I never really thought about doing a staycation in my hometown, but this weekend I stumbled across a hidden gem in the oddest of places.
Straddling the border of Gentilly and New Orleans East just off the Almonaster Boulevard exit is the Pontchartrain Landing RV Resort. I know. Where? Although it’s in the middle of an industrial area, don’t let that fool you.
Once you enter the gates, you feel like you’ve been transported to a Florida marina. It’s kind of like when Charlie entered the chocolate factory or when Dorothy walked through the gates of Oz. It’s not too impressive on the outside but amazing on the inside.
The park sits on the Industrial Canal, and it’s less than a mile away from Lake Pontchartrain. So, it is pretty much surrounded by water. There are boats, boat launches, boat rentals, kayaks and everything you would want on the water. And you don’t have to have an RV to stay there. The resort offers vacation villas you can rent. The villas are modern, colorful and comfortable.
My friends and I rented the VIP Tropical Villa which included three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a loft, kitchen, living room with sofa sleeper and other standard amenities. It could easily fit eight adults and a couple of children. Most of the villas have large decks on the water, with a grill and an observation deck on top. The observation decks have comfortable seating allowing for unobstructed views of the New Orleans skyline and Lake Pontchartrain. Guests can also rent floating villas and campers.
During our stay, we decided to visit the onsite restaurant, The Lighthouse Bar and Grill. It’s a beautiful restaurant with lots of floor to ceiling windows allowing for great views of the water and villas. The restaurant serves barbecue and traditional New Orleans dishes. The menu is pretty extensive, and the food is great. Here’s another bonus: The restaurant has live music six days a week.
On this particular night, a female singing duo called Hyperphlyy was the featured band that performed. They were an energetic pair that had our group up and dancing. We closed the bar down and continued the party on the deck by our villa. The good news is that the restaurant is open to the public and serves food six days a week. The bar is open seven days a week, so get yourself over there and check it out.
Other amenities and services you’ll find here include a pool, hot tub, convenience store, playground and shuttle services to the city. You can’t beat it for the price. I think we paid around $250 per night which was split among six adults. That’s not bad for everything it has to offer. Overall this hidden gem is great, and the staff is very friendly. I would recommend checking it out.
Here’s a quick staycation tip:
Good spots for planning a staycation in the city are hotels such as the Ace Hotel, Omni Royal Orleans or Roosevelt Hotel all of which have rooftop pools that you can use as a guest. If you want more of a quaint, traditional New Orleans feel, how about the Degas House Bed & Breakfast near City Park or the Columns Hotel in the Garden District.
Rachel Sigur is Director of Production at Fox 8 WVUE and a frequent traveler. She also now recommends Pontchartrain Landing RV Resort for a staycation.