Renowned for its vibrant music scene, exhilarating nightlife, and distinctive cuisine, New Orleans also has a high number of recreational parks, squares, and green spaces.
These outdoor areas attract locals and visitors and are often filled with amenities such as playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, and multi-purpose fields for baseball and soccer. It’s common to be exploring and come across an array of public performances, especially from local musicians.
1. Annunciation Square Park
You can find Annunciation Square Park in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District, which was historically one of the most exclusive residential neighborhoods in the area. It wasn’t designated for public use until the 1850s and the current design that you see now was is by a local firm in 1989. Covering one large city block, you’ll find the park to be filled with several features and amenities for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Some aspects include a recreation center, a basketball court, a playground, and a designated picnic area. You can utilize the multi-use field for a friendly game of frisbee, catch, and other fun group activities.
Annunciation Square Park, 800 Race St, New Orleans, LA 70130, Phone: 504-658-3095
2. Audubon Park
Millions of people visit Audubon Park to relax and enjoy recreational activities while they are in New Orleans. Prior to it being opened to the public in 1898, it was the site of the 1884 World Cotton Centennial. Today, you’ll be able to enjoy so much such as picnicking, walking, running, rollerblading, and cycling on a regular basis; there’s a 1.8-mile paved loop available for shared use. It’s also a wonderful place to host private events or attend public events since it’s surrounded with expansive green space, stunning lagoons, and beautiful towering oak trees. You’ll also find the Audubon Zoo and the Audubon Trail Golf Course within the walls of the park.
Audubon Park, 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70118, Phone: 504-861-2537
3. Brechtel Park
Spanning 100 acres, Brechtel Park is a beloved urban outdoor space that generations of New Orleans residents and visitors have enjoyed. There’s much for you to see and do while you’re there; one of the most popular activities is bird watching since the surrounding of native trees and vegetations attracts several residential and migratory species. Brechtel Park is also a stop on the Barataria Loop of America’s Wetlands Birding Trail. There are playgrounds, a toddler play area, campsites for the scouting community, a baseball field, designated picnic spaces, event shelters with bathroom facilities, and many more amenities which you can make use of.
Brechtel Park, 4401 Lennox Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70131, Phone: 504-364-4013
4. Coliseum Square
Named after the initial plan they had to build a Roman-style coliseum which never came to fruition, Coliseum Square is a three-acre park that has proven to be a fun outdoor space for the entire family. The square is a part of the Lower Garden District, which in 1972 was added on to the National Register of Historic Places. Within the square, you will see paved walking paths, a fish pond, benches, night lighting, and oak and China trees. Be sure to spend time exploring the surrounding district which houses a number of restaurants, boutique stores, bars, and cafes.
Coliseum Square, 1708 Coliseum St, New Orleans, LA 70130
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5. Congo Square
Often considered the birthplace of American music, Congo Square can be found on the southern side of Armstrong Park. There is a lot of historic value there as the square was once an open space where blacks, both freed and slaved, would gather for meetings and open markets. Additionally, when they gathered here, they would also celebrate with African drumming and dancing - an aspect that would play a substantial role in the development of jazz in New Orleans and the rest of the nation. You may be surprised to see local voodoo practitioners gathering at
Congo Square, 835 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116, Phone: 504-658-3200
6. Crescent Park
© Crescent Park
Crescent Park is one of the newest additions to the many green spaces scattered throughout New Orleans. You’ll find the park right on the Bywater riverfront, stretching for over a mile alongside the Mississippi River. You’ll be able to take in stunning views of the water, making it the perfect place to sit on the benches and simply watch the beauty of the river floating by. The paved path is often busy in the evenings and on weekends as people head out for a bit of fresh air, to take a stroll, go on a bike ride, or just relax with friends and family.
Crescent Park, Crescent Park Trail, New Orleans, LA 70117, Phone: 504-636-6400
7. Alcee Fortier Park
Alcee Fortier Park is named after Alcee Fortier, a Creole scholar and philanthropist who once owned the property the park now sits on. Before being established as a public park in 1926, the plot of land also served as an elementary school for many years until the 1920s and was also named after Fortier. Today, friendly hand-painted mosaic signs can be seen guiding you through the park while colorful sculptures liven up the family-friendly outdoor space. Some of its distinct features include towering oak trees, dwarf palmettos, benches, lush grassy areas, and stone chess tables among other things.
Alcee Fortier Park, 3100 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119
8. Fulton Street Square
Fulton Street has been entertaining people for several years, dating all the way back to the 1984 World’s Fair. Even today, it is one of the greatest entertainment destinations in New Orleans, housing a number of boutique retail stores, chic restaurants, fun bars, cozy music clubs, and much more. One of the main features of Fulton Street is the 25,000-square-foot Fulton Square, which is an outdoor event space that has something exciting going on throughout the year. For example, if you’re there in October, you’ll be able to attend the New Orleans Seafood Festival which brings together live music, family fun, and of course, deliciously fresh seafood.
Address: 228 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70115
Fulton Street Square, New Orleans Hotels
9. Jackson Square
Located right in the heart of the French Quarter, Jackson Square is a National Historic Landmark and one of the most recognizable places in all of New Orleans. Over two million visitors flock to the 2½-acre space every year as it is the site of several city events and celebrations. You’ll find a bronze statue of Andrew Jackson at the center of the square, and surrounding it is a mixture of residential and commercial property. You’ll come across restaurants, shops, bars, cafes, museums, and other entertainment venues. One of the square’s most unique features is it being an open-air hub for artists to display their process as well as their work.
Jackson Square, 751 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, Phone: 504-658-3200
10. Joe W. Brown Memorial Park
The Joe W. Brown Memorial Park is a 163-acre open space that was donated by Dorothy Dorsett Brown in 1959 in honor of her husband who it’s named after. She wanted the land to give people the opportunity to enjoy and educate themselves on their beautiful natural surroundings. You can explore the lagoon, which is surrounded by native vegetation, willow oaks, and cypress trees. There are paved pathways you can take a nature walk on. Other aspects include an interpretive center, a planetarium, and the Louisiana Audubon Nature Center. There are several sports fields dedicated to football, baseball, track, as well as tennis courts which you’re invited to make use of.
Address: 5601 Read Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127, Phone: 504-658-3080
11. Lafayette Square
© Nenad Basic/stock.adobe.com
Located in the Central Business District in Downtown New Orleans, Lafayette Square was originally known as Place Gravier. You can find the gorgeous square amidst the former City Hall, the historical Gallier Hall, and other great attractions. The square has a rich history having been the site of important performances, concerts, and inaugurations among other things. It’s a great place to relax, people watch, and spend some time with friends and family. During the summer, there’s a free concert series which features famed local acts, while in the fall, people come from far and wide to attend their Fall Blues Music Festival.
Address: 602 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, Phone: 504-658-3200
12. Lafitte Greenway
The Lafitte Greenway is a public green space that stretches for 2.6 miles from Armstrong Park all the way to City Park. The greenway and its multi-use path connect all surrounding neighborhoods, making it a beautiful place for the community to come together and enjoy themselves. The pedestrian and bicycle trail can be seen filled with people having a good time and can get crowded on evenings and weekends. Other aspects also include lush green spaces with native plant meadows and over 500 shade trees, outdoor fitness parks, new recreation fields, and basketball courts. It’s a beautiful space for leisure and recreation and shouldn’t be missed when you’re in New Orleans.
Address: St Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70112, Phone: 504-462-0645
13. Louis Armstrong Park
Located just a stone’s throw away from the French Quarter, Louis Armstrong Park is a wonderful outdoor urban space which honors jazz legend, Louis Armstrong. The public park attracts people of all ages because it is just such a wonderful place to spend time and take a tranquil break from the lively surroundings. There’s so much history within the park; look for the iconic arched entrance, that has stood tall for years, as well as Congo Square, which was once a meeting place for slaves. You’ll also be able to enjoy lots of open spaces, lush green picnic areas, several duck ponds, and a number of sculptures scattered throughout the park.
Address: 835 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70116, Phone: 504-658-3200
14. Mickey Markey Park
Mickey Markey Park is a cozy little green space that can be found in New Orleans’ eclectic Bywater neighborhood. Being one of the only outdoor recreational places in an area surrounded by the Industrial Canal and Faubourg Marigny, it is highly valued by the people there. Just getting there is a fantastic way to explore the culture; you will pass Creole cottages and commercial structures filled with the works of local artists. The park is a spot for the entire community to gather and have a good time amongst themselves and the world of local musicians and performers.
Address: 3301 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117, Phone: 504-658-3052
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15. New Orleans City Park
City Park is one of the oldest parks in the entire nation and has been one of New Orleans’ largest outdoor attractions since 1854. The 1,300-acre green space is visited by millions of people annually, all of whom come to enjoy the stunning atmosphere filled with vendors, performances, and the sight of picturesque moss canopies and iconic oak trees. Other aspects include beautiful trails and walking paths, themed gardens, an amusement park, and much more. Everything there is kid friendly, but little ones especially enjoy playing in the storybook-themed playground and seeing giant sculptures of some of their most beloved characters.
