Audubon Park: A Big Easy Oasis

New Orleans is a fascinating, vibrant city with so many things to see and do. You can search for alligators on a swamp tour, ghosts on a graveyard tour, or take in the sights and sounds of the city on a Segway! (I did this tour and had a blast!) The French Quarter is a must-see, as is Bourbon Street, where you can get a taste of the cuisine and music NOLA is famous for. You can also cruise the mighty Mississippi River, check out some fascinating plantations and museums, catch a few parades, festivals, concerts…the options are almost limitless!

Audubon Park bridgeYes, visiting the “Big Easy” can be a whirlwind experience, but you can always take a break from the hustle and bustle of this one-of-a-kind city by heading uptown to Audubon Park, a beautiful urban oasis, easily reached from downtown New Orleans on the St. Charles Ave. streetcar line.  The surrounding neighborhood is also worth seeing; the park is bordered by two beautiful college campuses, grand mansions, stately oak trees, and quaint boutique shops.

But if you’re looking to chill out while admiring stunning views of the Mississippi River, or perhaps enjoy a relaxing picnic under centuries-old Oak and Willow trees, Audubon Park is where you’ll want to be. The park, which is named after artist and naturalist John James Audubon who lived in Snowy Egret at Audubon ParkNew Orleans in 1821, is a fitting tribute which takes advantage of the beautiful, natural surroundings. There’s a lovely path which winds through the grounds, ideal for a nice, leisurely stroll… and if you’re traveling with your best friend, you don’t have to leave him back at the hotel because leashed dogs are welcome here, too!

Anhinga at Audubon ParkI love visiting Bird Island, which sits in the center of Audubon Park Lagoon. I could easily spend hours here watching and listening to the wide variety of birds that nest in this peaceful landscape, including all types of Egrets, Herons, Cormorants, to name just a few.

If you find golf relaxing then you’ll love the Audubon Golf Course, a beautiful, 18-hole course with lush landscaping, four lagoons, and some of the oldest Oak trees in the area. You may find me here, but not teeing off…I find it much more relaxing enjoying the great food and incredible views from the Audubon Clubhouse Café. (Probably because I am not a very good golfer!)

Other attractions include the Audubon Zoo, a riding stable, playgrounds, ball fields, tennis courts…but we came to relax, right? And you won’t find a more peaceful and beautiful spot in New Orleans to do that than Audubon Park!

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