Jackson Square, or Place d'Armes as it was originally known, began to take shape in August of 1721, when French engineers meticulously laid out the plans for the new colonial capital of La Louisiane. This historic square, with its early 18th-century French colonial architecture, has always been considered a key feature in any town plan of the era. Designed to be ornamental in its layout, this area would serve as the heart of the city, housing both the church and governmental structures.

Throughout its existence, Jackson Square has become an iconic symbol of the vibrant city of New Orleans, captivating the hearts of both locals and visitors alike. It is a place where history comes alive and where the spirit of the city can truly be felt. Standing in this square, one cannot help but be swept away by the rich heritage that surrounds it.

Rebecca Todd
Jackson Square Sunset

There is so much to experience in and around Jackson Square. The air is filled with the soul-stirring melodies of street musicians, enticing you to pause and listen. The tantalizing aroma of delicious local cuisine wafts through the air, tempting your taste buds. Artists showcase their talent, creating masterpieces right before your eyes. Tarot readers offer glimpses into the mysteries of the future, and carriage rides invite you to explore the charming streets of the French Quarter!

Royal Sonesta New Orleans

Where to Stay Near Jackson Square

When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay in the vibrant Jackson Square area, you have a range of options that cater to different preferences and interests. Whether you're looking for easy access to Bourbon St., a charming historic mansion, or luxurious European-style accommodations, there's something for everyone.

The Royal Sonesta New Orleans

An ideal spot for those who want the option to step directly onto Bourbon St. or enjoy its lively atmosphere from a side entrance, this hotel offers convenience and access to the French Quarter's iconic playground of fun for all ages. With its location right in the heart of the action, you'll be surrounded by the vibrant energy that defines New Orleans. The hotel is also home to The Jazz Playhouse, a venue that hosts many great live music options. Additionally, they even host weekly Burlesque Ballroom shows produced by Trixie Minx, where burlesque and live music come together, paying homage to the old New Orleans.

Place d’Armes Hotel

Another option is the Place d'Armes Hotel, a restored 18th and 19th-century mansion that serves as a tranquil anchor point in the French Quarter neighborhood. Surrounded by lush tropical courtyards, this hotel provides a serene and picturesque setting. It shares the historic original name of Jackson Square, further immersing you in the rich history of the area.

Bourbon Orleans Hotel

For those seeking an iconic landmark in the heart of the Quarter, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel is a perfect choice. Located just behind Jackson Square and surrounded by beautiful Royal Street art galleries, this hotel offers easy access to the vibrant bar scene of the neighborhood. The hotel is also home to The Bourbon "O" Bar, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink while soaking in the lively atmosphere.

Omni Royal Orleans Hotel

If you're looking for a touch of traditional European luxury, the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel is the place to be. With its rooftop saltwater pool and AAA Four Diamond award-winning service, this hotel offers a truly indulgent experience. From the moment you step foot into the hotel, you'll be greeted with elegance and sophistication. Don't forget to dine at The Rib Room, where luxury dining awaits at your fingertips.


More French Quarter stays can be found HERE!

Paul Broussard

Where to Eat Near Jackson Square

When it comes to dining in the vibrant Jackson Square area, you'll find a variety of options that showcase the unique flavors of New Orleans and offer a memorable culinary experience. Whether you're in the mood for elevated Louisiana fare, classic Creole dishes, or a taste of local favorites, there's something for every palate.

Stanley of New Orleans

Stanley is an airy and sun-filled cafe located right on Jackson Square. This charming eatery serves elevated, modern Louisiana fare, along with all-day breakfast options. Whether you're craving a hearty po-boy sandwich or a delicious plate of shrimp and grits, Stanley's menu showcases the diverse and delicious flavors of the region.


For a taste of unruly Southern bistro cuisine, head to Sylvain. This local favorite in the French Quarter offers inspired cocktails that riff on the classics, allowing you to enjoy a unique and creative drinking experience. The lively atmosphere encourages laughter, whiskey shots, and lingering conversations with old and new friends.

Justen Williams, New Orleans Tourism
Muriel's Jackson Square

Muriel’s Jackson Square

Located at the heart of the French Quarter, Muriel’s offers nationally recognized contemporary Creole dining. The restaurant's elegant second floor features a Séance Lounge and a balcony that overlooks the historic Jackson Square. Indulge in dishes that highlight the rich flavors of Creole cuisine while enjoying the charming ambience of this renowned establishment.

