Did you know that the French Quarter is considered a National Park? National Parks are our country’s greatest treasure. They are also a great way to learn about our country. Also it’s history and the animals that call these parks home. One way we can support them and keep them around for future generations is to visit the parks.

Here is a list of National Parks near New Orleans. All the parks on this list are within a three to four hour drive of New Orleans in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. They would all make great day or weekend trips.

National Parks In Louisiana

The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, Butte La Rose, LA
Home of America’s largest river swamp. There are also sugar cane and cotton fields, live oaks and cypress trees. Plus tons of wildlife such as alligators, raccoons, snakes, and over 200 species of birds.

The Cane River National Heritage Area, Natchitoches, LA
The intersection of French and Spanish culture with colonial forts, cemeteries, churches, plantations, and more

The Cane River Creole National Historic Park, Natchitoches, LA
Boasts two Creole cotton plantations, Oakland and Magnolia Plantations

El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, Louisiana to Texas
300 years of Louisiana and Texas frontiers from the Rio Grande to the Red River Valley

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, New Orleans to Thibodaux, LA
Six visitor sites in South Louisiana including

  • the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux
  • the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice
  • the Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette
  • The Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery in Chalmette
  • the Barataria Preserve in Marrero
  • the French Quarter Visitor Center in New Orleans

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, New Orleans, LA
Located in the heart of the French Quarter. The park houses the Old U.S. Mint, which is the birthplace of jazz. 

Poverty Point National Monument, Epps, LA
A marvel of engineering formed by over five million hours of labor. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most important archaeological sites in North America

National Parks In Mississippi

Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, MS
Memorializes the division of the North and South along the Mississippi River with over 1,400 monuments and memorials honoring Civil War veterans

Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Natchez, MS
65 miles of trailways including

  • Rocky Springs Trail, MS
  • Tupelo Trail, MS
  • Ridgeland Trail, MS 
  • Leipers Fork Trail, TN

Natchez National Historical Park, Natchez, MS
All part of the creation of the Cotton Kingdom and Antebellum South the park includes: 

  • Fort Rosalie
  • William Johnson House
  •  Melrose Estate

Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo, MS
Connected portions of the Mississippi River to salt licks in central Tennessee

Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, Tupelo, MS
Historic battle site of a Civil War railroad supply dispute where the Confederacy won the battle but lost the war

Tupelo National Battlefield, Tupelo, MS
Commemorates the site where Union troops fought and won over the Confederate troops battling for access to the railroads

Mississippi Hills, Tupelo, MS
The birthplace of Elvis! 

Gulf Islands National Seashore, Ocean Springs MS
The Mississippi of the National Seashore consist of the Davis Bayou area in Ocean Springs. It also includes six barrier islands. All of which are accessible by private boat year round.

  • Cat Island
  • West Ship Island
  • East Ship Island
  • Horn Island
  • West Petit Bois Island (aka Sand Island)
  • Petit Bois Island

National Parks in Alabama and Florida

Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Birmingham, AL
Honors nonviolent protestors in the racial discrimination fight, established in January 2017

Freedom Riders National Monument, Anniston, AL
Includes a former Greyhound Bus Station.  The Freedom Riders fought segregation during travel. Established in January 2017

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Daviston, AL
Honors the 800 Upper Creek soldiers who died during the War of 1812

Little River Canyon National Preserve, Fort Payne, AL
Exploration and recreation of the amazing river and canyon systems, waterfalls and cliffs

Russell Cave National Monument, Bridgeport, AL
Nature paths and the Birds of Prey program. There are also records of prehistoric Indians

Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, Hayneville, AL
Celebrates the 54-mile non-violent march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. . This march led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Tuskegee, AL
Training site of the Red Tails, the first African American pilots in the US military

Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, Tuskegee, AL
School  founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881 for the education of African Americans

Gulf Islands National Seashore, Gulf Breeze, Perdido Key, and Pensacola, FL
The best of the beaches, coastal marshes, nature trails, and marine life. Includes: 

  • Johnson’s Beach in Perdido Key
  • Fort Pickens in Pensacola Beach
  • Fort Barrancas on the Pensacola Naval Air Station
  • Naval Live Oaks Area near Gulf Breeze
  •  Santa Rosa Day Use Area, Opal Beach
  •  Okaloosa Day Use Area

Some of the parks are free to enter. Others have a small admission fee. Visit to learn more about the National Parks near New Orleans.

Every Kid In A Park Passes

Do you have a fourth grader in your family? Fourth graders can get a special pass that gets them into every national park for FREE for one school year.  

Why 4th graders? Research shows that kids ages 9-11 are more open to learning about the world around them. They also love to learn about the nature and history of our country. Research shows that kids ages 9-11 are more open to learning about the world around them. Also the nature and history of our country. You only get one chance to see all the parks for FREE! So make sure you see all you can see during that year.

Things to know

  • This pass is good for children under 16 and up to three adults with the 4th grader. It also covers one passenger vehicle at parks that charge vehicle entrance fees.
  • The pass does not cover parking, excursions, rentals or special tours
  • You can not sure your pass with friends, as each pass has an unique code.
  • Parks can not accept an electronic copy. They also can not accept screenshots. You must print your pass and bring it with you each time you visit.

Have you visited any of these locations? Which is your favorite? Which historical area is best for a family road trip? Post your suggestions in the comments!



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