10 Best Places to Play Outside in New Orleans

New Orleanians know how to party, but all the fun doesn't happen to the beat of a brass band inside a crowded bar.  Locals love to get outside, barbecue, play sports and spend time in the outdoors, usually under the leafy canopy of a shade tree.

Two of the best places to bike or run are Audubon Park, which has a bike trail but can be crowded on nice weekends; and the peaceful streets of the Garden District. One of the residents' favorite places to jog is along the streetcar lines. If you do this, watch out for cars making quick turns on the short cross streets.

Golf is also popular in New Orleans since the weather allows players to hit the links year-round. Visitors can play at a number of public courses, including those in Audubon Park and City Park.  Bike tours, walking tours and Segway tours offer more options to expand your views of New Orleans with the help of an informed local guide.  These tours often dig deeper than you might if you rambled on your own.

City Park is a favorite green space, the city's front yard, much loved and used by locals of every stripe. The 1300 acre park is the largest in New Orleans, with chances for kayaking, stand up paddle boarding on the little lake, bike paths and plenty of places to picnic under the shade of gorgeous live oak trees.

A 16-acre haven of green located between the French Quarter and the Mississippi, Woldenberg Riverfront Park is a perfect place to unwind after a jaunt in the Quarter. Its arresting artworks, riverside promenade and frequent strolling bands and...  Read More

There are all kinds of swamp tours that explore the marshes and bayous an hour or so outside of town, but this is one of the best. Located in Slidell on the Northshore, Honey Island Swamp Tours was founded in 1982 by Dr. Paul Wagner, a wetland...  Read More

Outside the city

Outdoor attractions are plentiful on this side of Lake Pontchartrain, a world away from the excess of New Orleans. The Global Wildlife Center is the Northshore's answer to Disney's Animal Kingdom, an eco-friendly 900-acre predator-free animal...  Read More

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono

You'd get an argument from an more than 350,000 brightly clad fest goers that this one is the cream of the festival crop. A bold statement, but once you've been, it's tough to contradict. What's so special about Jazz Fest? Depending on who you...  Read More

Garden District Walking Tour

Antebellum mansions and weeping willows line the streets of New Orleans' historic Garden District. See the beauty of this exquisite neighborhood, which was home to the city's plantation-wealthy and entrepreneurs, on an informative and relaxing...  Read More

City Segway offers visitors the chance to navigate the city on two wheels. Locally owned and reopened in 2012 after Katrina, these tours range from 1.5 to 3 hours, and bring you into neighborhoods from the French Quarter to the Marigny and...  Read More

A snowy egret watches cagily from the banks of Bayou St. John, strutting with his over sized yellow feet like a clown on parade. Maybe he's not used to seeing humans kayaking in his urban waterway, a sight that's becoming increasingly common,...  Read More

New Orleans is a city of neighborhoods, but too often, visitors never make it out of the admittedly gorgeous French Quarter. COC wants that to change, and offers themed tours, including Creole, cocktails and 9th ward designed to show you a...  Read More

In need of some fresh air and local color? Head to The Fly, the uptown riverside stretch of Audubon Park behind the zoo that teems with locals of all ages, shapes and sizes. Situated atop the levee with fabulous river views, there is vast open...  Read More

City Park

The largest green space in New Orleans, City Park boasts 1,300 acres featuring dozens of colorful original artworks, excellent sports facilities and beloved attractions, such as the New Orleans Botanical Garden and the New Orleans Museum of Art,...  Read More


Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

Beth writes about New Orleans and other destinations for outlets...  More About Beth