On the Road

Snapshot: Covington, Louisiana

By: The Local Palate

Discover a slice of small-town charm in Covington, Louisiana

New Orleanians have been escaping the jangle and jive of the city for the sedate Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain since the early 19th century. Back then, affluent locals flocked to “l’autre côté du lac” (the other side of the lake) to escape the vice- and plague-ridden city and lean into wholesome pastimes. The game-changing 24-mile Lake Pontchartrain Causeway opened in 1956, cutting the commute from New Orleans to 45 minutes and transforming the sleepy towns of St. Tammany ParishAbita Springs, Covington, Folsom, Lacombe, Madisonville, Mandeville, and Slidell—into bedroom communities for the Big Easy.

While each of these towns has its particular attractions—most notably you can feed giraffes at Global Wildlife Center in Folsom—Covington is undeniably top of the list when it comes to small-town charm. From its walkable downtown to its accessible outdoor fun and truly impressive dining scene, Covington offers the ideal staycation setting.

Eat Your Way Through Covington

Northshore Cured in Covington, Louisiana

There are more than 30 restaurants to savor in Covington, many within
walking distance of downtown. The Gloriette in the elegant Southern Hotel is one newcomer. The restaurant’s verdant garden decor is a balm, only outdone by the flavors of chef Steven Marsella’s French bistro classics. Don’t miss another newcomer, Tavi from BRG Hospitality, with Lebanese born chef Fariz Choumali crafting savory tributes to specialties from Israel and beyond. Previously the executive chef of Shaya, Choumali is already thinking about moving to the quieter side of the lake instead of commuting. His fried chicken with date salsa verde and arayes and lamb-stuffed pita with tzatziki are just two don’t-miss dishes.

The Greyhound, a casual gastropub with a globetrotting menu and beer list, is the second spot from Del Porto Ristorante chefs David and Torre Solazzo. They opened the pub in 2021 to cook the kind of food they love to eat—including the likes of North African lamb meatballs and wood-fired pizza topped with harissa-roasted shrimp.

For breakfast, coffee, savory nibbles, and wine, head to Cured. On Columbia, the first proudly queer-owned eatery in downtown Covington. Owners Anna Watkins and Amanda Birdsong opened the kind of place they’d want to hang in—chill, relaxed, come as you are. The from-scratch menu changes daily with dishes like lox toast with shaved egg, a smoked chicken and bacon club on sourdough with garlic aïoli, and plant based choices like roasted beets with honey goat cheese and beet hummus on a board. Vegan, gluten-free baked goods are fresh daily—think fruit doughnuts and cinnamon rolls.

Feeling carnivorous? Longtime local chef Pat Gallagher sears his famous prime steak in sizzling butter at Gallagher’s Grill. Gallagher has deep roots in St. Tammany Parish—his grandfather Dr. Geautreaux was a founder of St. Tammany Hospital and delivered thousands of babies in his day.

Canoe Trail  in Covington
Enjoy the area’s natural beauty with Canoe & Trail Adventures.

Get to the Great Outdoors

In between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’ve got options. Bring or rent a bike, and head to the rails-to-trails Tammany Trace. Ride all or part of the 31-mile asphalted trail that connects Covington with other Northshore towns.

Family-owned Canoe & Trail Adventures offer everything from guided tours to kayak and canoe rentals for exploring nearby waterways. Paddle by moonlight, explore the bayou, or take a themed history tour that traces the history of St. Tammany long before Europeans set foot in the region.

Vlue Willow Bed and Breakfast Entrance with blooming crepe myrtles
Blue Willow Bed & Breakfast. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Thornton.

Rest Your Head in Covington

After you’ve worn yourself out exploring the town, retreat to one of the lovely bed-and-breakfasts that are within walking distance of the action. Camelia House offers comfy suites outfitted with antiques, an outdoor pool and hot tub, and breakfast options including quiche, fresh fruit, and pastries delivered right to your room.

At the lushly landscaped Blue Willow Bed and Breakfast, king and queen suites, some equipped with fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs, await, along with all the comforts of home, including a fridge stocked with snacks, fruits, and pastry.

Dining Out

12 New Restaurants in Louisiana

12 new and exciting restaurants in Louisiana bring even more thriving personality to the Pelican State. Come explore the dynamic flavors.

At the Table

3 Versions of One NOLA Classic: the Po’ Boy

The po’ boy gets three new versions thanks to New Orleans-native Chef Kelly English. He brings authentic NOLA cuisine with his second restaurant in Memphis.

On the Road

Snapshot: Lafayette, Louisiana

Known for its swampy bayous, rollicking roots music, and dishes that are stuffed, smothered, and stewed, Cajun Country is a bastion of American regional culture.

trending content

More From On the Road

Leave a Reply

Be the first to comment.