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6303 Chef Menteur Highway, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70126, United States
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Forum Posts

Nature's wonders around New Orleans

by phantasm72

Hello all
Ill be in New Orleans for a week at the end of November for a conference.
Im not a big city person, but do plan to visit the more famous sites of the city, but I was wondering if someone could give some recommendations for things to see in the general area.
Im big into the outdoors and wilderness, so Im curious to know if there are any national parks, bayous, forests or beaches that would be recommended. Im always interested in wildlife and scenic beauty, and just unique natural wonders.
I will have a vehicle, so getting off the beaten track wont be a problem.

Re: Nature's wonders around New Orleans

by bocmaxima

You may want to do a swamp tour. That's the best for nature you can get at this point.

http://www.nps.gov/jela/
The Barataria Preserve in Marrero would probably be your best bet. Marrero is on the West Bank, which will require crossing the bridge over the river.
Not a national park, but it is, effectively, a preserve: http://www.fws.gov/bayousauvage/
The Irish Bayou region out there is nice because it's so close to the city but almost totally undeveloped. Not much for visitor facilities though.

The nearest beach to New Orleans is in Mississippi or at Grand Isle. Last I heard, both were closed. Louisiana really isn't a beach state.

How far are you willing to drive? The Bayou Teche region is really kind of the center of Acadiana history, and that's a good waterway to follow if you're interested in that. Very pretty too.

Re: Nature's wonders around New Orleans

by DianeDevine

There are numerous things to keep you busy. Just north of New Orleans lies Lake Pontchartrain and the greater northshore communities where nature is bountiful. Enjoy a swamp tour (Honey Island Swamp Tours)in Slidell, or if you want to venture out on your own, there are walking trails in the Honey Island Wildlife Refuge (state) or the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)both just north of Slidell and in neighboring Picayune MS is a lovely Arboretum to meander through. West of Slidell in LaCombe is the Big Branch NWR with a nice center and some weekends they do free boat tours. (Contact them through the NWR website) Abita Springs on to the west is a quaint little town settled due to the mineral spring water, interesting little area with a Carnivorous plant trail. And then south of Abita is the Nature Center great trails there too.
Mississippi beaches would be about 1 1/2 hour drive - scenic route would be to take US 90 through the marshes of the Pearl River and through the little towns of Bay St. Louis and Waveland (ground zero for Katrina) enjoy the bay or head on 10 more minutes to the gulf. By the end of Nov. the waters will be to chilly to swim but you could still enjoy the gulf breeze.

Re: Nature's wonders around New Orleans

by dustmon

Dont forget Audubon Park---lots of open spaces and other fun things to do right at a bend in the river.....gorgeous and close in...
www.auduboninstitute.org

dustmon

Re: Nature's wonders around New Orleans

by phantasm72

Thanks for all the suggestions guys
Leaving next week, so if anyone has any more suggestions, nows the time :o)

Travel Tips for New Orleans

Street Musicians

by Tom_Fields

New Orleans has a culture and way of life based upon improvisation, resourcefulness, and blending diverse things together. That's why jazz was invented here. The French Quarter is full of street performers--many surprisingly good. Impromptu shows have always been part of life here. And if you enjoy the music, then tip the players. The brass band that I saw here, on Bourbon St near Canal St, was awesome. So was the man on the drums, made from plastic five-gallon buckets.

We Finally Got There

by keeweechic

New Orleans was to be the highlight of our trip. Other than our first night away, it was the only place we actually made hotel reservations. With 'Isidore' about to hit the coast, we did our best to keep to our schedule and arrive the night we planned. Unfortunately that was not to be due to flood waters in New Orleans and the highway. The next day we tried again and finally got there.
. It was gray and overcast the afternoon we arrived but the next day, other than a few places still closed or boarded up, you would never have known the French Quarter had been under water. The weather was gorgeous. Unfortunately though, we lost a day and although we crammed a lot in, we missed seeing the Garden District and other areas.
.

Parcourir le Vieux Carré...

by Yantsu

Parcourir le Vieux Carré (French Quarter) pour son architecture magnifique et ses balcons fleuris et vous procurer un calendrier des spectacles de blues et de jazz. Aussi, évidemment, savourer la bouffe Cajun et Créole. Ayayaye, c'est chaud...mais délicieux. Y a plusieurs bons restos typiques : Olivier, Pattout's Cajun Cabin. La musique!! Les postes (radio) de jazz et les bands que l'on trouve partout. Les musiciens dans la rue.

Swamp Tour

by emilienoelle

The swamp tours are kind of touristy and can run a bit on the expensive side, but if you're never been to the swamp or seen a bayou they really are unique and worth seeing. Usually you will take a bus from the French Quarter (the driver will talk the whole time, asking annoying trivia questions) which will drop you off at a bayou where there will a boat waiting. The boat takes you out into the bayou where you will see amazing trees covered with moss, alligators, beautiful birds, shrimp boats, and local people not just fishing but swimming in the water with the alligators! Schedules and prices are available at all hotels as well as at the kiosks by the river front in the French Quarter. Some hotels may even be able to sign you up for a swamp tour via their concierge service.

Necropolis of New Orleans

by acemj

The cemeteries in New Orleans are referred to as "the cities of the dead" because of the above ground tombs. They are built this way because the city is actually below river level and the ground is too wet to bury the dead. The most popular cemetery is probably St. Louis Cemetery #1 because of the people who are buried there. Some of The Big Easy's most influential citizens are buried here, most in ornate and beautifully constructed tombs. Perhaps the most famous inhabitant is the famous Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. I skipped #1 and instead visited St. Louis Cemetery #3, which is pictured here. It's located on Esplanade Avenue outside the French Quarter just outside City Park. There are four main cemeteries in the city that are worth visiting: St. Louis #1-3 and Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District. It is suggested that you visit the cemeteries during the day and with a tour group because of some safey concerns, but St. Louis #3 and Lafayette are fine to visit alone during the day.

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