathrobes. Every room has air-conditioning and many have ceiling fans as well. Guests of the Degas House also receive a free tour of the home and museum.

The Estelle Suite is named for Degas’ sister-in-law, who was the subject of many of Degas’ paintings. It is an elegant and intimate suite that sleeps up to four persons and is decorated in rich teal and creamy yellows. Magnificent draperies and cut crystal chandeliers add to the grace of this suite. A private balcony overlooks the live-oak lined street. There is a four-poster king sized bed, a twin day bed with a trundle bed underneath and a Victorian claw-foot tub for soaking in.

The Jeanne Suite is named for Degas’ niece, who was born during his stay in New Orleans. Decorated in a buttery cream color, the room has a full bed and a twin bed, a bathroom with a shower and tub combination, hardwood floors and dark wood antiques. The Mathilde Suite was named for Degas’ cousin, who lived in this wing of the house with her husband and three children. This spacious two-bedroom suite sleeps up to four people, has a balcony overlooking the tree-lined Esplanade Avenue and Gayarre Park, a private kitchen and a large bathroom with a whirlpool tub. The Master bedroom is elegantly appointed with a king-sized bed and the second bedroom boasts a hand-carved double bed from Normandy.

The William Bell Suite was named for Mathilde Musson’s husband. The suite has two rooms, charming furnishings, a private balcony overlooking the courtyard, a private kitchen, generous closet space, a whirlpool and separate shower in the bathroom. There are two beds in the suite, both four-posters; one is a king and the other a double. Up to four people may stay in this room.

The Desiree Room is decorated in deep mauve tones and overlooks the courtyard. This tasteful room has a four-poster queen-sized bed, elegant draperies, a two-person whirlpool tub and a separate standing shower.

The Josephine Room was named for Degas’ niece, who was ten years old when Degas came to stay with her family. A portrait of the young girl hangs in the room. This whimsical room holds an antique rocking horse, a four-poster queen bed and Cherrywood furnishings. The bathroom has a Victorian claw-foot tub and a shower.

The Gaston Garret is large, charming and furnished with antiques. There is a queen bed and a daybed. The Pierre Garret, named for Degas’ nephew, is decorated in a subtle sage green and has hardwood floors, a brass queen bed, an extra twin bed and a ceiling fan. The antique armoire, nightstand and dresser are made of dark wood and the bathroom has a shower. The Carrie Garret, named for Degas’ second cousin, has a queen bed and a bathroom with a shower. Decorated in taupe and mauve tones, the room has hardwood floors, an antique dark wood armoire and nightstand and a ceiling fan.

Tours of the Degas House are available daily and are free to guests of the hotel. The Breakfast and Tour provides a Creole breakfast, followed by a tour of the house, courtyard and Degas’ studio, a look through the attached museum and a viewing of the award-winning documentary, “Degas in New Orleans, a Creole Sojourn.” Tours are led by Degas’ grand-nieces.

The Edgar Degas Creole Impressionist Tour operates twice daily, and starts with a stroll under the live oaks that line Esplanade Avenue to view the fine homes along it. Tour guests will hear about the French Creole culture that so shaped Degas’ mother, Celestine. A tour of the house, courtyard, and Degas’ studio is included in the tour, as is the watching of the documentary “Degas in New Orleans, a Creole Sojourn”. As with the Breakfast and Tour, the docents are Degas’ grand-nieces.

The Degas House is a popular wedding venue. Weddings may take place in one of the two parlors of the Degas House or outside in the courtyard. The parlors have decorative fireplaces, original wood floors, fine draperies and tasteful wall-coverings. The brick-paved courtyard has a fountain and plenty of space for guests. There is off-street parking for ninety cars nearby, and the wedding costs include the services of a uniformed security guard for guest safety. The Degas House is also available for engagement parties, bridal showers and rehearsal dinners.

Rooms start at $159 per night.

