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Explore the Magic of New Orleans City Park

Are you gearing up for your next city adventure? Make sure to include New Orleans City Park on your list. This expansive sanctuary of nature, art, and culture spans over 1,300 acres in the heart of the Big Easy.

This park is more than just a green space with a playground; it’s a dynamic, living museum that merges nature, art, and New Orleans’s rich cultural heritage into a captivating experience.

Ideal for solo travelers, families, or couples, City Park offers an unforgettable retreat. Here’s why visiting New Orleans City Park is one of the best things to do in New Orleans.

A Historical Gem

Founded in the mid-19th century, New Orleans City Park ranks as one of the oldest urban parks in the United States.

As you stroll through the park, you walk through history, surrounded by some of the world’s oldest and most magnificent live oak trees.

These majestic trees form a lush green canopy over the pathways and open spaces, creating a scene reminiscent of a fairy tale.

Take a photo under the famous Dueling Oak, where historical disputes were once resolved at dawn.

New Orleans City Park
©Stella from Around the World in 24 Hours

Art and Culture at Every Turn

You’ll discover the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), Louisiana’s premier fine arts institution, at the park’s center.

The museum features an extensive collection spanning several millennia and regularly hosts various temporary exhibitions that captivate any art lover.

Just a short walk from NOMA is the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, where contemporary sculptures by celebrated artists are set against verdant landscapes and reflective waters—a harmonious mix of art and nature.

Endless Family Entertainment

City Park is a wonderland for kids. Storyland, a delightful theme park within the park, brings fairy tales to life with whimsical playgrounds designed like giant storybooks and classic characters.

Close by, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park provides fun rides and attractions for all ages, including the beloved historic carousel, a park favorite.

A Playground for Adventurers

For active visitors, New Orleans City Park offers numerous activities.

Rent a bike to traverse the scenic pathways, play golf on one of the park’s 18-hole courses, or paddle across Big Lake.

Anglers can try their luck fishing for bass, catfish, and perch in the park’s lagoons. Tennis players can hit the courts at the park’s tennis center, which offers clay and hard courts.

A Nature Lover’s Paradise

The park’s botanical wonders will enchant nature enthusiasts. The New Orleans Botanical Garden, situated within the park, displays over 2,000 plant species across meticulously curated gardens and conservatories.

It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the aromatic scents of blooming flowers and exotic plants.

The garden also hosts educational programs and seasonal floral exhibitions to enhance your experience.

A Center for Festivals and Events

New Orleans City Park is a bustling venue throughout the year, hosting events and festivals that showcase the dynamic culture of New Orleans.

From the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience to the Celebration in the Oaks, a spectacular holiday light festival, the park offers an array of events for every interest and age.

Plan Your Trip to the New Orleans City Park

New Orleans City Park is conveniently reachable via public transit, bicycle, or car, and plenty of parking is available.

Entry to the park is free, although some attractions charge admission fees. Visit the park’s website for the most current event lineup, hours of operation, and ticket details.

Whether you visit for a few hours or a full day, New Orleans City Park will enrich your trip with joy, relaxation, and exploration.

How to Get to New Orleans City Park

Getting to New Orleans City Park is convenient whether using public transportation, driving, or cycling.

By Public Transportation:

  1. Bus: The most straightforward way to get to City Park via public transit is by bus. The RTA (Regional Transit Authority) operates several bus routes that stop near the park. Routes 48 (Canal-City Park) and 60 (Hayne) stop directly at the park, making them excellent options. Check the latest schedules on the RTA website or use a transit app for real-time updates.
  2. Streetcar: You can also take the Canal Streetcar Line, which ends at the “City Park/Museum” terminal right at the entrance to the park. This streetcar line provides a scenic route from downtown through Mid-City to the park.

By Car:

Driving Directions:

  • From Downtown New Orleans: Take Canal Street, heading north until you reach the park. The drive is straightforward and takes about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on traffic.
  • From the New Orleans Airport (MSY): Drive east on I-10 to the City Park/Metairie exit. Follow signs to City Park Avenue, and the park will be on your right.

Parking: New Orleans City Park has several free and paid parking areas. The largest free parking lot is located near the New Orleans Museum of Art, and there are numerous other spots around the park.

By Bicycle:

  • New Orleans has bike-friendly routes, and City Park is accessible via multiple bike paths. You can ride along the Lafitte Greenway, which directly connects to the park. There are bike racks scattered throughout the park, and you can also rent a bike through the city’s Blue Bikes share program.

On Foot:

  • If you’re staying in a nearby neighborhood like Mid-City or Lakeview, City Park is also pleasant and safe to reach on foot. Just follow the sidewalks and pedestrian paths leading to the park.

Frequently Asked Questions About New Orleans City Park

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What are the New Orleans City Park Opening times?

New Orleans City Park is open 24 hours a day. However, specific attractions within the park, like the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Botanical Gardens, and amusement parks, have their own operating hours, typically from morning to early evening.

How much does it cost to enter the New Orleans City Park?

There is no fee to enter New Orleans City Park itself; it is open to the public free of charge. However, some individual attractions and facilities within the park, such as the Botanical Garden, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, charge admission.

Can I bring my dog to the New Orleans City Park?

Yes, dogs are welcome in New Orleans City Park but must always be on a leash. The park also features a dog park where dogs can run off-leash. Please remember to clean up after your pet.

Are there any food options available in the New Orleans City Park?

Yes, there are several food options within New Orleans City Park. These range from casual cafés to more formal dining near the New Orleans Museum of Art. Additionally, there are often food trucks and concession stands open during major events and festivals.

How do I get to the New Orleans City Park using public transportation?

The most direct public transportation options to New Orleans City Park are the Canal Streetcar Line, which terminates at the park, and several bus routes, including the 48 and 60, which stop near various entrances. Check the RTA website for up-to-date schedules and routes.

Is there parking available at New Orleans City Park?

Yes, New Orleans City Park has numerous free and paid parking lots spread throughout the park. The largest parking areas are typically near major attractions like the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Botanical Gardens.

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