The best way to experience everything New Orleans has to offer is by visiting its neighborhoods, each with a unique history, architecture and culture.
The original settlement of New Orleans, called Vieux Carré, French Quarter, or simply the Quarter, is the oldest neighborhood in the city. Established by the French in 1718, the French Quarter’s location was and is still a valuable site for trade due to its strategic position along the Mississippi River. Today, it is a National Historic Landmark , home to the Bourbon Orleans Hotel and some of the best Creole restaurants, including Arnaud’s, Antoine’s, Galatoire’s and Tujague’s. The city’s traditional architecture is manifested in the Quarter’s wrought-iron lace balconies, Creole cottages or townhouses, and shotgun houses.
Nightlife in the French Quarter is unlike anywhere else. Just step into our craft cocktail bar, Bourbon “O” and enjoy live music at night or sit outside on one of our Bourbon Street balconies to people-watch. Pat O’Brien’s perfected the Hurricane cocktail and Patrick’s Bar Vin wine bar just a few blocks away, ranks as a top 10 wine bar in the nation. History buffs will delight in the stories found in our architecture and museums, including the Presbytere, Cabildo, Historic New Orleans Collection, New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, and the St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest continually occupied church in the nation.
Originally known in the 18th century as “Place d’Armes,” and later renamed in honor of the Battle of New Orleans hero Andrew Jackson, Jackson Square is one of the most popular destinations in the French Quarter. Located just in front of the St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square is a great gathering place with beautiful landscape adorned by a statue of Andrew Jackson where visitors can find local art, tarot card readers, boutique shops and restaurants.
The Central Business District (CBD) is New Orleans’ downtown, where you’ll find notable landmarks like the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans Arena, Harrah’s Casino and Riverwalk Marketplace. The Warehouse District, known today as the New Orleans Arts District, was originally established as an industrial area in the 19th century to store grain, coffee, and produce shipped through the Port of New Orleans. Today, the warehouses have been converted to vibrant restaurants, art galleries and museums, including the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Contemporary Arts Center, Emeril’s Restaurant, Cochon Restaurant, Howlin Wolf Music Club, and the Metropolitan Nightclub, to name a few.
Nestled just downriver (east) from the French Quarter are two of New Orleans’ most distinct and well-kept secrets: the Faubourg Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods. Both neighborhoods are only minutes away from the French Quarter, yet are tucked back into their own diverse communities, combining old-time New Orleans culture with a hip, contemporary bohemianism. A trip into the Marigny is not complete without a visit to the famed Frenchmen Street. Known as the local’s version of Bourbon Street, and a must-visit destination for nightlife, Frenchmen is a compact entertainment district home to a wide range of live music clubs, such as Snug Harbor, Blue Nile, d.b.a. and the Spotted Cat.
New Orleans’ historic Garden District is defined by elegant, traditional antebellum mansions, pristine gardens, oak trees lining the streets and the uptown streetcar coasting down St. Charles Avenue. Just a few blocks from St. Charles is Magazine Street, lined with boutique shops, restaurants, cafes and antiques. Originally laid out in 1832 by Barthelemy Lafon, the Garden District was created after the Louisiana Purchase as a settlement for the new American residents of New Orleans not eager to mingle with those of European descent, who were primarily concentrated in the French Quarter. Americans made wealthy by cotton, sugar, insurance and shipping commissioned leading architects of the time to create classic homes in Italianate, Greek Revival and Victorian styles. Infused with Southern charm, the Garden District certainly stands out as one of the country’s loveliest neighborhoods, and is a popular destination for visitors.
Long before the neighborhood had its own popular HBO series, the Tremé was already heralded as a vital American landmark for African-American and Creole culture. The Tremé is the oldest African-American neighborhood in the country, and is home to Congo Square at Louis Armstrong Jazz National Park, St. Louis Cemetery #1, the African-American Museum and the Mahalia Jackson Theater.
Step outside the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, and you will find several antique shops on Royal Street, named by the Travel Channel as the “world’s best street for antiquing.” In addition, you may find jewelry stores, boutiques as well as art galleries. Uptown you’ll find a six mile stretch of eclectic boutiques, cafes and antique shops on Magazine Street. The French Market, in the French Quarter dates back to 1791 and is America’s oldest public market. The French Market has everything from locally grown fruits and vegetables to souvenirs and jewelry. For more upscale shopping, JAX Brewery, the Shops at Canal Place, and Outlet Collection at Riverwalk are all an easy walk from our hotel.