Plaquemines Parish is in Louisiana, at the south-east edge of the the Greater New Orleans region. (A Louisiana "Parish" is the equivilent of a "county" in other states.) The parish seat is officially Pointe à la Hache, although since the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 most of the government has been in Belle Chasse.
Plaquemines Parish is a peninsula along both sides of the Mississippi River where it flows into the Gulf of Mexico. The area's development started in Louisiana's French and Spanish Colonial eras, taking advantage of the rich agricultural land along the narrow strips near the river, and the rich fishing in the wetlands and Gulf beyond.
In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit the area. Belle Chasse was moderately damaged; in most of the rest of the Parish damage was severe to catastrophic, with storm surge sweeping over the levees, and smashing or sweeping away the majority of the buildings.
Note: On 9 January 2013 the ferry across the Mississippi River at Pointe à la Hache / West Pointe à la Hache was closed down indefinitely. There are NO vehicle crossings of the river below the ferry at Belle Chasse/Scarsdale.
The East Bank is on the same side of the river as most of New Orleans and as Chalmette. It is less populated than Plaquemines' West Bank. Highway 39 follows the River down the Eastbank; it connects to St. Bernard Highway (46) in St. Bernard Parish.
The recovery from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was set back significantly with major flooding and destruction in some parts of Eastbank Plaquemines from Hurricane Isaac in 2012.
At the small town of Scarsdale a ferry carries vehicles across the Mississippi River to Belle Chasse, the only operating vehicle crossing in the Parish and the lowest on the Mississippi River. As of late 2012 services can be rare downriver from Scarsdale.
A number of small communities line the road. A few old plantation houses dot the route, of more modest size than the grand mansions up river; some are immaculately restored, others in states of ruin.
At the town of Phoenix the road splits. Highway 15 runs by the River and 39 continues parallel further back. 15 is the slower more scenic route.
Near the end of the road is Pointe à la Hache, still officially the Parish Seat, but as of Spring 2012 little is there other than the ruins of of the old Courthouse and an open convenience store/sandwich shop.
Louisiana Highway 23 follows the bends of the Mississippi River down the Westbank. Running down the river north to south:
By car, or helicopter to Boothville
Belle Chasse has Plaquemines' largest selection of restaurants, both national chains and locals. The area around Venice at the end of Highway 23 has a number of restaurants specializing in fresh seafood.
Area code is 504, same as in New Orleans.