Greetings, fellow travelers! After a long, exciting, and fun long weekend in New Orleans, I am back home.
If you have plans to visit New Orleans, Louisiana; a visit of the French Quarter, also known as the Quarter, the Vieux Carré, or Vieux Carré; should be on your list. There is a wonderful history to this district dating back to 1718 that is worth exploring through a walking tour or visiting several of the historic homes.
In what is often known as the heart of the Quarter there is Bourbon Street. It is a street full of nightclubs, bars, and trendy restaurants. This is certainty worthy of a quick visit, but don’t just see this part of the French Quarter. You will be missing so much of the history behind the mixture of colonial, French, and Spanish influences of NOLA.
Things to Explore in the French Quarter
I continued my exploration of the French Quarter through strolling through the quaint streets taking in the sounds, music, and coming across great finds such as the Faulkner House Books. The Faulkner House Books is located in the apartment where Faulkner lived in 1925. More details about the bookstore can be found by visiting the website.
If you love taking in historical mansions, the French Quarter offers several opportunities to step-back in time and enjoy a guided tour through history. You can take advantage of such offerings from The Women’s Exchange, which continues to maintain and preserve several historical homes including: The Gallier & The Hermann-Grima Houses. In addition, the Beauregard-Keyes House is not too far form the Gallier House (just around the block) and also, worth a visit.
The Gallier House was one of the first homes to have running h/c water and indoor bathroom during slavery. According to the docent, it would have been a challenge and potentially dangerous to heat the water and keep it running to avoid an explosion. The other images depicts one of the bedroom, a sitting room, and a means of allowing heat to escape to the attic via openings in the ceiling (pre-ceiling fans).
Located at 1113 Chartres St. in the Quarter, The Beauregard-Keyes house is just across the street from the old Ursuline Convent and is now maintained by the Keyes Foundation. The house dates back to 1826 has many different residence, but thanks to the author Frances Parkinson Keyes, this historic home is preserved for others to enjoy. A short video on the house: https://youtu.be/YRwK3LbfL5U
Places to Grab Bit and Drink
The French Quarter has many options to for places to eat, enjoy a drink, and listen to some wonderful local music. If you have just three places to explore, I recommend the following (in no particular order):
Brennan’s * must try the Banana Foster here.
Court of Two Sisters. *steep in history and great for jazz.
Antione’s Restaurant *hint–they have twenty cent martinis (limit is 3) during lunch hour – ask a local)
After a long walk exploring the Quarter, we had to stop into Brennan’s for a bit and of course, a drink (or two). They have happy hour with bar bit specials in the Roost Bar. This top restaurant is beautiful
Antione’s Wine Cellar
If you are looking for a place to eat that full of history and family owned for generations, Antoine’s Restaurant is the one to consider. It is the oldest French-Creole restaurant in the French Quarter that is still run by the same family for 175 years. As you make your way to the establishment walking along Royal Street, you may find people looking through a small window with bars. This is Antione’s famous wine cellar. The cellar is 165-feet long ending with this little window looking into Royal Street.
Court of Two Sisters
I am torn between the two above just because of my love for history. This place goes back to around 1726 with the present structure dating back to 1832. There is some history of royalty as well that is intriguing. This two floor restaurant should be explored just for the atmosphere and don’t forget to check out the Grand Marquis dining room on the second named in honor of former French governor. Oh and the food and drinks are good too!
Places to Stay
Below of just some of the French Quarter stay options:
Each of the above stay options are at varied locations within the French Quarter. You can find a stay outside the French Quarter and walk into the district. The choice is yours and whether or not you are looking to stay in a traditional style hotel or bed and breakfast or in a more commercial hotel. I chose the Inn on St. Peter as this stay option was off the from the main area of Bourdon Street, the noisy area, and offered a relatively quiet evening with a safe walk back and forth to my room.
More to come on my visit to New Orleans with the Plantation Adventure posts coming soon…