Touring the Honey Island Swamp
Flyboarding on the lake
Scouting for birds at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
Lacombe Camp along Tammany Trace
Big Fun Brass Band performs in a parade
One of Bayou Paddle Co.’s stand up paddleboarders
Deep in the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge
An art fan considers Covington’s vibrant works
A meet and greet at Global Wildlife Center
Taking a rest from kayak fishing at Fontainebleau State Park
More to explore in Slidell on the Northshore
Exciting flavors inspire menus in elegant dining spaces and mom-and-pop seafood emporiums in and around Slidell. You’ll find sophisticated fare at restaurants like Palmettos or at celebrity chef John Besh’s La Provence in Lacombe. The setting’s more down-home at the Abita Brew Pub or local joints like LA Pines in Slidell (“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” of the Food Network loved both spots). Find happiness in perfectly fried shrimp or a mountain of spicy boiled crawfish at scores of local po' boy shops and seafood markets.
There are about 32,400 hectares of national wildlife refuge set aside in the area, including Big Branch NWR and the Northlake Nature Center on Bayou Castine. Kayakers find easy access along many of the bayous and rivers and on Lake Pontchartrain. Check out one of our local outfitters like Bayou Adventure in Lacombe for rentals. Or, go on a guided swamp tour for an up-close look at the beautiful Honey Island Swamp and its wildlife.
The 50-kilometer Tammany Trace is a jewel of a bike trail threading through many Northshore communities. It’s a Rails to Trails Conservancy project that turned old railroad tracks into a wide, paved bike path. Visitors walk or rent and ride bikes through the stately pines.
There are also a number of great golf courses on the Northshore and the fisherman can find plenty to do, from casting a line off a pier on the lake to spending an afternoon on one of the Slidell area’s charter fishing boats for some monster trout or redfish.
In addition to the outdoor activities, the Northshore offers art galleries and upscale shopping. You can browse some of the South’s best art in Covington galleries or experience eclectic folk art at the eye-opening Abita Mystery House at the UCM Museum, a roadside attraction for all ages. Live music can be found at the historic Dew Drop Inn or at the community concerts held at the Tammany Trace trailheads.
Kids especially enjoy the swamp tours, and the Insta-Gator Ranch where they can watch alligators hatch, or getting up close and personal with giraffes, camels, llamas and more at the Global Wildlife Center. Their parents can enjoy wine-tasting at the Pontchartrain Vineyards or beer-tasting at the Abita Brewery and Covington Brewhouse microbrewery.
Fontainebleau State Park, the most visited state park in Louisiana, was originally a sugar plantation and so named for the beautiful forest near Paris, a favorite recreation area of the French kings.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, connecting Mandeville and Metairie, is considered the longest continuous bridge over water in the world.
Abita Springs was a popular retreat for 19th-century New Orleanians, who came for fresh air produced by the numerous pine trees and to drink and swim in the spring waters, said to have medicinal qualities.