If you’re wishing for a change in scenery, you can opt for a quick trip closer to home and within driving distance of New Orleans.
Many people have turned outdoors for respite during the challenging coronavirus crisis. An off-the-beaten-path, outdoor experience also makes for a great getaway.
From outdoor retreats to unique folk art, here are some options for quick, adventurous day trips, while social distancing.
Coastal Ridge Farm
With just a short road trip to North Hancock County, you can bask in a stunning field of sunflowers at Coastal Ridge Farm. Located in Picayune, Miss., visitors can wander through the 15-acre farm with thousands of tall sunflowers and even pick their own to take home.
The bright field of smiling sunflower fields can provide an outdoor escape and a sense of relaxation while social distancing. Visitors have just a couple of weeks to visit the you-pick farm this season before it closes until the fall.
According to the website, the farm is offering limited ticket sales throughout the day to help with social distancing. Online tickets are available for purchase to help limit contact with customers.
Admission is $12, plus booking fees for ages 12 and older. Kids age 11 and under can enter for free with a paid adult. For daily hours of operation, check the farm’s website or Facebook page for updates.
Chauvin Sculpture Garden
Right outside of Houma, you’ll find one of the area’s truly unique experiences. The Chauvin Sculpture Garden sits along the banks of Bayou Petit Caillou in Chauvin, Louisiana.
Built by artist Kenny Hill, who was a bricklayer by trade, more than 100 concrete sculptures depict angels and biblical references surrounding a 45-foot-tall lighthouse.
The treasure of modern American folk art takes visitors on a journey into the mind of the reclusive artist. Sources say the sculptures illustrate the artist’s spirituality and struggle with growing personal pain.
The Garden remains open to visitors every day from sunrise to sunset, and visits are free of charge. During the pandemic, the garden has suspended guided tours to maintain social distancing.
This off-the-beaten-path escape could make a great option for a family getaway. Located about an hour from New Orleans in Bush, La., Splendor Farms’ 75-acre retreat offers private farm stays and other outdoor activities deemed safe by the establishment.
Splendor Farms recently reopened for guided private horseback trail rides and private family petting farm visits for small groups or families up to six people.
The site offers a “Spend the Day” package for small family groups for a full day of outdoor activities including horseback riding, fishing, petting animals, fishing, swimming and lawn games. Guests who want to spend the night can take advantage of three-night private farm stays in the farm’s guest cabin and guest bunkhouse.
Bogue Chitto State Park
You can plan a full day with a trip to Bogue Chitto State Park in Franklinton, La. From hiking to tubing, nature lovers can spend time taking in the diverse natural habitat.
If you’re active, take advantage of several pedestrian trails, including the Gorge Run Trail. Near the end of the trail, you can spot one of the park’s hidden gems — a gorge of sandstone formations known as Fricke’s Cave.
Inside the park, you can also cool off with a float trip along the lazy Bogue Chitto River. Washington Parish’s newest access point for tubing, Tubing in the Park, offers tubing and kayak rentals.
Fontainebleau State Park
If you’re looking for a change of scenery a little closer to home, head to the North Shore for a quick getaway.
The 2,800-acre Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville features several hiking and nature trails great for outdoor enthusiasts. Take in stunning views of marshy areas while strolling along the Alligator Marsh Boardwalk.
You can also turn your day trip into a mini-vacation with a stay at the waterfront cabins.
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