The 10 Best Parks in New Orleans

Kaylee Giacomini

New Orleans is known for its cuisine, rich culture, unique architecture, and nightlife. But did you know that they have one of the largest city parks in the country? NOLA is home to thousands of acres of parks waiting to be explored. Some are compact oases as small as a city block, while others are lush botanical escapes on the banks of the river with babbling streams and ancient oak trees. Check out some of my favorites for when I need a break from city life.

City Park, Audubon Park, Levee Dog Park (Unofficial leashless dog park), Louis Armstrong Park, Crescent Park, Washington Artillery Park, Lafitte Greenway, Woldenberg Park, Ponchartrain Park, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

  • City Park in New Orleans, United States

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      City Park is the largest park in New Orleans at 1,300 acres; almost double the size of New York’s Central Park. There are plenty of activities to do in City Park such as exploring the New Orleans Museum of Art and the New Orleans Botanical Garden. You can take out a swan boat on Big Lake, rent a kayak or canoe at their Bayou St. John access, and enjoy miles of walking paths all over the park. City Park is also an idyllic spot for a picnic in the city. Grab beignets from their on-site branch of Cafe Du Monde or order a plate of crawfish from a nearby restaurant and enjoy.

  • Audubon Park in New Orleans, United States

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      Audubon is the second largest park in New Orleans at 350 acres. It is located Uptown, is lined with lavish mansions, and borders both Tulane and Loyola Universities. Best of all, it’s an easy streetcar ride from the French Quarter. The park has an expansive foot path, but you can also go on horseback or borrow one of the city’s blue bikes. Audubon Park is also right next to the Audubon Zoo, an impressive place to check out animals right on the banks of the Mississippi.

  • Levee Dog Park (Unofficial leashless dog park) in New Orleans, United States

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      If you continue past Audubon Zoo towards the river, you will find the Dog Levee and the Levee Walk. The Dog Levee is a large greenspace right on the banks of the river and is connected to another lush greenspace called the Fly. This is one of my favorite parks primarily because of the Levee Walk. This path stretches for miles along the Mississippi and is one of my best places to go for long runs in the city. I also love taking a picnic blanket and book to the Fly to enjoy the peaceful escape and watch tugboats dock.

  • Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans, United States

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      Armstrong Park is an escape right outside of the French Quarter dedicated to the jazz mogul Louis Armstrong and his genre of music in general. The park often welcomes arts markets and live performers. Aside from being a great place to take a break from bustling city life, it is home to the Mahalia Jackson theater which hosts impressive live performers and plays.

  • Crescent Park in New Orleans, United States

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      Crescent Park is a stretch of greenspace on the banks of the Mississippi. It is located above the French Quarter in an ideal location to see the downtown city skyline. The linear park stretches for over a mile and includes dog walking & running paths, pavilions, and the entrance is conveniently located near the popular French Market and Cafe Du Monde.

  • Washington Artillery Park in New Orleans, United States

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    • kaylee

      Washington Artillery Park is one of the smallest parks on this list, but it is certainly impressive for only being the size of a city block. The Park is in the heart of the French Quarter in front of Jackson Square and overlooking the Mississippi. Walk through Jackson Square to enter and check out some of the impressive artists selling their work or the street performers that always gather a crowd. Some say that this is one of the most haunted places in the city. Skeptical? Check it out for yourself or take any French Quarter ghost tour to learn more.

  • Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans, United States

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      The Lafitte Greenway is a linear park in New Orleans stretching for nearly 3 miles from Louis Armstrong Park to Bayou St. John. It encompasses running and bike paths and is a great way to get from the French Quarter area to other parts of the city.

  • Woldenberg Park in New Orleans, United States

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    • kaylee

      Woldenberg Park is one of my current favorite places to go for a run in the city. The park stretches for a mile from the Riverfront Shopping Center to the Basin Street Wharf. It encompasses both the Audubon Aquarium and the Steamboat Natchez docking station, so there are plenty of things to do in this stretch. Woldenberg also has the best lookout point to see Jackson Square.

  • Ponchartrain Park in New Orleans, United States

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      Pontchartrain Park is in the Gentilly neighborhood on the banks of both a canal leading through the city and Lake Pontchartrain. It is about 1 square mile and encompasses a few lakes to hang out by, a golf course, a ballpark, and a historic neighborhood. Southern University at New Orleans also borders the park.

  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, United States

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      Jean Lafitte is an expansive national historic park just a half hour drive south of New Orleans into bayou country. The park is named after the notorious pirate Jean Lafitte who was known to explore the area. The park has plenty of wooded paths, including a boardwalk over a marsh teeming with wildlife to check out. While here, be sure to also visit the Barataria Preserve and the Chalmette Battlefield; both conveniently located within the park. This is a great place to take a kayak, airboat, or pontoon tour.