Dates Of Stay: April 17, 2016 – May 4, 2016
On a walking tour of cocktail bars in New Orleans, the tour guide asked where each of us were staying while in town. When it was my turn I replied, “New Orleans East,” and he cried out while touching my forearm, “Honey Child!”
New Orleans East does not have the best reputation. Chef Menteur Highway, Highway 90, commonly known as “Chef Highway,” has an even more infamous reputation. Google the words “chef” and “highway” and “shooting” and you’ll get some hits. Abandoned, decrepit, and no doubt vermin-infested highrises stand sentinel near a string of RV Parks, where the cost of an overnight stay is at least $25-$30 less per night then other parts of town. Here’s the old Savings and Loan building:
And here’s an abandoned motel directly next door to a Super 8:
Both of these buildings are a few blocks from Jude Travel Park.
If you read reviews for that Super 8, everyone cautions would-be lodgers to stay elsewhere. They use phrases like “a bad part of town,” which in the South is generally code for “poor” and/or “Black.” New Orleans East also happens to be home to most of its Vietnamese population.
I had no problem staying on Chef Highway, for two main reasons. First, Jude Travel Park is secure and well-kept, surrounded by chain-link fencing and a security gate which requires a code for entry. Second, I took the bus during daylight hours and did not walk Olive outside the security gates of the park after dark. Perhaps that was an over-abundance of caution on my part, because I found everyone in the area to be friendly and polite.
For $39 per night during Jazz Fest, the value of Jude Travel Park cannot be beat.
They have a pool, Jacuzzi, restrooms and laundry facilities.
A husband-and-wife team meticulously maintains the grounds, and they have high standards. The only exception to that rule is the herd of outdoor cats on the property. You might return to your campsite and find one of them sleeping on your picnic table.
The French Quarter is a six-minute drive by car. The bus, which is directly across the street from the park and costs $1.25 each way, drops you off a few blocks from the festival and takes about 25 minutes. The owners also run a shuttle in their van for five dollars each way. I did not try it because their schedule did not jive with my needs, but that’s a great deal for anyone who doesn’t want to park in the Central Business District or the French Quarter. Uber is also available and vibrant in New Orleans. It costs about 20 bucks to get from the French Quarter to the park during non-peak hours, which is less than cab fare.
The worst part about Jude Travel Park is its proximity to the railroad tracks, and the coming and going and joining and uncoupling of railroad cars during the wee hours of the morning. On other nights of the week, especially Sundays, the boys who film the show “Sreet Outlaws, New Orleans” drag race nearby, until at least 2 o’clock in the morning.
My true test of any RV park is whether I would stay there again if I returned. Yes, I would stay at Jude Travel Park again. However, for about $25 more per night I heard there is a beautiful RV park right on Lake Ponchatrain. If I’m feeling flush I may need to check that one out.