There is so much going on in New Orleans that it can seem nearly impossible to decide what to do. Instead of heading to the bar or the French Quarter, why not instead get out of the house and into some clothes you don’t mind getting a bit dirty while you check out one of the many breathtaking parks that our great city is host to?

New Orleans is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the area, there’s no doubt about it.  There is no better place to reflect than amidst nature.  Or if reflecting isn’t how you relax, there is also no better place to read or work on some writing, sketching, or painting than in one of the city’s many parks.  There are many, but the two most magnificent are the ones that I will address in this piece.  They are Audubon Park and New Orleans City Park.

City Park Bayou Bridge. Photo courtesy of Infrogmation, Flickr

The larger of these, New Orleans City Park, located in Mid-city and is home to many different art installations, restaurants, the New Orleans Museum of Art (as shown in last week’s installment of this series) and of course a great deal of natural green space. This 1300 acre park is one of a kind. With plenty of walking paths, disc golf, paddle boats for rentals, and a small amusement park for the kids, this park has something for everyone. If personal reflection is your cup of tea, be sure to take a stroll through the New Orleans Museum of Art’s free Sculpture Garden!  Whether on a date or alone, the Sculpture Garden is a beautiful outdoor space that is uniquely New Orleans, yet also global in its collection, which is immensely appropriate, given that New Orleans truly is a global melting pot. So whether it’s for a game of disc golf with your friends, a paddle boat ride with your kids, or even a volunteering day with your Church, you will be able to find it at City Park.

Photo by Chad Carson

The other major park worth mentioning is perhaps the nationally (even internationally) more well-known of the two.  Audubon Park is located in Uptown New Orleans directly across St. Charles Avenue from Loyola University and Tulane University.  This beautiful park is host to golf courses, gorgeous biking and walking trails, and of course, the famous Audubon Zoo. One thing that truly sets this park apart from all others is just how many spaces there are to just sit and read. Whether one is people watching (as they walk and bike the main trail around the park), duck watching, or just looking out onto the water from one of the park’s many gazebos, there are many shady spots to relax and delve into a book, an artistic venture, or even into self-reflection. From groups of people having impromptu yoga classes to classes of students doing field study for an ecology class at one of the nearby Universities, there is always something interesting and something peaceful to be observed in this wonderful park.

Whatever you end up doing this weekend, no matter which park you decide to frequent, don’t forget to keep on drinking water!  No matter which attraction at City Park you end up checking out, be kind! Be New Orleans!  Lastly, don’t forget to check out the events section on our website for many other good ideas on how to get the most out of your weekend.

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