The Ultimate Houston to New Orleans Road Trip Itinerary (2024)

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Want to take the ultimate Houston to New Orleans road trip? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know!

The ultimate Houston to New Orleans road trip itinerary takes you through popular towns like Lake Charles and Baton Rouge along the way.

The drive from Houston to New Orleans is about 350 miles, depending on your exact start and end point.

This drive takes about 5 hours as long as there are no major traffic backups or inclement weather.

The longest it has ever taken us to drive straight through from Houston to New Orleans was a little over 7 hours because a semi truck jackknifed on the highway and was blocking one lane of traffic.

You can watch our full experience driving from Houston to New Orleans in this video on our YouTube Channel.

Jackson Square in the French Quarter in New Orleans

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The Ultimate Houston To New Orleans Road Trip

If you want to take your time on your drive and spread it out over a couple of days, there are some great places you can stop and explore along the way.

✅ Houston

With Houston as your starting point, you may or may not actually do any sightseeing here, but if you do, you’ll definitely want to visit the Houston Space Center.

Renowned as the Space City, Houston is famously home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where you can explore fascinating exhibits, experience astronaut training simulations, and even meet real astronauts.

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Beyond its stellar reputation in space exploration, Houston offers an abundance of attractions and activities.

Art enthusiasts can wander through the Museum District, housing world-class institutions like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Contemporary Arts Museum.

Nature lovers will find solace in the city’s sprawling parks, including the picturesque Hermann Park and Buffalo Bayou Park, perfect for leisurely walks or bike rides.

For those seeking culinary delights, Houston’s diverse culinary scene offers a treasure trove of flavors, from mouthwatering Tex-Mex to sizzling barbecues.

Where To Eat In Houston: Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen is a popular regional chain with dozens of locations.

They are all throughout Texas, plus a couple locations in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Illinois.

It’s a colorful, beautiful restaurant that is great for large parties, special occasions, or a date night.

For dinner, we started with their complimentary bread service and we shared an Andouille Sausage and Seafood Gumbo.

We typically share meals when we go out to eat, but JP really wanted Crawfish Etouffee, which I didn’t want because it’s too spicy for me.

So he ordered that and I had the Shrimp and Grits.

We ordered a Turtle Fudge Brownie dessert too, but took it to go because we were way too full.

Where To Stay In Houston: Homewood Suites Houston IAH Airport Beltway 8

I love seeing how different properties change the room layout and decor.

However, it was very similar to a couple others we stayed at during this trip.

See a full walk-through of our standard King room at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Houston IAH Beltway in this video on our YouTube Channel.

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Lake Charles

The first interesting spot of the drive is crossing the state line into Louisiana.

This part is about an hour and 45 minutes or so into the drive.

We really enjoyed driving through this area because we were surrounded by water a lot and there were a lot of bridges and elevated highways.

The first city to stop in is Lake Charles, Louisiana.

It’s about 145 miles from Houston, depending on you exact starting and ending point and takes a little over 2 hours to get to assuming there’s no major traffic.

Lake Charles is known as the Festival Capital of Louisiana.

If you’re the outdoorsy type, you can enjoy boating, fishing, and serene lakeside strolls.

History enthusiasts can explore the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, a scenic byway renowned for its wildlife refuges, marshes, and ancient oak trees.

The city is also home to several world-class casinos, attracting those seeking thrilling gaming and entertainment options.

With its fusion of Cajun and Creole influences, Lake Charles offers delectable cuisine, from mouthwatering seafood boils to flavorsome jambalaya.

Lake Charles, Louisiana

✅ Baton Rouge

Another 125 miles down the road is Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

It takes about 2 hours to get here from Lake Charles depending on traffic.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s vibrant capital city, is a captivating stop on the ultimate Houston to New Orleans road trip itinerary.

Known for its rich history, diverse culture, and warm Southern hospitality, Baton Rouge offers a plethora of attractions and experiences.

The best way to see the city is a self guided audio tour.

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The city is known for the iconic Louisiana State Capitol building, a stunning example of Gothic architecture and the tallest state capitol building in the United States.

History buffs can delve into the past at the USS Kidd Veterans Museum, where a World War II destroyer ship is docked, or explore the Louisiana State Museum, showcasing the state’s fascinating heritage.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the beauty of the Baton Rouge lakes and riverfront, perfect for leisurely walks and picnics.

Additionally, Baton Rouge is a haven for food lovers, offering an enticing culinary scene with delectable Cajun and Creole flavors.

Visitors can savor authentic Louisiana cuisine, from sumptuous gumbo to mouthwatering po’ boys.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

✅ New Orleans

The final stop on the ultimate Houston to New Orleans road trip is obviously New Orleans.

From Baton Rouge, New Orleans is a little over 100 miles and take anywhere from about an hour to an hour and a half when you’re driving.

Of course this depends on traffic and weather.

Once you get to New Orleans there are so many great things to see and do.

We have a blog post sharing all the best things to do in New Orleans and a blog post about all the best things to do in the surrounding area.

If the French Quarter is of a particular interest to you, which it should be, then check out our post on the best wine and beer tours in the French Quarter.

Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter of New Orleans

Where To Stay In New Orleans: Club Wyndham Avenue Plaza

We absolutely love staying here when we’re in New Orleans.

It’s located in the Garden District and is a short trolley ride to the French Quarter.

The rooms are complete with a kitchen, dining area, separate bedroom, and work space.

You can see a full walk-through of our room here in this video on our YouTube Channel.

Click Here To Book Your Club Wyndham Avenue Plaza Stay Today!

Conclusion: The Ultimate Houston to New Orleans Road Trip

The ultimate Houston and New Orleans road trip itinerary takes as little as 5 hours or you can stop at each destination each day for however long you choose.

It’s sure to scenic and it’s one of our favorite driving stretches in the US.