New Orleans’ oldest – & perhaps most famous – neighborhood is the French Quarter. As a first time visitor to NOLA, he French Quarter was (of course) on my list. But what surprised me was how lovely the area was – once you got off Bourbon Street.
Bourbon Street is the crazy, drunken, ruckus that you imagine it is – it’s really unbelievable. My colleague, who traveled to New Orleans with me for a work conference, & I wandered slowly down Bourbon Street, taking it all in. Even at the relatively tame hour of 8:00pm, the drinkers (& scantily clad women & street performers & generally strange people) were already out in full force.
We grabbed a hurricane in a plastic cup for the heck of it (& ended up throwing most of this sugary alcoholic beverage in the trash) & declared, after about 30 minutes, that we were done.
Before heading back to our hotel in the quieter Warehouse District, we found solace in the quarter’s quieter side streets & in spacious Jackson Square.
While you’re exploring, grabbing beignets & cafe au lait from Cafe du Monde is a French Quarter must. Even on the warm, sticky July night we visited, the place was packed with hot coffee drinkers (they do sell iced coffee, but why deviate from the original?).
If you’re looking for a breeze, you’ll find it along the river walk that runs along the banks of the Mississippi River. We enjoyed watching the barges & container ships navigate the big bend in the river (hence New Orleans’ nickname, the “Crescent City”).