New Orleans has several beautiful parks worth visiting. Here are a few of our favorites. Remember to pack a bottle of water and walk slowly when visiting the parks during the hot August temperatures. Most parks close at dusk.
Audubon Park: Located between the Mississippi River and historic St Charles Avenue in Uptown New Orleans, Audubon Park has a golf course, the Audubon Zoo, playgrounds, a lagoon in the middle, and paved and unpaved jogging/bike paths. Audubon Park was the site of the 1884 World’s Fair. The live oaks at Audubon are some of the most gorgeous in the entire city. We highly recommend talking a walk on the paved path and hanging out at “The Fly”, a strip of land between the Zoo and the River which is a favorite crawfish boil/pickup soccer/frisbee/lunch spot for many New Orleanians and has one of the few public views of the River outside the French Quarter. Transportation: St Charles Streetcar or the 11 Magazine or 32 Leonidas bus routes.
City Park: City Park is utterly massive – over 1300 acres (for comparison, NYC’s Central Park is about 778 acres). Along with many beautiful live oaks, ponds, and lakes, the Park has many sports fields, a dog park, botanical gardens, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and a sculpture garden. While City Park was severely damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (the flooding caused the loss of over 2,000 trees), it has seen major improvements in the last few years since the storm. Our favorite new addition is an outpost of Morning Call – another place to get your beignet and coffee fix! Transportation: Canal Streetcar line (be sure to take the NOMA/City Park line)
Woldenberg Park/Moon Walk: Located between Canal and ending just before the wharves at the edge of the French Quarter, this is a great area to stroll along the mighty Mississippi River. You can walk there from the hotel.
Jackson Square: In the heart of the French Quarter, Jackson Square sits right in front of St. Louis Cathedral and is one of the most iconic symbols of our beloved city. With an interior featuring a statue of Andrew Jackson and artists and tarot card readers along the exterior perimeters, this is probably one of the best people-watching spots in all of New Orleans. Walking distance from the hotel.
Louis Armstrong Park: Louis Armstrong park is located at the edge of the Treme and across from Rampart Street. The park contains the Mahalia Jackson Theater, which hosts many opera and theatrical performances. Congo Square was located within the current footprint of the park. A long walk from the hotel for the adventurers among us, or a short cab ride.
Barataria Preserve (Jean Lafitte National Park): Leave it to Louisiana to have a national park named after a pirate. There are actually several different spots that make up the National Park. Our favorite is the Barataria Preserve, but you’ll need a car to get there as it’s located about 15 miles from New Orleans. The Preserve features several different walking paths through the swamp. If you’re lucky, you might get to see an alligator! Directions to the park and more information can be found here.