As a city built on top of wetlands and defined by the snaking Mississippi River, New Orleans boasts plenty of lush landscapes tucked among its urban attractions. When you need a respite from the French Quarter crowds or a place to escape the Southern humidity, here are our favorite parks in town.
New Orleans City Park
Spanning more than 1,300 acres (526 hectares) and founded in 1854, this is one of the largest and oldest parks in the US. There’s enough here to make a whole day of your visit, from boating on Big Lake to getting cultured at the New Orleans Museum of Art. It's also one of the city’s most kid-friendly places thanks to an antique carousel, miniature train rides, and Storyland amusement park.
This Uptown oasis is a favorite escape for local athletes, with a shaded jogging path, horse stables, soccer field, and even a golf club. Pack a picnic and take refuge from the midday sun under alleys of mature live oaks, or connect with wildlife at the Audubon Zoo, located inside the park.
Louis Armstrong Park
A short walk from the French Quarter, this urban park offers a quiet break from the crowds plus a chance to connect with New Orleans’ musical heritage. Browse the placards and statues at Congo Square, a historic gathering place for enslaved Africans and one of the birthplaces of jazz. Thursday evenings during the fall and spring, check out the free Jazz in the Park concert series here.
Woldenberg Riverfront Park
Soak up some of the best views in New Orleans on a stroll along this promenade that hugs the mighty Mississippi. It's a popular spot for picnics and impromptu Frisbee games and a great place to catch your breath after a visit to the Audubon Aquarium. Many Mississippi River cruises depart from the docks nearby.
To truly escape the urban bustle, head a bit farther downriver to this inviting greenway along the banks of the Mississippi. Dog-friendly trails are popular with local pet owners and joggers, making it a great way to get in some morning exercise before a day of indulging in beignets, seafood gumbo, and other Creole specialties.