At­trac­tions & Land­marks

Where New Orleans - - THE GUIDE -

ARM­STRONG PARK Named for the late jazz great Louis Arm­strong, this re­cently re­fur­bished 34-acre green space is home to the Ma­halia Jack­son Theater for the Per­form­ing Arts. Also known as Congo Square, it was here that free peo­ple of color would gather dur­ing the 1700s to dance and drum—and where jazz is be­lieved to have first taken root. N. Ram­part and St. Ann streets. Map 3, H2 AUDUBON AQUAR­IUM OF THE AMER­I­CAS This award-win­ning aquar­ium in­cludes the largest and most di­verse col­lec­tion of sharks and jel­ly­fish in the U.S. Ad­mis­sion in­cludes a ticket for the En­tergy Giant Screen Theater. $29.95 adults, $24.95 se­niors and $21.95 ages 2-12. Open daily at 10 am; call for clos­ing hours. www.audubonin­sti­tute.org. 1 Canal St., 504.581.4629. Map 3, E6 AUDUBON BUT­TER­FLY GAR­DEN AND INSECTA RIUM The na­tion’s largest mu­seum de­voted to in­sects. More than 70 in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits are fea­tured, along with thou­sands of live and mounted species. $22.95 adults, $19.95 se­niors, $17.95 ages 2-12. Open daily at 10 am; call for clos­ing times. www.audubonin­sti­tute.org. 423 Canal St., 504.581.4629. Map 3, E5 AUDUBON PARK Walk, jog, golf or pic­nic among the oaks and la­goons in this beau­ti­ful glade. On the St. Charles street­car line (stop 36) across from Tu­lane and Loy­ola uni­ver­si­ties. www.audubonin­sti­tute.org. St. Charles Ave. at Wal­nut St., 504.212.5237. Map 1, C4

AUDUBON ZOO Home to more than 1,800 an­i­mals, the renowned Audubon Zoo is one of the finest zoos in the U.S. $22.95 adults, $19.95 se­niors, $17.95 ages 2-12. A free shut­tle de­parts from St. Charles street­car stop 36. Open daily at 10 am; call for clos­ing hours. www.audubonin­sti­tute.org. 6500 Mag­a­zine St., 504.581.4629 or 800.774.7394. Map 1, C4 CITY PARK Abun­dant live oaks pro­vide a lush canopy for this 1,300-acre out­door oa­sis, larger even than New York’s Cen­tral Park. www. newor­lean­sc­i­ty­park.com. 1 Drey­fous Ave., 504.482.4888. Map 1, D2 ES­CAPE MY ROOM The con­cept of this live, in­ter­ac­tive game is sim­ple—solve the puz­zle within an hour and you and your team­mates “es­cape” the mys­tery room—but it’s way more com­plex (and fun) than that. A great ac­tiv­ity for fam­i­lies and group team-build­ing. www.es­cape­my­room.com. 633 Con­stance St., 504.475.7580. Map 3, D6 FRENCH MAR­KET Amer­ica’s old­est pub­lic mar­ket dates to pre-colo­nial days, when the site served as a na­tive Amer­i­can trad­ing post. Along with homegrown spe­cial­ties, the mar­ket also features a num­ber of food stalls, re­tail shops and flea mar­ket mer­chants. www.french­mar­ket.org. 1100 N. Peters St., 504.522.2621. Map 3, H5 HAR­RAH’S CASINO The South’s largest casino is lo­cated at the foot of Canal Street. This mam­moth plea­sure palace features five New Orleans-themed

ar­eas com­pris­ing 2,100 slots and 104 ta­ble games, live en­ter­tain­ment and a lav­ish buf­fet. www.har­rah­snewor­leans.com. 8 Canal St., 504.533.6000. Map 3, E6

JACK­SON SQUARE The heart of the Quar­ter was orig­i­nally known as Place d’Armes, and was re­named to honor Pres­i­dent An­drew Jack­son, whose statue an­chors the square. A quin­tes­sen­tial photo op. De­catur Street at St. Ann Street. Map 3, G5

