New Orleans is full of history and culture and music and energy. The streets here are exploding with all of those to prove it. Taking a stroll down any of the streets will take you past unique shops, delicious restaurants, or colorful houses. New Orleans is turning 300 years old this year, so a lot of these streets have been around forever and have been preserved quite well. Listed below are a few of the famous streets in New Orleans that I got the chance to enjoy during my assignment.
Canal Street is considered the “main street” in New Orleans, and always has been in past history. This street was named for the canal that was to be built to connect the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain. It also divided where the Creole and French-descendent lived and where the new incoming Americans were moving to. Today, it separates the French Quarter from the Central Business District. Even though the canal was never built, it was still a commonly used route for b
usiness and getting around town. Even today, the street car runs on this road, easily bringing you to any area on this street, and even connecting you all the way down to the Uptown area of New Orleans.
On this street, you will find many luxury hotels, upscale shopping (including The Shops at Canal), historic theaters where you can catch a good show, and good quality restaurants. It is also a common place to watch the Mardi Gras parades, as almost all routes end up going down this street.
When people think of New Orleans, this is the street that they typically think of.
Bourbon Street is located in the French Quarter. It is 13 blocks long and is packed with bars, clubs, music venues, and restaurants. There are plenty of street performers on this street; most commonly seen are children playing on buckets as if they were drums. Walking down this street you can also see tap dancers and occasionally random things like people with their pet parrots for you to hold. Many of the places on this street have balconies and often there are people throwing down Mardi Gras beads to the people passing by.
Royal Street, also in the French Quarter, is such a fun street to walk down! It is filled with tiny shops selling unique items as well as art galleries. There are also several good places to eat or grab a drink along this street. There are many fabulous musicians who are out on this street. There will be brass bands or string bands out. My favorites are always the violinists that play on this street. There are also people who set up a little table and type-writer and will write you a poem on the spot about anything you want. I have also seen palm reading on this street and people painted as statues.
Frenchman Street is where you want to go in order to hear some very good jazz music! There are 15 jazz music clubs on this street with live music every night – The Spotted Cat being one of the most well-known. The performers are very talented and most have CDs you can purchase from them as well. There are also delicious restaurants where you can sit down enjoy jazz music with your tasty dinner. On this street you will also see some street performers and poem writers, but they are not as prominent as on other streets. There are also, two markets where local artists and craftsmen come to sell their products. Everything is hand-made and very original.
Magazine street is 6-miles long, starting in the Central Business District and ending in Uptown. It is packed full of boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, spas, coffee shops, and antique shops. It’s the perfect street for an afternoon stroll and popping in and out of the buildings along the way.
There are beautiful live oak trees up and down this street as well, adding to the culture of the street. You can also find several sno-ball stands along this street. Sno-balls are a local’s favorite treat in the warm weather – similar to a snow-cone except the ice is shaved more finally and you have more flavor options.
Magazine Street is also a great place to watch the parades! I enjoyed watching some Mardi Gras parades on this street, and for St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish Channel Parade goes right down this street as well.
St. Charles Avenue
This street runs from Downtown to Uptown. The country’s oldest street car still running is also on this street. For $1.25 you can take a ride down St. Charles Avenue in the street car. You will pass many gorgeous, historic mansions, plenty of live oak trees hovering over the street, and my favorite place to eat – Superior Seafood. On this street there are also two main colleges – Tulane University and Loyola University. Another fine attraction down this street is the Audubon Park & Zoo, which are both worth taking a stop at for an afternoon spent outside.