Explore Baton Rouge and Louisiana’s Northshore

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Louisiana Northshore

Louisiana’s Northshore, which stretches from Slidell in the east to Madisonville in the west, with the bustling communities of Covington and Mandeville between, is packed with fun for the whole family. The area was developed as a vacation spot for New Orleanians trying to escape the summer heat but has established an inviting culture all its own.

Explore Baton Rouge and Louisiana's NorthshoreLocal Dining

The small communities along Louisiana’s Northshore are full of memorable meals. In Abita Springs, visitors have some exciting ways to start their day. The Maple Street Bakery is known for its slate of fresh breads, pastries and a charming outdoor seating area to enjoy the morning’s find.

For those looking for a heartier start to the day, the centrally located Abita Springs Cafe will hit the spot. Housed in an 1881 building that was originally constructed to be a butcher shop, some of the cafe’s specialties include Cajun Praline Chicken & Waffles, omelets and sweet potato beignets topped with a butter pecan icing. For an extra treat, try a Mimosa Flight.

Last year, beloved local chef Pat Gallagher opened Pat’s Rest Awhile on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville. The restaurant and oyster bar offers a commanding view of the lake and gives guests a relaxing spot to enjoy dishes ranging from New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp and Seafood Gumbo to grilled rib eye steaks and fried seafood platters.

In nearby Slidell, Phil’s Marina Cafe  has been delighting locals for more than 30 years. With water views and a storied menu, the cafe is perhaps best known for its crab dip—which features lump Louisiana crabmeat and is served with fried bowtie pasta—and the Mahi Marliene (a mahi mahi fillet served over spinach and topped with a seafood stuffing).

Explore Baton Rouge and Louisiana's Northshore

Must-Dos on the Northshore

● Try a flight of beers at Chafunkta Brewing Company in Mandeville

● Hold a baby alligator at the Insta-Gator Ranch and Hatchery in Covington

● Buzz around Slidell’s Honey Island Swamp and see the area’s ecosystem firsthand

● Walk the raised boardwalks at the Northlake Nature Center in Mandeville spotting birds

Tammany Trace

The arrival of the Illinois Central Railroad in the late 1800s kickstarted the economic engine of the Northshore. Since the 1990s, the former railroad corridor has been transformed into a 31-mile biking and hiking path that meanders from Covington to Slidell, passing through Abita Springs, Mandeville and Lacombe along the way. From the vantage of the Trace and its 31 restored bridges, travelers will see local wildlife, parks and bayous. 

Explore Baton Rouge and Louisiana's Northshore


Natural beauty was one of the early draws to the Northshore, and it’s still easy to see why. Get an up close view paddling down the Bogue Falaya River with Canoe & Trail Adventures. Families can paddle at their own pace or have a guided tour with a Louisiana Master Naturalist. For more outdoor adventures, visit Fontainebleau State Park. In addition to a kid-friendly beachfront on Lake Pontchartrain, the park offers opportunities for fishing, hiking, camping and glamping (glamorous camping).

Downtown Covington

For visitors looking for a walkable small-town vibe but not wanting to make any sacrifices, Covington has a lot to offer. Folks will find a lot to love in Covington, situated within a short drive of the Northshore attractions. Locals’ favorites like Copper Rooster Antiques & Gifts and The French Mix by Jennifer DiCerbo offer an eclectic assortment of home goods and knickknacks, and a short walk will find Hoodoo Ice Cream, Cured on Columbia (a coffee shop with small bites) and vintage vinyl at Retro Music Co.

Explore Baton Rouge and Louisiana's Northshore