It’s no secret that I love New Orleans, I try to go every year and have written numerous posts, but if you haven’t been yet, consider making 2018 the year you finally go. It’s always amazing, but did you know that 2018 is the 300th anniversary of New Orleans? There’s sure to be plenty going on!
I’ll definitely be going, I’ve been thinking about a return trip since I stepped off the plane last April. I’m considering Mardi Gras in 2018! What about you? Have you been to Mardi Gras? Do you want to go?
While I’m working out when I might find my way back I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the adventures from our 2017 visit, specifically our visit to the Garden District.
Related Post: New Orleans! The French Quarter!
A Bit of History
The architecture in New Orleans is really something special, especially in The Garden District, which has no shortage of beautiful old homes.
The Garden District was created in 1832 – 1833 after the Louisiana Purchase as a place for the new American residents of New Orleans to settle. Made wealthy in the cotton, sugar, insurance and shipping industries these residents hired architects to create grand homes in Italianate, Greek revival and Victorian styles.
The homes were located on large parcels of land, which allowed for the beautiful lush gardens for which the area is named.
The streetcars in New Orleans, aren’t just for show, they’ve been used by locals and tourists alike for 150 years! The original, and my favorite, is the St. Charles line. As the name suggests its route is via St. Charles Street. Take The St. Charles line to the Garden District and you’ll ride through some of the city’s loveliest neighborhoods on the way.
I love everything about riding these historic cars, watching the city roll by from the wide windows, the fantastic sounds they make, the old wooden benches, even the close proximity to other travelers! The fares are very low, and they run often! Get a lovely view of the city and where you need to go all at the same time!
Related Post: 10 things to do in New Orleans with Kids
The Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Unique and filled with fascinating history no visit to NOLA would be complete without at least one visit to the cemetery.
The non-denominational Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is located in the heart of the Garden District. The Cemetery encompasses one city block, and is the oldest municipal cemetery in New Orleans. More than 7000 people are buried there.
We lucked out and were able to arrange a tour on site, but for a more comprehensive tour I recommend booking in advance.
New Orleans! Last But Not Least!
There’s nothing like southern hospitality, and you’ll get big doses of it at these two fine dinning institutions.
From the truly southern “Welcome in” to the balloon bouquets on the tables, the three piece band and of course the delicious regional cuisine a meal at Commander’s Palace is truly a dinning experience like no other.
Opened in 1893 and located just across the road from the Lafayette Cemetery #1, Commander’s Palace is a New Orleans culinary institution. If you only have time for one upscale meal during your visit, this would be an excellent choice. Plan ahead for this one, you’ll definitely need reservations.
Emeril’s Delmonico is located right on the St. Charles Street car line in what looks to have been an old house.
The restaurant has not only great food, but also extremely warm hospitality. We had Easter Brunch here loved it. They take reservations and walk-ins.
Related Post: Lets Eat Lunch and Talk About Dinner
Running from Canal Street downriver to Leake Avenue upriver and stretching a distance of six plus miles, Magazine Street is a treasure trove of shops, restaurants, and bars with sections of residential homes interspersed throughout.
Running from Canal Street downriver to Leake Avenue upriver and stretching a distance of six plus miles, Magazine Street is a treasure trove of shops, restaurants, and bars with sections of residential homes interspersed throughout. Many of the establishments are one of a kind and you’re guaranteed to find something of interest, along the way.
A few of our Magazine Street favorites:
A popular artist with his work on display throughout the city, you can pick up your own Simon sign, at his gallery just off of Magazine Street.
A t-shirt shop of a different sort! Dirty Coast is where the locals shop, but visitors are definitely welcome. If you’re looking for something to bring home that feels more authentic this is the place!
Vegas is a men’s clothing store, which features trendy hipster clothing and accessories, we usually find ourselves here at least once a visit. I got my travel backpack here!
Backpacks. Who needs ’em?
With multiple locations throughout the city you can’t go wrong with Dat Dog. Yes, as the name suggests its a hot dog restaurant, but don’t be fooled, it’s absolutely delicious!
