Too often do we hear about student groups and/or families that would love to make a trip to New Orleans for the culture, history, and architecture, but don’t go through with it due to the expected party scene or Mardi Gras time of year. We believe that there is such great and unique Southern culture down near NOLA that you shouldn’t have to worry about when you are going to make and what you are going to catch an eye-full of while you are down there, which is why we always suggest student groups head right next door to Jefferson Parish.
Jefferson Parish is the diverse and gorgeous southern hotspot that we actually consider a ‘hidden gem’ for student groups, the entire Parish sitting along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain and following the path 60 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. This NOLA neighbor is known to have all that New Orleans does, only a tad more family-friendly and less crowded overall. Explore the vibrant nightlife and nature bliss, observe the high rises and historic homes, and take advantage of the fishing piers and green spaces! You will find both history and adventure within these streets, the area one of rapid growth and business development here of late.
The city of Gretna holds this parish seat, a great place to start your visit! Depending on what your group is most interested in, you can see the Gretna Historic District, Westwego Sala Avenue, and the Farmers Market and Art Walk. You will pass several outdoor shopping centers and malls, open-air markets, and endless outdoor recreation options, from viewing alligators in the swamps to swimming and boating in the river. Check out Adventure Quest Laser Tag, Airboat Adventures, Audubon Nature Institute, or the Lafitte Barataria Museum for some really intense fun! Be sure to check and see if there are any local fairs, festivals, or parades happening during your visit, one of our favorites being Family Gras.