8 Coolest Stops on an Austin to New Orleans Road Trip (2022)

Austin to New Orleans drive time is around nine hours straight, but why would you want to go direct when there are so many cool stop offs on the way?

An Austin to New Orleans road trip is a great idea, but make sure you’ve read up on the route to make sure you really get the most from your journey.

I’m here to help.

Here’s how to drive from Austin to New Orleans in the most scenic way possible.

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– Now updates to ‘8 stops on an Austin to NOLA road trip, but I like this picture in Austin so I’ll keep it.

If you want to get to know America beyond the big cities, the towns in between Austin and New Orleans are a great place to start your America education. If you have the time I’d recommend staying over in each of these 8 stops, and if not, park up and take a few hours to explore at least.

On the Austin to New Orleans drive you’ll pass from the states of Texas to Louisiana, via a whole lot of crazy roadkill (think alligators and possums), some amazingly delicious fast food outlets (make sure to try Popeye’s in Louisiana) and some stunning countryside. Expect bridges over epic swamps, farms in the middle of nowhere and thick, lush forests.

The Austin to New Orleans drive is a unique one, that’s a little lesser known that some of the big USA road trips out there.

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Click for the Austin to New Orleans Road Trip Map

1. Austin

2. San Antonio

3. Houston

4. Lafayette

5. Lake Charles

6. Houmas House and Gardens

7. Oak Alley Plantation

8. New Orleans

Follow me on Instagram @VickyFlipFlop to keep up with the adventures

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(Video) Here’s The Bridge That Gives Drivers Panic Attacks When They Go Over It

1. Keep it weird in Austin

Austin is one of the coolest cities I’ve been to, and I’ve been to a lot of cities. There’s so much to do there.

As the state capital, Austin is the heart of Texas. It’s also thelive music capital of the world.

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Make sure to save some time to queue up for the legendary food trucks and the Franklin BBQ. It’s like a whole day out trying to get into that place – people actually take coolers of beers and chairs to wait their turn.

Barton Springs offers an awesome outdoor swimming opportunity, just a mile from the city centre. And take the car out to Hamilton Springs for what’s rated one of the most stunning places in the USA (so say Buzzfeed).

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While you’re in the city take some time out for a yoga class, followed by a juice. It’s the way they roll here, when they’re not eating homemade sausages and downing craft beers on Rainey Street that is.

You could also visit the Cathedral of Junk, check out the castle at Graffiti Park (a park dedicated to the art), and visit the impressively huge Capitol building. You also need to make sure you go to Broken Spoke – a true Texan diner serving up chicken-fried steak and the best beer all with a helping of country-dance.

Right, let’s get started: the Austin TX to New Orleans road trip begins!

Austin to San Antonio road trip | 1 hour 17 mins

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2. Pop down to San Antonio

Right, I’ve been everywhere else on this list, but I didn’t quite have the time to visit San Antonio. I totally would if ever I’m in the area again though, which is why I wanted to include it on this list of the New Orleans to Austin drive.

So, still in the Lone Star State of Texas, San Antonio is worth a visit for the food. Spend at least 24 hours here so you can get every meal in, and eat as many meats as possible. San Antonio is Texas’ second city and, as most second cities are, it’s a bit more chilled than the first.

You can still expect the same great level of shopping, entertainment and things to do, but just at a more chilled pace.

Also, it’s so close to Austin, you might as well.

Austin to San Antonio road trip | 2 hours 58 mins

3. Space out in Houston

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Houston’s an awesome city, if you have a car. Otherwise it can be a little tricky to navigate, but seeing as you’re driving from Austin to New Orleans, you needn’t worry!

Top highlights in Houston include the Space Centre, the Beer Can Museum, the Art Car Museum and the Rothko Chapel. You should also check out the zoo, the Kemah Boardwalk and the Science Museum – it’ll be a packed two days but worth making the stop.