Beyond traditional beef they have lots of other options, including chicken, alligator and duck! For the adventurous eaters in your group, consider topping your dog with some crawfish Étouffée.
SnoBalls, otherwise known as a snow cone for those of you West Coasters, are not just a treat in New Orleans, but on a hot day they’re an absolute necessity!
These delicious treats are made when a scoop of ice cream is rolled in sno cone ice, and they come in many delicious flavors, even hurricane! We always make time for a trip to Snowizard on Magazine Street, and I highly recommend you do too!
We discovered District: Donuts, sliders and Brew while walking on Magazine Street a few years ago. They’re not beignets, but its become an annual tradition all the same! These guys really know how to make a donut! Not to mention they’re sliders and brew (coffee) are pretty great too!
Fun Facts, Tips & Advice
- Anne Rice author of the Interview with a Vampire books makes her home in the Garden District as does Sandra Bullock and Nicolas Cage.
- Many movies and television shows have been modeled after or filmed at the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 including The Originals, Dracula 2000, and Interview with a Vampire
- Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 has very limited hours, so check the website before you head over.
- Commanders Palace has the best service I’ve ever experienced. The Ponchatoula Strawberry Shortcake was so good its indescribable.
- Many famous chefs have worked at Commander’s Palace including Emeril Lagasse.
- The dress code at Commanders Palace is strictly enforced for all ages.
- There is SO much more to the Crescent City than Bourbon Street. In fact it’s the last place in the city I recommend you go. If you’re interested in seeing the city from a local’s point of view, then you should know Bourbon Street is NOT the place.
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Take me with you!
Would you like directions to all these fabulous places? Why not take me with you! You can download this and other fun hilarystyle articles using the GPSmyCity app!
thank you for your detailed descriptions and the wonderful pictures!
Didn’t know 2018 was the 300th anniversary, I’m sure New Orleans will be even more amazing then….. food for thought as I would love to go back. We were so taken with the Garden District on our last visit Hilary, loving all your foodie recommendations especially – I am taking note!
These are just a few of the amazing places we eaten at! I’m feeling full just thinking about it! Ha ha!
I’ve been to New Orleans in 2014 and I really enjoyed it though have to say it’s not really one of my favorite cities. But I for sure loooved the Garden District!!! Also your post is really great and makes me want to go back and give the city a second chance – Mardi Gras would seem perfect for that. 😀 #CityTripping
I’m glad I’ve inspired you! NOLA can be a bit complicated as there are definitely areas that aren’t as savory as others, and the lines can be blurred at times, but I hope you’ll give it a second chance once day as its really quite a special place!
I’ve been wanting to go to New Orleans for years – maybe the anniversary will finally persuade me to book a trip. Even more tempted now after reading some of your tips. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping
Ooh! I hope you’ll get there someday, its easily my favorite US city, after Los Angeles of course! I’ve written so many posts about it, but still there is more to discover!
You post almost feels like a world similar to Dr. Seuss! And each time I read one of your NOLA posts, I cravvvvve to visit so badly!! Pinned! #CityTripping
Hopefully you’ll get there somday soon! It’s pretty special! xx
I really want to go to New Orleans. We’re trying to make it happen in 2018. #FarawayFiles
Ooh! I hope you do! Let me know if you need any advice!
I’m so glad I’ve read this, Hilary. I took the St Charles street car to the Garden District and loved wandering around looking at all the beautiful houses but I missed out on the cemetery and all those amazing-sounding foodie discoveries of yours. I last went to New Orleans in the 90s. Clearly it’s time to go back…Wonderful share for #FarawayFiles
One of The great things about NOLA is that while some things stay the same which I find comforting there is always something new to discover, which in my opinion makes it a great place for repeat visits!!
fifi + hop
Aw, love the photo of us! I agree – Commander’s Palace has impeccable service and the strawberry shortcake was insane. The Garden District was one of my favorite spots in NOLA. #farawayfiles
That was a fun afternoon wasn’t it! We should work out a plan to meet up again!! xx
I went to Marci Gras in New Orleans a few years ago and had a wonderful time! I love wondering the streets and the amazing architecture in the French Quarter. ❤️
Yes! Wandering the streets in NOLA is my favorite way to see the city!
