Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve Headquarters and French Quarter Visitor Center, 419 Decatur Street, New Orleans. Please note that the restrooms at this location are closed, pending repairs.
This site will also host operations for New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park until further notice; please visit www.nps.gov/jazz for details.Learn more at the alerts and conditions page.
Learn and Explore
Shortly after the French founded New Orleans in 1718, engineers drew up a formal city plan for Nouvelle Orleans---the area that we now call the French Quarter. The city quickly expanded beyond those original boundaries to become an important American port. People arrived from all over the world, joining the early inhabitants of the area to create a distinct culture rich in food, music, and tradition.
Jean Lafitte's French Quarter Visitor Center shares the history and traditions of the city and the lower Mississippi River delta through visitor center exhibits and a film. Kids can earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. The center's park store has CDs, videos, collectibles, and books from history to cookbooks to children's stories. Admission is free. Follow these links for the park's calendar of events, exhibits, and programs; for directions and transportation options; and for accessibility information. Note that there is no parking available at the French Quarter Visitor Center but that there are several pay-to-park lots available within easy walking distance.
What sounds do you hear around you?Often we are so busy that we don’t even think about the sounds that surround us. World Listening Day takes place each year on July 18 and is sponsored by the World Listening Project. For this day, we offer you a video filmed throughout a June day in 2020 along the Mississippi Riverfront in New Orleans. What sounds do you hear in the video? How do these sounds make you feel? We also invite you to take a few moments in your own neighborhood to be quite and listen to the sounds around you.
Last updated: November 25, 2020