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.
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
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
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
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
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
Live 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
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