Planning on traveling down South? A trip to Louisiana (and New Orleans in particular) can be a wonderful adventure. Whether you want to sample beignets in the French Quarter or gamble to your heart’s content at Harrah’s Casino, Louisiana offers plenty of experiences that are accessible to wheelchair users. Not sure which things to put on your to-do list? Start with this list of the best wheelchair-friendly attractions in Louisiana.
1. French Quarter
The French Quarter is one of Louisiana’s most popular handicap accessible attractions (and pretty much a requisite tourist spot). The area gives you a great sense of the unique history, architecture, and musical influences of the city. With everything from street performers and jazz clubs to art galleries and fancy restaurants, everyone can find something to fall in love with in the French Quarter.
Most of the streets are handicap accessible, but it’s probably best to head to Bourbon Street when it’s less crowded with tourists so you can travel around more easily. It can also be helpful to bring a travel ramp with you in case you want to enter a building that has a small step or no wheelchair ramp. Keep in mind that the French Quarter is New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood, so you might have to do a little maneuvering to get around – but don’t worry, it’ll be worth it!
This science center, located on the riverfront in Shreveport, is a must-see attraction. It is 67,000 square feet with over 200 interactive science exhibits, six discovery galleries, an IMAX dome theater, a demonstration theater, a cafe, and a gift shop! And all of that is completely wheelchair-accessible. With a captivating planetarium and over 60 astronomy and space exhibits, you can spend an entire day getting wrapped up in the mysteries of the universe.
3. Mardi Gras World
One of the best handicap-accessible things to do in New Orleans is to visit Mardi Gras World. The city is known for its Mardi Gras celebrations every February, which includes the famous Fat Tuesday parade with more than 40 amazing floats. If you’re traveling during any other time of the year, you can take a tour of more than 500 floats, where they’re kept in the off season.
The tour also includes information on how the floats are made and the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. There’s even a scenic restaurant called Mardi Gras World Cafe where you can get a free slice of King Cake! The tour is completely wheelchair-accessible but the shuttle is not, so you’ll have to travel by your own van to get to the location itself.
4. Steamboat Natchez
Want to feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the days of the great ol’ steamboat? The Steamboat Natchez allows you to take a ride on the very last authentic steamboat as it travels on the Mississippi River. Once you’re on board, there are guided narrations that describe sites you’ll see along the river, as well as interesting facts about the history of New Orleans.
You can take a day harbor jazz cruise or a fun dinner jazz cruise at night. The boat is wheelchair accessible, but it can be helpful to call ahead of time to finalize your admission in case the staff needs to provide special equipment or arrange specific access for you.
5. Harrah’s Casino
Harrah’s Casino is definitely one of the best New Orleans attractions for disabled adults. It’s basically like going to Vegas right on Canal Street. Besides the great gambling opportunities, the casino also features the Fillmore Theater, which is home to some amazing shows and concerts. Harrah’s is super handicap-accessible, so you won’t have any trouble getting around.
6. The Westin New Orleans Canal Place
Not sure where to stay when you’re in New Orleans? The Westin is perhaps one of the best wheelchair-accessible resorts in Louisiana. It’s a high-rise hotel that sits above a mall with luxury shops, offering gorgeous views of the city and a newly renovated lounge area. You can see all of the French Quarter from the top floor!
The hotel is wheelchair-friendly (and some visitors have noted that it has some of the most accessible bathrooms for your convenience). Why not spend your day taking advantage of the best attractions and then return to your hotel for comfortable (yet still glam) lodging?
There are so many awesome sights to take advantage of while you’re in Louisiana. Just make sure to load your itinerary with locations that will be wheelchair-accessible. Don’t forget to call places ahead of time to learn more about how the staff can make your trip easier.
Planning for special accommodations can be the key to a fun, safe, and memorable experience! And if you’re going to be driving in Louisiana, here’s a breakdown of what you need to know for handicap parking permits in the state. Happy travels!
If you have a wheelchair but have yet to get your handicap placard, you can do so via telemedicine.