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Oh, and visit the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple too – absolutely incredible.

The drive from Houston to New Orleans is a great one, with some gems to check out along the way.

Houston to Lake Charles road trip | 2 hrs 30 mins

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4. Visit the casinos of Lake Charles

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If there’s one thing you have to try in Lake Charles, it’s a crawfish boil.

In the UK we know them as crayfish, and they’re kind of the same, but different. Here you’ll get a huge plate of the ‘mud bugs’ as they’re fondly called, ready to crack open and fish those meaty tails out.

Lake Charles is also where you’ll find the biggest collection of Mardi Gras costumes, in the world. It’s also a great place for a swamp tour, complete with plenty of alligators. If you want to see a huge concentration of them, in their natural habitat, check out the Pintail Wildlife Drive. I saw 27 in three miles.

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There are lots of cool things to do in Lake Charles – downtown you’ll find some cool bars and restaurants (drink at the Luna Grill), and the Charpentier Historic District is a work of architecture to drive around. Pick your favourite house and you can keep it. Maybe. Not.

Right, let’s stop fantasising and crack on with our New Orleans road trip shall we?

Lake Charles to Lafayette road trip | 1 hr

5. Check out Lafayette

Next up on the New Orleans to Austin drive, Lafayette.

Lafayette is a university town – but don’t expect the same kind of ruckus as you’d get from any in the UK. I went on a Friday, morning, and was told that nothing really happens until 5pm, so maybe hold off your visit until then. Most weekends they have some sort of celebration, so time it right.

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Cool things to see in Lafayette include the Kid’s Museum –with a whole exhibition dedicated to Dr Seuss – and the French Press Restaurant. I had the Cajun Benedict, the restaurant’s signature, which featured French bread, boudin (local sausage), eggs, gumbo and scallions. That was one delicious feast.

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– Me by the swamps of Lafayette

(Video) Road Trip – US@UO

Another highlight was the Cajun Jam at the Blue Moon Saloon, where we watched a lady play the spoons on her metal vest. Awesome.

The state capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge, but trust me, I’ve been and I wouldn’t even bother stopping the car on your way past to the plantations. You could drive round the Capitol if you want to at least say you’ve seen something, but that’s about it.

Lafayette to Houmas House Plantation and Gardens road trip | 2 hrs 9 mins

Distance from Austin to New Orleans

Go straight from Austin to New Orleans and you’re looking at around 511 miles. Add these stops and you can add infinitely more. It’s all about the journey rather than the destination though, right?

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6. Explore Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

Houmas House is stunning. I’m not even that into plants and gardens but still, I could appreciate the work and planning that’s gone into making the house as special as it is. Once a sugarcane plantation, in the 1700s, the 10-acre grand antebellum estate also used to be the home of one of the wealthiest landowners in the area.

Leave a few hours to take a tour here, go explore, and get some food at one of the onsite restaurants. The ‘Sunday Brunch with a Southern Twist’ at Latil’s Landing Restaurant is apparently legendary, although I didn’t have the time to check it out sadly.

Houmas Plantation to Oak Alley Plantation road trip | 32 mins

7. Learn about the Oak Alley Plantation

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Drive from Austin to New Orleans and I’d definitely recommend making a stop at Oak Alley Plantation.

Walk up the main entrance of the Oak Alley Plantation and you’ll be wowed. I guarantee. Huge oak trees flank the driveway, ones that were rooted long before the plantation was established but seem totally made for it. I’ve written a whole post about what to expect from the inside of Oak Alley here.

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You’re in plantation country now and Oak Alley is one of the grandest ones to see. On site you’ll find a re-creation of the slaves quarters, along with some of the tools and apparatus they’d use to control them. There are also displays set out as odes to the slaves who’d made the plantation what it is today and what happened to them in the end.

Take a tour around the grand house –it’s the best way to learn about the tedious and degrading work the slaves used to do there, and how things have changed.

