Among the French-style architecture, live jazz, local art, and spicy cuisine, New Orleans will give you an experience that’s hard to forget.
A vibrant city of culture, it’s a quirky destination to make an RV trip all year round. Whether you’re celebrating Mardi Gras or strolling down Bourbon Street for a drink, the party around the city goes on non-stop. Here are some of the key attractions you won’t want to miss during the day, and top-rated campgrounds where you can park your rig by night.
Where to Go
The cultural heart of New Orleans lies in the French Quarter neighborhood. Founded by French explorers in 1718, it’s the oldest part of the city with elegantly-styled buildings, local restaurants serving fresh Cajun and Creole dishes, live music venues, and various shopping options including lots of great bookstores and small antique shops.
And then there’s the nightlife. A trip to The Big Easy would just not be the same without walking through the city after dark. Take a stroll down Frenchmen Street and Bourbon Street (which are within blocks of each other) and you’ll find round-the-clock entertainment, bars and all of the catchy live jazz music that New Orleans is famous for.
While you’re in the French Quarter, swing by this historic site for some magical photo ops. It looks just like the Disney castle, but the square actually marks where Louisiana was made U.S. territory back in 1803 after the Louisiana Purchase.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Home to fish and sea life of all types, the Audubon Aquarium makes for a fun day trip that people of all ages can appreciate. They even have this mesmerizing 30-foot-long tunnel you can walk through beneath the Caribbean reef:
You can also touch sting rays, and marvel over the massive sharks, tarpon and rays over in their 400,000-gallon Gulf of Mexico Exhibit. (Get tickets and more info on the aquarium’s website here.)
Mardi Gras World
Sure, it’s a little touristy. But still, Mardi Gras World is a fun, whimsical place where you can get a sneak peak behind the making of the floats for the city’s famous celebration.
Visitors can take walking tours throughout their warehouse to watch the talented artisans hard at work, creating these floats for more than 40 parades for the upcoming year. Mardi Gras will be coming up in 2017 on February 28. To find tickets and directions, head over to their website here.
National WWII Museum
An eye-opening walk through history, The National WWII Museum showcases old fighter planes, dive bombers, tanks and other relics from the war that changed the world. Previously known as the D-Day Museum, the museum has a particular focus on America’s involvement.
They also have this intriguing interactive submarine exhibit, where visitors can relive the last epic battle of the USS Tang. They will even have passengers on board “enlisted” to help perform tasks to navigate throughout the battle. For tickets and more details, visit them online here.
New Orleans City Park
An urban oasis in the middle of the city, this park offers an enchanting place to just get out and take in the beautiful nature of Louisiana. Go for a stroll, bike ride, take your dog for a walk, or visit the fairy-tale-like botanical garden to see unique species of flora.
The park additionally features a wide range of family fun activities. Go for a round of City Putt, on a ride at Carousel Gardens, or pick up coffee and beignets at “Morning Call”, a 24-hour, cash-only coffee shop in the park, a long-standing icon that dates back for years.
Where to Stay
If location is important to you, get a spot at this luxurious resort in the heart of downtown, just blocks from the historic French Quarter. Pet and big-rig friendly, they’re top-rated on Good Sam Club with 47 sites available, all paved and equipped with full hook-ups.
After spending the day savoring authentic New Orleans gumbo and shopping for souvenirs at the French Market, it’s only a short walk back to the park where you can lay back and relax in their pool or hot tub. Guests can also enjoy their pristine showers, fully-equipped fitness center, gazebo, and playground. Read more info on their rates and reservations on their website here.
A scenic waterfront option, Pontchartrain Landing provides a beautiful place to stay along the Industrial Canal near Lake Pontchartrain. They’re complete with 125 RV sites total with six price options, including: Presidential, Super Site, Premier Waterfront, Deluxe Waterfront, Pull-Thrus and Standard. All of them are equipped with 50-amp service with power connections.
Being right by the water, you can dock your boat next to your site and head out on the bayou anytime you’d like. Other amenities include a restaurant, bar, pool, hot tub, convenience store, free cable TV, WiFi, 24-hour self-service laundry facilities, and hot, spotless showers. They’re not as close to all of the main attractions as the French Quarter Resort, but they do offer daily shuttle service (which also goes to the Superdome and Harrah’s Casino). (More info.)
Jude Travel Park
For a five-star experience at a budget-friendly cost, park your rig – or set up your tent – at Jude Travel Park. Top-rated on Good Sam Club, they have 41 spacious gravel sites, all equipped with full hook-ups. They’re located only about five miles from the French Quarter and Aquarium, with shuttle service also available.
Visitors can also find laundry facilities, cable TV, free WiFi, and a salt water pool and hot tub to soak in. Read more details and make reservations on their website here.
Pinecrest RV Park
About a half hour north of all the craziness in New Orleans, Pinecrest RV Park is a much more quiet place to stay, nestled in the middle of a pine forest. Just off Highway 433, the park is pet and big rig-friendly and open for both RV and tent camping (in a separate area). Their 36 pull-thru sites for RVs are paved, some shaded. They provide guests with free WiFi, trash pick-up from your site, updated laundry facilities, a playground, and their on-site pond offers great local fishing.
Three Oaks & A Pine RV Park
Another cozy location only miles from the French Quarter, Three Oaks & a Pine RV Park isn’t as luxurious, but still greatly maintained at a more affordable nightly rate (about $50-60/day). They have 32 big-rig-friendly sites that are back-in only, with 30 and 50-amp service, cable TV, WiFi, laundry facilities and a security-gated entrance with 24/7 security monitoring.
They also generously provide discounts on nightly rates for seniors, active and former military, and COA, Passport America, Good Sam, AAA, AARP members. Take a look at their website here for more info on booking your reservations.
Have you been to New Orleans? Where else would you recommend visiting?