10 Sites Off The Bourbon Street's Beaten Path

6.3.2013

By Out.com Editors

New Orleans adventures for after you've gotten your French Quarter fix.

6. Scale Alligator Ranch: Gators hold a place of prestige in the New Orleans court. From beer mugs to handbags to menus, alligators show up around every corner in the Big Easy, but they're especially revered at the Insta-Gator Alligator Farm, where visitors can get up close and personal with these freshwater beasts, and their babies, too, while also learning about the working farm's day-to-day activities. Just don't get too attached to the little guys. As the farm says, this is where the gator goes from hatchling to handbag.

7. A Potpourri At Jean Lafitte National Park: Made up of six separate sites near New Orleans, and named after a French pirate who set up shop in the Mississippi Delta, the Jean Lafitte National Park mixes the business of history with the pleasure of hiking. Though the trails are less strenuous, they can be spliced together for longer excursions, while canoe tours can be had at the nearby Barataria Preserve and the Calmette Battlefield gives viewers a peak into how the land was used during the War of 1812.

8. Drive Up To De Soto National Forest: Those with a car and about 2 hours on their hands should consider crossing state lines to visit Mississippi's De Soto National Forest. With over trails of various lengths — the Long Leaf Horse trail can be done in 6, 11 or 25 mile expeditions— De Soto's solid ground offers great hiking for those who want to avoid roving alligators.

9. Sail Away To Ship Island: Another attraction just across the border, Ship Island (pictured above) is actually two islands, Fort Massachusetts and West Ship Island, where visitors can enjoy a day of sunbathing in the gulf. Ship Island Excursions offers almost-daily trips for $27 roundtrip. And, yes, there is food on the island.

10. Hell On Two Wheels: One of the most frequently used, and underrated, parks in New Orleans is really a thoroughfare, Tammany Trace. Made up of twin paths, one paved, one dirt, the 28-mile Tammany Trace hosts daily commuters who bike to work through the wildlife preserve and thousands more pedestrians who come here to for a flat-surface jog or, less frequently, a horseback ride. If you're an avid bike rider who simply has to hit the road, this is the place to build up some speed and work off your itch.

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