New Orleans Sights

Bayou St. John

  • From the foot of Jefferson Davis Pkwy. to Lakeshore Dr. Map It
  • Bayou St. John
  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

Published 07/24/2015

Fodor's Review

A bayou is a natural inlet, usually a slow-moving, narrow waterway that emerges from the swamp at one end and joins a larger body of water at the other. This bayou—the only one remaining in New Orleans—borders City Park on the east and extends about 7 miles from Lake Pontchartrain to just past Orleans Avenue. It is named for John the Baptist. June 23 (St. John's Eve, and therefore the day before his feastday) was the most important day in the year for voodoo practitioners, and it was notoriously celebrated on the bayou's banks in the 1800s. The first European settlers in the area, most likely trappers, coexisted with Native Americans here beginning in 1704. Today, the Bayou is still a popular destination among New Orleanians, whether for tradition's sake—as is the case for the famed Mardi Gras Indians, who gather here for their annual celebrations—for a festival such as the Bayou Boogaloo in May, or simply for a relaxing afternoon of fishing, canoeing, or picnicking along the grassy banks. Scenic biking and walking trails run alongside the waterway all the way to the lake, where you can watch the graceful old homes of picturesque Moss Street morph into the dazzling waterfront mansions of Bancroft Drive.

Sight Information


From the foot of Jefferson Davis Pkwy. to Lakeshore Dr., New Orleans, Louisiana, 70119, USA

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Published 07/24/2015


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