Oak Alley Plantation to New Orleans journey time | 1 hr

8. Go crazy in New Orleans

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Ah New Orleans, you’ve made it!

You’ve successfully completed the Austin to New Orleans drive.

I love New Orleans –definitely one of my favourite cities to visit in the world. The food, the drink, the party atmosphere, the history and the endless things to do –honestly, I was there for three weeks and still feel like there was more to do and see.

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You can definitely pack quite a bit in a few days though. Make sure to visit the Mardi Gras Museum, City Park, chill on the waterfront and ride those street cars too. They’re the best way to get around.

Also, make sure you leave room in your suitcase to pick up some of the best New Orleans souvenirs too.

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Frenchman Street is where you’ll find the best jazz in the evenings, but of course, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a little perusal down Bourbon Street. Just stay away from those Tropical Isles and Hand Grenade drinks, or you’ll end up riding a rodeo bull in a bar (like I did).

And if you’re looking for a cool places to stay in New Orleans, on a budget, check out my guide to the best hostels New Orleans has to offer.

Check out my video on New Orleans for more info!

My Top 7 Food Experiences in New Orleans

Questions about the drive from New Orleans to Austin

Need to book your car hire from Austin? Check out RentalCars.com for the best Austin car hire deals!

Is it safe to drive to New Orleans?

Driving on the main roads is fine but just keep your doors and windows locked when you stop in the city centre, especially around Bourbon Street. Unfortunately New Orleans is known as a crime hotspot and you don’t want to be another victim. I’d aim to drop your hire car as soon as you get to New Orleans if I was you, saves the hassle.

What to pack for the Austin to New Orleans drive?

This isn’t exactly the longest road trip in the world so I don’t think you really need to pack anything special to drive from Austin to New Orleans. I’d def bring some snacks, but apart from that, just the usual.

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What’s halfway between Austin and New Orleans?

“The halfway point between Austin,Texasand New Orleans, Louisiana is:Vidor, TX. Find a place to meet halfway. These two locations are 514 miles apart and the exact midpoint is 190 North St,Vidor, TX 77662, USA. Some places you could meet at include Jingo Cajun Eatery, Rikenjaks South Street, and Schnitzel.”

Can I get the train from Austin to New Orleans?

You can get the train between Austin and New Orleans but it takes longer. You can expect to spend around 10 hours on the trains and FlixBus to make the journey.

Austin to New Orleans drive

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– Me living it up in Austin at the SXSW Festival

I loved Austin, I loved New Orleans, and I loved travelling in between the two. If you have any questions about making this Austin to New Orleans road trip, just let me know in the comments box below.

Always happy to help.

The drive from Austin to New Orleans has a lot of great places to stop off – so enjoy!

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One of the first road trips we took after our move to central Texas was an Austin to New Orleans road trip to celebrate my 30th birthday.. The Austin to New Orleans drive is easy and not that long by our road trip standards (the drive time is between 7.5 and 8 hours total), so it has not been the last Texas to New Orleans road trip we have taken since!. We have discovered some great eats and things to do on the drive to New Orleans, and in NOLA itself, so I’m sharing the details and our tried-and-true recommendations with you today.. We now stop here for every Texas to New Orleans road trip.. Cool place to stop on your drive to New Orleans: the Evangeline Oak in St. Martinville. We stayed in this hotel for my birthday weekend in New Orleans based on the recommendation of a friend, who grew up in New Orleans.. Even in a great food city like New Orleans, I was amazed that some of the best food I had on my trip was at a hotel restaurant!. No Austin to New Orleans road trip would be complete without a visit to Cafe du Monde!. On our drive out of New Orleans, we opted to drive the Great River Road through Plantation Alley for a bit before getting back onto the interstate.. If you’d like to know more about Acadian/Cajun history while driving through Cajun country on a Texas to New Orleans road trip, I recommend visiting the Acadian Cultural Center. Along with Poches in Breaux Bridge, Olde Tyme Grocery in Lafayette makes the Austin to New Orleans drive worth it!

