There’s no better way to experience the sights and sounds of the American South than by taking a road trip from Houston to New Orleans.
This route takes you through some of the most iconic cities and landscapes in the region, including East Texas forests, southwest Louisiana bayous, and the Mississippi Delta.
Along the way, you’ll have the chance to sample mouth-watering cuisine, enjoy live music, and discover hidden gems.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, this road trip has something for everyone.
So gas up the car and get ready for an unforgettable journey from Houston to New Orleans.
Also Read: Houston to Austin Road trip
How far is New Orleans from Houston?
The distance between New Orleans and Houston by road is approximately 350 miles.
The journey would typically take around 5 hours and 30 minutes to complete, although this can vary depending on traffic conditions on the I-10.
This six-hour road trip is a perfect weekend getaway from Texas.
You’ll start your trip in Houston, the largest city in Texas and home to one of the busiest ports in the United States.
From there, you’ll head east on I-10, crossing over the Texas Louisiana border after Orange, Texas.
Explore cities like Baton Rouge and Lafeyette before reaching New Orleans, one of the most fascinating cities in America.
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Houston to New Orleans Drive: Best Stops
Houston to New Orleans is a road trip that can be done in a day.
However, there are plenty of stops along the way that are worth taking the time to explore.
Some of the best include Beaumont, Lake Charles, and Baton Rouge.
Each of these cities has its unique history and culture, and there are plenty of things to see and do in each one.
Here are our favorite stops on Houston to New Orleans drive.
Also Read: 28 Best Road Trips from Houston
Start your road trip in Houston, the Space City.
This sprawling metropolis is the largest city in Texas and is home to a diverse population.
There’s plenty to see and do in Houston, from exploring the Museum District to checking out the Space Center Houston.
If you’re looking for something to eat, be sure to try some of the city’s famous Tex-Mex cuisine.
San Jacinto Monument
Just an hour east of Houston is the San Jacinto Monument.
This monument commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto, which was fought in 1836 and resulted in Texas’ independence from Mexico.
The monument is open to the public and includes a museum with exhibits on the battle and Texas history.
There’s also an observation deck at the top of the monument where you can get a bird’s eye view of Houston.
Battleship Texas State Historic Site
Near the San Jacinto Monument is the Battleship Texas State Historic Site.
This site is home to the Battleship Texas, a World War I battleship that served in both world wars.
The ship is open for tours, and you can explore the decks, compartments, and guns.
There’s also a museum on-site with exhibits on the ship’s history.
About an hour and a half from Houston is the city of Port Arthur.
This city is located on Sabine Lake and is known for its beautiful Texas beaches.
There are also several historic sites in Port Arthur, including the Museum of the Gulf Coast, which chronicles the city’s history.
Sea Rim State Park is another great spot for nature lovers.
This park offers camping, hiking, and bird watching.
If you’re looking for something to eat, be sure to try the seafood.
After all, Port Arthur is located in the Gulf of Mexico and has some of the best seafood in the region.
Beaumont is the next stop on your road trip.
This city is known for its oil industry history, and there are several museums dedicated to this topic.
The Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the oil industry.
The museum tells the story of the discovery of oil at Spindletop Hill in 1901, which led to the development of the Texas oil industry.
Other museums in Beaumont include the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas.
Located just outside of Beaumont is the Cattail Marsh Scenic Wetlands.
These wetlands are home to a variety of plant and animal life, including alligators, birds, and turtles.
There are also several East Texas hiking trails where you can explore the wetlands.
After Beaumont, you’ll head towards Lake Charles in southern Louisiana.
This city is located on the shores of Lake Charles and is known for its casinos and resorts.
The Mardi Gras Museum is a great place to learn about the history of this festive holiday.
The museum has exhibits on the traditions and origins of Mardi Gras, as well as the costumes and floats used in the parade.
There are several golf courses in the area, and visitors can also enjoy fishing, boating, and hiking.
The next stop on your journey is Lafayette.
This city is the cultural center of Louisiana’s Cajun country.
There are several museums and historical sites dedicated to these cultures, such as the Vermilionville Living History Museum and the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
There are also plenty of restaurants where you can sample some of the renowned Cajun dishes.
Optional: Avery Island
Looking for a detour on the Houston New Orleans road trip guide?
Be sure to stop at the Tabasco factory on Avery Island to see how this iconic hot sauce is made.
You can also take a tour of the Tabasco Museum, which tells the story of the sauce’s history.
Avery Island is also home to Jungle Gardens, a 170-acre nature preserve with cypress trees, bayous, and marshland.
The Atchafalaya Basin is the next stop on your road trip.
This area is home to the Atchafalaya Swamp, which is the largest swamp in America.
The basin is also home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, bald eagles, and ospreys.
There are several nature trails in the area where you can explore the swamp and see the wildlife.
Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and is located on the Mississippi River.
This city is known for its state capitol building, which is the tallest in the country.
The city also has a variety of museums, including the LSU Museum of Art, LSU Tiger Stadium, and the Old State Capitol.
There are also several historic sites, such as the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial and the Capitol Park Museum.
From Baton Rouge, you can either continue along the freeway or take the River Road to Crescent City.
River Road Plantations
The River Road is a scenic route that runs along the Mississippi River.
This road is home to several plantation homes, which were once the homes of wealthy planters and their families.
Today, these plantations are open to the public and offer tours of the homes and grounds.
Famous plantations include Oak Alley Plantation, Houmas House Plantation, and Laura Plantation.
End your road trip in New Orleans, the largest city in Louisiana.
New Orleans is a city like no other: it is a melting pot of French, African, and American cultures.
Visitors can enjoy Creole cuisine, Jazz music, and unique architecture.
The city is also home to many historical sites, such as the French Quarter and St. Louis Cathedral.
Whether you’re looking to experience some of the best food in the country or want to listen to some great music, New Orleans is the perfect destination.
Also Read: Dallas to New Orleans Road Trip
Best things to do in New Orleans
With its rich history, vibrant culture, and delicious food, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The French Quarter is a must-see for any visitor, with its beautiful architecture and captivating atmosphere.
Bourbon Street is famous for its nightlife.
Be sure to try some of the city’s famous seafood gumbo while you’re there!
Jazz music is another big part of New Orleans culture, and there are many great clubs and bars where you can enjoy live music.
The city also hosts several festivals throughout the year, including Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest.
Best time to visit New Orleans
The best time to visit New Orleans is in the spring or fall.
The weather is mild and there are fewer crowds than in the summer.
However, many of the city’s festivals take place in the summer, so if you’re looking to experience the true New Orleans atmosphere, that is the best time to visit.
Christmas in New Orleans is another great time to visit, as the city is decorated with lights and there are a variety of holiday events.
No matter when you visit, New Orleans is sure to enchant.
Whether you’re looking to experience the best food in the country or want to listen to some great music, the Houston to New Orleans road trip in Louisiana is the perfect destination for your next road trip.
On your road trip through Louisiana, you’ll see a wide variety of landscapes, from bayous and swamps to plantations and cityscapes.
You’ll also experience the rich culture of Louisiana, from its Cajun and Creole roots to its French heritage.