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Must-See Sites in New Orleans's City Park

Everything you should visit in the greatest natural oasis in the Big Easy.

The Singing Oak in City Park, New Orleans

Looking for an inviting natural escape from New Orleans? Want to see some swamplands but don’t feel like trekking all the way out to an airboat tour? My friends, look no further than City Park.

City Park is a 1300-acre expanse of greenery and sports and culture just a few short miles from the French Quarter. There is truly something for everyone to be found at City Park: from playgrounds and sports fields to sculpture gardens to bayous and back again.

Intrigued? You should be. Get ready for a countdown of all the best things to do in City Park!

#7 - Café du Monde

A solo traveler eating a beignet in City Park, New Orleans

Were the lines too long at Café du Monde in the French Quarter? Did you eat there anyway but this is New Orleans and you always want beignets? Good thing there’s a Café du Monde location right in City Park!

Full disclosure, this is a Café Beignet household. That’s where my favorite NOLA beignets come from. (Click here to find out why!) But if you’re looking for a delicious beignet in a beautiful setting, visit Café du Monde in City Park. You can pick up an order of treats and a chicory coffee and find a tree somewhere to sit under and enjoy them. Can’t go wrong.

#6 - Rent Paddles or Wheels

The Boat House on the Big Lake is rental central in City Park. You can rent a bike (or a surrey if you’ve got a group!) and cruise around the park. Or you can rent a wide array of boats and go out on the lake itself. Looking for something a little fancier? You can book a gondola ride from NOLA Gondola and pretend you’re in Venice for the evening!

#5 - Disk Golf

City Park plays host to a top-of-the-line disk golf course. I’m not much of a disk golfer myself, but my disk golfing aficionado friend who happens to be a NOLA native swears by this course for a perfect outdoor adventure. Hardcore disk golfers play the course with fancy disks, but if you’re looking to try it out, any old frisbee will do! The course is completely free and open to the public.

#4 - Museums of New Orleans's City Park

City Park is home to a huge museum campus, including a Children’s Museum, an Art Museum, and a Botanical Garden. I haven’t had the opportunity to explore these in-depth yet, but the Art Museum is high on my list for my next return!

#3 - Bayou Metairie and the Historic Oak Grove

For the feeling of leaving the city behind, head to the south edge of the park to visit the Bayou Metairie and the Oak Grove. This area of the park is unbelievably stunning, with ancient trees draped in moss surrounding a picturesque bayou. Snap photos on the Langles Bridge. Track down the Tree of Life or the Dueling Oak. Take those beignets you ordered earlier and find a place to sit and soak up the uniquely Louisiana atmosphere.

#2 - Sculpture Garden

A traveler standing in front of the sunken bridge in City Park, New Orleans

For an absolute masterclass in public art, visit City Park’s Sculpture Garden. While technically affiliated with the Art Museum, entry to the sculpture garden is free and open to the public. Covering a solid twelve acres, you could easily spend most of an afternoon wandering this beautiful space. The statues and sculptures represent a variety of styles, meaning each new one is a surprise. Many of them are incredibly powerful.

Also be sure to check out the sunken bridge! It makes for lovely photos!

#1 - The Singing Oak

Friends, the Singing Oak is my favorite place in City Park. It might be my favorite place in all of New Orleans. (Ok maybe it’s tied with the gallery at Muriel’s.)

the singing oak in City Park, New Orleans

The Singing Oak is a beautiful ancient oak tree hung with a perfectly tuned assortment of wind chimes. When there’s a breeze, the tree literally sings to you. It’s the best place to lay out with a blanket and rest with a book, some good company, or maybe a drink (yes NOLA open container laws!) However you choose to enjoy your time beneath the Singing Oak, it’s a magical place. It’s a site I keep finding myself drawn back to again and again.

Be sure to visit the gorgeous place that is City Park!

Need more guides to New Orleans? Check them out here!

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Love and Shenanigans,


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