I’ve road-tripped all over the States and in Iceland , Ireland , and Scotland, but my favorite road trips have always been in the U.S. Culture-wise, this southern road trip takes the cake.. My girlfriend and I decided to take Highway 10 the majority of the way because of the fact that it follows most of the swamps in Louisiana.. The front of the building was part of an older craftsman-style house, and they added a more minimal, modern section in the back.. There were quite a few swimming holes around Austin, but we went to the more secluded McKinney Falls State Park since it was ACL weekend and super crowded around Austin.. Stay: We stayed at the Mouton Plantation .. The owners were so nice—we probably spent an hour or more with them talking about the history of the house.. We spent a couple hours out in the swamp and 75 percent of it was just talking with the guide.. There were a lot of beautiful historical houses and beautiful trees.. When I researched New Orleans before we arrived, I stumbled across the Tree of Life and knew I had to see it .

From small charming Texan towns to unique National Parks and amazing city breaks, here is a list of some of the best road trips you can go on from Austin ordered by time it'll take you to get there:. The charming small town of Wimberley is just outside Austin, less than an hour's drive southwest.. There are two great reasons to go on a road trip to Waco: antiques and Dr Pepper.. The trails in Enchanted Rock State Park offer amazing views from the top.Tricia Daniel/Shutterstock.com. Starting right outside Austin and stretching to the city of Junction, the Texas Hill Country is known for 2 things that make it an amazing place to visit: wine and cowboys.. Don't miss the small town of Luckenbach as you make your way around - time seems to have missed this town as it has been passing and you can enjoy real local food with real local music in an amazing setting.. Downtown Houston is an amazing place to visit and unlike any other Texas city.f11photo/Shutterstock.com. Back in the city itself, many of the best attractions and museums are in the Houston Museum District so you can easily move between them on your way around.. Big Bend National Park is one of the best places to explore nature in Texas.Zack Frank/Shutterstock.com. Big Bend National Park right on the border between Texas and Mexico is a long drive from Austin.. It'll take all day if you're going there in one long drive but you can break up the journey and spend some time in the Texas Hill Country (see #7 above) and make a stop in the Chihuahuan desert towns of Marfa, Alpine and Marathon on your way down from the I-10.. New Orleans is an amazing city to visit and you might be surprised to find out that you can relatively easily get there in a day's worth of driving.. The two parks are either side of the state line - Guadalupe Mountains National Park is in Texas and the Carlsbad Caverns are over in New Mexico.

Driving distance from Austin: 80 miles west (one hour and 30 minutes). Driving distance from Austin: 31 miles south (40 minutes). Driving distance from Austin: 80 miles south (45 minutes). Driving distance from Austin: 80 miles south (1 hour 15 minutes). Driving distance from Austin: 251.9 miles south (3 hour 45 minutes). Stay at the historic Stagecoach Inn Salado Glassworks Mud Pies Gallery Barrow Brewing Company Salado Museum & College Park Boutique shops in Salado Square – Magnolias of Salado (13 specialty shops under one roof), Classics on Main The Shoppes on Main Salado Winery Co. Salado Legends Mill Creek Country Club. Driving distance from Austin: 101.9 miles north (1 hour 35 minutes). Driving distance from Austin: 195 miles north (2 hours 50 minutes). Driving distance from Austin: 165.4 miles east (2 hours and 30 minutes)