2306 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119, Phone: 504-821-5009

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More Ideas in New Orleans: 1896 O'Malley House

Set in a beautifully maintained Colonial Revival home, the 1896 O'Malley House is an elegant bed and breakfast set in the historic city of New Orleans. Located in a vibrant mid-city neighborhood and within a short streetcar journey from the famous French Quarter, Garden District, City Park, and Fair Grounds, the inviting retreat offers a quintessential New Orleans getaway. The inn offers comfortably furnished guest rooms and suites with sumptuous décor, private bathrooms and Jacuzzi tubs, some with fireplaces and private balconies, and modern in-room conveniences such as flat-screen televisions and complimentary wireless Internet. Guests are treated to a delicious New Orleans-style breakfast every morning and can relax in the secluded courtyard with wicker patio furniture and Italian-style fountain, and a short walk will take them to the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Guest Accommodations

The 1896 O'Malley House features eight beautifully appointed and charmingly decorated guest rooms and suites with period décor and antique furnishings that reflect the Colonial Revival style of the house. All guest suites boast comfortable king or queen-size pillow-top beds with luxurious linens, plush down comforters and hypoallergenic pillows, en-suite or shared bathrooms with granite countertops and vanities, over-sized whirlpool tub/shower combinations, deluxe towels and bathrobes, and organic bath products. Suites are spacious and light with sofas or armchairs, antique writing desks and chairs, coal or wood-burning fireplaces, hardwood floors and finishes and plush carpeting. Modern in-room conveniences add creature comforts such as flat-screen televisions with cable channels, clock radios, telephones, irons and ironing boards, hairdryers, and complimentary wireless Internet. Second-floor suites are equipped with iPads and the new Inn Concierge app, which supplies information about the Inn, the City of New Orleans, and all it has to offer.

Dining

A complimentary New Orleans-style breakfast is served every morning in the elegant dining room and includes freshly baked bread and pastries, seasonal fruit, cereals and homemade granola, yogurt, fruit juices, freshly brewed coffee, and tea. Signature dishes include Eggs Sardou with Creole Grilled Potatoes, Eggs Benedict with Creole Hollandaise, Cajun Sausage and Southern Style Biscuits, Blueberry Waffles with Whipped Cream, Fresh Berries and Applewood Bacon, and Bananas Foster with Stuffed Pain Par Du and Applewood Bacon. Gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, vegetarian, and vegan diets can be accommodated on request.

Amenities and Recreation

In addition to the luxurious accommodations, the 1896 O'Malley House has a tranquil courtyard with wicker furniture and soft candlelight in the evenings where guests can relax, socialize and listen to the sounds of the vibrant city around them. A complimentary New Orleans-style breakfast is served every morning in the elegant dining room and the nearby Woodhouse Day Spa offers a variety of indulgent and pampering treatments.

Local Attractions

The gentle, slow and easy-going way of life in New Orleans has earned it the nickname of ‘The Big Easy,’ and the inviting, laid-back city offers a range of attractions, activities, and entertainment for all tastes.

The French Quarter (le Vieux Carré), also known as ‘The Quarter,' is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans and steeped in history and heritage. Dating back to 1718, the district was established by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and grew around the central square of the Vieux Carré. Home to magnificent historic buildings, cathedrals, and famous jazz clubs, the French Quarter has a history that dates back 200 years and has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Resting at the heart of the French Quarter is the 18th-century historical Jackson Square, formerly known as the ‘Place d’Armes’ and later renamed in honor of the Battle of New Orleans hero Andrew Jackson. Overlooking the Mississippi River, the square is surrounded by famous old buildings, including the St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytere and Cabildo Museums and the stunning Pontalba Apartments, as well as a plethora of restaurants, museums, cafés and art galleries.

Tucked between St Charles Avenue and Magazine Street in uptown New Orleans, the historic Garden District is a famous neighborhood that is home to a beautifully preserved collection of antebellum mansions, immaculate gardens, and tree-lined avenues. Established by Barthelemy Lafon in 1832 as an upper-class settlement for new American residents to the city, the area flourished as lavish homes were built in the Italianate, Greek Revival and Victorian styles on large plots surrounded by spectacular gardens. Today, the district is home to several movie stars and celebrities, the famous Lafayette Cemetery # 1 and some boutiques and excellent restaurants, including the renowned Commander’s Palace Restaurant.

FreeWheelin’ Bike Tours is a family-owned company that offers visitors a relaxing and healthy way to experience New Orleans. Bicycle tours are led by passionate, experienced local guides that take visitors through various parts of the city, including City Park, the Garden District, and the French Quarter and share interesting information and facts along the way. Guests ride through the town on reliable cruiser bikes, which boast comfortable 13-inch seats, puncture resistant tubes and tires, and eye-catching chrome. Visitors can book private tours for two or special family group trips, and FreeWheelin’ Bike Tours also cater for corporate and team-building events and specialized VIP tours.

