City Park is a 1.300 acres urban park that has the largest collection of oak tree and has become one of the most visited park in the USA.
Visit the extraordinary City Park of New Orleans
The Dueling Oaks of the City Park
Before used a park, the location was used as a dueling ground. The place was a quiet spot and used by the men to defend their pride and honor by dueling each other under the oaks in 1800s. The tradition was finally outlawed in 1890. There were two 'dueling oaks', unfortunately; one was lost in a hurricane in 1949. However, the other one survived even after the Hurricane Katrina damages the park and made the park lost around 2000 trees. The Dueling oaks can be met between the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The history of City Park
City Park was established in the mid-19th century in front of City Park Avenue, that was the Metairie Road before. The property pronounced as a public park by the 4th District Court in 1854, but the City Park Improvement Association was founded in 1891. In the same year, the property was officially established as 'City Park'. The attractions were started to fill the City Park since 1897, with carousel as its first attraction. In 1930s, the park was expanded with a $12 million grant from the Works Progress Administration. The expansion of the park included the installation of many sculptures, construction of buildings, bridges, roads, and electrical and plumbing infrastructure. After the Hurricane Katarina, the City Park was repaired by more than 75.000 volunteers and new attractions and facilities were made.
Visit the oldest fine arts museum
One of the attractions in City Park is the New Orleans Museum of Art that is the oldest and considered as one of the finest arts museum in New Orleans. You can find the museum not far from the intersection of Carrollton Avenue and Esplanade Avenue. The museum was established in 1911 and named as the Delgado Museum of Art, based on the name of an art collector who funded the museum. There are more than 40.000 objects from the Italian Renaissance to the modern era stored within this museum. The museum is also used as venue for festivals, film screenings, music programs, lectures, and wellness activities. It also works with other museum to make special exhibitions in several occasions.
Have fun in the Carousel Garden
Inside the City Park, you will find the Carousel Garden, a seasonal amusement park that features many rides, including rollercoaster, ferris wheel, a drop tower, and a miniature train that you can ride around the park, but the highlight of the park is the oldest carousel in the USA named the 'Flying Horses'. The park is open on the weekends, but it is closed on holidays. The park itself has been opened for about 150 years, and the carousel has operated for more than 100 years. Coming to this park will definitely give you a nostalgia feeling as you walk through the park. The Carousel Garden was also featured in some movies, including Now You See Me and 22 Jump Street.
Enjoy the classical garden
Other attraction in the City Park is the New Orleans Botanical Garden that is the first classical garden in New Orleans and was funded by the Works Progress Administration. The Botanical Garden was opened in 1936 and was heavily damaged in 2005. Now, the garden is made up of several different miniature gardens that showcases unique species of flora. New Orleans Botanical Garden is the house for more than 2.000 plants from all around the world. One of the highlighted parts is the Yakumo Nihon Teien Japanese Garden.
Try a golf game
The City Park has some golf courses for its visitors. If you are a pro, then you can try to play in a championship level course; at the South Side of Bayou Oaks, while the North Side is a more convenient and affordable. There is also a 36-hole mini golf complex with two choices of course called City Putt. The first one is the Louisiana Course with cultural themes and cities from around the state. The next one is the New Orleans Course with streets and iconic themes from around the city, with signs detailing the city's historic sites at each hole.
How to Get Tickets?
City Park can be accessed for free. But, some attractions might need tickets that can be bought on spot.
How To Get Around?
To get around, you can go by foot and enjoy the ambience of the City Park. Other options is to rent a bike or boat. In some attractions like in the Carousel Garden, you can also ride a train to go around the park.
What Should I Wear?
There is no recommendation on what to wear to visit City Park. It is better to wear comfortable clothes as you will walk around a wide area. Don't forget to check the weather before going as well.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit is early in the morning when the park is not so crowded with visitors. If you are planning to go to the Carousel Garden, then you have to visit during the weekend. Be noted that the park can be very hot during summer.
Will I Need a Guide?
You don't need a guide to go around the City Park. But, you may need a guide when you are visiting the New Orleans Museum of Fine Arts.
How To Get There?
If you are using public transportation you can take the 48-City Park/Museum streetcar on the Canal Street streetcar line. Depart the streetcar at the end of the City Park Line at Lelong/Esplanade and Carrollton Avenues and walk into City Park.