Dickie Brennan’s Tableau

If you're looking for classic Creole dishes with a modern twist, Tableau is the place to go. Situated on picturesque Jackson Square, this restaurant revisits traditional Creole recipes and presents them in a fresh and innovative way. The menu features a range of delectable options, from seafood gumbo to shrimp and grits, ensuring a satisfying dining experience.

Café Du Monde

No visit to the Jackson Square area would be complete without a stop at Café Du Monde. This iconic coffee stand has been serving its famous cafe au lait and beignets since 1862. Open late into the night, you can satisfy your craving for these beloved treats anytime. Enjoy the original beignet–Louisiana's state donut–paired with a steaming cup of coffee made with chicory and half hot milk, known as cafe au lait.

More French Quarter fare can be found HERE!


Cory James Fontenot, Courtesy of Fives Bar

Where to Drink Near Jackson Square

The vibrant city of New Orleans is known for its rich history, unique culture, and lively nightlife. Among the many attractions and establishments in the city, there are several bars and cafes that offer a distinct experience for visitors and locals alike. Let's explore some of these establishments, each with its own character and offerings.

Fives Bar

Located in the historic Pontalba building that lines Jackson Square, Fives Bar is a new addition to the area's must-stop shops. This bar offers a raw bar menu, featuring a variety of fresh seafood options. Whether you're a fan of oysters, shrimp, or crab, Fives Bar has you covered. In addition to their delicious fare, Fives Bar boasts an impressive cocktail program. From classic concoctions to creative and unique drinks, their menu is sure to satisfy any cocktail enthusiast.

Pirates Alley Cafe

Nestled within the historic pirate's alley, Pirates Alley Cafe is a local hangout known for its charming atmosphere and unique offerings. The bartenders, dressed in costumes, add to the ambiance as they serve up drinks and delicious pub food. One of the highlights of this cafe is their selection of absinthe, a strong and flavorful spirit that has a long history in New Orleans. Whether you're looking for a casual place to grab a drink or indulge in some tasty food, Pirates Alley Cafe is the place to be.

Café Pontalba

Situated on the ground floor of the historic Pontalba Building, Café Pontalba offers a taste of New Orleans-style cuisine in a casual atmosphere. As you dine, you can enjoy the lively music and ambiance of Jackson Square, as the restaurant's open doors provide a view of the bustling square. Whether you're in the mood for classic Creole dishes or want to try some local favorites, Café Pontalba has a menu that will satisfy your cravings. This restaurant and bar also serves as a unique and special event venue, adding to its appeal for both locals and tourists.

Cuban Creations & Cigar Bar

For those who appreciate fine spirits and cigars, Cuban Creations & Cigar Bar is a must-visit destination in the French Quarter. This establishment offers a selection of premium cigars from Cuba and other renowned cigar-producing regions. Paired with their collection of fine spirits, including rum and whiskey, this bar provides a luxurious experience for cigar enthusiasts. Whether you're a seasoned cigar aficionado or simply curious to explore the world of cigars, Cuban Creations & Cigar Bar offers a relaxing and inviting atmosphere to indulge in your favorite smokes.

New Orleans Vampire Café

For fans of vampires and those looking for a unique dining experience, the New Orleans Vampire Café is a must-visit. This cafe offers luxurious dining with a vampire-themed twist. Their menu features breakfast, brunch, and dinner options, with a focus on Southern breakfast and seafood dishes. Guests can immerse themselves in the vampire ambiance while enjoying their meal. As an added touch, patrons can take home a refillable blood bag filled with Frangria, authentic Sangria, Vampyre Vodka, or pomegranate lemonade. The New Orleans Vampire Café offers a one-of-a-kind experience for those seeking something out of the ordinary.

More French Quarter bars can be found HERE!

Justen Williams
Strolling in Jackson Square

Attractions and Shopping Near Jackson Square

As you stroll along the quaint streets surrounding this iconic square, you'll be captivated by the rich history that permeates the air. Jackson Square sets the stage for an unforgettable experience. Now, let's explore the diverse array of activities that await you in this vibrant hub of culture and entertainment.

French Quarter Architecture

As you explore the square, you'll be surrounded by a tapestry of historical architecture that tells the story of New Orleans' past. The buildings that line the square are not just structures; they are living testaments to the city's rich and diverse history. Each building has its own story to tell, and it is through these architectural wonders that you can truly immerse yourself in the spirit of the French Quarter.