120 S Pierce St, New Orleans, LA 70119, Phone: 504-488-5896

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More Ideas in New Orleans: Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast

The Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast is an alluring guesthouse-style inn located just minutes from New Orleans' famous French Quarter. Designed and built in 1893 by renowned local architect, Thomas Sully, the bed and breakfast inn has been beautifully restored to its former glory to offer luxurious overnight accommodations and an elegant and refined ambiance. Nestled under the shady oaks of the grand St. Charles Avenue, the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast features exquisitely appointed guest rooms and suites with period décor and antique furnishings, spacious private bathrooms, and modern amenities. Several attractive communal areas around the house offer quiet places to relax or socialize with other guests, such as a historic Victorian parlor and a fully stocked library, and the elegant dining room is open all day after breakfast where complimentary coffee, tea, bottled water, and snacks are available throughout the day. The Inn’s architecturally significant Porte cochere balcony offers the perfect spot to catch the sun’s rays and soak up the stunning city views.

Guest Accommodations

The Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast features six exquisitely appointed guest rooms and two luxury suites with period décor and antique furnishings, spacious private bathrooms, and modern amenities. All guest accommodations boast beautiful walnut king or queen-size pillow-top beds with luxurious linens, plush down comforters and hypoallergenic pillows, en-suite or shared bathrooms with granite countertops and vanities, over-sized whirlpool tub/shower combinations, luxurious towels and bathrobes, and organic bath products.

Suites are spacious and light with sofas or armchairs, antique writing desks and chairs, wood-burning fireplaces, hardwood floors and finishes and plush carpeting. Modern in-room conveniences add creature comforts such as flat-screen televisions with cable channels, clock radios, telephones, irons and ironing boards, hairdryers, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Dining

A complimentary New Orleans-style breakfast is served every morning in the elegant dining room and includes freshly baked bread and pastries, seasonal fruit, cereals and homemade granola, yogurt, fruit juices, freshly brewed coffee, and tea. Gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, vegetarian, and vegan diets can be accommodated on request.

Amenities and Recreation

The Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast features several charming communal areas around the house to relax or socialize with other guests, such as a historic Victorian parlor and a fully stocked library, and the elegant dining room, where a complimentary New Orleans-style breakfast is served every morning, is open all day where complimentary coffee, tea, bottled water, and snacks are available. The Inn’s architecturally significant Porte cochere balcony offers the perfect spot to catch the sun’s rays and soak up the stunning city views.

Weddings & Events

The Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast offers a beautiful setting for romantic celebrations such as weddings, elopements, anniversaries and vow renewals, with several stunning venues, luxurious accommodations, modern amenities and spectacular surroundings. Sites at the Inn include the historic Victorian parlor and porte-cochere balcony overlooking St. Charles Avenue, along with the elegant dining room, and beautiful gardens.

Local Attractions

The gentle, slow and easy-going way of life in New Orleans has earned it the nickname of ‘The Big Easy,’ and the inviting, laid-back city offers a range of attractions, activities, and entertainment for all tastes.

The French Quarter (le Vieux Carré), also known as ‘The Quarter,' is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans and steeped in history and heritage. Dating back to 1718, the district was established by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and grew around the central square of the Vieux Carré. Home to magnificent historic buildings, cathedrals, and famous jazz clubs, the French Quarter has a history that dates back 200 years and has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Resting at the heart of the French Quarter is the 18th-century historic Jackson Square, formerly known as the ‘Place d’Armes’ and later renamed in honor of the Battle of New Orleans hero Andrew Jackson. Overlooking the Mississippi River, the square is surrounded by famous old buildings, including the St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytere and Cabildo Museums and the stunning Pontalba Apartments, as well as a plethora of restaurants, museums, cafés and art galleries.

Tucked between St Charles Avenue and Magazine Street in uptown New Orleans, the historic Garden District is a famous neighborhood that is home to a beautifully preserved collection of antebellum mansions, immaculate gardens, and tree-lined avenues. Established by Barthelemy Lafon in 1832 as an upper-class settlement for new American residents to the city, the area flourished as lavish homes were built in the Italianate, Greek Revival and Victorian styles on large plots surrounded by spectacular gardens. Today, the district is home to several movie stars and celebrities, the famous Lafayette Cemetery # 1 and some boutiques and excellent restaurants, including the renowned Commander’s Palace Restaurant.

2727 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, Phone: 504-895-1104 or 800-977-0008

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