Chalmette Battlefield

8606 W St Bernard Hwy
Chalmette LA 70043
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Located just six miles downriver from New Orleans' historic French Quarter, the Chalmette Battlefield, part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, commemorates the Battle of New Orleans which took place on the site Jan. 8, 1815. In addition to the sprawling battlefield, visitors will find the Chalmette National Cemetery, the 100-foot-high Chalmette Monument and the Malus-Beauregard House.

Parking and public transportation at the Chalmette Battlefield
Free public parking is available at the Chalmette Battlefield. However, no public transportation is available.

Best and worst time to go to the Chalmette Battlefield
One of the best times to visit the Chalmette Battlefield is around the January 8 anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. Reenactments and battlefield lantern tours bring the site to life. Lantern tours sell out, so make reservations early. The worst time to visit is during the peak summer heat in July and August.

Admission to the Chalmette Battlefield
Admission to the Chalmette Battlefield is free. The site's visitor center offers books, music and period reproductions for sale. Reenactments for the Battle of New Orleans in early January are free, although the January lanterns tours require tickets. See the National Park Service website or the St. Bernard Parish tourism site for details.

Must see and do at the Chalmette Battlefield
Daring visitors will want to climb the 100-foot-tall obelisk at the battlefield for commanding views of the surrounding area. A National Park Service ranger is onsite to give a Battle of New Orleans talk Tuesday through Saturday around 2:45 p.m. (coinciding with the Creole Queen docking at the battlefield). The Chalmette National Cemetery has undergone a recent restoration and serves as the final resting place from soldiers from the War of 1812 through the Vietnam War.

Other places to visit near the Chalmette Battlefield
Visitors to the Chalmette Battlefield with a little time and their own transportation should drive through New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, the site of some of the worst devastation from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Just down St. Bernard Highway from the battlefield is Rocky and Carlo's Restaurant, a Chalmette fixture. And visitors looking for another St. Bernard Parish hidden gem should tour the Los Isleños Heritage & Cultural Society Museum, which tells the story of Canary Islanders who immigrated to St. Bernard Parish in the late 18th century.

Insider tip for visitors to the Chalmette Battlefield
Visitors traveling to the Chalmette Battlefield from the French Quarter may consider taking the Creole Queen paddlewheeler from the New Orleans riverfront down to the battlefield. The ride affords a superb view of St. Louis Cathedral from the Mississippi River.

Author's bio: Frank McCormack is a freelance writer and photographer, family chef, aspiring Italian and fair weather sailor living in New Orleans, La.