Get Out: In the Sportsman’s Paradise, there are tons of lesser-known options for the perfect outdoor excursion.
Tchefuncte River Lighthouse
65 miles from Baton Rouge
Photo by infrogmation
This towering stalwart of the North Shore has been leading ships across Lake Ponchartrain to the mouth of the Tchefuncte River for almost 200 years. It was occupied until 1939, after electricity made lighthouse keepers obsolete, and the original keeper’s building can now be found at the Lake Ponchartrain Basin Maritime Museum in Madisonville. Recent years have seen an effort to restore the tower, and now every National Lighthouse Day on August 8, it is home to a fireworks show and celebration.
New Orleans, Louisiana
82 miles from Baton Rouge
Photo by Brando.n on Flickr
The cemeteries of New Orleans can be imposing, with their seemingly endless rows of tall white mausoleums. They aren’t all creepy, though – some house truly moving and heartfelt tributes to the dead. The St. Roch cemeteries show off this duality nicely – while #2 showcases photos of the deceased beautifully framed in the headstones, the chapel of cemetery #1 houses a room strewn with prosthetic feet and other grisly relics.
Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge
93 miles from Baton Rouge
Set along a shallow wetland just a few miles west of Marksville, Grand Cote is smack in the middle of two migration routes, meaning it’s a year-round destination for seeing all types of bird species. In winter, huge flocks of stunning snow geese are a common sight. The refuge is home to endangered species as well, with bald eagles and Louisiana black bears all spotted from time to time.
120 miles from Baton Rouge
Photo by finchlake2000 on Flickr
Our farthest destination, but Indian Creek Reservation Area is worth the two-hour drive. Set on the beautiful Indian Creek Reservoir, the campground has space for RVs and tent camping for overnight stays, and picnic tables for the day trippers. It also hosts three swimming beaches and a boat ramp for some aquatic fun as the weather warms up.
68 miles from Baton Rouge
Once considered one of the finest examples of French colonial cottage architecture in existence, this old sugar plantation home has fallen into disrepair in the last few years. While it still sits on beautiful grounds populated with large live oaks, the house itself is not open to the public and most of the buildings have not been repaired from storm damage in years. Still, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind hanging out in graveyards, it does have a certain spooky charm.