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.
Closures and construction: The French Quarter Visitor Center's public restrooms will be closed for remodeling Monday, October 31, through Friday, December 9. Information about the nearest public restrooms will be posted while the visitor center restrooms are closed.


Crescent City Culinaire - Explore the history of New Orleans via food.
  • Friday, October 28, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Folklife Foodways Tour. Ranger-led French Quarter walking tour explores the foodways of New Orleans and south Louisiana. Free but space limited so reservations required; call 504-589-3882 ext. 227. Sorry---this program has been cancelled; see you in November!
  • Saturday, October 29, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Filipino NOLA celebrates Filipino-American History Month with food, culture, and history. Cooking demonstrations at 11:00 a.m. calderata (meat stew) and 1:00 p.m. banana lumpia (a sweet treat). Presentations throughout the day by Dr. Randy Gonzales from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Filipino Louisiana. Free (no reservations required).

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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