New Orleans' waterside location means quick access to fishing tours, kayaking and bayou excursions. (©Shutterstock)
With school out and families on the go, summer travel is usually devoted to kid-friendly fun. But in celebration of Father's Day we’ve mapped out more-manly adventures for the big kid at heart. Yes, guys, there’s more to New Orleans than Bourbon Street.
Wet and Wild
You’ll see lots of wet T-shirts—and tons of redfish, sheepshead, black drum and jacks—just an hour outside the city on a guided fishing excursion. Marsh & Bayou Outfitters and Jean Lafitte offer chartered trips with seasoned captains. Fishermen can also reel ’em in at City Park, where Wheel Fun Rentals provides fishing boat, kayak and pedal boat rentals, making it easy to explore more than 11 miles of lagoons.
Kayak-iti-yat conducts daily kayak excursions, from easygoing cruises along historic Bayou St. John to strenuous, three-hour tours of Bayou Bienvenue, where adventurous nature lovers will spot alligators and a wide variety of birds. This one isn’t for the faint of heart; there are no bathrooms, no breaks and paddling experience is required. Canoe & Trail Advenutres' eco-conscious tours navigate small groups through swamp, bayou and marshlands then dip into Lake Pontchartrain.
Choot 'em! Premium Tours and Transportation brings “Swamp People” fantasies to life with its Gators and Guns outing. Practice your aim at the area’s leading shooting range before heading out on a high-speed airboat ride through the Jean Lafitte Swamp. Hunting for gators? Don’t worry, they’ll find you.
Bump up the pace even more at NOLA Motorsports Park, the stop for full-throttle fun (without losing your license in the process). The sprawling racetrack, just 25 minutes southwest of the city, offers “Arrive & Drive” karting, which allows guests to hit 50 miles per hour on the winding, seven-acre track. Satisfy the ultimate need for speed behind the wheel of a 500-horsepower, full-bore racecar with the “Xtreme Experience.” Aspiring Andrettis receive coaching from a professional driver and a crash course on car control before being let loose on a 1.8-mile track.
Shops for Pops
The custom-designed ties at the Wild Life Reserve are a perfect fit for dapper dads, while Italy Direct caters to sharp-dressed men with wooden bow ties and Queork provides clothing and accessories fashioned from cork. Top things off at the century-old Meyer the Hatter or Goorin Bros., the city’s go-tos for bespoke head wear. From handmade straw fedoras to classic truckers, there’s a style suitable to every taste and man.
Ranked the No. 1 barbershop in America by Playboy, Aidan Gill for Men has been keeping locals fit and trimmed for the past 25 years. In addition to its signature hot-towel shaves, the shop also features top-of-the-line grooming products and accessories, ranging from pocket knives to pocket squares.
The Art of Shaving likewise elevates male grooming from necessity to indulgence. The two-tiered space offers retail below and a Barber Spa above. Let one of the master barbers take you through the “Royal Shave” before heading next door to Rubenstein’s, which has been outfitting New Orleanians in designer wear and summery seersucker suits for nine decades.
Booze and Brews
Explore the ins and outs of mash-making, column-still distillation and barrel-aging at Celebration Distillation, home to Old New Orleans Rum. Tours start with a cocktail and end with a tasting of each of the distillery’s award-winning spirits. Facility tours and tastings are also offered at Atelier Vie, Cajun Spirits, NOLA Distilling and Lula Restaurant Distillery.
Beer-loving dads will find what they are after at NOLA Brewing, Crescent City Brewhouse, Urban South and Courtyard Brewing, all of which offer popular taprooms and tours. For a taste of what's new on the local craft-beer scene, check out Port Orleans Brewing, Brieux Carré and Parleaux Beer Lab. Or hop on the NOLA Brew Bus, New Orleans Brews Cruise or Premium Tours and Transportation's New Orleans Brewery Tour.
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