There’s never a bad reason to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, but with Earth Day (April 22) in mind, we’re counting up our favorite outdoor spaces in Metairie and River Ridge. Pack your picnic gear or maybe just a football to toss around — here’s your chance to soak up the sun!
Lafreniere Park — We profiled this sprawling park not long ago, taking note of its picnic areas, landscaped greens, hills, running trails, and so much more. This is one of the best spaces in the heart of the city to enjoy peaceful greenery all around, whether you opt for a jog along the running trail or a birding excursion on the park’s Marsh Island. 3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie
Longue Vue House & Gardens — Though it technically falls under a New Orleans address, Longue Vue House & Gardens is located just off Metairie Road. The landscaped gardens feature fragrant blooms like Confederate jasmine and Mexican primrose, all first landscaped by Ellen Biddle Shipman, a prominent female landscape architect, in the 1930s. The gardens, inspired by the Alhambra in Spain, also feature large fountains and walkways, all anchored by a historic mansion built in the classic Revival architecture style. Tickets are $12 for adults and include access to both the mansion and grounds. 7 Bamboo Rd., New Orleans
Bella Ridge Pool — OK, we’re a little biased here. But we spent so much time planning and perfecting the pool at Bella Ridge that we truly believe it’s an outdoor space worth adding to your list. Contact us today about how you can become a Bella Ridge resident and enjoy the pool all through the season! It features thoughtful details like tanning ledges and lush landscaping that transport you to luxury resorts, all right outside your door. 1101 Dickory Dr., River Ridge
Cleary Playground — Tucked away in a quiet part of Metairie, this small, clean playground features open fields and playtime equipment ideal for kids (or kids at heart). Picnic tables and shaded areas are perfect for adults — pack a snack and get going! 3700 Civic St., Metairie
KOA Campgrounds — If you’re really ready to immerse yourself in nature, you can visit the KOA Campground in River Ridge. It’s the official campground for New Orleans West and features campsites for both RVs and tent camping. No pets are allowed, so be sure to find a petsitter for your pup (and send them to these dog parks while you’re gone!). 11129 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge