Treat yourself to some “lagniappe” when you visit Jefferson Parish, where you’ll find authentic Southern charm from the shore of Lake Pontchartrain to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.
Located just west of New Orleans, the parish is a great place to experience Louisiana’s vibrant culture, lively Mardi Gras celebrations, fishing towns, coastal communities, historic sites, state parks, and swamps.
Take your time while you’re here exploring and you’ll discover all kinds of things that’ll have you coming back for more, including world-class fishing, family-friendly festivals, and some of the best oysters on the planet along the Louisiana Oyster Trail.
With its wetlands and woodlands, Jefferson Parish is a must visit for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Spy sun-basking alligators as you explore tranquil swamps and marshes on a boat tour, then along wooden boardwalks that afford incredible views of the wildlife at Barataria Preserve in the Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve.
For some time on the beach, head to Grand Isle State Park. Soak up the sun on the sandy coastline, swim in the surf, birdwatch from 2.5 miles of nature trails, and cast a fishing line from the pier. Speaking of fishing, Grand Isle hosts the International Tarpon Rodeo, the oldest fishing tournament in the country and a big draw to the area each July.
When you need to cool off in the summer, go for a splash in the popular wave pool at Bayou Segnette State Park before venturing out to spot egrets, alligators, and turtles. Reserve one of the park’s new floating cabins with wrap-around porches perfect for watching the sun rise.
If you’re looking for the ultimate angling adventure, charter a boat or hire a fishing guide to take you out on the many waterways of Jefferson Parish for some of the best fishing in the state. The abundance of fresh and saltwater in the parish provides a large variety of fish you can hook throughout the year, from catfish and redfish to tarpon and bass.
Food is a way of life in Jefferson Parish, and the Louisiana Oyster Trail maps out where to go for the parish’s best oysters. Louisiana is the country’s top producer of oysters, and the trail features a long list of restaurants that serve them in a multitude of enticing ways. Along the Trail, you’ll get to enjoy the whimsy of each participating restaurant’s 3-foot tall oyster sculpture hand-painted with flair by a local artist. Each October, “The Gumbo Capital of the World” hosts the Bridge City Gumbo Festival. It’s a weekend-long party with live music, a gumbo cooking contest, arts and crafts, and the crowning of Miss Creole Gumbo and King Creole Gumbo.
Visit Jefferson Parish to experience the state’s fascinating history. Bike or stroll through their quaint historic districts, Gretna, Westwego and Kenner’s Rivertown.
While you can enjoy the outdoors, culinary delights, and historical attractions here throughout the year, you won’t want to miss one of parish’s vibrant fairs and festivals. Join in on the “biggest party on earth” as you experience Mardi Gras. During this festive time, enjoy the annual Family Gras Music Festival, a free three-day event. Bring the whole family and experience the spectacle of Mardi Gras parades, authentic cuisine, local art, a kids' court and outdoor concerts by both national artists and Louisiana favorites.
Savor all the delicious gumbo you can handle (and dance along to some country, blues, and zydeco) at the Bridge City Gumbo Festival. To get a taste of the parish’s many cultures, find yourself at the Gretna Heritage Festival. Sip on delicious brews in the German Beer Garden, swing your hips to Latin music in the Latino Village, and dig into mouthwatering fare in the Italian Village. This three-day festival also includes performances by big-name bands, so get ready for a great time.
If you’re looking for an authentic escape to Louisiana, plan a trip to Jefferson Parish. Get started here.