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Short Drive Trips from St. Francisville, LA: Exploring Hidden Gems

St. Francisville, Louisiana, is a charming town steeped in history and Southern charm. A trip to St. Francisville is filled with great adventures. But what if you’re wanting to stay a bit longer and are looking to explore beyond the borders of West Feliciana Parish? Lucky for you, St. Francisville serves as an excellent starting point for some fantastic day trips. From scenic drives to historic sites and natural wonders, here are some short drive trips you can take to discover some hidden gems.

  1. Natchez, Mississippi (45 minutes)

Just a short drive north Natchez, Mississippi, is a treasure trove of historic homes, gardens, and breathtaking river views. Take a stroll along the Natchez Trace Parkway, a scenic route that winds through picturesque landscapes and offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and birdwatching. Don’t miss touring the historic downtown district for some great shopping and dining options! Explore Natchez here.

Photo cred.: Visit Natchez
  1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana (30 minutes)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital city, is a vibrant hub of culture, history, and entertainment. Visit the Louisiana State Capitol, a stunning example of Art Deco architecture, and take a tour to learn about the state’s political history. For nature lovers, the LSU Rural Life Museum offers a glimpse into Louisiana’s agricultural past with its collection of historic buildings and artifacts. Plan your day trip here.

Photo cred.: Visit Baton Rouge
  1. False River/New Roads (15 minutes)

Looking to spend a day on a lake? Just cross the John James Audubon Bridge and discover False River! False River is an oxbow lake, which means it’s a curved lake formed from a river bend but is no longer connected to a river. You can rent a boat, fish, or just soak up the sun! New Roads is home to great restaurants, like Ma Mama’s Kitchen, and more. You can create your itinerary here.

Photo cred.: Pointe Coupee Tourist Commission
  1. Cajun Country (45 Minutes to 1 hour & 30 minutes)

Continuing southwest from False River, you’ll enter Cajun Country! It encompasses many communities in and around Lafayette, La. It is the settlement of the Acadians from Nova Scotia after they were kicked out by the British during the colonial days. You can learn more about their fascinating history by visiting many cultural landmarks and museums across the area, like Acadian Village in Lafayette or the Acadian Memorial in St. Martinville. Enjoy a nice cold beer at Bayou Teche Brewery in Araundville. When you’re heading back to St. Francisville, don’t forget to pick up a Louisiana foodie favorite, boudin. You won’t disappointed with anywhere you go, but one of the favorites is Billy’s in Scott! Plan your Cajun Country daytrip here.

Photo cred.: Lafayette Travel
  1. Florida Parishes (30 minutes to 2 hours)

Back in 1810, St. Francisville became the capital of the Republic of West Florida for a little over 80 days. The Republic included the parishes in between the Mississippi River and Pearl River, north of Lake Pontchartrain. These parishes are now known as “The Florida Parishes” and include East & West Feliciana, St. Helena, Livingston, Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, East Baton Rouge, and Washington Parish. The area is full of festivals, historic towns, great food, and hidden gems ripe for discovery! Visit the strawberry capital of the World, Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Or check out the oldest dance hall in Louisiana, the Dew Drop Jazz Hall in Mandeville, La. You can plan your road trip here.

Photo cred.: Visit The North Shore
  1. New Orleans, Louisiana (1 hour & 45 minutes)

After Mandeville, you can cross the world’s longest over-water bridge, The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway to one of the liveliest cities in the world, New Orleans! While it’s a bit farther afield, no list of day trips from St. Francisville would be complete without mentioning The Crescent City. The Big Easy is a city like no other, with its vibrant music scene, mouthwatering cuisine, and unique blend of cultures. Whether you’re exploring the French Quarter, listening to live jazz on Frenchmen Street, or indulging in beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde, New Orleans offers a day trip filled with endless possibilities. You can check out a free tour at The Sazerac House and learn about how the drink was invited there. If you’re in the area during Carnival Season (begins January 6th every year and lasts until Mardi Gras), be sure to check out one of the exciting parades throughout the city. Plan your New Orleans getaway here.

Photo cred.: New Orleans & Company

So, whether you’re interested in history, nature, or just looking to unwind with a glass of beer, St. Francisville is the perfect homebase to explore central and southeast Louisiana. Grab your keys, hit the road, and discover the hidden gems that Louisiana has to offer!