As part of a visit to New Orleans, be sure to allow a leisurelymorning or afternoon to visit a new attraction: the Louisiana SwampExhibit at the Audubon Zoological Garden.
The reconstituted swamp occupies the site of an 18th-century sugarplantation on the Mississippi. Wooden walkways lead past cypress,willows, and red swamp maples to re-created Indian and Cajun villages.You’ll see some 50 species of swamp animals, including alligators,cougars, raccoons, nutrias, otters, a variety of birds, and–through awindow in the habitat house–snakes and Louisiana’s quintessentialcrustacean, the crayfish.
In the trapperhs cabin, you can see displays of native and Cajunartifacts, and shop for such gifts as decoys, cornhusk dolls, and file(sassafras flavoring for gumbo). At Cypress Knee Cafe, you can eatjambalaya, smoked pork sausage and rice, or seafood, while listening torecorded Cajun music. Elsewhere in Audubon Zoo, more than 1,000 animals are on view,including many endangered species. (Zoo staff are especially proud ofZuri, the white tiger.) The zoo is open year-round from 9:30 to 4:30 weekdays, to 5Saturdays, to 6 Sundays. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for childrenand seniors. If you’re staying downtown or in the French Quarter, considera boat cruise up the Mississippi to the zoo. The Cotton Blossom departson 45-minute cruises from the foot of Canal Street at 10, 12:45, and3:30 daily.
Round-trip fare with zoo admission is $9.50 adults, $5.75children. For reservations, call (504) 586-8777. Another option is to ride the historic St.
Charles Avenue streetcar(one-way fare is 60 cents), then transfer to the Broadway bus for theshort ride to the zoo, at 6500 Magazine Street.