Jean Lafitte's six sites are scattered across south Louisiana. Each is unique in its focus, and they all reflect a place where traditions can be generations old but the ground under your feet can change with the weather. The park's sites share the story of a place where change is the only constant, from the waterways that shape the land in new patterns every day to the never-ending balancing act between old ways and new ideas.
Because Jean Lafitte's sites are miles apart, here are some things to consider so you can make the most of your visit. Note that admission to all park sites and to most programs is free.
- Where and how you'll be traveling. The big picture is on the directions and transportation page, where there are links to maps of the whole park and of each site as well as links to information about how to get to the park's sites.
- What's going on in the park. The calendar is updated constantly with ranger programs, special events, exhibits, and other activities.
- What you want to see and do, from a hike along a bayou to a Cajun music jam to a battlefield that changed history. Here are brief descriptions of the park's six sites; the links will take you to a page with a full description of that site, hours and days of operation, what you can do there, and more.
- For outdoor activities in a 23,000-acre Louisiana wetland and a visitor center with dioramas, exhibits, and hands-on displays, vist the Barataria Preserve in Marrero.
- For talks and tours at the site of the War of 1812's Battle of New Orleans, visit Chalmette Battlefield in Chalmette. Every year in early January, the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans is commemorated with reenactors, cannon firings, and more. Stop at the visitor center for exhibits about the battle and how it shaped American history. Chalmette National Cemetery, established in May 1864, is next to the battlefield.
- For a look at the influences that shaped one of America's great cities, visit the French Quarter Visitor Center in New Orleans.
- For the history of the Acadian (Cajun) people who settled southeast Louisiana, ranger talks, and other programs, visit the Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette.
- For the prairie Acadian story, music, dancing, craft demonstrations, and Saturday night at the "Cajun Grand Ole Opry," visit the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice.
- For bayou boat tours, free jam sessions with local musicians, history walks, and the story of Louisiana's bayou country, visit the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux.
The basic information page has links to many useful pages with information about operating hours and days, pets, safety, accessibility, and much more. Follow this link to learn about the park, including photos and multimedia, park management, bookstores at each site, history and culture, nature, and information for educators, field trip leaders, kids, and youth. Follow this link to get involved, from volunteering to jobs to park planning to how you can support Jean Lafitte. You can also find out about fees and passes, the park calendar of events, park site closures and construction, how to join Jean Lafitte's social media crew, the National Park Service Centennial at the park, and permits for special events, commercial filming and photography, research, commercial uses, and hunting and fishing.
Other National Park Service areas in Louisiana are
To learn about all National Park Service projects in Louisiana, from historic places to community conservation and recreation, visit the NPS Louisiana page.