One of the most lush, greenery-filled areas of New Orleans, Bayou St. John feels like a nature retreat smack dab in the middle of the city. The bayou cuts directly through the neighborhood and is an ideal place for kayaking, paddle boarding or simply enjoying a picnic along the water’s edge or on the pedestrian bridge. For even more outdoorsy activity, City Park—and the must-visit New Orleans Museum of Art’s sculpture garden—bump up directly to the water. It offers a number of recreational opportunities, from admiring stately, moss-lined oaks and promenading swans to playing a round of mini golf while eating beignets from the park’s outpost of Morning Call.
Know Before You Go: If you’re thirsty, head to Pal’s Lounge (949 N. Rendon) for a quick round of air hockey and an Old Pal cocktail before a different kind of lounging by the bayou.
Ferry to Algiers Point 1 Canal Street New Orleans, LA 70130
A neighborhood directly across the river from the French Quarter but half a world away, Algiers Point is a village-like community that just so happens to be located within parish limits. Most easily accessible by taking the ferry (which runs every 30 minutes) across the Mississippi, walks along the levy, snacking on freshly shucked oysters and low-key cocktails from bars like Crown and Anchor are the goal. The Point (as it’s known) is serious locals-only territory, so don’t be surprised if after a couple of rounds of darts and beers at Old Point Bar you’re invited back to an impromptu dinner looking out across the river towards Jackson Square.
Know Before You Go: The last ferry returns at 9:45 p.m. on weeknights, so don’t get trapped. (Attempting to swim across the Mississippi River is, obviously, not advised.)