City Park: A New Orleans Must-Seeairport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

City Park: A New Orleans Must-See

City Park, New Orleans│© Britt Park/Flickr
City Park, New Orleans│© Britt Park/Flickr
If you ask anyone who knows their way around New Orleans about the attractions you can’t go home without seeing, chances are you’ll hear City Park’s name mentioned every time. Why, you ask? Well, this outdoor oasis, recognized by Americans nationwide as the archetypal urban greenspace, not only fosters the world’s largest mature live oaks collection (some older than 790 years), but also stands as one of the oldest public parks in the United States. Follow us as we guide you in and around City Park, and discover everything you can do, see and eat inside NOLA’s green giant.

About City Park

City Park, originally a sugar plantation land owned by Robert and Louis Allard, became city property in 1850 when the Allard brothers went bankrupt and businessman, John McDonogh, purchased the property from the planters’ association. McDonogh, who passed away five years after buying, left the land jointly to his native city, Baltimore, and his adopted city, New Orleans, and his Will stipulated that it should be reserved for recreational purposes only.

Even though City Park has experienced numerous rebuilding and restoration projects since its mid-19th century establishment, there are two major events that shaped the park’s life history: The Great Depression and Hurricane Katrina.

As part of the Works Project Administration (1939-43), a New Deal work program designed to provide economic depression victims with useful work, the Roosevelt administration invested $12 million to develop the parkland, and employed over 20,000 men and women to plant 100,000 trees as well as build roadways, fountains, gardens, a golf course and the Tad Gormley Stadium. WPA architecture in City Park today includes: the Peristyle, the Hyams Fountain, the McFadden Girl Scout Cabina, the New Orleans Botanical Garden and seven bridges.

City Park Peristyle soon after its completion in 1907│ © Detroit Publishing Company/WikiCommons

At the other side of City Park’s course-shaping history is Hurricane Katrina. After one of the five deadliest natural disasters in US history made its historic category five landfall in New Orleans, 95 percent of the mid-city public space sat under flood water, inflicting $43 million in damages to the public grounds alone.

Today, with help from the city, FEMA, and private sector donations, City Park stands among the largest (approximately 50 percent larger than New York City’s Central Park) and most-visited urban public parks in the nation.

Lagoon with bridge and ducks, City Park, New Orleans│ © Mr. Littlehand/WikiCommons

Main Attractions

From a 100-year-old amusement park and a 13-acre botanical garden to a 36-hole mini golf complex and one of the South’s finest art museums, New Orleans’ City Park has something special to offer every visitor.

New Orleans Museum of Art

New Orleans Museum of Art│ © Infrogmation of New Orleans

Carousel Gardens Amusement Park & Storyland

New Orleans Botanical Garden

New Orleans Botanical Garden, courtesy of City Park

City Putt

Golf Courses

City Park Golf Course, courtesy of New Orleans' City Park

The Sculpture Garden

Park Recreation

Whether you’re an athlete drawn to the park’s wide-open green spaces or nature lover looking to explore the botanical gardens, City Park palms off all competition when it comes to being New Orleans’ go-to spot for recreation.

NOLA City Bark Dog Park

Dogs playing at City Bark, City Park's dog park, courtesy of Rebeca Trejo

City Park Birding Corridor

Birds at City Park's Birding Corridor, courtesy of Rebeca Trejo

Wheel Fun Rentals: offers specialty cycles, bike, boat and even gondola rentals…

Couturie Forest

Happy Wednesday Y'all!! #thingsisawonmywalk #citypark #neworleans #couturieforest

A photo posted by Jen B. (@nola.darling70119) on

Food & Drinks

Inside City Park, you can try New Orleans’ quintessential dessert – aka the beignet – at Morning Call. And that’s not all. There’s everything from burgers and hotdogs to PBJ sandwiches and bayou fries in Parker’s Cafe. Then you can go and munch on some of Parker’s Pizza delicious garlic buttered creations, and even order a to-go po’boy from the park’s very own food truck.

Morning Call

Morning Call, a 24/7 cash-only coffee shop with local roots known for chicory coffee & beignets., is located in the heart of City Park│ © Infrogmation of New Orleans/WikiCommons

Ralph’s On The Park

Set in an 1860s house, Ralph's on the Park features a bar, wine list & Sunday brunch│ © Bart Everson/Flickr

Parker’s Cafe

Parker's Cafe at Carousel Gardens, City Park, New Orleans │ © Francesco/Flickr

Parker’s 2 Geaux Food Truck

City Park's Food Truck, courtesy of City Park

For more detailed information on City Park, be sure to visit the park’s website.

1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, Louisiana 70124, +1 504 482 4888 / Open 24 hours.