Kayaking in New Orleans (Places to Kayak) | Get Experience of a Lifetime!

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: August 5, 2020
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Kayaking is an outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by family and friends. You can also go solo kayaking to refresh your mind as well as touring and fishing. For some of us who understand kayaking, there is more to that rather than just paddling. First, its fulfilling, mind-blowing, plus new experience and encounter every day. Every kayaker dream is to be able to kayak in different waters at different locations for new adventures.

But what will be more enjoyable for a kayaker than getting a chance to kayak in New Orleans, one of the world’s great tourist destinations? Plan your next kayak vacation in this place, and thank us later. This place is one of the American classic and beautiful cities, nested on the Mississippi River banks that offers a rare combination of being very relaxed and touristy. Plus, the city is among the affordable tourist cities in the United States, except if you plan to go during Mardi Gras festivals week when hotels charge double or triple the price.

The 301 years old city in the southeastern region of the U.S was founded on May 7, 1718, by the French, and named after Philippe d, Orleans, a member of the French Royal family and a duke. That’s why the French influences have contributed a lot for it to be one of the world’s great food cities. Well, there are plenty of attractions and activities to do that will not cost you a fortune, like kayaking in different places.

Where can I kayak in New Orleans?

There are numerous places where you can go kayaking activities in the city. Some of the best-known places you won’t want to miss are Bayou St. John, New Orleans City Park, honey island swamp, cane bayou, Manchan Swamp, and New Orleans plantation tour and swamp kayak to name a few. Those places will offer you memorable times of your lifetime.

Let now look more into each one of them to understand what they offer and what to expect. For a better experience, try more than one, and if time and money allow you, go for all.

Best Places for Kayak in New Orleans 

1. Bayou St. John

If you are a well-experienced kayaker and want to put your skills to test, then don’t waste your time make your way there for an elating kayak experience. The picturesque neighborhood, such as fairgrounds, makes it even more exciting. Bayou St. John is known for family and couple picnicking. Just rent a kayak, or a paddleboard gets into the water and enjoys your quality time with your loved ones. It’s also pretty good for a beginner or seasoned individual who wants to explore what the world offers. 

2. New Orleans City Park

The historical park is located in the heart of the city and features lush, sprawling surrounding covered in tall trees, I.e., oaks and picturesque canopies. You can enjoy a fun-filled water activity with your loved ones and friends; it doesn’t matter if you are a learner or experienced kayaker. The calm water of this astounding ponds offers you a chance to enjoy kayaking in style and peace. Many tourists and locals in new Orleans argue that there is no better place in the city for kayaking than New Orleans city parks. 

3. Honey island swamp

The swamp is located in the Eastern portion of Pearl River, Louisiana. It was named after honey bees that were initially seen along the aisle. It’s considered by many to be the most pristine swampland habitat in the area. But for solo kayaking in this deep water island can be a nerve-racking adventure for any kayaker, so it’s advisable to go as a group. 

Honey island swamp is perfect for staunch outdoor lovers and New Orleans bachelor parties looking for a great time and does fall head over heels for swamp primitive ecosystem. It’s also an excellent location for someone who wants to learn this place history and the importance of the ecosystem in our surroundings. All this makes the site outstanding for any tourist kayaker who needs paddling in a serene environment that offers more experience.

4. Cane Bayou

Even before you land in this place, any severe kayaker will not want to miss any chance of getting the experience of kayaking in this calm water. The natural beauty of Cane Bayou will blow your mind off as this place is considered to be one of the least altered bayous in the state of Louisiana. It runs from the Northshore in between Mandeville and Lacombe, finally flowing into Lake Pontchartrain. So plan yourself accordingly, and don’t miss this opportunity of kayaking in this marine life that has many things to offer. 

5. Manchac Swamp

Don’t even tell anyone that you were in New Orleans and miss this spot, as they say, a trip to this place is not at all complete without visiting the iconic Manchac Swamp, we do conquer with the same sentiments. It’s undoubtedly a must-visit location, more so for staunch lovers who are fascinated with watersport activities. Do you know Manchac Swamp Bridge is considered to be among the longest bridges in the world over the water? It is also known to be the longest bridge in the interstate highway system that stretches for a total of 23 miles, i.e., 37 kilometers! Now you know.

Manchac swap offers you the opportunity to see an array of wildlife as you paddle. The dense Cypress forest and expansive wetlands calm water are suitable for both the beginners and adventure seekers. This gorgeous, picturesque, and natural kayak swamp tour will offer you a remarkable experience.

Are kayak swamp tours safe?

Well, it depends on many things. But one thing is for sure kayaking in this deep water can be nerve-racking and not suitable for a solo learner. Many swamps around have an array of wild animals, which can frighten some people who are not used to though their fears are genuine since these animals might attack you.

To ensure your safety while kayaking in the swamp, you should go as a group or seek tour companies’ assistance in those places for their guidance and company.

What is the cheapest month to go to New Orleans?

For a financially conscious person, the cheapest month to visit this location is from June to September, where it’s off-season. But generally, New Orleans is among the most competitive tourist destination in the world. So, what we might consider as a peak season for you, i.e., February, may still be affordable. Your financial stability and budget will determine which fits you well if it peaks or off-peak seasons.

Is it safe to kayak around alligators?

Yes, it is! But you have to be very conscious of your surrounding at any given time. When you find yourself kayaking with alligators’ don’t let their presence discourage you. Just remember the swap is their home, and you are simply an intruder to them. Though where there are healthy populations of alligators means there is a healthy population of fish as well.

We know some of you will be afraid, but just now, this, the creatures will also be as more fearful than you. If you plan to kayak in an area where there are these animals, take your time to understand their behavior and warning signs, so you know what to look for and avoid totally.

Are there crocodiles in New Orleans?

Yes, they are, and you should be careful while kayaking in those swamps invested by these reptiles. Go as a group or with the fishermen in the area who know surroundings very well. And yes, one can kayak in those waters without harm befalls on them just like any other water out there while minding their business and avoiding any interference with them. 

What is the best swamp tour to take in New Orleans?

As mentioned earlier, some of the best tours in New Orleans include; Honey Island kayak swamp tours, Manchac swamp kayak tours, and New Orleans plantation tour& swamp kayak. Make an effort to get all the experience from all of them, and you can try others not mentioned here.

This ecosystem has many things to offer apart from the wildlife and the beautiful and natural surroundings. Don’t miss the chance, and remember to share your experience.

How long are New Orleans Swamp Tours?

The tours in various locations in this area take two to eight hours maximum a day. But, timing varies with many things like money,  touring company rules, and your capability in terms of paddling and weather, to name a few. Go with what you feel fits you for an enjoyable and non-tiring adventure. Don’t be forced into a schedule that you are not comfortable with! Just know what you want for you to have a great time.


We have said all the exciting things that New Orleans has to offer for a kayaker like you. But it’s also good to give you an early warning before you embark on your journey. This city is among the top cities in the world known to have a higher crime rate, and the probability of tourists being mugged, raped, or murdered is high. To avoid being a victim, ensure you wear casual clothes and accessories so as not to attract attention. 

Walk with your cards, affordable items, night drinking is not suitable for a solo person and less money with you and avoid the known dangerous street. Do your research pretty well to weigh your expectations. But all the same, don’t kayak every day; take your time to visit the French Quarter, enjoy their food and culture, and it will be worth it all. 

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