Exploring The French Quarter

The city of New Orleans is made up of 72 (!) neighborhoods. The most popular neighborhood in all of New Orleans, The French Quarter, is some place you need to see to believe. What’s great about the French Quarter is that it truly has something for everyone, no matter what your interests, age, or budget may be. Stunning architecture, beautiful art galleries, museums, restaurants, bars and lots of nightlife is just the start of what you’ll find in the French Quarter.

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My French Quarter Favorites

 The Mardi Gras influence 

The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe. By the 1730’s New Orleans had started celebrating Mardi Gras, but it wasn’t nearly the level of party we’re used to today. For the rest of the world, Mardi Gras is one day in February, but in New Orleans, the Mardi Gras influence is never far away. It’s common to find decorations and beads year round throughout the entire city, but especially in the French Quarter.

For more information on Mardi Gras head: here

french quarter

French Quarter

French Quarter

The Charming Architecture 

Louisiana went through many control changes throughout the second half of the 18th century. One article I read called Louisiana “a pawn on the chessboard of European politics”. It was controlled by the French in 1699, but was ceded to Spain following the French defeat in the Seven Years’ War circa 1762.

By late 1803 Napoleon had regained control of the area for France, but soon (literally 3 weeks later) the land would be sold to the United States in a little something called the Louisiana Purchase. The French history in the neighborhood should be apparent just by the name, but even the food and the architecture reflect the area’s strong French roots.

The porches, colors, and greenery, of the French Quarter all had me completely captivated. I would take out my camera to take a picture of a pretty building and then turn around and find another building even more stunning. If your a photography nerd like me, the French Quarter will be a dream come true for you.

for more information on the history of the French Quarter head: here

French Quarter

French Quarter

French QuarterJackson Square

Jackson Square is known as the historical center of New Orleans. The Landmark features a bronze statue of former President Andrew Jackson on horseback. Hence the name, Jackson Square. The square is approximately the size of a city block and is surrounded by a mixture of commercial and residential properties. The Square is also home to an open-air artist colony, where artist display their work on the outside of the iron fence in hopes of selling it.

For more information on Jackson Square head: here

French Quarter

Jackson Square

The French Market

The French Market has existed in the same site in New Orleans since 1791. What once started out as a Native American trading post is now America’s oldest public market with 6 blocks of shopping. Along with being a hub for shopping and dining in the city, The French Market is home to festivals, farmers markets, holiday events, and music concerts.

For more information on the French Market head: here

French Quarter

Cafe Du Monde

Cafe Du Monde is the most popular place in all of New Orleans to get your hands on the famous French-style doughnuts, beignets. Cafe Du Monde is open 24 hours a day and is notorious for having a line down the sidewalk at all hours of the day.

For more information on Cafe Du Monde head: here

Other great places to get authentic beignets:

  • Cafe Biegnet (two locations: Bourbon Street and Royal Street)
  • Morning Call (located in beautiful City Park. I LOVED my experience here!)

Related: Beignets at Morning Call

French QuarterLive music at all times of the day

The city of New Orleans has music in its bones. Known as the birthplace of jazz, you are never far from  music in New Orleans. At all hours of the day, you’re sure to find people in the streets playing tubas, saxophones, and drums.

For more information about the history of Jazz in New Orleans head: here

French Quarter

French Quarter

Bourbon Street 

I can’t wrap up a list about the French Quarter without mentioning the famous, Bourbon Street. Bourbon is truly on a whole other level from the rest of the city. Bars and clubs blare music all day every day, and by night time the party just gets wilder. By day, Bourbon is an actual street with traffic on it, by night the street is closed off from all traffic and is open for only pedestrian use.

For more information on Bourdon Street head: here

Related: A First-Timers Guide to Bourbon Street

French Quarter

The French Quarter in New Orleans is the most popular neighborhood in the entire city! Read this guide and don't miss any of the fun!

What is your favorite part of the French Quarter?

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  • The French Quarter was one of my favorite parts on New Orleans too! I loved being able to walk the streets, listening to all of the fun jazz music, and look at all the amazing architecture too! It’s just so beautiful!

    • I completely agree Ashley! It definitly got busy on the weekends which made it a little hard to navigate, but during the weekday it was perfect!

  • i feel like i learned so much! i had to google the louisana purchase, how interesting! i would love to go back to NOLA and explore more. you are right about it being super pretty!

    • yay! i love when people tell me they learned something from my posts!! the best compliment! 🙂

  • This little neighborhood looks like so much fun and your pictures are so beautiful! I’ve been dying to get to New Orleans! Maybe for Mardi Gras one day …. Anyway you’d deff find me shopping around the French Market or soaking up some live music! 😀 Thanks for linking up Carrie!

    • I’d LOVE to go back during Mardi Gras some time. it’s hard to believe the city can get even more vibrant but it definitely does during mardi gras time! thanks for hosting the link-up Lauren! I’ve loved getting to “meet” such great girls with awesome blogs through it 🙂

  • Love this little guide for NOLA! I’d love to visit some day. Especially to try Cafe Du Monde beignets! And it must be so fun to hear live music everywhere! 🙂

    • It was almost embarrassing how often we wanted to get beignets. lol. I had heard all about of them of course before we got there, but I wasn’t sure they would live up to the hype. They definitely did, and then some!

  • Wow, 72 neighbourhoods, that’s crazy! What a gorgeous looking place, I especially love the architecture that you mentioned- the colours and shapes are just so charming. Great photos and thanks for linking up with us 🙂

    • I’m a such a sucker for a colorful building. It makes the city to vibrant and give it so much personality! Thanks for hosting the link-up Marcella!

  • Oh Carrie, I adore your photos! It was a pleasure to get a glimpse of this beautiful area thru them. I didn’t know the area was ceded to Spain and then recaptured by France. Cool history in there! Gosh, 72 neighborhoods in New Orleans! That sounds mind blowing.

    • Thanks so much, Ruth! I was snapping pictures like crazy my whole weekend in NOLA.

  • NOLA is in my buckelist for sure! I am pinning this for future use, so helpful 🙂

    • yay! so glad to hear it, Isabel! thanks for hosting the link-up 🙂

  • New Orleans is definitely on my bucket list! I mean the architecture alone makes it worth visiting! One thing that really interests me: did the city manage to get past all the damage of Katrina or are there still areas that are affected? Do you know?

    • ahh i’m so glad you asked this! there are definitely some areas that still show effects from katrina. unfortunately the area that was hit the most by katrina was one of the poorest areas of New Orleans (specifically the 9th ward). Most of the commercial building are repaired, but there are still homes that have not been repaired and are destroyed. Katrina will always be such a big part of that city’s history. it was so crazy asking locals about it and getting their perspectives.

  • We went to New Orleans last year and it’s definitely one of my favorite trips– the food, history, and all of the architecture is so amazing. We liked getting to Cafe Du Monde early before the line got too crazy.

    • I’m so glad you liked it was much as I did, Carly!! The food alone is reason enough to visit, but the history and architecture really made it a home run in my book. my visit was only a 3 days, but I feel like I could have easily spent an entire week there.

  • Wow, what an amazing fun area! I would be all over the farmers’ markets – and the bars street at night 😀

  • I still haven’t made it here yet!! Hoping that now my parents moved to Kentucky, it;ll be a little bit easier to make it to finally!

  • Arielle Gavin

    Funny typo on this page: France controlled the Louisiana territory from 1966 until it was ceded to Spain in 1762. It’s like time travel!