Lake Ponchartrain, one of America’s largest estuaries, divides New Orleans from its North Shore communities, including Slidell and Covington. You don’t have to cross the causeway to the city when you want to let the good times of spring roll, because there’s lots to do on the Northshore.
So, don’t say there are “no things to do near me” except hanging out at friends’ apartments. If you’re a resident of the Springs at Fremaux Town Center in Slidell or the Springs River Chase in Covington, you’re close to North Shore adventures ranging from cuddling with an alligator to biking the Tammany Trace. Here are some possibilities to explore.
Art and A Taste of Covington
Taste the cuisine of local restaurants and sip wine April 11 to 15 at the seventh annual A Taste of Covington festival, 427 Theard Street downtown. During the festival, on April 14, the St. Tammany Art Association will hold its Spring for Art event, 6 to 9 p.m.
if you are inclined to hug a baby alligator, head over to Covington’s Insta-Gator Ranch and Hatchery, 74645 Allen Road, where the babies lounge in a catch pool waiting for your loving arms. The ranch offers tours and educational presentations.
Baby Cakes at Bat
New Orleans loves its cake and its Baby Cakes -- the Miami Marlins minor league affiliate formerly known as the Zephyrs. Here’s the Baby Cakes schedule so you can root for the North Shore-based home team at 6000 Airline Drive in Metairie.
Brewery Tour and Carnivorous Plants
Abita Springs, which is just east of Covington, is famous for its beer produced by the Abita Brewing Company, 21084 Highway 36. After a tour and tasting, head over to the Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve for a boardwalk stroll amid carnivorous pitcher plants.
Birds at Big Branch Marsh
Located on Bayou Lacombe about 18 minutes west of Slidell, the Big Branch Marsh is a great place for birdwatching. It’s home to shorebirds, songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl. One of its most famous residents is the endangered Red-cockaded woodpecker.
Farmers markets abound on the North Shore. Some, such as the Covington market, are open mid-week. Here’s an article detailing Tammany Parish farmers markets.
Jazz and Blues Festival
On May 26, the Slidell Jazz and Blues Festival will be held in Heritage Park, 1701 Bayou Lane. it benefits local music education and includes teen groups like Slidell High School’s Big E Brass Band.
Old Fashioned Treats
Ice cream floats, shakes, malts, sodas, banana sundaes and splits, sno balls, and homemade ice cream sandwiches, oh my! You name it and they’ve got it at Slidell’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop, 301 Cousin Street. Flavors range from Creole Cream Cheese to Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla.
Alligators, bullfrogs, eagles, and turtles live in Honey Island Swamp on the northeast edge of St. Tammany Parish. For a close-up view, contact Honey Island Swamp Tours, 41490 Crawford Landing Road, Slidell.
Tammany Trace Rails-to-Trails Path
Finally, if you’re more interested in solid ground, biking or skating the paved, 37-mile Tammany Trace Trail will take you from Covington to Slidell. It follows a former railroad right-of-way.
Relaxing Apartment Communities
Just touring the Internet for all the many events and places to enjoy on the North Shore can be tiring. Despite the way we opened this article, we want you to know that it’s okay to kick back at home on a pleasant spring day. If you live in one of our local Springs Apartments communities, you can lounge by a luxury pool or take your dog to a pet park -- two of our many amenities that make North Shore life easy and relaxed when you don’t feel like chasing fun.