Lake Pontchartrain is the largest lake in Louisiana and the second largest saltwater lake in the U.S. It is a popular destination for both tourists and residents of Louisiana and surrounding states Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas. It is actually an estuary, which simply means that it is a partially enclosed coastal body of water with at least one river spilling into it and open access to the ocean. There is a wide variety of things to do at Lake Pontchartrain from fishing and boating to sightseeing and hanging out in coastal towns and areas such as Fountainebleau State Park, Mandeville, and Madisonville. It is not only notable for its size, but also for the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the longest bridge over water in the entire world at 24 miles long.
Lake Pontchartrain fishing is one of the most popular activities that draw masses of visitors to the lake each and every year. Although anchovies are the most abundant fish in the lake, you can also find speckled trout and redfish. There really is no such thing as an average or typical year when it comes to the kinds of fish that you can pull out of Lake Pontchartrain. Because of the brackish nature of the water as a result of the open connection to the sea, there is a wide range of marine life that change depending on a variety of things including tidal conditions, tropical storm patterns, and temperature. Lake Pontchartrain fishing gives anglers the opportunity to explore a body of water that is roughly 630 square miles. It is no wonder why this is such a popular attraction considering the amount of things to do at Lake Pontchartrain.
Boating and fishing is not the extent of it. Remember that Lake Pontchartrain is only a few short miles from one of the craziest cities in the United States. New Orleans separates the Mississippi from Lake Pontchartrain and both bodies of water have played, and continue to play, significant roles in the identity and makeup of the entire city. The positioning of the city of New Orleans from the Mississippi and Lake Pontchartrain sped the development of the young metropolis as a center for commerce and trade in the south. Now, people on vacation in the Big Easy often take a trip to Lake Pontchartrain to enjoy the water activities available including water skiing, jet skiing, and wind surfing.
Northshore is a popular area that constitutes cities such as Saint Tammany Parish, Mandeville, Madisonville, and Covington. Southern Louisiana University is located here and as such there are tons of bars, restaurants, and clubs. The Southshore area’s biggest suburbs are Metairie and Kenner and the nightlife is more so influenced by the city of New Orleans itself as the Lake forms the city’s northern boundary.
If you have not already filled your itinerary with plans for the city, consider taking a short trip to Lake Pontchartrain to not only see the longest bridge in the world, but also to take in a fun and relaxing day of boating and enjoying the warmth of the hot and steamy Louisiana sunshine.