Popularly known as Vieux Carre, which means Old Square in French, it is the oldest and most-visited neighborhood of New Orleans. It is commonly called the crown jewel of New Orleans. This place is a spectacular combination of history, culture, and entertainment, where you will find unique and exciting experiences around every corner. The place is famous for its colorful buildings and vibrant nightlife.
Originally founded by French in 1718, it also carries the art and architecture of the Spanish era.
By the 1850s, the French quarter had started deteriorating, and during that time, a woman came to its rescue. Due to the great determination of Michaela Pontalba, daughter of a Spanish official, the region saw the construction of its two oldest apartment buildings. It marked the revival of the French Quarter.
During the late nineteenth century, many of its elegant buildings started becoming home to poor immigrants reducing them to the level of little slums. The restoration began by the mid-twentieth century and continues till date.
The place is enclosed on the four sides by Esplanade Avenue, Rampart Street, Canal Street, and the Mississippi River.
Fun Facts about French Quarters
- It is one of the oldest residential communities in the USA and is presently home to over 4000 residents.
- It was originally created as a shelter for hurricanes
- Antoine’s Restaurant in the French Quarter is the oldest restaurant running in Lousiana since 1840.
- America’s first mixed cocktail and now the official cocktail of New Orleans, the Sazerac was created here by Antoine Peychaud.
- Although known as the French Quarter, its architecture is mostly inspired by Spanish
- The LaLaurie Mansion is known as the most haunted place in the French Quarter and is considered as one of the most endangered historical places in the country.
- The French Quarter was rebuilt under the Spanish after the fires of 1788 & 1794.
Things to Do and Places to See
- St Louis Cathedral- One of the most recognizable and the tallest structures of the place. It has been featured in several movies; TV shows and is an international architectural icon.
- Audubon Aquarium of the Americas- One of the top museums in America, it lies against the mighty Mississippi River. Home to several sea life creatures, it also hosts various rare and endangered species.
- Steamboat Natchez- Being the last authentic boat on the Mississippi River, it hosts brunch and dinner jazz cruises.
- The Cabildo- It represents the rich and colorful history of New Orleans and Louisiana. One of the most historically significant buildings in America, it has more than five hundred artifacts.
- The Escape Game- America’s first escape room is an adventurous place for everyone, from friends and families to thrill-seeking tourists. Here you and your team will work together to complete a mission with a lot of twists and turns.
Places to eat and drink
- Carousel Bar- It is the only revolving bar in New Orleans and is located inside the Hotel Monteleone. This 25-seat “Merry Go Round” serves some of the best cocktails in the city.
- Cafe Du Monde- This Original French Market coffee stand has been serving its customers since 1862. Tease your taste buds with original Louisiana’s state donut, Beignet, and cafe au lait.
- Pat O’Brien’s- The ultimate party venue dates back to 1933. Here you can relax, enjoy drinks at the main bar and have delicious food in Pat O’s Restaurant.
- Napoleon House- This 200-year old landmark serves classic New Orleans cuisine which includes Pimm’s Cup and muffalettas.
- Brennan’s- Famous for its breakfast, the restaurant has been reopened and went through a massive renovation to honor the history and ethnicity of the city. Try its Bananas Foster, if you pay a visit to the place