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.

Spirits of Congo Square –New Orleans' Congo Square (now Louis Armstrong Park) was one of many locations where enslaved Africans gathered and performed traditional dances and music in the city's early days. Recalling those gatherings and their musical influences on the beginnings of jazz, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park and master percussionist Luther Gray present African drumming and dance at Jean Lafitte's French Quarter Visitor Center. 2:00-3:00 p.m., Saturday, July 1. Free.

The French Quarter Visitor Center will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, for the federal holiday; there will be no ranger programs.

Riverfront history stroll - 9:30-10:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Join a ranger for a walk along the Mississippi River, just over the levee from the visitor center, to share the story of how New Orleans grew. 25 free tickets for that day's tour are given out beginning at 9:00 a.m. First-come, first-served; each person wanting a ticket must pick up their own ticket. No reservations. No walk on federal holidays when visitor center is closed. Free.

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 museum 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
504-589-2636 ext. 1
Open Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed on federal holidays and Mardi Gras (Tuesday, February 28, in 2017). 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:

For more about New Orleans, see

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: June 19, 2017

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Mailing Address:

419 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70130


(504) 589-3882

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