Dallas to New Orleans Road Trip
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From fried chicken to gumbo, JFK assassination tours to New Orleans’ music scene, there’s plenty to do and see on a Dallas to New Orleans road trip, not to mention stretching your legs with a stop halfway in historic Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Overall, this trip will take you about seven and a half hours total driving time.
Whether you’re setting off in search of Dallas’ finest ten-gallon hat, or heading out to find Ignatius J. Reilly’s house on Constantinople Street in The Big Easy—you’ll need car insurance before hitting the road.
Jerry has you covered. Sign-up takes just a hair under a minute, and then Jerry populates your smartphone’s screen with 50 quotes from the country’s top insurers. Just pick your policy and Jerry will do the rest.
To top it off, Jerry now offers emergency roadside assistance. Towing, emergency fuel delivery, winching, tire fixes, Uber credits, and more are all covered, not to mention other exclusive member benefits.
To learn more about what to do and see in Dallas and New Orleans, keep reading!
Any trip to Dallas, Texas wouldn’t be complete without a visit to JFK-related sites, grabbing a Texas-sized lunch at Bubba’s “Cooks Country”, and a stroll through Dallas’ Arboretum.
What to see
Explore The Sixth Floor Museum: Tour the site of one of the country’s most shattering (and, unfortunately, fascinating) events with a visit to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, dedicated to educating the public about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was shot while riding through Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.
The museum is located on the sixth floor of the old Texas Book Depository Building, where assassin Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shots that killed Kennedy.
Next, wander over to the infamous grassy knoll and pay a visit to the JFK Memorial Plaza, a monument built to commemorate the 35th President.
What to eat
Bubba’s Cooks Country: A morning of quiet, historical reflection creates quite an appetite—satiate that hunger at a classic Dallas fried chicken joint that’s been making mouths water since 1981.
Once inside, steel yourself for juicy fried chicken, fluffy mashed potatoes, scrumptious green peas, and soft rolls, hot out of the kitchen. And in case you weren’t full, gobble down a piece of apricot fried pie for dessert.
What to do
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden: Head over to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens to walk off that giant mid-day meal with a sprightly stroll through the Arboretum, annually ranked amongst the country’s ten best botanical gardens.
Take in the beautiful vistas, shimmering infinity pools, and impressive sculptures throughout the park’s 66 acres. The Arboretum features events, activities, a children’s garden, and dining options—but you’re still full from Bubba’s, right?
The Mansion at Turtle Creek: Fresh off an afternoon of “being with nature,” continue your sophisticated Dallas tour with dinner at The Mansion, serving classic American fare with an opulent, French twist, and created with fresh, local ingredients. The Mansion is known as one of Dallas’ finest restaurants. What? You’re on vacation!
After dinner, take a five-minute walk to The Grapevine Bar: Slum it with a cross-section of locals at this famous neighborhood dive bar. Kick back with a Tangarita, a Margarita made with Tang, the classic orange drink mix that astronaut John Glenn took to space in 1962.
Where to stay
The Statler Hotel: You’ve had quite the Dallas day-and-night—kick off your boots and rest your weary bones at The Statler Hotel, a recently renovated, mid-century knockout that reopened in 2017 after being closed for two decades. Back in the day, famous guests from Elvis to Tina Turner stayed here.
The Statler features two restaurants, a coffee shop, a speakeasy (yes), and a rooftop bar. Easy now. And enjoy your stay under the (Lone) stars.
Visitors enjoying the skyline visible at the Dallas Arboretum in Texas
Leg 1—Natchitoches, Louisiana
Head east I-20 and then south for 3 hours and 49 minutes on I-49 from Dallas to Natchitoches, LA.
On the way to New Orleans, stretch your legs in historic Natchitoches (pronounced “Nack-i-tosh”), Louisiana’s oldest city.
What to see
Melrose Plantation: Pay a visit to the sprawling Melrose Plantation, a National Historic Landmark dating back to 1832. Melrose was one of the country’s biggest plantations and was owned and built by African Americans who became pillars of the local Creole community.
Melrose features the art collection of trailblazing folk artist Clementine Hunter, a self-taught painter born on the plantation who lived there until her death in 1988. Late in life, she was celebrated for her incredibly vivid, painted renderings of Southern life.
Take a guided tour of the plantation, or do a self-guided walking tour throughout the property.
What to eat
Lasyone’s Restaurant: Grab lunch at Lasyone’s, a no-frills Southern eatery that’s been slinging meat pies, crawfish pies, dirty rice, and other Southern favorites since 1967.