The Presbytère

The Presbytère serves as the Louisiana State Museum and is a must-visit destination for those interested in Mardi Gras and Louisiana's rich cultural heritage. The museum houses a magnificent collection of Mardi Gras artifacts and memorabilia, showcasing the extraordinary tradition of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The interactive exhibition, "Mardi Gras: It's Carnival Time in Louisiana," takes visitors on a journey through the history and customs of Mardi Gras celebrations in the state. From the rural areas to the village festivals of 12th-century Europe, the exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the origins and significance of Mardi Gras. Don't forget to explore the unique gift shop, where you can find a wide range of Mardi Gras-themed souvenirs to take home.

Rebecca Todd

The Cabildo

Located next to St. Louis Cathedral, The Cabildo is another significant historical attraction in the Jackson Square area. This museum showcases the colorful history of New Orleans and Louisiana, reflecting the unique cultural blend of the region. The Cabildo's permanent and changing exhibits feature both famous historical figures and ordinary inhabitants, providing a comprehensive view of the city's past. From the Spanish colonial period to the Louisiana Purchase, visitors can delve into the events and people that shaped New Orleans. The museum offers a captivating journey through time and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

The Mardi Gras School of Cooking

For a hands-on and delicious experience, head to the Mardi Gras School of Cooking. This establishment offers exclusively hands-on cooking classes, private events, team-building activities, and catering services. Whether you're a foodie looking to learn new recipes or a group wanting to engage in a fun and collaborative cooking experience, the Mardi Gras School of Cooking has you covered. Learn to prepare traditional New Orleans dishes, such as gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets, while immersing yourself in the vibrant culinary culture of the city. It's a great way to bond with friends, colleagues, or family members while enjoying a deliciously good time.

Dirty Coast

If you're looking for unique New Orleans merchandise, Dirty Coast is the place to go. This local brand creates fashion-forward and socially conscious merchandise that captures the spirit and humor of the city. From super-comfy graphic tees to accessories and home decor, Dirty Coast offers a range of products that allow you to show your love for New Orleans no matter where you are. Their creative and witty designs go beyond typical souvenirs, making each piece a wearable work of art. Stop by Dirty Coast to find the perfect NOLA-inspired item to add to your collection.

New Orleans Ghost Tour

New Orleans is a city steeped in history and mystery, making it the perfect setting for a ghost tour. There are several options available, each providing a unique and spine-chilling experience. Learn about the city's haunted locations, hear stories of ghosts and supernatural occurrences, and immerse yourself in the eerie atmosphere of New Orleans after dark. Whether you're a believer in the paranormal or simply enjoy a good scare, a ghost tour is a thrilling way to explore the city's haunted history.

Sorena Briley
Horse and Carriage Rides

Royal Carriages

For a romantic and enchanting experience, take a carriage ride with Royal Carriages. This family-friendly activity allows you to explore the area around Jackson Square and beyond while learning about the stories and history of New Orleans. Enjoy a leisurely ride through the French Quarter's charming streets, marvel at the historic architecture, and take in the sights and sounds of the city. Whether you're looking for a romantic outing or a fun activity for the whole family, a carriage ride with Royal Carriages offers a unique perspective on the area and its rich heritage.

St. Louis Cathedral

The centerpiece of Jackson Square is the magnificent St. Louis Cathedral, a sight that is truly awe-inspiring. It is here that visitors flock to capture that perfect selfie (tag us! #visitneworleans) immortalizing the beauty of the cathedral against the backdrop of this historic square. If you’re looking for another perfect vantage point, head across Decatur towards the river and up the stairs at Washington Artillery Park. Not only will you have an even better angle to take in the iconic view, but you can also catch ships making their way along the Mississippi.

But Jackson Square is much more than just a photo opportunity. It is a hub of activity, a melting pot of music, food, art, and culture.

More French Quarter things to do HERE!

And with that, my friend, we take a bow. The Jackson Square area offers an abundance of attractions and experiences that are sure to captivate visitors. From the fascinating exhibits at The Presbytère and The Cabildo, to the hands-on cooking classes at The Mardi Gras School of Cooking, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Jackson Square truly embodies the essence of the French Quarter and is a must-visit destination. So, make sure to carve out some time during your stay to explore the many wonders that await you here. Cheers!