Must Explore Neighborhoods in New Orleans
From wild bachelor and bachelorette weekends to the more mellow family vacation or romantic getaway, New Orleans is proving to be one of the hottest tickets around. Lately it seems that someone you know or someone on your news feed as made their way into what is considered “the deep south” of Louisiana for some jazz music and gumbo. I’m finally here to share all about our trip and the must explore neighborhoods in New Orleans! I never knew NOLA had so many areas. I think most people picture the area within the French Quarter, but there are actually multiple sectors, each has its own unique draws. The options for delicious food, hearty drinks, and fantastic vibes are endless, no matter which neighborhood you happen to wander into.
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The is first on my list of must explore neighborhoods in New Orleans because this is where our Airbnb was located. Algier’s Point is the cutest little area that was left almost completely unharmed by Hurricane Katrina. Beautiful 300 year old “shotgun houses” still stand proud in various bright colors. You can tell it’s a trendy, laid back neighborhood popular for young adults and families. Located right across the Mississippi River, it was a great location to stay on our family getaway.
We ate breakfast twice at the cafe and eatery around the corner called One Stone Restaurant. With options for everyone from the delicious lattes to a full quiche fruit spread to vegan or all the buttery baked goods. The atmosphere was light and airy and the food fresh and delicious. The perfect way to preface a day of walking and exploring!
The ferry terminal is right at the tip of Algier’s point (about a fifth of a mile from our Airbnb specifically). It was an easy ride each day that would drop us right at the edge of the French Quarter. Convenient, accessible and a great alternative to renting a car, parking and driving everywhere. As an FYI there is a street car that runs from the edge of the “downtown” area to the opposite edge of the French Quarter. We didn’t miss having a car once except when we contemplated going to a plantation.
For our last evening, with an early flight the next morning, we decided to check out Crown & Anchor English Pub just a block over. The laid back vibes were perfect, and the beer even better! I know there are a few neighborhood bars and pubs that we didn’t get to but Algier’s Point did a wonderful job of making you feel at home. If I am with the people I love exploring and trying new things there really is nothing better. It’s safe to say I’d stay in Algier’s Point again, anytime.
The French Quarter only makes sense to be the next on this list because not only is the most obviously of the must explore neighborhoods in New Orleans, it has the most to do and see, mostly in part because of the countless bars, restaurants, museums and shops. It’s the area that has a non-stop buzz. The streets and sidewalks are always packed, restaurants always full, bars always hopping.
Since there are one million blog posts out there about what do to and where to go in the French Quarter I’m just going to highlight the absolute must-do’s, according to us!
Eat a Beignet at Cafe Beignet or Cafe du Monde
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Say Hi to Andrew Jackson at Jackson Square
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Snap Some Pictures of (or with) the Architecture
Drink a Bloody Mary or Margarita (While Walking Down the Street)
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Go to Jazz Brunch at Court of Two Sisters
Eat some Alligator and Gumbo at Felix’s
Catch a Street Performer or Jazz Parade
Make Dinner Reservations at Sylvain
Get a Drink at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar (The Oldest Bar in NOLA)
Bar Hop Down Bourbon Street
Get the Grilled Oysters at Royal Oyster House
Try a Praline at Magnolia Praline Company
Phew! The French Quarter is a never-ending list of places to go, things to do. It’s an absolute blast wandering amongst the old buildings, jazz performances around every corner filling the streets with the soulful vibrations of the south.
The Marigny neighborhood is a hop skip and a jump (or streetcar ride) away from the French Quarter. With just as much energy, you’ll get less touristy and more locals as you move in the direction of Marigny. The highlight is Frenchman street, with some beautiful houses, and fabulous restaurants all around.
If you want to know where the local jazz lovers of New Orleans go, do Frenchman Street. You can immediately feel the authenticity of the jazz bars and the true blues in the music. If they aren’t already bursting at the doors with avid patrons try to squeeze into some of the famous bars that dot the infamous street. The Spotted Cat Music Club and Apple Barrel were the fam favorites for us. There are so many other good ones, Bambula, Snug Harbor, and DBA New Orleans to name a few. Wherever you’re able to get into you’ll have a ball. I mean, just look at my Dad……
Central Business District
The business district or “downtown” of NOLA is so much bigger (taller) than I thought! With high rises and traffic packed avenues, it does in fact have the big city feel. Joe says I find a place like Auction House Market everywhere we go. Trendy, well-designed, with expensive but delicious food and drinks! I’m thinking he means I find something that is the restaurant version of me, considering the interior design was exactly my style (check out the bathroom!!!) and it was corner to corner Instagram worthy! Hah!
That being said, he found exactly what he always finds in big cities too– Barcadia New Orleans! He’s one to talk, am I right?!
We also did the World War II Museum, and it was fantastic. Named one of the top 5 museums in the country, it truly is beautiful, entertaining, and informative. I am a huge history buff so it was easy for me to enjoy, but I think those in my family who aren’t also enjoyed it immensely! Since going Joe and I can’t stop watching WWII documentaries and movies… it got us hooked!
After a day at the Museum we headed over to the last of the must explore neighborhoods in New Orleans. It also happened to give us our favorite meal too!
The Bywater district was a whirlwind of emotions. It’s described as the city’s “rapidly changing gem” which is the perfect way to describe it– from what we saw. Our first impression was kind of “where are we” until we entered Paloma Cafe with delicious frozen cocktails and cute decor. Very mellow, and quiet, but the perfect mid afternoon spot. I wish I had my laptop right then and there to work on some things!
After we finished our delicious frozen Palomas and headed to the next spot. Bacchanal Wine was absolutely darling. After choosing your cheese selection from the display cases, handing them over to the cashier at the counter, along with your wine selection, we made our way to the sprawling back patio. Adorned with plants, bistro lights, various tables and seating, it was the perfect way to spend golden hour. They’ll serve you the wine you ordered and they’ll have taken your cheeses and displayed them on the cutest cheese board that was so dang good!! I’m drooling thinking about it now!
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We sipped and chatted for a while, and soon enough it was time for a real meal! Joe was hungry and when he’s hungry he finds the best spots. This time, it was The Joint. Oh my gosh. I’m vegetarian and I could tell it was some of the best barbecue food out there. I know my entirely family loved their meal– as did I! It was order at the counter service, and just what we needed. If you’re ever in NOLA it’s an absolute must-try!
I do want to disclaim that there are even more must explore neighborhoods in New Orleans than the one’s we visited and I listed here. If you go and happen to find a different one, tell me in the comments or DM me on Instagram! I know I’ll be going back, it’s just too much fun!
Let Me Know Your Thoughts
This is my first real travel guide on Olivia Quinlan Style & Design (besides this smaller, simpler post for Colorado) and I want to know what you think?! I know it was a long one but I hope full of content you can use as a resource for your next trip to NOLA! Pin all the pics and share wherever– especially if you know someone headed there soon!
It was a fantastic city and I can’t wait to head back, thanks for having us New Orleans!
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