As the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, the French Quarter exudes history. It houses centuries-old buildings and holds millions of stories. From museums to shops and bars to restaurants, there's plenty to do in the Vieux Carré. Below are our top 10 things to check out during your next visit to the French Quarter.
Start your day in the heart of the neighborhood at Jackson Square. The picturesque square is great for sightseeing, picnics and entertainment. Street performers, fortune tellers and artists will entertain you for hours. The oldest active Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States, St. Louis Cathedral, sits on Jackson Square and dates back to 1727.
Several museums in the area are worth checking out, but The Cabildo is one of the most historically significant buildings in America. During the Spanish colonial period, it was governmental offices. Today, it's home to many exhibits honoring New Orleans’ past. To learn about the history of Mardi Gras, visit The Presbytère next door. If you’re a history fanatic, The Historic New Orleans Collection is a must-visit.
Celebrating 100 years of operation, Broussard’s is a classic New Orleans culinary institution. This French-Creole restaurant offers both indoor and patio dining, with seafood at the heart of the menu. Make your reservation and prepare to indulge in a decadent New Orleans meal.
If you’re looking for a taste of New Orleans to take home, head to the French Market to shop outdoors. With food and trinkets, walking through the historic district is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.
Inside a 200-year-old building that is dripping in history, Napoleon House serves the best Pimm’s Cup in town. Pair it with their signature Muffuletta for the true New Orleans feel.
Along Royal Street, you will find some of the best unique treasures for your home. M.S. Rau is one of the most noteworthy antiques shops in the country. Even if you can’t afford to buy anything, it is worth looking around. While you’re there, ask for a tour of the shop’s “secret rooms” - you won’t be disappointed!
While you're browsing the shops of the Quarter, be sure to stop into one of the many art galleries lining Royal Street.
Known for its creative cocktails and Cuban cuisine, Manolito is the brainchild of award-winning bartender Chris Hannah. Grab a drink to go and continue on your tour of the French Quarter.
You’ll want to make a reservation at this lively, classic Creole hotspot. Although it is located on Bourbon Street, it is an old school restaurant that still requires a coat for men. The food is delicious and the company around you will make it even more fun. The most lively time to go is during Friday lunch, which oftentimes ends up spilling into the dinner hour.
Fun for all ages, the aquarium is located on the edge of the French Quarter and opens up to Woldenberg Park. Go and meet with the penguins, sharks and sea otters and enjoy a stroll along the Riverfront afterwards. Reserve your tickets online.