MARDI GRAS WORLD It’s Car­ni­val time all year long in­side the work­shops of Kern Stu­dios, the world’s largest float builder. The tour features a video on the his­tory of Mardi Gras. $22 adults/ chil­dren, $17 se­niors/students with col­lege ID, $14 ages 11-2. Tours daily, 9:30 am-4 pm. www. mardi­gras­world.com. 1380 Port of New Orleans Pl., 504.361.7821. Map 3, A8 MERCEDESBENZ SU­PER­DOME The re­cently re­vamped and re­branded Su­per­dome, home of the New Orleans Saints, re­mains the largest cov­ered arena in the world. www.mb­su­per­dome.com. 1500 Poy­dras St., 504.587.3663. Map 3, B2 NA­TIONAL SHRINE OF BLESSED FRAN­CIS SEELOS Lo­cated one block from the Mag­a­zine Street shop­ping cor­ri­dor, this pop­u­lar pil­grim­age site—a sanc­tu­ary of hospitality, hope and heal­ing—is lo­cated in his­toric St. Mary’s As­sump­tion Church, Louisiana’s old­est Ger­man Catholic church. Free tours of the shrine and mu­seum are of­fered M-F, 9 am-3 pm; Sa, 10 am-3:30 pm. Large groups by

ap­point­ment. 504.525.2495. Map www.seelos.org. 1, D3 919 Josephine St., NEW pocket-size ORLEANS park MU­SI­CAL cel­e­brates LEG­ENDS Bour­bon PARK Street’s This big­ger-than-life Hirt, Pete Foun­tain mu­si­cal and others. legacy An with on-site stat­ues café of Al and bar live of­fers mu­sic. cool www.newor­leans­mu­si­cal­le­gends.com. li­ba­tions, lite bites and, nat­u­rally, 311 Bour­bon St., 504.888.7608. Map 3, F4 NEW ORLEANS SCHOOL OF COOK­ING & LOUISI ANA GEN­ERAL STORE Cre­ole/Ca­jun cook­ing demon­stra­tions are of­fered daily at 10 am and 2 pm. Pri­vate group and hands-on ses­sions are also avail­able; reser­va­tions re­quired. The store is open M-Sa, 9 am-6 pm; Su, 9 am-5 pm. www.nosoc.com. 524 St. Louis St., 504.208.5320. Map 3, F5 OLD UR­SU­LINE CON­VENT Dat­ing to 1727, this is the old­est ed­i­fice in the Mis­sis­sippi River Val­ley and the sole sur­viv­ing build­ing from the French Colo­nial pe­riod in the U.S. Tours given M-F, 10 am-4 pm; Sa, 9 am-3 pm. $8 adults, $7 se­niors, $6 students/mil­i­tary; ages 8 and un­der free. www.st­louis­cathe­dral.org. 1100 Chartres St., 504.529.3040. Map 3, I4 SMOOTHIE KING CEN­TER Cousin to the Su­per­dome, the Cen­ter is the home of the New Orleans Pel­i­cans bas­ket­ball team, as well as the site of ma­jor con­certs. www.smooth­iek­ing­cen­ter.com. 1501 Dave Dixon Drive, 504.587.3663. Map 3, A2 ST. AU­GUS­TINE CHURCH Founded by free peo­ple of color in 1841, St. Au­gus­tine, lo­cated in the his­toric Tremé neigh­bor­hood ad­ja­cent to the French Quar­ter, is the se­cond-old­est African-Amer­i­can Catholic church in the na­tion. A jazz Mass is held Sun­days at 10 am. www.stau­gustinecatholic­church-newor­leans.org. 1210 Gov. Ni­cholls St., 504.525.5934 Map 3, I2

ST. LOUIS CATHE­DRAL Es­tab­lished as a parish in 1720, this mag­nif­i­cent circa-1849 cathe­dral, the heart and sym­bol of New Orleans, was des­ig­nated a mi­nor basil­ica in 1964 by Pope Paul VI, and vis­ited by Pope John Paul II in 1987. Mass said daily. www. st­louis­cathe­dral.org. 615 Pere An­toine Al­ley (Jack­son Square, be­tween St. Ann and St. Peter streets), 504.525.9585. Map 3, G4 WOLDENBERG PARK This grassy river­front prom­e­nade, which runs from the Audubon Aquar­ium of the Amer­i­cas to Jack­son Square, af­fords great peo­ple-watch­ing and even greater views of the of­ten-over­looked Mis­sis­sippi. Map 3, F6

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