Jungle Gardens Attraction


Jungle Gardens Attraction 
Highway 329
Avery Island, LA 70513

Jungle Gardens Attraction was created by Edward Avery “Ned” McIlhenny an arctic explorer, naturalist, conservationist, and second son of Edmund McIlhenny, the inventor of Tabasco sauce. Around 1895, Ned founded a private bird sanctuary known as Bird City to protect endangered snowy egrets. Even after assuming the presidency of McIlhenny Company in 1898, he never lost his love of nature and dedication to conservation. In the 1920s, Ned converted his private Avery Island estate into Jungle Gardens – decorating it with exotic botanical specimens from around the world and opening it to the public 1935. When visiting, you will enjoy everything from beautiful flowers to birds to Buddha. In season, you will see azaleas, camellias and colorful bamboo – as well as alligators, deer and the thousands of snowy egrets that nest in Bird City. The Buddha statue is said to be more than 900 years old and was a surprise gift from two of Ned’s friends in New York City. After discovering the statue in a Manhattan warehouse (where it had sat unclaimed for years), they shipped it to Mr. Ned by rail – hoping that it would find a suitable home among the Asian flora of his gardens. Bird City was founded by Ned in the 1890s when he raised eight young snowy egrets in an aviary or “flying cage” that he built. Mr. Ned released the birds in the fall to migrate across the Gulf of Mexico – and was delighted when six of the birds (and their mates) returned to nest in the spring. Today thousands of egrets
continue to inhabit the island from early spring to late summer. This unique driving tour is a nature lover’s dream and an experience the whole family will enjoy as you experience the natural beauty and tranquility of the 170-
acre semitropical garden that stretches along Bayou Petite Anse on Avery Island.

As featured in Louisiana Back Roads Restaurant Recipes