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Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve - BEST Places to Picnic

419 Decatur Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Phone
Park Headquarters
(504) 589-3882

WELCOME to Cane River Creole National Historical Park

Discover the treasures of south Louisiana at the six sites of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve---

The six sites of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve represent a treasure trove of south Louisiana's historical and cultural riches. People from nearly every country, ethnic group, language, and religion have come to the lower Mississippi River delta and left traces of their passing.

As author William Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." In south Louisiana, the places where history happened are around every corner and down every bayou, and the well-worn skills and traditions of previous generations are revered at the same time they're adapted for life in a new century.

Picnic areas are available in the park

Acadian Cultural Center - Lafayette

Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette tells stories of the origins, migration, settlement, and contemporary culture of the Acadians (Cajuns) and other area groups. Ranger programs, films, exhibits, and events share a variety of local traditions including music, story-telling, dance, and food, and explore the mysteries of the Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana's wildest place. 

Kids can explore the center and earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. The center bookstore sells music, books, and crafts. Admission to the center is free. Click here for directions and program listings for specific dates.

501 Fisher Road, Lafayette
337-232-0789
Open daily 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Closed December 25 and Mardi Gras.

Prairie Acadian Cultural Center - Eunice

Slow the pace a bit and waltz into the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice. Discover the life of Louisiana's prairie Cajuns through ranger programs, exhibits, artifacts, and films. Kids can explore the center and earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. The center's bookstore has books, music, children's books, and craft items on sale. Admission to the center is free. Click here for directions and program listings for specific dates.

250 West Park Avenue, Eunice
337-457-7700
Open Tuesday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Closed December 25.

Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center - Thibodaux

The lives of the Acadians (Cajuns) and others whose travels brought them to Louisiana�s bayous are featured at the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux. Recreation, clothing and home furnishings, religion, cuisine, and fishing are explored through exhibits, artifacts, videos, and films. 

A 200-seat theater is used for productions by the Thibodaux Playhouse, Inc., and other programs. Kids can explore the center and earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. The center's bookstore has books, music, children's books, and craft items on sale. Admission to the center and to most programs is free. Click here for directions and program listings for specific dates.

314 St. Mary Street, Thibodaux
985-448-1375
Open Monday-Tuesday 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Wednesday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Friday-Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Closed December 25 and Mardi Gras. 

Barataria Preserve

The Barataria Preserve outside Marrero offers a taste of Louisiana�s wild wetlands. The preserve�s 20,000 acres include bayous, swamps, marshes, forests, alligators, nutrias, and over 300 species of birds. Boardwalk and dirt trails wind through the preserve and waterways can be explored by canoe or kayak. 

Exhibits at the preserve visitor center highlight how the Mississippi River built Louisiana's wetlands, the national importance of the area, and the relation between the land and its people. Kids can earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. 

An environmental education center is used for field trips and special programs. The center's bookstore has books, music, children's books, and field guides on sale. Admission to the preserve is free. Click here for directions and program listings for specific dates.

6588 Barataria Boulevard, Marrero (near Crown Point)
504-589-2330 ext. 10
Open daily 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Closed December 25 and Mardi Gras.

Chalmette Battlefield

Just downriver from New Orleans in Chalmette is the site of the January 8, 1815, Battle of New Orleans: Chalmette Battlefield. Many people believe that this last great battle of the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain was unnecessary, since the treaty ending the war was signed in late 1814---but the war was not over.

The resounding American victory at the Battle of New Orleans soon became a symbol of a new idea: American democracy triumphing over the old European ideas of aristocracy and entitlement. General Andrew Jackson's hastily assembled army had won the day against a battle-hardened and numerically superior British force. Americans took great pride in the victory and for decades celebrated January 8 as a national holiday, just like the Fourth of July.

Explore the battlefield with a driving tour. Learn about the War of 1812 from visitor center film and exhibits. Kids can earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. The center's bookstore has books, period music, reproductions of items from the period, and children's books. Admission is free. Click here for directions and for program listings for specific dates.

8606 West St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette
504-281-0511
Open daily 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed December 25 and Mardi Gras.

French Quarter Visitor Center - New Orleans

Shortly after the French founded New Orleans in 1718, engineers drew up a formal city plan for Nouvelle Orleans---the area that we now call the French Quarter. The city expanded beyond those original boundaries to become one of the most important ports in the United States, and people arrived from all over the world, joining the early inhabitants of the area to create a distinct culture rich in food, music, and tradition.

The French Quarter Visitor Center shares the history and traditions of the city and the delta through visitor center exhibits and film. Kids can earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. The center's bookstore has music and books from history to cookbooks to children's stories. Admission is free. Click here for directions and for program listings for specific days.

419 Decatur Street, New Orleans
504-589-2636 ext. 1
Open daily 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Closed December 25 and Mardi Gras.

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