New Orleans is one of the most notable cities in the world and The French Quarter is a true testament to this. New Orleans is known for being the birthplace of Jazz music, Cajun and Creole cuisine, and Mardi Gras! New Orleans is celebrating its 300th birthday this year! The French Quarter is an eclectic melting pot of people who are drawn together by their rich history and culture. The French Quarter offers visitors a once in a lifetime experience at one of the most unique cities worldwide. The French Quarter offers many attractions and activities and has seen upwards of 10 million visitors a year.
Jackson Square offers the most picturesque view of Saint Louis Cathedral. The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, situated among the notable Jackson Square, is the most iconic place in The French Quarter. Saint Louis Cathedral dates back to 1720 and is the oldest standing cathedral in the nation!
Saint Louis Cathedral is one of the top places to visit in The French Quarter and sees hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. The gothic architecture of the church is gorgeous, and the intricate designs inside the church are immaculate. Saint Louis Cathedral is pure splendor and is one of the most famous landmarks in New Orleans.
The Plaza D Armas is an open-air artist market as well as historic site dating back to the French and Spanish rule and the Louisiana Purchase. Plaza D Armas is situated by Saint Louis Cathedral and the governor’s mansion, the Cabildo, and houses the landmark sites of Jackson Square and the Vieux Carre.
The French Quarter has a signature style with its many colorful houses and hanging flower baskets off of balconies. You will see so many beautiful balconies and galleries. You will also see houses of all colors- yellow, green, pink and blue!
New Orleans locals and tourists share an appreciation of art and architecture, the love of swanky jazz and blues music, the famous Cajun and Creole food, and the historical significance and diverse culture that New Orleans exhibits.
In The French Quarter there are horse-drawn carriage rides, walking tour groups, sidewalk artists, jewelry makers, fortune tellers and psychics offering tarot card and palm readings and so much more! New Orleans is a sensory overload in the best way possible.
Louisiana is famous for history and culture, music and arts, festivals and parades, bayous and swamps and our food! Foodies love New Orleans because you can have an authentic taste of the bayou with all of the delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine. New Orleans is also known for King Cake, especially during Mardi Gras, and French beignets. Other favorite desserts are Pecan Pie and Bread Pudding.
Some of our most famous dishes include Jambalaya, Muffulettas and Po’ boys, Dirty Rice, and Gumbo! In Louisiana, you will find beignets, pistolettes, chicken and sausage gumbo or seafood gumbo, shrimp or crawfish Étouffée, rice and gravy, red beans and rice, Jambalaya with andouille sausage, rice dressing, boudin, shrimp, oysters, cracklins, alligator, boudin balls, shrimp and grits, boiled crawfish, turtle soup, frog legs and more. In Louisiana, we put Tony’s seasoning on all our food and drink Sweet Tea religiously.
For a real taste of the bayou you may want to dine at Dennies, Commander’s Palace, GW Fins, Arnaud’s, Napoleon House, Acme Oyster House, Oceana Grill, Drago’s Seafood, Port of Call, Emeril’s, Galatoire’s, Antoine’s, Brennan’s, or Café Du Monde. Fun fact, Café du Monde and Commanders Palace date back to the 1800’s. Also, Karma Cafe, Green Goddess, and Seed are excellent for vegan and vegetarian dining!
Nola has so many shops ranging from tourist shops to voodoo stores. Famed voodoo and occult stores include Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo, Hex Old World Witchery, Reverand Zombie’s House of Voodoo and Erzulies Voodoo Store.
The most popular tours include Famous French Quarter Tours, Voodoo Bone Lady Haunted Tours, New Orleans Cemetery Tours, Ghost City Tours, Horse and Carriage Tours, Cajun Encounters Swamp, City and Plantation Tours, and so much more!
During Mardi Gras parade attendees party wildly on the tops of balconies and attempt to catch Mardi gras beads. You will see the most lavish parade floats, beads everywhere in the streets and trees, people walking with Hurricane drinks from Pat O’Brien’s or daiquiris from Bourbon Street Daiquiri, donning carnival masks and costumes, full street line performances and much more. It is legal to drink in public and on the streets of New Orleans.
During Mardi Gras season they have many parades, and all of New Orleans’ knows how to let the good times roll. Mardi Gras in the Quarter is quite insane with non-stop partying and festivities. What people won’t do for some plastic beads?!
The French Quarter is as lively as the people living there. The locals and tourists alike are always enjoying themselves and having a great time with one another. You will see a lot of smiles, a lot of craziness, and you will laugh until you cry.
As you walk the strip, you will see street performers, musicians, painters, living statues and more. There are so many talented artists that call N.O. home. The vitality and essence of The Quarter are unrivaled.
Parking anywhere in the Quarter is atrocious especially when they have events as it’s near impossible to park. Nola is a tourist city so you will likely have to pay almost anywhere you park. You’ll want to be mindful where you park because the cops in cars, on motorcycles, or horses are out and about, and they will ticket you, boot your car, or have it towed if you park in the wrong place.
The French Market is an international open-air market located in the French Quarter. I love strolling through The French Market checking out all of the different vendors. There is something about admiring oddities and browsing through quirky little shops that I enjoy. I’ve purchased many things here from local flair to international dress. I really like the unique glass rainbow earrings that proudly state “Made in the Ghetto.” I also really like the Carnival soy candles and the incense. They last such a long time and smell heavenly.
They have a massive market for African, Asian and Middle Eastern art here. I love the selection of handmade dresses, homemade soaps, and gifts from around the world. There is a lot of folk art, paintings, hand-blown glass figurines and many other unique and beautiful items. There are also several stations to stop by for some Cajun food, snowballs and smoothies, bakery and breakfast items and more. I would definitely recommend if you’re in the area stopping by to check out The French Market.
Bourbon Street is in the heart of the French Quarter and is lively and vibrant. With non-stop storefronts, barrooms, and pubs Bourbon Street is always packed with people. Bourbon Street is the Sin City of the south and is filled with adult entertainment venues, bars, and nightclubs.
I love how alive New Orleans is. There is always live music playing, and someone’s always cooking something in a cast iron pot. There are so many unique qualities that make The French Quarter both strange and beautiful.
New Orleans has the most incredible cemeteries you will ever see in your life. The tombs are massive, decaying, and absolutely haunting. My favorite cemeteries are Lake Lawn, St. Louis, Lafayette, and Greenwood. They have so many tours ranging from French Quarter tours to cemetery tours to ghost and vampire tours. I believe everyone should experience New Orleans and The French Quarter in their life.
Being a Southern Louisiana girl and growing up with a Cajun family has shaped who I am today. Louisiana, The Bayou State, has a beautiful backcountry and we are a Sportsman’s Paradise with many outdoor recreational opportunities.
Louisiana’s Gulf Coast and The Mighty Mississippi River bridge us together running through the state connecting others to us and us to them. Louisiana features swamps and marshes, lakes and rivers, historic sites and so much more. There is always a music, food or cultural festival going on. We have a rich history, iconic landmarks and monuments, the best food in the world, and that Southern accent, charm, and hospitality you’ve heard so much about!
With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy
“To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert–– Eat, Pray, Love