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Lounging in Lafitte – A Quick Escape from New Orleans

Lafitte – A Quick Escape from New Orleans

So my babe was saying she wanted to get out of the city, take a drive out of New Orleans. I’m kind of a homebody and am perfectly content to just sit on the porch with a tall glass of iced tea and watch cars and people go by, listen to the birds and watch the sky change from afternoon daylight to dusk.

But no, she wanted to get outta town. So OK, I was thinking Mandeville across the lake. But heck, then I’m thinking of the long-ass boring as all heck drive on the Causeway, then we get to Mandeville, drive around a bit then head back. Not my idea of fun.

Then I was thinking maybe we could just go south of New Orleans somewhere and I hit on the idea of taking a drive to Lafitte. Never been there. I’d heard about it but despite the fact that I am from here, just never had the inclination to go. I’d heard that they got a nice Historical Park down there with walking tours and swamps and such and a quaint town area.

So we hopped in the car late in the afternoon and made our way across the river, then down Hwy 45 and into Lafitte. (Actually we found out that we never got to Lafitte. Strangely enough there is a community called Jean Lafitte just a few miles before it so we will have to go back for another visit.)

I was surprised at how beautiful it is down there. It reminded me somewhat of Golden Meadow and those areas on the way to Grand Isle. Lots of fishing boats on both sides of the bayou.

Lafitte is on Bayou Barataria and I was amazed that there was so much development. On one side of the bayou there were streets that went along little manmade inlets with nice houses on either side of the water. Sorta like something you’d see in Florida. There was lush forest on one side of the road which was veritably empty of cars making for a nice drive.

There was a Piggly Wiggly, didn’t know they had those any more, and several restaurants. We stopped at Boutte’s which looked like a small house. Inside it had all the characteristics of being one of those funky, shacky type places that serves great food. This place did not disappoint.

Upstairs is a dining area and then an outside deck overlooking the water. This is where we ordered some beer and gumbo and shrimp croquettes. The sun across the water just putting on it’s last show, it’s golden fingers reaching out across the sky from behind a cloud, before setting for the day.

A nice refreshing breeze was coming from the Gulf. A couple ducks plied the water beneath us and gulls made a racket on tall poles sticking out of the water near the shore.

The area has a National Historic Park and a swamp tour outfit nearby. You can take canoes in the park where you can glide through the swamp into primeval forest. There are also walking tours through the swamp on boardwalk and dirt trails. What’s great is the it’s only 20 minutes from downtown New Orleans, 20 minutes and you are out into the country. Nice, nice nice.

So now that I’ve been I want to go back. Wanna take a walk in the historical preserve, maybe go canoeing, eat at the Des Familles Restaurant that looks beautiful in their brochure and boasts a nice wide porch under the oaks.

And next time I want to actually make it to Lafitte which appears to be at the end of the road. I also spied some nice spots for fishing along the bayou and they got some places to stay for the night. Maybe even rent a boat and go out on the water. Just for the fun of it. And it’s really only a few minutes from my house. Nice.

So if you are having a hankering to get out of New Orleans for a bit and don’t want to have to travel far, just hop in the car, go cross the river onto the Westbank Expressway and head on down highway 45 to Lafitte. A nice easy drive to get yourself outta the city.

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Posted in New Orleans History, New Orleans Life.

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7 Responses

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  1. Michelle says

    Thanks for the very kind words. We love our community and are absolutely pleased that you enjoyed it !!

  2. Tia says

    So glad you enjoyed our town. Wish more people would enjoy and realize the treasure it is!

  3. S. Clement says

    Glad you had such a pleasant visit to our little town. For those of us who have lived there our whole lives, we treasure it’s charm and beauty. Thank you for writing such lovely things about our hometown. Hopefully people will read this and take a drive down the bayou!

  4. Richard Bienvenu says

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I am really looking forward to going back down there soon. Want to do more exploring and eat at Des Famille’s. Know any great fishing spots?

  5. Richard Bienvenu says

    It seems like the perfect place to get away for a weekend or even just an afternoon. So nice and tranquil.

  6. Richard Bienvenu says

    Yes, I think it truly is a treasure, like a little hidden paradise so close to the city. Of course, I think New Orleans is a paradise unto its own, but it’s nice to find these little out of the way places that have so much to offer so close by.

  7. Richard Bienvenu says

    We absolutely enjoyed it and look forward to our next visit.

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