Louisiana Northshore

Louisiana Northshore

Words by Laura Drummond

Once a gratifying getaway for the New Orleans elite jaunting across Lake Pontchartrain on steamboats, the Louisiana Northshore remains a luxurious landing for any traveler looking for the perfect balance of leisure and adventure. Unwind and embrace the pace of lake life with delightful dishes and drinks. Explore the opulent opportunities for outdoor adventure. You’ll be charmed by the collection of communities that comprise St. Tammany Parish. No matter the occasion, you’ll surely make memories to last a lifetime. 

3 Must-visit Restaurants

  • Sal & Judy’s – Make reservations well in advance to secure your seat at this Lacombe institution that’s been preparing gourmet seafood options and traditional Italian dishes for more than 30 years. Chef Sal Impastato’s award-winning Creole Italian cuisine represents a fusion of influences from his childhood in Sicily and early restaurant career in New Orleans. This is a dining experience you won’t soon forget. 
  • Pat’s Rest Awhile – This lakefront retreat in Mandeville serves up an extensive seafood menu, casual atmosphere, indoor and outdoor seating options, and amazing views. Dating back to the 1800s, the property is bursting with character. Share a family meal in what was formerly the Frapart Hotel or stop in for drinks in the Sophie Tavern or Oyster Bar. There’s something for everyone!
  • The Gloriette – Located in the Southern Hotel in downtown Covington, the Gloriette is a feast for the senses. The newly designed space will have you feeling like you just stepped into a Parisian bistro. Featuring French-inspired, local cuisine, this upscale locale serves breakfast on weekdays, champagne brunch on weekends, and dinner Monday through Saturday—a delightful indulgence any day of the week. 

3 Must-do Activities 

  • Get out on the water – You haven’t experienced the Louisiana Northshore without an excursion on the water! Book a tour of Lake Pontchartrain and check out the Causeway, the longest continuous bridge over water in the world. In the mood for a romantic evening? Charter a luxury yacht for an unforgettable private sunset voyage. Cruise along the Tchefuncte River, with its breathtaking views of cypress trees, water birds, and the historic lighthouse built in 1837.
  • Tastings & Tours – Take a guided tour of Abita Brewing Company to see how their craft beer gets made and sample from their 30 taps—or try their non-alcoholic sodas on the family friendly Craft Soda Tour. Visit Wild Bush Farm + Vineyard, a farm-to-glass winery, and reserve a spot at their tasting table. You’ll likely be treated to some live music while you relax and sip on their latest wines. 
  • Dew Drop Jazz & Social Hall –This transportive site in Old Mandeville, an integral part of the jazz scene in its heyday, hosts traditional New Orleans jazz performances during their spring and fall seasons. Come early to listen from inside what is now considered the oldest unaltered rural jazz dance hall in existence—or bring your own chairs, grab a boxed dinner from the church next door, and relax under the live oaks. 

Insider’s Tips 

  • If you’re not able to take in the sights by boat, the next best thing is to visit Madisonville, where the mouth of the Tchefuncte River flows into Lake Pontchartrain. From here, you can watch the wildlife without ever leaving land. 
  • In need of a relaxing retreat? Look no further than Mandeville’s the Barley Oak! With an inviting atmosphere, a picturesque view, and more than 100 craft beers to choose from, you can while away the hours in comfort. Pull up a chair on the patio or second-story balcony overlooking the lake for one of the best views of the sunset you’ll ever get. 
  • There’s so much of the Northshore to explore! The best way to see all that St. Tammany Parish has to offer is on two wheels. Rent a bike from Brooks’ Bike Shop (eBikes available!) and set out on the Tammany Trace, a rails-to-trails conversion path. Locals call it the Trace because it traces across the parish, connecting Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe, and Slidell.