New Orleans is known for the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, but visit one of the city’s parks and you’ll find peace and quiet in an urban oasis. Home to activities, attractions, festivals and culture, there are plenty of parks worth exploring in the Crescent City. Learn more about the top parks in New Orleans below.
You could spend three days just exploring New Orleans City Park—and you’d still have more to see. With attractions like the Louisiana Children’s Museum, Besthoff Sculpture Garden and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, it’s fun for the whole family any day of the week. City Park spans a whopping 1,300 acres and was established over 150 years ago. Traverse one of the many trails and pathways, feed the ducks at Big Lake, hop in a canoe and explore the Couturie Forest, take the dog to City Park or simply relax amongst the quiet nature of the park. See here for more on City Park and all its facets.
Located in Uptown New Orleans across from the campuses of Tulane and Loyola universities, Audubon Park is an urban oasis. The park is known for its beautiful oak trees, lagoons and lush greenspaces. Take to the 1.8-mile paved loop for a run, or hike on up to The Fly for a picnic.Pick up a round of golf or take the kids to the Audubon Zoo. The park is perfect for catching some shade on a hot summer day.
Crescent Park is a 1.4-mile, 20-acre urban park flanking the Mississippi River. Great for catching downtown views, the park is in the Bywater, a neighborhood near the French Quarter. Bike paths, a dog run and multi-use pavilions are highlights of the park. The smooth, linear path also serves as an ideal spot for those on rollerblades.
Woldenberg Park is the spot for Mississippi Riverfront views. Catch a breeze while walking from one edge of the French Quarter to another, ending at the park. Named after philanthropist Malcolm Woldenberg, the Riverfront was opened to the public during the 1984 World's Fair. Its floodwalls, warehouses and industrial docks have been replaced by docks for steamboat and dinner cruises. Accessible wide, bricked walkways wind through a lush landscape. The park is also home to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and frequently hosts festivals, including French Quarter Fest.
Named after jazz legend Louis Armstrong, Armstrong Park sits just steps away from the French Quarter in the Tremé neighborhood. Sculptures, duck ponds and landscaping make the park a great place for learning some of New Orleans’ history. Congo Square, the site at which enslaved Africans and free people of color would gather, still serves as a spot for community drumming on Sunday afternoons. The Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts frequently hosts touring performers, including dance companies and operas. You’ll also find a festival or two throughout the year at Armstrong Park.
Palmer Park may only be 5.6 acres, but it’s a favorite amongst locals. Located right off the St. Charles streetcar line, the park features a family-friendly playground and hosts monthly art fairs. It’s perfect for a picnic, a stroll or just a moment of relaxation in your day.
For more parks, playgrounds and recreation spots, check out the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission here.