The French Quarter
Do not miss out on this old section of the city as it is the original settlement of the French and Spanish who first stepped onto American soil. They were called the Creoles; their culture and influence are felt everywhere with their unique wrought-iron balconies, magnolia courtyards and tall shutters. You will enjoy a spiff of spicy etouffee in the air while strolling this quarter.
It is the French Quarter which adds essence to New Orleans; there are nightly revelries to keep you awake the whole night. It houses Jackson Square that spawns immaculate lawns and beautiful shrubs, with the breath-taking St. Louis Cathedral as its backdrop.
At the quaint café of Monde, you will sniff scents of tasty chicory-laced beignets to whet your appetite. The French Market makes an interesting stop to check out the community farmer’s produce which boasts of being the nation’s first outdoor produce market.
For the shopaholic, nothing can drag you away from Royal Street which offers a wide range of products but it would be the antiques and art pieces that will steal your heart; and if not alert, your wallet too.
St. Charles Streetcar
New Orleans’ quaint St. Charles Streetcar is an interesting ride that one must try while in this city. It is considered a national historic piece that runs from Canal Street clanging its way through Garden District before passing on Tulane and Loyola Universities, Audubon Park, and beautiful wraparound porch mansions before stopping at Palmer Park. Its 13 mile ride is barely 90 minutes to give you a quick and fascinating sight of New Orleans. This Landmark streetcar would travel back and forth on its route with its bench seats switched to the appropriate travel direction for a good view.
Faulkner House Books
For the book lovers, a big ‘thanks’ must go to Joe DeSalvo who opened Faulkner House Books. It is situated inside the French Quarter townhouse which was William Faulkner’s residence while writing Soldier’s Pay, his first novel. There are a wide variety of books for your browsing pleasure such as fiction, poetry and biography with a bit of local lore.
Mid-19th century townhouses on Julia Street
Another amazing sight to behold is the collection of mid-19th century townhouses on Julia Street that takes up 600 blocks although there are only 13 pieces. These are often known as Julia Row; sometimes they are called the Thirteen Sisters. Besides the impressive architecture of these townhouses, it is its art that makes the greater impact. The ‘SoHo of the South’ houses hundreds of fine art pieces.
This is really the ‘Yankee’ section of New Orleans where there is hardly any French. The residents enjoy vast spacious gardens of magnolia, live oak and palms.