Top 10 Things to Do in Jefferson Parish
Explore Jefferson Parish in a whole new way!
1. Dining Destinations
New Orleans’ next door neighbor, Jefferson Parish, has many family-friendly restaurants that are sure to satisfy, offering a range of options. Begin your culinary journey in Metairie, Louisiana’s fourth-largest city. Suggestions include R&O Restaurant & Catering, a legendary Metairie restaurant that specializes in Italian-meets-Cajun dishes — it might be the only place in town where you’ll find spaghetti and crawfish pies on the same menu.
Other Metairie standouts include Deanies Seafood (home to its own crawfish festival) and Bear’s Poboys at Gennaro’s. In nearby Harahan you’ll find Oak Oven, a farm-to-table restaurant where meals are cooked to perfection over open flames.
And because no trip to Louisiana is complete without trying our awesome seafood, a trip to Drago’s Seafood Restaurant is absolutely a must. Drago’s is so beloved by Louisianians that local potato chip maker Zapp’s added a Drago’s-flavored chip to its line in 2016. The restaurant’s most famous dish is its charbroiled oysters.
2. Bayou Segnette State Park
You can get away from it all by hardly leaving the city. Bayou Segnette is just a 20-minute drive across the Mississippi River from Metairie, and it offers endless opportunities for families seeking some chill time outdoors. Boating, fishing, canoeing, hiking, picnicking and overnight camping are just a few of the highlights, though perhaps the biggest draw for families visiting during warm weather months is swimming in the park’s wave pool.
3. Downtown Gretna and Historical Society
Downtown Gretna is a slice of Louisiana history, with charming, walkable streets that look like they’re from a different era. The city, possibly named for a 1830s play about runaway marriages that were also often performed in the city, is rich in Louisiana-German history. Learn all about this hidden Jefferson Parish gem at the Gretna Historical Society Museum, housed within a historic Creole cottage.
4. Treasure Chest Casino
It’s a safe bet you’ll have a night of fun aboard this floating casino, located in Kenner on the Lake Pontchartrain waterfront. Featuring nearly 1,000 popular slot titles and 36 table games, Treasure Chest Casino has everything you need for a night out. The games are complemented by two restaurants and a luxurious concert space called the Caribbean Showroom.
5. Grand Isle State Park, Birding Trail and Tarpon Rodeo
Pack up the sunscreen, grab your sunglasses and head to Grand Isle, a barrier island where you’ll find Louisiana’s premier Gulf front beach. Grand Isle State Park is a refuge for numerous bird species that migrate through the area, stopping by on their way to or from nesting grounds as far away as South America. It’s also a fun place to bring the family to dip your toes in the water, fire up the grill or even stay overnight.
The Grand Isle Birding Trail, Louisiana’s first, was founded by The Nature Conservancy. It takes outdoors enthusiasts through south Louisiana’s fragile ecosystem to see some of the hundreds of species of feathered friends.
Finally, there’s the Grand Isle International Tarpon Rodeo, billed as the oldest fishing tournament in the nation. Tarpons are big and beautiful Gulf fish, and you better believe the pro’s participating in this fishing rodeo will be reeling in some giants. Other events taking place include the kid's crab races, Miss Grand Isle pageant, live music and dancing.
6. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve
As one of just a handful of sites in Louisiana administered by the National Park Service, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve is a treasured ecosystem located just a short drive from the cities. Here you’ll find south Louisiana at its swampiest, where alligators bask, shorebirds wade and the sounds of the forest are unlike anything you’ll hear elsewhere on Earth.
Mention “fishing village” to many Jefferson Parish locals, and the first thing that might come to their mind is Lafitte. Lafitte residents live and breathe the fishing industry, which is evident when driving down streets where boats aplenty are parked beneath houses built on high piers. There are no shortage of saltwater fishing outfitters here, who can get you deep into the brackish (saltwater and freshwater-mixed) swamps to catch redfish and speckled trout. There's also great fishing opportunities out of Barataria and Grand Isle. Check out local charter fishing companies and book a trip.
8. Lafitte's Barataria Museum and Wetland Trace
Lafitte's Barataria Museum tells the 200-year story the fishing communities along Bayou Barataria. Exhibits explore the people and industries of the region, including the notorious pirate Jean Lafitte, who operated in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 1800s. Behind the museum lies the Wetland Trace, a boardwalk trail through a cypress swamp leading to a bayou, egret rookery and marsh area. Stroll boardwalks that cover 41 acres of beautiful moss-covered wetlands. The many trails include covered pavilions, scenic overlooks and benches. It is a popular place to see various wetland wildlife like alligators, turtles and herons as well as marsh plants like lilies and orchids.
9. Jefferson Parish Oyster Trail
Fact: 70 percent of oysters caught in the U.S. come from the Gulf Coast. Many of those harvested come from Louisiana, and Jefferson Parish is home to some of the state’s main oyster grounds. It makes sense, then, that the parish has a series of restaurants specializing in the delicacy, each of which features three-foot-tall, hand-painted oyster sculptures. Twenty-three restaurants participate in the Jefferson Parish Oyster Trail program. Some local favorites include Acme Oyster House, Don’s Seafood and Perino’s Boiling Pot.
10. Rivertown in Kenner
Rivertown is a 16-block historic district located in the heart of Kenner. This community is a scenic slice of old-school Jefferson Parish and offers family-friendly entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere, right next to the levee overlooking the Mississippi River. Highlights include the Kenner Planetarium and MegaDome Cinema, Rivertown Space Science Complex, the Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts, the Castle Theater, and LaSalle's Landing.
Learn more things to do in the area at Visit Jefferson Parish.