The French Quarter is a 100 block area packed with history, culture, music and dining opportunities for tourists and locals alike.
The French Quarter is such a unique and truly special American experience that it has been featured in novels and movies covering the history and local color of this culturally eclectic New Orleans Neighborhood. There is so much to see and do that you may have to come back again and again to see it all. Here are just a few of the attractions and points of interest that one can enjoy during a visit to the French Quarter:
Architecture buffs will enjoy tours that show off the architecture in this neighborhood that consists of well-preserved 19th century structures that take you back in time. You can go alone with a book or audio guide or join a tour group, which is probably the best way to go. A tour guide will be able to show you the history of the area as well as explain the cultural significance of various areas of the neighborhood such as the sophisticated and elaborate Garden District and the Cemeteries. You can learn about one of the most famous inhabitants in one of the oldest cemeteries, Marie Lavaeu’s tomb.
Those who are interested in History will enjoy tours of the Cabildo and St Louis Cathedral, which are two buildings that are essential to the history of New Orleans and Louisiana. You will learn interesting facts regarding how these buildings were used. One interesting fact is that the Cabildo was used for the signing of the Louisiana Purchase Transfer in 1803. It also once housed the State Supreme Court where two very important cases were heard: Slaughterhouse and Plessy v. Ferguson cases.
You can also check out the 1850 House, which is designed to display the way families lived in the 1850s, including furnishings, cookware and dining ware, home décor, and other points of interest in how middle class families once lived in New Orleans.
Music fans will enjoy the local sounds of New Orleans at the Louisiana Swamp Festival where families can learn about swamp critters, eat Cajun food, and listen and dance to Zydeco music. If you are into the arts you may enjoy attending the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.
There are a variety of ways to tour the French Quarter. A walking tour in less humid months can be more intimate for smaller groups. Bus tours with plenty of AC are perfect for the muggy summer months. Bike tours are also fun for families to not only learn about the area, but to help the kids burn off some energy.
It is a good idea to set up an itinerary of place and things you want to see before you set out for New Orleans because there is so much to see and do you may find that it will take several visits to see everything you wish to see and experience in this Grand Old City.