The diverse landscape of an area as unique as St. Tammany Parish provides a myriad of opportunities for Louisianians of all ages, and thanks to the curated collection from McCool Travel, you sure find a ton of fun to be had on Louisiana’s Northshore.
Just the landscape alone of Louisiana’s Northshore varies with its swamplands and rolling hills perfect for equestrian escapades to its gorgeous, scenic lakefront; the geography alone lends itself to plenty of out-of-doors activities that are often hard to come across in other regions of the state. And with its located within such close proximity to the Big Easy, the big Crescent City of New Orleans. So, as long as you’re in accordance with local health officials in light of 2020’s coronavirus pandemic, the Louisiana Northshore is full of excitement.
Presently and historically, residents of New Orleans have escaped to the Northshore and its collection of summer homes located along the lakefront and within mere blocks of the bountiful Lake Pontchartrain.
A 31-mile paved path connecting Covington to Slidell lies in wait for you to walk or bike and take in the surrounding nature as it covers lush, green spaces, waterways, and bayous in southern style. The Tammany Trace is the only rails-to-trails conversion in the state of Louisiana, having originally been a railroad track. That spirit of transportation can still be channelled if you rent a bike from Bayou Adventures in Lacombe or a Brook’s Bike Shop in Mandeville and Covington.
And if the 31 miles is too-long, a gorgeous and convenient section of Tammany Trace is the 3.5 connection between Covington and Abita Springs, which will have you cross over the Bogue Falaya River.
If you’re in need of rustic lodging in downtown Covington’s historic district, the recently renovated Southern Hotel combines southern gothic charm with innovative amenities, all for your pleasure. After lying in wait, sitting vacant for decades, the Southern Hotel now has 40 rooms and two suites available for stay in the original building and new Garden House, and it’s southern comforts are kept family-close as its principal owner Lisa Condrey Ward is the aunt of the renownedly spectacular Coastal Mississippi boutique hotel, The Roost.
It’s mentioned above and reiterated here, because no one does a trek on the southern waters of Louisiana quite like Bayou Adventure, who pride themselves in being “the concierge for the refuge and bayou area.” This swamp tour and bayou rental service will outfit you for whichever Louisiana Northshore adventure you’d like to experience, such as biking Tammany Trace, fishing, crabbing, and more. They let you choose from several kayaking experiences in three adjacent bayous including Cane Bayou, Bayou Lacombe, and Big Branch National Wildlife Reserve.
Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy Louisiana staycation or getaway, the boutique Abita Springs Hotel is a perfect choice dripping in southern gothic charms. Trees decorated with moss background the white, wrap-around porch of this historic house and its five rooms and one apartment that’s perfect for long-term stays. Even if you have a reservation somewhere else on the Northshore, the magnificent giant oak tree, visible from the hotel’s back entrance is reason enough to stop by.
Rounding out this selection of McCool Travel’s expensive list is the deliciously decadent Oxlot 9, located in the previously-mentioned Southern Hotel. This restaurant is known across the coast for its southern and gulf-inspired cuisine with its owner and chef Jeffrey Hansell drawing from his days working at Commander’s Palace.
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