Although it’s hard to imagine running out of things to do within the New Orleans city limits, you may desire a day of relaxation exploring South Louisiana’s famous bayous and rich history . Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, named after the mysterious waterway smuggler himself, includes six sites in the area documenting the ecological, cultural, and political history of the region. For those interested in experiencing the wetlands firsthand, the 23,000 acre Barataria Preserve outside of Marrero provides walking trails and waterway canoe access. This is a great opportunity to see local flora and fauna up close and personal, including alligators and nutria, and the mild regional weather allows for year-round access.
If you’re a history buff, look no further than the Chalmette Battlefield, location of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, where General Andrew Jackson and his troops defeated in British in the final and greatest land victory of the War of 1812. Also on the site is the Chalmette National Cemetery, established in 1864 for Union troops following the Civil War, and including over 15,000 headstones. After spending the day walking around the battlefield you’ll welcome our tropical gardens where you can relax with your favorite beverage.
Jean Lafitte also includes three Acadian Cultural Centers, in Eunice, Thibodaux, and Lafayette, LA, chronicling local Cajun origins, culture, and history. While in the French Quarter, stop by the Jean Lafitte Visitor Center at 419 Decatur St. for free ranger-led riverfront history walks everyday at 9:30 AM or for more information on any of the other parks. Park Headquarters is available at (504) 589-3882.