The Esplanade Ridge Historic District is home to one of New Orleans’ most prestigious Creole neighborhoods. With a number of notable boulevards including Esplanade Avenue, Ursulines Avenue, Broad Street and Bayou Road, Esplanade Ridge offers visitors the comfort of a home away from home experience with the ability to explore and discover new things throughout the day. This guide will show you how to spend a day in the tree-lined, Victorian escape that is Esplanade Ridge.

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Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

Stay in Esplanade Ridge

Its centralized and convenient location makes Esplanade Ridge the ideal visitor homebase. By streetcar, bus, bike or foot, some of New Orleans’ greatest areas of attraction are accessible from the Bed & Breakfasts located along Esplanade Avenue. La Belle Esplanade is the perfect B&B for a girls trip to New Orleans or try Ashton’s Bed & Breakfast for a romantic getaway. For a more adventurous visitor, venture just a few blocks away to the Inn at the Old Jail for an overnight stay at the historic New Orleans Jail and Patrol Station, built in 1902 and restored in 2013.

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Rebecca Todd, NOTMC

Start your day with Pagoda Cafe. This small boutique cafe is open Tuesday-Sunday serving homemade baked goods, artisan sandwiches and breakfast tacos. With ever-changing daily and seasonal specials, there’s always something new on the menu. Their outdoor patio makes for breakfast with a view. 

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Justen Williams, NOTMC

Explore Esplanade

Schedule a tour at Le Musee de fpc and immerse yourself in the historic house museum dedicated to the legacy of free people of color. Or book a tour at the historic Degas House Museum and learn more about the renowned artist behind the French Impressionist movement.   Their intimate guided tours make the perfect group activities during a day out on Esplanade Ridge. 

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Justen Williams, NOTMC

After the awakening and powerful experience of Le Musee de f.p.c., cultivate your curiosity at Community Book Center. This cultural hub serves as more than just a bookstore. In addition to their specialization in African literature, Community Book Center also offers unique fabrics, clothing, jewelry and body products. This space is also home to a  number of community events including book signings and seminars. 

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Justen Williams, NOTMC

Lunch in the Ridge

After an afternoon filled with cultural excursions and experiences, indulge in the many options for lunch along Bayou Road and beyond. Enjoy a New Orleanian favorite: oysters! The Half Shell on the Bayou and The Half Shell Bar & Grill both offer oysters year-round. Or opt for authentic Caribbean cuisine at Coco Hut

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Justen Williams, NOTMC

Shops on Bayou Road

Shopping along Bayou Road is guaranteed to offer a unique and thrifty find! Clothing, jewels, fabric, paintings or body products can be found at Material Life and King & Queen Emporium International.  

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photos courtesy of Artist Journey Allen Gallery & Painting Studio

Tap into your inner creative side at Artist Journey Allen Gallery & Painting Studio. This studio, nestled in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, offers a number of creative services and activities. Participate in scheduled sip & paint parties, artists exhibitions and therapeutic/meditative painting sessions.   

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Justen Williams, NOTMC

Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth at this whimsical pastry shop. Cupcake Fairies specializes in cupcakes, cake-pops and customized treats. These delectable desserts make the perfect New Orleans take-away. 

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Justen Williams, NOTMC

Wind down your day with an evening of Whiskey & Sticks. This newly opened lounge on Bayou Road offers premium whiskey and cigars in a casual setting with outdoor patio seating. 

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Justen Williams, NOTMC

Or dance the night away with an evening of Soca and Caribbean music at Club Caribbean. This neighborhood club is a local favorite with premium drinks and live concerts, Club Caribbean is a sure fire way to end your day in Esplanade Ridge.