The French Quarter, or the “Vieux Carré”, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. As an historic city, the French Quarter has much to see and do. This will highlight some activities, places to eat, and the unique architecture of this cultural destination.
Jackson Square: A public gated park named after General Andrew Jackson, located at the front of the French Quarter. On the opposite side are three historic buildings: St. Louis Cathedral, designated a minor basilica by Pope Paul VI; The Cabildo, now a museum, and was once the City Hall where the Louisiana Purchase was signed; and The Presbytère, also now a museum, and was once a courthouse. Live music is frequently heard in and around the square, and has been a tradition for over a century. Be sure to visit Café du Monde, the historic café known for their café au lait and beignets.
New Orleans is a foodie paradise, with over 100 restaurants in the Quarter alone. Stop by the French Market for some food and shopping. This 200 year old market features a number of restaurants, cafes, food markets, flea markets, and craft vendors. Grab some traditional Creole cuisine at Corner Oyster House while looking out over the Mississippi River. If you have a sweet tooth, try some delicious confections at Aunt Sally’s Pralines. This pecan candy has been a New Orleans staple since the mid-1800s.
The architecture of the French Quarter is very beautiful and many of it is done with a European style. Much of the architecture was done by the Spanish who rebuilt and ruled New Orleans in the late 1700s. Intricate ironwork can be seen on balconies and many buildings have courtyards filled with fountains and lush greenery. A variety of guided tours are available to view all aspects of this historic neighborhood. Many visitors choose to explore the French Quarter with an old-world mode of transportation – the mule-drawn carriage. You can arrange for a pick up at your hotel or head to Jackson Square where you’ll find carriages waiting on Decatur Street.