As Audubon Park is rather big and quiet, there is some wildlife, specially, birds; yo may spot some nesting colonies of Heron above the small river running through the park or see Ibis (picture 1) gliding above you. The squirrels are not very shy here (picture 2), and the kids may love to get as close as possible, but I would watch out if they want to get too close to the ducks with their beautiful colours (picture 3) or want to have a close look at the turtles (picture 4): I did not see alligator in the waters, but you never know!
If you are lucky you may watch the heron at hard work, building their nests (picture 5)
More birds in the Audubon travelogue
Audubon Park is open daily from 5am - 10pm
Access with streetcar (St Charles line)
A ride in the St Charles streetcar line takes you far beyond the Garden District to Audubon Park, 6 miles from the city centre; this park, named after a naturalist is a former plantation. Now it is a beautiful quiet place where joggers, walkers, skaters and families like to go around, or visit the zoo, located near the Mississippi which borders the park on one side.
If you are a bit fed up of all the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, it is a very pleasant place to have a rest, and walk around, look at the people and at the wildlife which is quite important here, apparently.
There are also some nice flowers like this Iris (picture 1), and walking randomly in the park you may like to look at the huge trees (picture 2), the open spaces covered with lawn (picture 3) or look at people on roller skates, skate boards or bikes (picture 4). Most people are walking on the small road in the park, but you can go on the grass, and there are places inviting for a rest on the grass (picture 5).
Audubon Park is open daily from 5am - 10pm
Access with streetcar (St Charles line)
I'd heard a friend who lived in NOLA for a while talking about going for a run in Audubon Park, so naturally I had to see what that was about. From the French Quarter you take the St. Charles street car to the Park, which is right next to Tulane University. When you get off the street car, you are at the main park entrance, where you will see a beautiful fountain that has drinking fountains on 2 sides so you can fill your water bottle :)
A paved loop trail circles the park between St. Charles St. and the Zoo. But you can also go around the zoo and get to the riverfront section of the park and look at the muddy Mississippi.
Lots of beautiful trees in the park, and tons of birds on the inside of the loop on the north side. You can't miss them. I don't know what kind they are - looked kind of like swans, but they were in trees.
Not knowing what was there, I found it a great exploration.
located in the garden district audubon park is on the site of colonial era plantation-de-bore. audubon park is named after the famous ornithologist john james audubon who once lived in new orleans. the large city park is home to the audubon zoo, aquarium, insectarium, and a public golf course. a very nice park to visit in new orleans.
Two of my grandchildren (now 8) returned for the weekend to NO. They stayed in their "damaged" home (they are in school in Houston where they live with family). We were going to go to one of the Mardi Gras parades but it was postponed due to rain (which would have required more police and other logistical support which was not available. The city could not get financial sponsors). And then it did not rain! We could have gone to the Zoo which is open weekends and holidays, but the girls' adjacent park was missed even more. There are now many more species of duck and geese in the lagoon (and too much algae)! The park was not heavily damaged and golf is being played. During the week various groups use some of the grounds for "aid fairs". Of course the St. Charles streetcar will not be running for many months but there is a bus that runs on its route for transport from downtown.There is however no shuttle from St. Charles to the zoo(as there was pre-K), so it is a good mile walk through the park from the bus. If you have a car there is parking around the park (except when Tulane and Loyola are having classes). Otherwise you may be able to afford and find a taxi. My favorite restaurant recommendation for the Riverbend (Cafe Nino) is open as are a few of the places in that area, but you will have to contend with"repair workers" during lunch hours during the week. There are no carts or concessions open, a picnic and fluid (yesterday it hit 80F) are intelligent. If nothing else it is a good place to relax or walk (I do not know of a bike rental place). How about going to Toys'R"Us and buying rollerblades or a skateboard? This is the best I can do as a bulletin.
Katrina Update: Audubon Nature Institute reopened its historic, premier public golf course on Saturday, November 5, 2005. The course will be open for play on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until March 2006, when it will be open seven days a week. Audubon Golf Course is the only public golf course to reopen in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. Please note that the Audubon Golf Clubhouse remains closed and currently is in use by the New Orleans Fire Department as a temporary fire station.
There is more than just the zoo to Audubon Park.
This park is privately owned - it is not a national, state or city park. The entrance on St. Charles Avenue designed by John Charles Olmsted was built by the Audubon Commission over three quarters of a century ago. In 1884 this park was the site of the World’s Fair including a building covering 30 acres. That building dominated the park until it was destroyed by a hurricane.
The Audubon Park Golf Course opened in 1898 and the renovated Audubon Park Golf Course opened in Fall, 2002. It earned the accolades of Golf Digest Magazine as the highest rated golf course over a hundred years old in the country.
There is also a lagoon (which in those days was used for swimming and then for paddle boats), a roadway which is now a jogging track, and trees including over 1000 live oak trees. A carousel, two playgrounds near St. Charles Ave, the Audubon Tea Room, the Newman Bandstand have all been aspects of the front of Audubon Park. Another playground is in the Master Plan and there are picnic areas and places for informal recreation..
In addition to tennis courts and ballfields, the City of New Orleans built the Whitney Young Pool in 1998 in the area where the original Audubon Natatorium existed. The Audubon Commission completed the demolition of the old stable structures and the area is now cleared and graded, ready for the new stables to be constructed by Friends of the Stables in Audubon Park.
Audubon Park is a preferred location in the city for relaxation and recreation. It contains The Audubon Zoo, three lagoons, gardens and a golf course. The scenery is really nice with the moss-draped Spanish oaks and lushly landscaped lawns. Bike riders and joggers will find the dirt and paved trails quite enjoyable.
Situated on the lower ground at the Aquarium is the Bird Park. Although there were a few of them, the birds are visitor-friendly. Visitors could also find tortoise, eel and a variety of fish in the ponds at the open space here.
I saw a picture of this turtle fountain with a child sitting on its back in my tour book. I use the Eyewitness Tour Books and they have excellent photographs. If you have read any of my other pages you will notice I like turtles and collect them for souvineers and like to take pictures of them. So this fountain caught my attention and I went out in seach of it. It is located in Audubon Park. The park is directly across the street from Trulan University and is on the St. Charles Streetcar line.
The park is beautiful. It is very lush with lots of large oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from them. Also The Audubon Zoo is located in the park.
To my surprise the tour book did not really show the entire fountain. The child on the turtle was only a small part of the fountain. Here is the actual entire fountain. It is very pretty. And after a long afternoon of walking it gave us a great place to rest for a few moments and people watch. As we sat here we noticed the fountain was used by many people with dogs. They let their dogs climb into the fountain and cool off from the heat.
I walked from the Magazine Street side of the park to the St. Charles side in front of Loyola and Tulane Universities. It took me about 20 minutes. The park is filled with giant oak trees, ponds, a golf course and bike and jogging trails. There were plenty of people there walking their dogs and just hanging out.