Visitors to the Big Easy might be surprised to learn that some of the many local festivals take place outside the city. One of those, the Gretna Heritage Festival, is just across the river from New Orleans, held annually the first weekend in October (Friday through Sunday). Reachable by ferry from the foot of Canal Street, Gretna Fest is part music festival, part carnival, part cultural celebration, and entirely fun. Multiple stages offer non-stop musical entertainment and kids of all ages will love the carnival rides and games. Add to that endless food options, a beer garden, and arts and crafts, and there is something for everyone. Festival tickets can be purchased in advance through the festival's website, or at the gate. The delightful and scenic ferry ride across the Mississippi from the French Quarter to Gretna costs $8 round trip (exact change, cash only).