Oh New Orleans, where do I even start? In short New Orleans is insane, it takes you by surprise for many different reasons but it is insanely pretty. I lost count of the amount of perfectly placed brightly coloured shot-gun houses I decided I wanted to live in and the number of quirky stores I spent time looking around. From the huge spiritual vibes that surround the city to the jazz music that seems to constantly be playing in the background, New Orleans will get under your skin.
But when you have explored enough of the French Quarter or need avoid yet another hand grenade on Bourbon Street, I recommend heading out to the Garden District to see a more tranquil side of New Orleans. As soon as we stepped off the tram at St Charles I instantly got the chilled vibes that we felt in certain areas of California, a completely different atmosphere from when we stepped on the tram twenty minutes earlier, but still just a beautiful.
How to get the to Garden District from the French Quarter
The trams in New Orleans are really convenient, they are incredibly slow so don’t jump on one in a hurry, but for getting around they do the trick. To get to the Garden District you will want to pick up the St Charles tram from Carondelet at Canal Street, the tram costs $1.25 per ride or you can get a 24-hour pass for $3.00.
You will want to get off the tram at Jackson Avenue, although any stops around this point will find you in the Garden District – if in doubt all the drivers were happy enough to assist tourists.
If you do not feel like riding the tram, then Uber is widely used across all of New Orleans and from the French Quarter it will set you back around $8 – $10 depending on the time of day.
Exploring the Garden District
Firstly the Garden District is a very elite area, the first thing you will notice will probably be the beautifully presented mansions, home to New Orleans most wealthiest residents. Many tourists head to this area so do not worry about wandering around here, but of course be respectful as it is a residential area.
One of the main reasons people head to this area is for the Lafayette Cemetery, New Orleans is home to many cemeteries that have become tourist attractions, the tombs are grand and tell many tales. We explored the Lafayette on our own, but I feel we would have got much more out of our visit if we had booked on to one of the many tours.
A road or two away from the Lafayette Cemetery you will come across the Buckner Mansion, the grandest of all the mansions on in the Garden District and also the infamous house from American Horror Story: The Coven (Although the real Madame LaLaurie house can be found in the French Quarter).
Nestled in between the rows of houses you will also find the occasional independent boutique store, be sure to take time to check these out, then after you are done admiring the house porn, make your way to Magazine Street.
Magazine Street really reminded me of La Brea Ave in Los Angeles, I am not sure why as they look nothing a like, but it brought back those happy vibes.
Make District Donuts your first stop on Magazine Street, enjoy a coffee and pastry before moving further a long. The whole street is littered with independent stores, vintage and antique shops as well as craft beer stores, it is has the whole hipster scene going on. After a lot of wandering we stopped for lunch at Rum House, it was packed full of locals and their Mexican food is delicious, if you time it right and head there on a Tuesday you are on to a winner, as it is Taco Tuesday! Meaning $3 tacos and $5 house Margaritas – just do not drink too many and think it’s a great idea to head back to Bourbon Street for a night out..
The Garden District is a breath of fresh air away from the main party scene of the New Orleans French Quarter, I would recommend allocating an afternoon to a day in this area to just take time to relax and see a different side to the wonderful city of New Orleans.
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