Jefferson Parish has plenty of fun things to do, like taking a walk at the Lafitte Barataria Museum. Photos by Larry Shiflet

Experience the other side of the Big Easy! With New Orleans only six hours away by car and just a little over an hour by plane, most of us have walked the streets of the French Quarter, spent a night on Bourbon Street and sipped caf au laits at Caf Du Monde. But it isn't often that visitors to the French Quarter venture off the cobblestone streets and away from the beignets. Jefferson Parish stretches 60 miles from the shores of the scenic Lake Pontchartrain to the Gulf of Mexico. Boasting everything from fishing and airboat tours to two convention centers and fine dining, Jefferson Parish has something for everyone. Host your next business trip or plan a family getaway. There are more than enough amenities to entertain.

TO DO

Mardi Gras World
A visit to Mardi Gras World is simply a must. Beads, floats, colorful costumes and more we're all familiar with Mardi Gras. But what exactly goes into planning such a magnificent and monumental festivity each year? Find out at Mardi Gras World. Get behind-the-scenes access to the making of Mardi Gras as you see how these magical floats come together from the ground up. Tours are available seven days a week and include photo ops with floats and Mardi Gras costumes, a video and a slice of King Cake of course. Transportation from 20 downtown locations is available.

Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World will entertain all ages as you view the floats and the float making process up close.

Lance Lacrosse surprised everyone by jumping into the water to swim with and feed wild alligators by having them take marshmallows from his mouth. Just last week, a video of this went viral and Jefferson Parish authorities have asked Lacrosse to stop. The airboat adventure will still be worth your time - it is a treat to go into the marvelous bayous of Louisiana.

Airboat Adventures
Head down to the bayou and hop on an airboat for an adventure through the swamplands you won't soon forget. Airboat Adventures offers personal tours and will even provide hotel pick-up. Open seven days a week you can find them less than a half hour from the French Quarter. Tour 20,000 acres of tidewater cypress swamp from the back of an airboat as you wind your way through the bayou. The Louisiana lowlands are home to a diverse ecosystem, so keep those eyes peeled! Nestled throughout the swamp and among the cypress and tupelo-gum trees are all sorts of Louisiana locals don't be surprised to see gators, snakes, turtles, herons and more during your airboat adventure.

Gretna is a great destination, and the courthouse, left middle, is the centerpiece of fun restaurants, bars and museums.

Lafitte Barataria Museum
The Adventures of Jean Lafitte provide a one-stop Cajun adventure for kids of all ages. Learn about the history of the swamp lands and Sir Jean Lafitte himself during a brief interactive film before taking a tour of the museum, nature trail and swamp. Step back in time, into the shoes of Lafitte, as you are immersed in this historical swampland escape.

Race cars lined up at the NOLA Speedway (yes, you can rent a car and drive the speedway).

NOLA Motorsports
Jefferson Parish is home to a world-class motorsports facility that is NOLA Motorsports. Host your next private event or corporate conference, plan an afternoon of karting or test drive an exotic car NOLA Motorsports has accommodations for every need.

Jefferson Louisiana Oyster Trail
A trip along the Jefferson Louisiana Oyster Trail is an adventure all its own. Created to showcase the excellent oyster eateries located in Jefferson Parish, the Oyster Trail is an art and awareness campaign helping to locate these tasty landmarks. Restaurants serving up "gotta try em" oysters will each be marked by unique, three-foot-tall oyster sculptures designed by various local artists. A map of the Oyster Trail can be found at .

The TPC Louisiana Course
The TPC Louisiana course, designed by Pete Dye, opened in 2004 right outside New Orleans. It is a public course where they host Louisiana’s only PGA event - the Zurich Classic. The course is a shot makers’s challenge, and while some holes can be forgiving, you still have to be able to make the shots. Fantastic course for amateurs, beginners and pros with five different tee boxes. There are some short, par-4 holes but they are no ‘gimmes’ and there are more than 100 sand bunkers. The scenery is great - surrounded by lakes - but look carefully near the ponds and you will probably find a few alligators sunning. This is one place you leave stray balls in the water. It is located near the NOLA Speedway so you can make a great day of fun.

DINING

Acme Oyster House
Stop by the famous Acme Oyster House, dating back to 1910, where only the freshest oysters are shucked and served. The secret to their success is serving locally sourced oysters that can be found only a short drive from any of their six locations. Grab a group of your closest friends or head on over with the family to enjoy one some of the best charbroiled oysters in Louisiana.

The Galley Seafood
Go where the locals go. At The Galley Seafood, made famous from their years spent serving the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, you'll find some of the best soft-shell crab and catfish filet po'boys in town. It should also be noted that they are part of the Jefferson Louisiana Oyster Trail. You can find The Galley Seafood situated in old-town Metairie, along the beautiful, tree-lined Metairie Road.

Restaurant Des Familles
With 12-foot-high glass windows, perched right along the waters of Lafitte, Restaurant Des Familles is the perfect backdrop for sampling Soft-shell Crab Foster, Shrimp Diane or even their Alligator Stuffed Mushrooms. Sourced locally, their food is some of the freshest and tastiest this side of the Mississippi.

Boutte's
This family-owned business has been in operation for more than 35 years. What started out as a local grocery store soon transformed into a popular, local caf for Lafitte residents when Mrs. Boutte started cooking up creole favorites. Stop by for a taste of this down-home, Cajun cooking and don't miss their famous roast-beef po'boy.

Book a direct flight or make the quick drive out to the other side of NOLA. Plan your trip today. For more information on all there is to do, see, eat and enjoy in Jefferson Parish, visit .


Boutte’s is classic Louisiana cooking. Friendly and a bit out of the way, the food here is incredible. Brolied oysters at the Acme Oyster House are fantastic.