Itineraries

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Visit Jefferson Parish offers free itinerary customizing and assistance. Here are two sample itineraries.

Walking Tour of Historic Gretna

Begin your walking tour at the Gretna Visitor 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 statue of Mel Ott, a baseball Hall of Famer 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 the 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, like the David Crocket Fire House, the oldest continuous active volunteer fire company in the United States which features an 1876 horse drawn steam pumper. See the blacksmithing demonstrations at the Gretna Green Blacksmith Shop as well as the furnished period Kitty Strele Creole Cottage c.1845. The 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 Mississippi River, New Orleans skyline, Mississippi River Bridge, and passing ocean-going ships as a back-drop to the musical stage. This is also the site of the Gretna Ferry landing, operating daily, connecting Gretna to Canal Street in downtown New Orleans.
 

Three Day Experience

Day 1
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. Here you will experience hidden treasures housed in an original early 1900's General Merchandise Store. It is completely furnished with antique furniture as well as upstairs living quarters. Stop at 4th Street near the Mississippi River and enjoy the Westwego Farmers and Fisheries Market. Here you can shop for produce, 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 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; the oldest continuous active volunteer fire company in the United States with 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 the annual Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony; or visit the first 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. See magnificent views 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 in downtown New Orleans.

Head 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. Try some king cake, the sweet specialty pastry of the Carnival season.
Next, meet your step-on guide for a tour of the city of New Orleans. Included in your tour will be the history, landmarks, legends and splendid architecture for which New Orleans is 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 local landmarks and legends. Interesting and entertaining tours of the cemeteries are available daily. End the evening at one of our award-winning local restaurants.

Day 2
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 the Science Complex, NASA Space Station and Kenner Heritage Park. View a show 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, Native Americans lived in the region and their burial mounds are still found along the bayous. Smugglers and privateers roamed the Gulf of Mexico in early Louisiana and used abandoned Native American camp sites along the bayou to store their merchandise. Enjoy the spirit of bayou country with a fascinating boat trip into the Louisiana swamps. Native guides will reveal the mysteries of the wetlands as you observe alligators, egrets, raccoons, nutria and more local wildlife in their natural habitat. You will also learn about the efforts made to preserve and restore Louisiana's vanishing wetlands. This is truly an outdoor adventure that 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 wildlife. 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 twelve working dioramas.

Stop at Bayou Barn in Crown Pointe, LA; a rustic setting where you can 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 at one of our four major shopping malls, dine in one of Jefferson Parish’s award-winning restaurants or cheer on the New Orleans Baby Cakes, our AAA baseball team.

Day 3
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 a unique 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 be sure to check out the exciting production "Beyond All Boundaries," produced by 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.

Enjoy a live theatrical performance and dinner in BB’s Stage Door Canteen at the WWII Musem. Their musical performances are a salute to the WWII era artists that entertained the men and women on their way to war. Their shows bring to life the war years with songs, dancing and the humor of the war era.

End your day at The American Sector Restaurant; a casual dining restaurant with original cuisine based on vintage American comfort foods created by award-winning Chef John Besh. It is not necessary to pay to enter the museum to dine at the restaurant. The restaurant is open 7 days week.