When Karen and I decided to head to New Orleans for our spring break trip the first images that popped into my mind were the French Quarter, Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, and of course the horrible images of Hurricane Katrina. Not knowing a whole lot about New Orleans I was a little apprehensive about picking it as our vacation destination, but after doing a little research about what there was to see or do there I got more excited about our trip. One of the places I knew that we had to see while there was City Park.City Park is one of the oldest and largest urban parks in the country. At 1,300 acres it is the 6thlargest city park in the United States and Karen and I recommend at least a full day there. If you have young children then you might want to check out City Park’s Storyland. A place that lets kids play in exhibits based on children’s books. Those looking for a little bit more culture in their lives need to stop by the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. The lovely New Orleans Botanical Garden is inexpensive and beautiful to look at. There are also lots of free activities to do in the park from taking a stroll around the ponds, having your children play in the playgrounds, or getting some exercise on the jogging trails or athletic fields. There is always something to do in City Park.Karen and I really enjoyed our visit to City Park and upon leaving talked about how we wished we had a similar park back home. We decided to visit it on a Wednesday because the New Orleans Museum of Art is free on that day. So after visiting the National World War II Museum in the morning we traveled to a completely different side of New Orleans to have a late lunch and see the Park.Our first stop was the Botanical Garden which we found very nice for the price of admission. It was still a little early in the season to see it at its best, but we enjoyed our visit. We then took a stroll through the sculptural garden, and while that is usually not my cup of tea it was interesting and free so who can complain right? The garden led us towards the art museum which is free to all visitors on Wednesdays. The art museum has over 40,000 pieces in its collections so there were plenty of things to see. While none of the attractions were top-notch, each was well done in its own way.After visiting all the attractions that we could, it started to reach suppertime so Karen and I took a short stroll through the park. The park’s natural setting is just stunning with massive Oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from them, a preserved section of an old bayou complete with a stone bridge, and to top it off the park was very clean and the people we met that day were very friendly. Karen and I highly recommend City Park for anyones visit to New Orleans. It offered us some peace and quiet away from French Quarter and showed us a different side of the Big Easy.
Located at 1 Palm Drive, New Orleans, Louisiana
Hours of Operation: Open daily 30 minutes before sunrise until 11:00 p.m. attractions in the park have separate hours.
Cost as of this Posting: Free to enter the park some attractions have fees
For More information visit their website at http://neworleanscitypark.com/
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