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New Orleans & Beyond
Watch alligators chow down, see 200-pound Komodo dragons, and come eye to eye with oh-so-human orangutans at the Audubon Zoo. Then explore the 250-square mile Honey Island Swamp on a flat-bottom barge—see if your family can spot wolves, alligators, or the rare Florida Cougar. A trip to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas lets kids meet Spots, the rare albino alligator, rowdy sea otters, and those famous penguins that were evacuated during Hurricane Katrina. Younger family members will love the Aquarium's Adventure Island where they can touch and maybe even feed stingrays and other sea creatures.
Take your kids on a watery adventure into the heart of Louisiana's swamplands. Numerous Mississippi River boat tours depart New Orleans daily. Glide through spooky bayous lined with moss-draped cypress trees—a natural habitat for alligators, egrets, white-tailed deer, and mink.
Give kids a taste of authentic "Cajun" culture and precious wetland ecosystems in this unique region. Half of the basin is the Gulf's ocean shore, and the other half swampland—a magical maze of islands, canals, marshes, alligators, and water birds. See it from Wildlife Gardens' trails and boardwalks, or even better, by boat with a guide. At Jungle Gardens on Avery Island, families stroll paths beneath oaks laced with Spanish moss and see exotic plants, animals, and thousands of snowy egrets. A visit to Grand Isle State Park is great for beach walking, fishing from the pier, and spotting close-to-shore dolphins.