After you’ve had your fun in New Orleans, try exploring this Louisiana town
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- Published on March 27, 2023
- Last Updated May 15, 2023
- In Places
Gretna, Louisiana is on the other side of the Mississippi and has a history waiting for you to discover.
When most folks think of traveling to Louisiana, New Orleans and Baton Rouge are typically at the top of the list. If you’re a traveler who likes to go off the beaten path, Gretna might be the place to explore when you find yourself in LA.
Gretna is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River and is across the river from New Orleans, which is accessible by ferry. It’s the second-largest city in Jackson Parish and is known for its quiet and laid-back feel. According to Louisiana’s official travel and tourism website, Getna was a destination for couples to have “quickie weddings” in the 19th century. Today, Gretna’s historic downtown is home to restaurants for foodies, museums for history buffs, and a farmers market for, well, everyone.
Whether you choose to dedicate a trip to the town, or make a quick stop after your New Orleans weekend, here are five places to visit while in Gretna.
Gretna Farmers Market and Art Walk
Gretna hosts a local farmers market every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Gretna Market Building downtown. The market is free to the public and walking distance from the Mississippi River. Local organic produce, arts, crafts, kid’s activities and special events are just a few things you can expect if you end up going. For those who like to walk around with food in tow, there’s also fresh baked goods, prepared meals and BBQ available for purchase.
Movie Poster Archives Gallery and Gifts
Movie buffs, this one’s for you. MPA is the first of its kind, as it is a nonprofit organization that preserves over 100 years of pop culture and media history. According to Jefferson Parish’s website, the gallery and research center has over three million pieces of film memorabilia such as rare posters, lobby cards and press photos from various eras. Memorabilia is donated consistently, so there’s always something new to find.
German-American Cultural Center and Museum
This museum showcases German immigrants in Louisiana and their contributions to the state. The GACC takes visitors through this history – starting in the 1720s and working its way up to the present – by way of various exhibits, lectures, programs and educational activities. Exhibits explore topics ranging from the colonial experience to culture to religion. GACC also sponsors special events, including an Oktoberfest celebration.
According to Travel and Leisure, this shop is based on another blacksmith shop, which goes by the same name, located in Gretna Green, Scotland. Because Gretna was commonly known as a spot for couples to get married quickly, Gretna Green Blacksmith Shop is the venue for Valentine’s Day weddings and vow renewals hosted by the Gretna Historical Society.
If you’re craving Southern classics after a full day of exploration, head over to Chicken’s Kitchen. This cafeteria-style restaurant is serving up mouth-watering goods from Monday to Friday, starting at 10:30 a.m. Depending on the day, you can try a variety of entrees and sides including fried chicken, seafood pasta, their Five Star macaroni and cheese, fried catfish, fried ribs and more. You might want to get there early, though, because Chicken’s Kitchen is known to have a line. Claim your spot while you can because once everything is sold out, you won’t be able to get a plate until the next day.
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