French Quarter Visitor Center

Exhibit wall about New Orleans food
Exhibits in the French Quarter Visitor Center highlight south Louisiana culture, nature, history, and (of course) food.

History talk - 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Join a ranger or park volunteer to discover New Orleans' history and culture. No talk on federal holidays, including Thursday, July 4, or on Mardi Gras (Tuesday, March 5, in 2019) when the visitor center is closed. Free.

Congo Square: African Influences on American Popular Culture - noon on Wednesdays July 3 and 24; Thursdays July 11, 18, and 25; and Fridays July 5, 12, 19, and 26. Also at 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays July 6, 13, 20, and 27. Explore the lasting influences of the rhythms of Congo Square, an early New Orleans gathering place for African and African American people. Free.

Music at Noon - noon-1:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 17. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park ranger performs music from the park's CD "New Orleans at 300" on the piano. Free.

Civil Rights Program with Kara Tucina Olidge - noon-1:00 p.m., Saturday, July 27. Olidge is the executive director of New Orleans' Amistad Research Center, an archive of original materials related to American ethnic and racial history, the African Diaspora, human relations, and civil rights. Free.

Special exhibit "The ART of Citizenship" - Who's a citizen? Who decides? Park staff, the Young Artist Movement and the Arts Council New Orleans considered these questions through dialogues, field trips, historical research, and guest speakers with the goal of creating a mural to share what they learned. The project was organized around The Chinese Exclusion Act, a 2017 documentary which shared the history of Chinese immigration to the United States and the impact of the 1882 federal law that specifically singled out people from China, excluding them from immigration and citizenship. The mural, on display at the French Quarter Visitor Center, shares visions of and questions about citizenship that are still under discussion today.Youth interns led by local artist Ayo Scott created the mural in summer 2018 with help from over 100 people who participated in a community paint day.

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.

419 Decatur Street, New Orleans
504-589-3882 ext. 221
Open Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed on federal holidays and Mardi Gras (Tuesday, March 5, in 2019). Links to useful information like maps, public transportation, pets, permits for special uses, etc., are available on the basic information page.

Special programs by reservation:

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Image of men looking at exhibits
The French Quarter Visitor Center is full of maps, images, and interactive exhibits that share the Louisiana delta's history.

Last updated: July 15, 2019

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Mailing Address:

419 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70130


(504) 589-3882

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