Updated: May 28, 2019
Mississippi River Walk
When I decided to make a sightseeing trip through four states in one day, I knew that the Mississippi River Walk was on the list of places I wanted to see! My goal was to see and do as many free things as I could in one day. Watching the sunset on the Mississippi River Walk was the perfect way to end my mini road trip!
What to do at The Mississippi River Walk
If you are in New Orleans and want to see more than just the French Quarter or if you want to escape the party scene, the Mississippi River Walk is your safe haven!
Strolling along the bank of the river is the perfect way to wind down your day. The River Walk is peaceful and the view is unreal. Whether you are traveling solo, with friends or family, or on a romantic get away; you won't be sorry for scheduling the Mississippi River Walk into your trip.
The River, or as the locals say "Old Muddy", is the lifeline of New Orleans and also provides entertainment and activities for all ages on any budget. Here are some of my favorite finds to do along the Mississippi!
Woldenberg Park - Free
Woldenberg Park is a perfect spot to bike, walk, jog or just sit back and relax on the riverbank. While there you can expect to enjoy watching the ships floating down the river while having a picnic with fresh French beignets from Cafe Du Monde. You can typically find some music for entertainment along the river and view some of the historical art sculptures, including a memorial to the Holocaust survivors.
Audubon Aquarium - Starting at $17
The Audubon Aquarium is a fascinating excursion that is family friendly and interesting for all ages! When I was little, I wanted to be a marine biologist and live at Sea World! Visiting the aquarium is the next best - including ethical treatment of their underwater friends!
Visitors have the opportunity to get up close and see some of the oceans most beautiful and rare creatures. The Aquarium's biggest highlight is The Caribbean Reef tunnel. The tunnel is 30 feet long and made of glass. This literally allows you to take a walk under the sea!
The Aquarium is also a safe harbor for some of the worlds endangered species, including the white alligator and rare neon colored frogs. You can also waddle with the penguins, touch a baby shark, and talk with the naturalist. There is certainly a ton to see and do at the aquarium that 15,000 sea life creatures and about 600 species call home.
Riverboat Sunset Cruise with Dinner - Prices vary
There are a lot of riverboats that will take you out for a day cruise, historical tour, or romantic dinner. These are a great way to catch some live Jazz music, enjoy a Creole-style dinner, learn about the National Historical Park and Preserve, and enjoy the fresh air and stunning views. Tours range from 45 mins to all day with a wide range of boat and tour options.
Take a Ferry Ride - For Free
If you want a different view of the river and don't want to spend any money, take the free ferry at the foot of Canal Street. Yes, it really is free! The ferry leaves every 15 minutes for a ride across the river and back! Who doesn't love a free joy ride!
Cascading Fountain at the Spanish Plaza - Free
The Louisiana heat is like none other! The Fountains at the Spanish Plaza are the perfect place to stop and cool off. There are benches around the cascading fountain at the Spanish Plaza. The fountains are located in front of the mall entrance. The Plaza typically has live music to serenade you. In the late afternoon or early evening, this is a favorite spot to enjoy some free entertainment and a cool breeze.
Shopping at Riverwalk Mall - Your own expense
If you are in the mood to shop, the Riverwalk Mall is on the wharf just beyond Canal Street and considered the beginning of one side of the river walk. The shopping plaza is right beside the Fountain at the Spanish Plaza. Inside the Riverwalk you'll find three levels of shops and places to grab a sweet treat, meal, or drink. For the anti-shopper who you drug with you into the mall, there is the Hilton Riverside Hotel sports bar on the third floor. If you plan to drive, don't forget to bring your parking ticket with you to get validated at Butterfield.
Walk or Bike Crescent Park - Free
Crescent Park is along side the river and offers a beautiful city view. You can access it just past the French Market at Elysian Fields and continues till Bywater. Crescent Park stretches for 1.4 miles along the Mississippi and is the perfect place for a long walk or bike ride.
Browse the Bywater Farmers Market - Free
New Orleans has a ton of Farmers Market and Street Vender pop ups! A great spot to grab your treats before you settle into Crescent Park. The market can be found at the Rusty Rainbow, the footbridge to Crescent Park, and located at Chartres and Piety. You can find produce, proteins, bread, and value-added goods. Stop by the market on Wednesdays from 3-7pm and enjoy the sweet tunes of local musicians.
Toss a Frisbee or Enjoy a Cookout at The Fly - Free
There is a waterfront area tucked behind Audubon Zoo across the Mississippi River levee that the locals call "The Fly". The Fly is the waterfront portion of Audubon Park. The Fly is a great waterfront spot to simply hang out, toss a frisbee, have a crawfish boil, barbecue, or watch the sun go down over the river. Take a blanket, chairs, games, and a grill!
Historical Value to Visiting the Mississippi River Walk
The Mississippi River is the chief river of the largest drainage system on the North American continent. It starts in northern Minnesota & slowly continues southwards for 2,320 miles to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mississippi ranks as the fourth longest and ninth largest river in the world.
The Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 31 US states and 2 Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains.
Why I Wanted to Stroll Along The Mississippi River
The Mississippi River..... Well, my first thought was, I finally got to see where Huckleberry Finn would have made his great adventure. My second thought (feel free to judge me) was that I had no idea that the Mississippi River ran along side of New Orleans. I think I missed that geography lesson somewhere between the mention of Mardi Grad & Cajun cooking. The close proximity of the river walk to New Orleans, allowed me to knock two things off my bucket list at one time! New Orleans and the Mississippi River walk did not fail to provide a great experience.
Hope these tips and recommendations help you navigate and plan your trip! Come back after your trip and share your experience in the comments below!
Do you have any other tips or crazy stories you want to share? Leave them in the comments below! We would love to read them!
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