Lake Ponchartrain, New Orleans
Lake Pontchartrain is one of New Orleans most hidden secrets to tourist. Lakeshore Drive is a series of parks over looking Lake Pontchartrain. you can enjoy the scenery, boating, fishing, biking, ride your motorcycle, and at some parts you can swim. this is the most beach like area in New Orleans. There's even a mile long sandy beach called Pontchartrain Beach where the old amusement park used to be but now it's just a beach but is temperarily closed due to recent drownings but hopefully it will be open in the near future. It is also a great picnic spot families flock there doing the spring and summers and have barbeques and picnics and just enjoy the breeze coming from the beautiful lake. Truly is relaxing. Recommend 100% to every tourist
We didn't have time to get any closer to the Lake Ponchartrain than this picture taken as we were climbing out of Louis Armstrong Airport. You can faintly see the bridges crossing the large expanse of water, but you can't see the other shore - that's how far away it is.
About an hour outside of the city of New Orleans (St. Tammany Parish) lies a little gem in the form of the Pontchartrain Vineyard. Small and still in its infancy, and one of only 4 wineyards in the state, Pontchartrain offers distinct regional wines produced to complement the unique local cuisine of Southern Louisiana. For a $3 tasting fee, you can sample their entire selection (I would personally recommend the Rouge Militaire), you can also check out the offering of their store or wander the vines if you feel so inclined. Well worth the drive, the vineyard makes for a great afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Check out their website for other events, they have a concert series called "Jazz'n the Vines" that is supposed to be amazing.
Just outside of Cafe Du Monde, is a statue that tells the story of how New Orleans was founded.
New Orleans is known as the Crescent City, because it was built on the curve of the Mississippi River, in the shape of a crescent.
Although the native indians were here long before, based on the Lake Ponchartrain, the first sighting of New Orleans and the start of the city came in 1699 when Bienville and Iberville first sighted it. It actually became a city in 1718.
One of the off the beaten path areas of New Orleans is just outside the city to the west. Lake Ponchartrain is one of the most interesting formations of water in the country.
It was discovered in 1699 by Iberville, and has been the site of many settlements of European and native people since.
You will also get a chance to observe this lake first hand as you are driving into New Orleans from the West, as you have to pass over this lake if you use Interstate 10.
The best part about Louisiana is the fishing. There is great speckled trout fishing as well as redfish within 1 hour or less of the french quarter. I would recomend Fishing with the King out of Shell Beach. Also if you want to travel an hour an forty minutes or so head to Cocodrie and take a night trip with Captain Mike Ledet at Sportsman's Paradise on Hwy 56.
The lake shore was once the home of amusements parks, famous speak easies, excursion boats, now in decline, only a few things are left to enjoy besides the wonderful views of the lake itself. Great food, sailing, and just sight seeing is found along the lake.