New Orleans City Park
, 5 Victory Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70124, Phone: 504-488-2896
16. New Orleans Botanical Garden
A hundred and sixty years in the making, the City Park within the New Orleans Botanical Garden is a 1,300-acre outdoor oasis that is unique and magical. It is one of the oldest urban parks in the nation and is filled with picturesque moss canopies, historic oaks, and a number of amenities to make your visit memorable. One of the park’s main features is the stunning botanical garden; other aspects include an open-air Besthoff Sculpture Garden, a multi-purpose path, a number of tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course. Be sure to stop by and see the one-of-a-kind antique carousel which has been around for over a hundred years.
Located in: Oscar J Tolmas Visitor Center
New Orleans Botanical Garden, 5 Victory Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119, Phone: 504-483-9488
17. Palmer Park
Located in the Garden District in Uptown, Palmer Park is a nearly six acre park that is full of lush greenery and beautiful landscapes. It is a family friendly open space that has a playground which toddlers and younger children love spending time at. One of its main features is the park’s famed monthly art fairs; this event attracts local artists from the area and gives visitors the opportunity to pick up on some amazing pieces to take back with them. Palmer Park is also home to an array of concerts, performances, festivals, and tours which are scheduled on a regular basis throughout the year.
Address: S Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118, Phone: 504-658-3200
18. McBurnett Knox Playground
Formerly known as Pontchartrain Park, the McBurnett Knox Playground has been a place of safe sport and play for many years. The park was renamed in its recent years in honor of McBurnett “Mac” Knox Jr., a man who served the neighborhood for over forty years. He was the first to bring organized team sports to the playground, bringing together kids of all ages to participate in baseball, softball, basketball, football, and track and field initiatives. All of the amenities available are completely open to the public and include off-street parking, fenced playground with modern equipment, lighted baseball fields, outdoor basketball courts, and several tennis courts.
Address: 6500 Press Drive, New Orleans, LA 70126
19. Spanish Plaza
Spanish Plaza was originally known as Eads Plaza and was initially supposed to memorialize an engineer who improved the navigability of the Mississippi River. Spain dedicated the plaza to the City of New Orleans in 1976 to commemorate their common historical past and as a sign of their growing relationship into the future. The main feature of Spanish Plaza is a fountain which can be found right in the middle of it; the fountain is surrounded by seals from many of Spain’s provinces. You’ll find the plaza within close proximity to famed New Orleans’ attractions such as the Riverwalk Marketplace & Shopping Center, the Aquarium of the Americas, Harrah’s Casino, and the World Trade Center, making it the perfect place to stop at for a break while exploring the downtown area.
, 2 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
20. The Clouet Gardens
The Clouet Gardens has spent much of its past being a vacant lot that was ignored and unused by the neighborhood for years. The grassy lot is owned by the Housing Authority of New Orleans; they, along with the Bywater neighborhood, chose to make it their own and convert the blighted space into a neat and unique little park. You can find the gardens on the namesake Clouet Street as a corner of lush green land where friends and family safely gather. Clouet Gardens is filled with appealing aspects like unique murals. It’s common to see people gather around a number of performances, concerts, and community events throughout the year.
The Clouet Gardens, 707 Clouet Street, New Orleans, LA 70117
21. Washington Square Park
The history of Washington Square Park goes back long before it was named as such after the Washington 141st Field Artillery Regiment. Its rich past was documented as far back as the early 1800s when it was a part of one of New Orleans’ earliest suburbs, Faubourg Marigny. Today, you can find the park on Elysian Fields, anchoring Frenchmen Street, which is renowned for its incredible music venues. The park is extremely tranquil and it’s common to see people sitting under its shade, friends picnicking in the lush grassy areas, or watching the many local musicians and street artists who perform there.
Address: 700 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117, Phone: 504-658-3000
22. Woldenberg Riverfront Park
Woldenberg Riverfront Park was established and opened to the public right before the 1984 World’s Fair. It is named after philanthropist Malcolm Woldenberg and has become the perfect spot for people to rest and take in some beautiful views after a day of exploring the nearby French Quarter. There are ample benches and picnicking sites for you to relax in, people watch, and view the ships floating by on the river. You can also go on a walk, jog, or bike ride on the paved path winding by the Mississippi River. It’s not uncommon to see local street performers and musicians serenading visitors in the evenings and on weekends; the park also houses the main stages of the annual French Quarter Festival every April.
Address: 1 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, Phone: 504-565-3033
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