Home»All»Roadtrip: Where to stop between Houston, Texas and Pensacola Beach, Florida… with kids!

Roadtrip: Where to stop between Houston, Texas and Pensacola Beach, Florida… with kids!

I asked my kids where they wanted to go on a roadtrip and they were absolutely certain they needed to go to the beach in Florida. I don’t know why exactly… but I think they had heard stories of the white sand beaches and clear blue water.

So, I looked at the map, and since I was going to be driving alone, agreed to slowly drive to Pensacola Beach… just inside the Florida state line.

Over eight days, we drove from Houston (through Beaumont, Lake Charles and Lafayette) to Baton Rouge. Then from Baton Rouge to Biloxi (driving along the Mississippi coastline). Then from Biloxi (through Mobile) to Pensacola Beach. On the return trip, we swung through New Orleans.

The drive is about eight hours in each direction… but we did a lot of short drives and a lot of sightseeing.

I had asked YOU for recommendations on where to stop along the way, and have listed them below… and the map is at the bottom. (I’ve highlighted the places we went to with “*”!)

I’ve already promised my kids we would take this trip again soon… so if you have more recommendations, let us know!


Lake Charles/Sulphur


Avery Island

Baton Rouge

In Baton Rouge we stayed downtown, within walking distance of the USS Kidd and Old State Capital (and a longer walk to the State Capital).

  • USS Kidd* (In the old ship bathrooms, all the toilets are just lined up with no privacy.  My little boy cannot stop talking about this. (Insert sigh and smile here.)
  • Old State Capital* (This is free to visit and looks like a castle!)
  • State Capital* (This is free to visit and you can take the elevator to the top observation deck!)
  • Rural Life Museum
  • LSU*
  • Baton Rouge Zoo

New Orleans

In New Orleans we stayed in the French Quarter and went to the City Park on the way out of town.  Hotel reservations were a little hard to get, so we planned our trip around the New Orleans hotel.




We stayed on the west side of Biloxi, right along the beach.  The sand was white and the boardwalk was nice to walk along.  (The water is still the same Mississippi-mud color as Galveston.)

The beach was pretty quiet (which is great for us) and it looked like more people were in the beaches in the center of Biloxi.


Orange Beach


Pensacola Beach

In Pensacola Beach, we stayed on the west side of the small island.  The Holiday Inn Express was just remodeled, had direct access to the beach and every room had a balcony towards the gulf.

The sand was white and the water was blue.  Somewhere after Mobile Bay, the water changed from Mississippi-mud to blue!

The west side of the island was pretty quiet and perfect for us.  The middle of the island, near the pier, is where the college kids hung out for spring break.

We spent several days digging in the sand, walking up and down the island jog/bike path and watching the waves from the balcony.

We took one little trip to the old Fort Pickens and one over the bridge to Gulf Breeze to find a sports field (because I don’t think there is any grass on the island!)… but the rest of the time was spent at the beach!

Old State Capital, Baton Rouge

Story Land Park, New Orleans

Biloxi Boardwalk

USS Alabama, Mobile

Pensacola Beach

USS Kidd, Baton Rouge

Jackson Square, New Orleans

Story Land Park, New Orleans

Biloxi Beach

Fort Pickens, Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach

Holiday Inn Express, Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach

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  1. felicia
    October 20, 2020 at 9:17 pm — Reply

    thanks for the article. I will be booking the holiday inn express because of your blog about it! I too am traveling with 2 kids alone…thanks!!

    • October 21, 2020 at 9:09 am — Reply

      Great! We went again in early March and we still loved the location and hotel. I hope you like it. And good luck with the solo trip!

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