Side Trips from New Orleans: Places to Explore

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Atchafalaya Basin

The Atchafalaya Basin is an eerily beautiful 800,000-plus-acre swamp wilderness, the storybook version of mystical south Louisiana wetlands. Boating enthusiasts, bird-watchers, photographers, and nature lovers are drawn by vast expanses of still water, cypresses standing knee-deep in marsh and dripping with Spanish moss, and blue herons taking flight. The basin is best viewed from one of the tour boats on its waters, but it's possible to explore around its edges on the 7 miles of Henderson's Levee Road (also known as Route 5; off Interstate 10, Exit 115), which provides several opportunities to cross the levee and access swamp tours, bars, and restaurants on the other side.

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Atchafalaya Basin at a Glance

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