Where to Park and Load a Charter Bus in New Orleans
New Orleans is one of the biggest group vacation destinations in the South. The city welcomes tourists year-round for big events like Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Traveling around NOLA offers groups endless opportunities for fun and entertainment. Figuring out how you’ll get around town isn’t so fun though.
Groups traveling in New Orleans may want to opt for a private minibus or charter bus. Keeping everyone in one vehicle with a pro driver behind the wheel is easier than handling logistics for an entire caravan. National Charter Bus can easily handle your transportation with a fully-loaded motorcoach equipped with top amenities like WiFi and reclining seats.
Building your itinerary to explore New Orleans by charter bus will be much easier if you know where you can load and park oversized vehicles. Check out this helpful NOLA parking guide and then call 504-272-2481 to chat with a National Charter Bus rental expert for a free quote.
New Orleans Charter Bus Regulations
Along with cities like New York and Washington DC, New Orleans has strict guidelines for oversized vehicles in certain areas. Popular historic neighborhoods like the French Quarter and Garden District have narrow roads and heavy foot traffic, making them more difficult to navigate by charter bus.
Before you plan your trip, review the city’s motorcoach rules and regulations to avoid any major transportation hassles. These regulations include using specified routes around restricted districts and abiding by 15-minute time limits in loading zones. Be sure to communicate any regulations or concerns with your National Charter Bus reservation expert ahead of time. It’ll also be helpful to communicate any special travel requests to your driver throughout your trip.
Hotel and Overnight Parking
If you’re taking a multi-day trip, you’ll have to find a place to park your bus overnight. Available parking onsite at your hotel is going to completely depend on where you’re lodging. For example, groups staying in Uptown will likely have more onsite options than those staying in the Warehouse District near the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter. When you book your group’s hotel block, inquire about a room for your driver (some hotels offer discounted rates for motorcoach operators) and on-site parking options.
Hotels without onsite parking for your charter bus might be near facilities with overnight parking for oversized vehicles. You can always ask your hotel concierge about offsite options, but here are a few lots to consider:
French Quarter Basin Lot (Park First)
Address: 1205 Saint Louis St., New Orleans, LA 70112
This public lot is located just a few blocks from the French Quarter and offers prime charter bus parking if you’ll be lodging in the heart of New Orleans. Overnight parking for oversized vehicles is available for $50 per 24 hours. Since this lot is so close to the French Quarter and many local attractions, parking availability may be limited during Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras Truck Stop
Address: 2411 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Phone: 504-945-1000 ext. 114
The Mardi Gras Truck Stop is located an 8-minute drive from the French Quarter around the Seventh Ward and St. Roch neighborhoods of New Orleans. Multi-day parking is available at $10 a day with a prior inquiry.
SP+ Crescent City Connection Parking Lot
Address: 1068 Calliope St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: 504-525-5476, press 2
SP+ Parking operates several lots throughout the city that can accommodate oversize vehicles but the Crescent City Connection lot is the only one that offers overnight services. Motorcoach parking is a flat rate of $75 per day and must be booked in advance.
Daytime Bus Parking Lots
Your group will have an endless number of things to explore in New Orleans during the day, so you’ll want to have easy access to your charter bus. Finding a central daytime parking spot will make it easier to hop on your bus and shuttle across the city.
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (ENMCC) Lot J
Address: 102 Henderson Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
There are several lots around ENMCC, but select areas are reserved for charter buses in Lot J. Parking in this lot is a base flat rate of $40 per day. This may be a bit steep for guests who are only planning to spend a couple of hours in the Warehouse District, but this neighborhood is within easy walking distance to the French Quarter and Lower Garden District. Depending on the season multi-day parking may be available and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in mind there aren’t in-and-out privileges at this lot. If you’re planning to explore farther away areas like Tremé/Lafitte and Faubourg Marigny, you may want to opt for a different parking solution.
Whale Wall Lot
Address: 728 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70130
This lot is located along the Riverwalk and is operated by the Hilton New Orleans Riverside next door. Oversized parking is available here and is usually reserved for hotel guests, but the hotel does offer oversized parking to the public if there is availability. Flat rate parking is $170 per vehicle. Call or email email@example.com in advance to ask about availability.
Civic Center Parking Lot
Address: 350 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112
The Civic Center parking lot offers motorcoach parking when space is available. This lot also offers in and out privileges. You’ll need to call the lot ahead of time to inquire about cost and space availability.
Metered street parking is available throughout New Orleans for standard vehicles but is often restricted for oversized vehicles. Parking on unauthorized streets can come with a heavy fine. It may be tempting to have your driver snag available meter spots if you’re traveling in a compact minibus—but it’s better to be safe than sorry in a designated lot.
Loading and Unloading Passengers at New Orleans’ Top Attractions
The last thing anyone wants is to get a traffic ticket, or a loading or idling violation while on vacation. Many loading areas around town have a strict 15-minute limit. To avoid any travel-related stress, make sure you not only have your parking in order but your loading process too.
National WWII Museum
The bus loading zone is directly behind the museum on the right side of Magazine Street (It’s a one-way road, so it’ll be easy to spot). The loading area will be marked by a red passenger area sign. After unloading, your driver can find a short-term parking area down Magazine Street underneath the Pontchartrain Expressway.
This historic site is located in the heart of the French Quarter. With its heavy foot traffic and narrow roads, loading and unloading a bus in this area can be tricky. There are two bus loading zones close to Jackson Square. Have your driver drop your group off at the intersection of North Peters Street and Bienville Street or along Decatur Street between Ursulines Avenue and Governor Nicholls Street.
Mardi Gras World
Even if you aren’t visiting NOLA during Mardi Gras, you can still get a taste of the holiday at this specialty museum. If you’ve booked a group tour, you’ll have access to a designated bus loading area along Port of New Orleans Place and free parking.
New Orleans City Park
New Orleans City Park is a sprawling green space encompassing several attractions like the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), Louisiana Children’s Museum, and New Orleans Botanical Garden. Loading and unloading zones will vary depending on which attraction you’re planning to visit within the park. NOMA, the Children’s Museum, and Botanical Garden all allow bus unloading at their entrances. Parking for all vehicles is free throughout City Park. Buses can park along Lelong Drive at NOMA or in the lot located directly across from the botanical garden at 53 Dreyfous Drive.
Reserve a Charter Bus in New Orleans
Organizing group transportation in New Orleans may seem stressful, but don’t worry! National Charter Bus has rental experts on call 24/7 at 504-272-2481 to help you out. Your rental expert can help you reserve the best type of bus for your needs, as well as help you work through parking and loading logistics. Whether you need an ADA-accessible minibus for your New Orleans family vacation or a full-sized bus for your private tour group, National Charter Bus has your transportation covered.