French Quarter Visitor Center

Exhibit wall about New Orleans food
The French Quarter Visitor Center's exhibits provide a quick and easy course in Louisiana history, culture, nature, and food (of course!).

Crescent City Culinaire Series
  • Take a ranger-led walk through the French Quarter to discover folklife foodways of New Orleans and south Louisiana. Free but space limited so reservations required; call 504-589-3882 ext. 227. Walk at 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Friday, July 22. SORRY---this program has been cancelled due to extreme heat.
  • Do you understand the social graces of the early 1800s? Join a Regency era etiquette class and discover the polite behavior, proper fashion, and gender expectations of two centuries ago from actress and historian Barbara Trevigne and park rangers in period dress (you're welcome to wear your early 1800s attire if you have it!). Refreshments provided in a luncheon setting. Free but space limited so reservations required; call 504-589-3882 ext 227. 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturday, July 23. SORRY---this program is full, but you're welcome to join the group at noon to enjoy early 1800s music.
Snoball Art Show - Do you love those perfect New Orleans summertime treats? Is the snoball stand in your neighborhood the best one in town? Share the love at the Snoball Art Show on Saturday, August 27, when Jean Lafitte's French Quarter Visitor Center celebrates the 100th birthday of the National Park Service in true New Orleans style with snoballs, music, and a special art show. The park is accepting snoball-loving photos, drawings, paintings, written stories, and other works of art for the show; deadline for submissions is Sunday, August 7. To submit photos or for more information, email the Snoball Art Show, and stay tuned for more about the coolest birthday party on the planet! Here's a flier about submitting your work to the Snoball Art Show that you can download, print, and share.

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 9, in 2016). Links to useful information like maps, public transportation, pets, permits for special uses, etc., are available on the basic information page.

Regularly scheduled programs:

  • Tuesday through Saturday at 9:30 a.m., rangers lead riverfront history walks to the Mississippi River, just over the levee from the visitor center, to share the story of how the city began and grew. 25 free tickets for that day's tour are given out beginning at 9:00 a.m. Walks last about an hour. First-come, first-served; each person wanting a ticket must pick up their own ticket. No reservations.
  • Field trips for schools and other groups by reservation.
  • Summer camps for kids. Sorry---all 2016 camps are full. See you next year!

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.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

419 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70130


(504) 589-3882
Phone numbers are for park headquarters. Phones are answered 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Park headquarters is closed on federal holidays and on Mardi Gras.

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