Austin is one of the loveliest places in Texas.. You can drive for a few hours to other cities or towns, stop to enjoy the magnificent view, go camping for the night, and drive to your ultimate destination the next day.. To find the best road trips from Austin Texas, check our list below. Pine Bluff is located in the state of Arkansas and it is 523.4 mi (842.3 km) from Austin, Texas via I-35 N and I-30 E. Feast your eyes on nature’s magnificent beauty along the way.. Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum commemorates the people that died in the 1995 bombing of the city.. Known as Music City, Nashville is a great destination for a road trip from Austin, Texas.. The drive from Austin, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia can take 13 to 14 hours via I-10 or I-20.. About 11 hours and 59 minutes drive to the northeast of Austin, Texas is the city of Columbus in Mississippi.. Spend the night at any of the best hotels in the area and be prepared to explore the city the next day.. However, if you only want to explore Memphis, there are many places to visit and enjoy.. A road trip from Austin, Texas to Montgomery, Alabama can take 11 hours and 31 minutes covering a distance of 794 miles (1277.82 kilometers) driving towards the northeast direction via the I-10 E route.. A road trip from Austin to Baton Rouge, the capital city of Louisiana, would take 6 hours and 23 minutes via the I-10 E route going eastward by car.. Once you arrive at Baton Rouge, you can enjoy the stunning views along the river and the unique cuisine served in the different restaurants in the area.. Jacksonville has a lot of lovely places to visit and enjoy.

This epic road trip can be started in either of these iconic southern cities and takes you through a part of the deep south that is rich in history and culture.. Visit the Center for Civil and Human Rights or take a tour in the King Historic District for an engaging look at the city’s rich history.. Charlotte, NC: The list of things to do in this lively city is quite long, making it a great place to start a trip.. Technically beginning in the midwestern city of St. Louis, this southern road trip is a great one for those of you who love history and the outdoors.. It’s another important stop on The Civil Rights Trail, too!. Three Rivers: Another quick stop on this trip, Three Rivers is home to Choke Canyon State Park .. The park is a great place to get out for a swim, take a hike, or even camp!. Little Rock, AR: Before heading into the city, stop at Pinnacle Mountain State Park for a hike.. It’s known for its nearby natural wonders and neat architecture, along with its iconic folk music scene.. Stay as long as you’d like and explore the music and food scene of this iconic city before heading home.. Each of these trips have something different to offer, making it a great place to start planning your next big road trip adventure.. The South is brimming with history that is best learned through experience; walking through museums, visiting historical sites, and taking in the place where everything happened.

Below you can find a map of the drive from Orlando to New Orleans with stops along the way and in New Orleans.. The map also is split up into layers for things to do in New Orleans, the best places to eat in New Orleans, and hotel options in and around New Orleans.. You can easily drive from Orlando to New Orleans in a day, but there are plenty of places to stop along the way as well.. The tour only takes about 45 minutes, making Florida Caverns State Park a perfect way to stretch your legs on the drive from Florida to New Orleans.. The road goes along the beaches, so it is not far to get off the road to New Orleans and visit the beach for a day or a few hours.. Once you finish the drive to New Orleans from Orlando, get ready to enjoy the atmosphere and food of New Orleans.. WALK AROUND THE FRENCH QUARTER & BOURBON STREET At night, going to Bourbon Street allows for great people-watching opportunities.. Some of my favorite streets include Burgundy Street, Toulouse Street, St. Peter Street, and Dauphine Street.. NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MUSEUM IN DOWNTOWN NEW ORLEANS We aren’t usually museum people, but the National World War II Museum in New Orleans was impressive.. OAK ALLEY PLANTATION & OTHER PLANTATIONS IN NEW ORLEANS New Orleans has quite a few plantations within easy driving distance.. After spending so long at Oak Alley and with an hour drive back to New Orleans, we decided to just take some pictures and then head back to town.. FELIX’S RESTAURANT & OYSTER BAR Felix’s on Bourbon Street is perfect for enjoying a view of Bourbon Street with a good meal.. New Orleans has lots of hotels and places to stay, but staying closer to the popular areas like the French Quarter and Garden District can get expensive.. The rest of our nights there, we moved closer to New Orleans and stayed at Comfort Suites Harvey New Orleans West .


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