This family-owned joint has been written up in Southern Living and The New Yorker, amongst other foodie or foodie-friendly publications. So, if Lasyone’s meat pies are good enough for them, they’re certainly good enough for us… and for you!
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What to do
Walk Natchitoches: Sweat those meat pies off with a stroll through Natchitoches’ 33-block Historic District. It runs along the Cane River and is an architecture lover’s dream that features examples of French Creole style, amongst others.
Check out the Prudhomme-Rouquier House, the only known structure originally built with boussiage, a mixture of Spanish moss, mud, and deer hair.
If you’re in town around the holidays, check out Christmas At The Park, which features live music, food, historic home tours, carolers, and a quarter-million lights reflecting off the Cane River. Christmas, Southern-style.
Where to stay
Sweet Cane Inn B & B: If you’re staying the night in Natchitoches, take a load off at the Sweet Cane Inn Bed and Breakfast, an elegant Victorian, century-old home featuring seven palatial rooms. The building was constructed in the late 1800s for a Congressman and features a stunning wall of stained-glass windows.
Sweet Cane is within walking distance to Front Street, the beating heart of Natchitoches’ historic area.
Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant
Leg 3—New Orleans, Louisiana
Head south on US-71 S and then east I-10 from Natchitoches to New Orleans for 4 hours and 15 minutes.
Vibrant and gothic, loud and secretive, decadent and refined—only one city can be all of these things and it’s New Orleans.
There’s no one right place to start your adventure in this weird and wild city, but we’ll give you some ideas.
What to eat
Liuzza’s By The Track: You might have noticed a pattern on this road trip— drive-eat-walk-eat-do-sleep—which continues in New Orleans, where you’ll start by chowing down on some classic ‘Nawlins’ dishes at Liuzza’s By The Track.
Feast on mouth-watering fare—try the Cajun Gumbo, filled with chicken, okra, and sausage—but don’t forget the piping hot barbecue po’ boy sandwiches, sizzling catfish plates, and much more.
What to do
Stroll down Esplanade Avenue: Once you’re stuffed full of gumbo, stroll down oak tree-lined Esplanade Avenue towards the French Quarter, and enjoy one of New Orleans’ most charming streets, full of Creole Mansions with beautiful gardens and elegant wrought-iron fences.
Upon reaching Esplanade’s terminus at the mighty Mississippi, you’ll be within hollering distance of the New Orleans Jazz Museum, housed in the old U.S. Mint building and regularly offering performances by jazz and contemporary artists.
What to see
Explore the French Quarter: Hang a right off Esplanade Ave. and head into The French Quarter along Decatur St., where you’ll be enveloped by a kaleidoscope of sounds, smells, sights, and tastes in one of America’s most vibrant neighborhoods. You can even grab a ride on a horse-drawn, Victorian carriage tour to get a feel for the area.
Swing by Cafe Beignet, which has a few spots in the Quarter, for a delicious beignet, a powdered sugar-covered pastry that is light, fluffy, and all kinds of delicious. You’ll thank us later.
Don’t forget to sample a delicious, boozy cocktail while you meander from one watering hole to the next on Bourbon Street.
Tipitina’s: If you’ve still got some energy, try and snag a ticket to a live show at Tipitina’s, a New Orleans music mainstay since 1977 that’s hosted scores of notable musical acts, ranging from Dr. John and James Brown to Patti Smith and Wilco, and everybody in between. Tipitina’s is known for its quaint atmosphere, incredible acoustics, and affordable drink selection.
Where to sleep
Pontchartrain Hotel: Walk back towards the Quarter from Tipitina’s for a night’s stay at the Pontchartrain Hotel, a 1940’s throwback that perfectly captures the elegance of the period. There’s a bustling restaurant, The Jack Rose, where you’ll find authentic New Orleans dishes with European touches, as well as Hot Tin, the Pontchartrain’s rooftop bar, popular with both tourists and locals alike.
A perfect place for a nightcap under a crescent moon.
Visitors enjoying food in Cafe Beignet
Roadside assistance with Jerry
Road trips are all about food, fun, and adventure, but in case things go awry, you want to know that you—and your trusty automotive steed (ok, your car)—are protected by the roadside assistance program with Jerry.
Membership brings a slew of benefits, from tire fixes, unlocking service, and emergency fuel delivery, to more novel offerings, such as Uber credits and trip interruption credits.
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