For Bayou charm, skip bland, boozy Bourbon Street and the voodoo tourist traps of New Orleans and head across the causeway to the other side of Lake Pontchartrain. The Northshore region was rocked by Hurricane Katrina but has undergone a serious rebirth in the past couple of years. In Covington, rent a set of wheels from Brooks’ Bike Shop and hop on the Tammany Trace, a 27-mile rail trail that weaves through the wetlands. Pull off in Abita Springs, where Abita Beer is brewed with the namesake springwater. If it’s a Saturday night, stick around for a bluegrass show at the Abita Opry. If not, head back to Covington to fill up on salumi and mussels at Del Porto, then sip a Sazerac at the Cypress Bar in the century-old Southern Hotel. —Cheney Gardner

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