New Orleans offers more than Mardi Gras, as the lucky people who have visited the Audubon Nature Institute already know. This nonprofit organization operates a family of 10 museums and parks, all dedicated to nature and to educating and entertaining visitors while also protecting the environment.
A trip to the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium is a great choice, as both were recently nominated for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. The Audubon Zoo includes a splash park and a lazy river (available May 4– Sept. 2).
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is located on the Mississippi River and includes a walk-through tunnel, a 400,000-gallon shark tank and a sea turtle rescue program. Your entrance fee includes entry to the adjacent Entergy Giant Screen Theatre, which shows educational movies related to ocean life.
Housed in the 170-year-old U.S. Custom House, the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium offers a close-up view of this historical building as well as hundreds of butterflies and insects. The various exhibits at the Insectarium offer myriad ways to learn about the bug world. As they stroll through the Butterfly Garden, visitors encounter hundreds of colorful creatures freely flying in the Asian-style garden. They can head to the Underground Gallery to experience the life of an ant through an exhibit that teaches about the impact that bugs have on the environment.
Top photo: Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Photos by Audubon Institute
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Patriots Point "Home of the USS Yorktown"
Savannah Riverboat Cruises
Texas de Brazil
U.S. Space & Rocket Center