The Jefferson CVB offers free itinerary customizing and assistance. Here are two sample itineraries.
WALKING TOUR OF HISTORIC GRETNA
Begin your walking tour at the Gretna Visitors Center housed in a 1906 Freight Depot with attached 1951 Illinois Central Caboose. Learn the city's history and obtain an attractions map. Baseball fans can view a life-sized bronze of Mel Ott, of baseball Hall of Fame and Gretna's native son.
Visit City Hall, a 1907 baroque style structure, and view a photo exhibit of Old Gretna and famous Gretna residents. The 2nd floor has been restored to its original splendor.
Pause for a few moments at the Jefferson Memorial Arch. The marker was originally designed as a monument to fallen heroes of WWI and later dedicated to all Jefferson Parish Veterans. It contains names of Confederate, Spanish American War, WWI, and WWII soldiers. Between 10th and 11th streets you will find another marker listing the names of Gretna veterans who died while serving their country in World War II.
Continue on to 5th Street and visit the German-American Cultural Center. This regional museum traces the history of the German immigration into southeast Louisiana in the early 1700's and covers their contributions to the community.
Close by is St. Joseph Catholic Church and Gardens, established in 1857 it is built in the Spanish Baroque style with an imposing bell tower and beautiful, tranquil garden. Interestingly, the Stations of the Cross are fitted into arches over the French Doors.
Next visit the Gretna Historical Society Museum with its unique history and displays, from The David Crocket Fire House; oldest continuous active volunteer fire company in the United States and a 1876 horse drawn steam pumper to blacksmithing demonstrations at the Gretna Green Blacksmith Shop and the Kitty Strele furnished period Creole Cottage c 1845. Reception center is in the William D. White House c 1840.
Walk over the levee and see the newly constructed riverfront amphitheater designed for concerts with seating for 650 and excess crowds 2 to 3 times larger. Witness nature's grandeur; the magnificent view of the Mississippi River, New Orleans skyline, Mississippi River Bridge, and passing ocean-going ships as a back drop to the musical stage. This is also site of the Gretna Ferry landing, operating daily, connecting Gretna to Canal Street, downtown New Orleans.
Three Day JeffersonExperience
Begin your tour in the west bank community of Westwego; originally a springboard for pioneers headed to the western frontier.
First stop is the Westwego Historical Museum located on Sala Avenue in the century-old Fisherman's Exchange Building (Durac Terrebonne/L.J. Bernard Hardware Store). Here you will experience hidden treasures housed in an original early 1900's General Merchandise Store and, completely furnished with antique furniture, upstairs living quarters. Stop at 4th Street near the Mississippi River and enjoy the Westwego Farmers and Fisheries Market. Here you may shop for produce, citrus, seafood and other local favorites, pick up delicious prepared foods or sip a cappuccino while you stroll through the market. You will find plants for your garden, art for your walls and many beautiful handcrafted items. Enjoy Music at the Market every Saturday during regular market hours.
Continue east on the West bank Expressway or follow the levee to the City of Gretna, one of Louisiana's largest national historic districts. Visit the German-American Cultural Museum that traces the history of the German immigration into southeast Louisiana in the early 1700's. Next see the David Crocket Fire Company; oldest continuous active volunteer fire company in the United States and an original 1876 Steam Pumper. Sit in on a blacksmithing demonstration at the Gretna Green Blacksmith Shop. Each February, on Valentine's Day, you can join in a annual Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony or select the first full weekend of October and experience the Gretna Heritage Festival.
Walk to the top of the levee and see the riverfront amphitheater; designed for concerts with seating for 650. Witness nature's grandeur and one of the most magnificent view's of the Mississippi River, New Orleans skyline and Mississippi River Bridge. You may choose to cross the river via the Gretna Ferry from this location to Canal Street.
Return to the east bank and stop at Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World for a behind the scenes look at the magical world of Mardi Gras. See awesome floats and colorful props as you enjoy the video and tour. Enjoy a taste of King Cake the sweet specialty pastry of the Carnival Season.