I haven’t been to New Orleans since I was a kid, but I really want to visit again! The Garden District looks like such a cool area. I think I WILL make 2018 the year I return. #FarawayFiles
I hope you do make it there! Springtime is such an awesome time of year weather wise!
Ohhh, I didn’t know New Orleans is going to celebrate a big birthday next year! Seems like the perfect time to visit. Your photos (as many other) really make me dream about the city. There are s o many cool and beautiful places to visit. I a dying to go! #FarawayFiles
You’re going to love it, and they’ll be celebrating all year long! Make sure to bring your appetite!
You make it look so inviting! I’ve wanted to get to New Orleans for Mardi Gras for the past two years. But next year for its birthday would be amazing. The houses look gorgeous, not to mention the food… #farawayfiles
NOLA is such a beautiful city… I’m not sure I’ll be able to convince my husabnd about a return Mardi Gras visit, but I’m definitely going to find my way there in 2018!
Birgit | Groove Is In The Heart
I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans. I’m sure I’ll love it! Thanks for your great guide. PS: Good to know that it’s the 300-year anniversary next year. I’m sure the city will plan a few special celebratory events. #farawayfiles
I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Yes, they do a lot of celebrating in NOLA, but I am sure they will have some extra fun on the calendar! The more I visit New Orleans the more I love it!
I love New Orleans but haven’t spent much time in the Garden District, it’s definitely something I want to do on my next trip. I don’t think I would go for Mardi Gras though, think I would enjoy it more when its not so crazy crowded. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.
Yes, you definitely have a point there, I’m just so curious to experience it at least once.
Wow, that looks amazing. I have always wanted to visit New Orleans. So colourful…. and that FOOOOOOD! Oh my, dangerous 😉
It is amazing, but you’re right about it being dangerous! I usually do some extra workouts the month before I go! Ha ha!
Trish @ Mum's Gone To
I can see why you return to New Orleans – I’m smitten just from reading this. Love the look of the houses, food and I particularly like the Simon signs. This travel wishlist of mine is getting longer!
Ha ha! I know what you mean about a long travel list! New Orleans is always at the top of mine!
I’ll do Mardi Gras with you! Only been to New Orleans once on a business trip pre-kids – I clearly need to come back. What a beautifully inspiring post! Cheers from Copenhagen! #FarawayFiles
That would be awesome! I’d take you up on that if you were serious! Would love to visit NOLA with you!
We love the Garden District, but really need to spend more time there exploring. I don’t think we’ve ever explored Magazine Street, either, except in the CBD, or on the way to Audubon. Yep, we obviously need to get back to New Orleans, too! Celebrating 300 years seems like a great reason to go! Thanks for the great post, and linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!
With six miles to explore there is definitely plenty to see on Magazine! I hope you get back soon!
We’re thinking maybe next spring. We get excited just thinking about going back!
Me too! We’ve been in the spring 4 times and its almost always perfect weather!
This is amazing! I’ve never been to New Orleans, but I’d go just for the music scene. It seems to have such a rich cultural history (due to the French influence which makes it a little different from the rest of the States!). I understand that it was very badly damaged by Katrina, but it seems to have recovered well – so glad to see that!
My fiance is going in a few days on business but i will tell her about the garden district sounds like she would love it
Yes, the Garden District is absolutely worth a visit! She can grab the street car!
Only today my wife and I were looking at a holiday to New aorleans from the UK so i resd with interest
I hear United has a direct flight to NOLA! I’ve written a ton about it as it’s easily one of my favorite places on earth!
Thanks. Will take a look…
Thank you so much for sharing your article with me! I’m so excited for my upcoming trip to New Orleans and seeing all your photos makes me just wish for April to get here even quicker 🙂 All the food and the architecture – just beautiful!
Glad you enjoyed! NOLA in April should be perfect! Have fun!