Louisiana Swamp Adventures

Visiting a swamp may sound more like punishment than a vacation, but the swamps surrounding the New Orleans area are one of its most beautiful and interesting attractions.

Over thousands of years the Mississippi River delta has created vast wetlands throughout southern Louisiana. Here the swamps are shallow flooded lands full of handsome cypress trees draped with Spanish moss plus countless kinds of grasses, shrubs, and vines. There is an abundant variety of animal life and birds, and it is easy to see alligators whenever the weather is warm.

Tourists often feel the need to take an expensive narrated swamp tour in a slow boat, or race through at high speeds in a flat-bottomed airboat. But it is easy to reach Jean Lafitte National Historical Park by driving a few minutes south of New Orleans, where you can take your own quiet tour walking through beautiful swamps on raised wooden walkways. Signs all along the way explain the important points and the area's history.