Meet your step on guide for a tour of the city of New Orleans. Included in your tour will be history, landmarks, legends and splendid architecture that have made the city famous. You will see the French Quarter, French Market and river front. Complete your day with a streetcar ride along beautiful St. Charles Avenue passing local universities, parks and stately mansions. You will see the unusual above-ground "cities of the dead" (cemeteries) and other landmarks and legends. Interesting and entertaining tours of the cemeteries are available daily.
End the evening at one of our local restaurants.
Begin your day with a guided tour of Rivertown. Rivertown sits at a bend in the Mississippi River and is a 16-block area which embraces many restored late 19th and early 20th century structures. Wander through the district and enjoy places such as the Science Complex, NASA Space Station and Kenner Heritage Park. Enjoy a performance at the educational and entertaining Kenner Planetarium & Mega Dome Cinema. Don't miss a wonderful photo opportunity at LaSalle's Landing that overlooks the mighty Mississippi River.
Next stop is Bayou Barataria and the historic town of Jean Lafitte where you can visit a small Cajun village. Before Europeans arrived Indians lived in the region and burial mounds are still found along the bayous. Smugglers and privateers roamed the Gulf of Mexico in early Louisiana and used abandoned Indian camp sites along the bayou to store their merchandise. Enjoy the spirit of bayou country and a fascinating boat trip into the Louisiana Swamps. Native guides will reveal the mysteries of the swamps as you observe alligators, egrets, raccoons, nutria and many species of snakes in their natural habitat. You will also learn about the efforts made to preserve and restore Louisiana's vanishing wetlands and identify scenes from some of your favorite movies. This is truly a nature adventure you will always remember. Thrill seekers may enjoy an Air Boat ride through the swamps. At the Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve Park Rangers will give you a guided tour and tell you about the wild life. For a more in depth look stroll the boardwalk through the swamp. The park is a perfect location to enjoy a picnic or box lunch. Be sure to visit the Louisiana State Fisheries Museum; once the one room school house of the bayou. A "must stop" is the Jean Lafitte Tourist Welcome Center to see the fantastic Legends of Jean Lafitte animated marionette exhibit. This unique exhibit tells the story of Louisiana's gentleman pirate, Jean Lafitte and the events leading up to the Battle of New Orleans in 12 working dioramas.
Stop at Bayou Barn in Crown Pointe, LA; a rustic setting to enjoy Cajun music, dancing, food and fun. The facility is available, for group parties, Cajun Fais do do's and day long activities, by reservation.
Complete the evening with a shopping excursion to one of four major shopping malls, dine in one of many fine Jefferson Parish restaurants, cheer on your favorite team a Zephyr's AAA Baseball Game or relax at Sip and Paint as you paint a beautiful masterpiece to take home.
Begin your day with a visit to Audubon's Aquarium of the Americas and/or Entergy's IMAX Theater located at the foot of Canal Street. for an unusual experience visit the nearby Audubon Insectarium. Located in the U.S. Customs House this is America's largest museum dedicated to insects.
Next visit the National World War II Museum and thrill to the exciting production "Beyond All Boundaries", produced by actor Tom Hanks, in the remarkable Solomon Victory Theater. This moving 4-D cinematic experience takes you on a journey which incorporates theatrical special effects, cutting edge digital technology and original World War II footage.
Weekends, enjoy a live theatrical performance and dinner in the Stage Door Canteen. The musical performance is a salute to the WWII era venues that entertained the men and women on their way to war. The show brings to life the war years with the songs and sass, dancing and humor of the war era. Eight terrific singers and dancers will put you In the Mood, with Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Jukebox Saturday Night, Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen and dozens more from the 1940's.
The National World War II Museum's new wing ends at the door of The American Sector Restaurant; a casual dining restaurant with original cuisine composed by Chef John Besh, based on vintage American comfort foods. It is not necessary to pay to enter the museum to dine at the restaurant. The restaurant is open 7 days week.