New Orleans’s newest public park lies along about a mile and a half of the Mississippi River—a lovely retreat reclaimed from industrial squalor. The main entrance is near the foot of Esplanade Avenue, marked by a boxy footbridge (with elevator) over the railroad tracks, which divide the park from nearby low-slung neighborhoods. While walking along the water, note how the powerful Mississippi’s twists and currents require dexterity from a river pilot, as the huge passing barges slide past sideways angling for the bends. At Piety Wharf—a former warehouse location converted into a massive sculpture that invites contemplation—you can cross a steeply arched span (designed by noted architect David Adjaye, and locally dubbed the Rusty Rainbow) into the Bywater neighborhood for a walk back to the French Quarter.

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