The French Quarter in New Orleans, LA is a unique place. You can have a fine art gallery one street over from some pretty unsavory strip clubs (there are nice ones too.)
First and foremost, I would like to talk about the weather in New Orleans for a second. There is really no predicting it. In May, for example, it is already getting pretty hot. The extreme humidity adds to this and it is no joke. During about three hours in the French Quarter, it rained several times. Thankfully, the rain did not last very long each time.
No matter what, bring both an umbrella and sunscreen. If you go in the morning, you can avoid both large crowds and the heat of the day.
Artists set up daily to sell their pieces in Jackson Square. Some even work on new pieces while there. The size, cost, and types of art available here vary widely.
This area is a great place to support local artists. We got to Jackson Square at around 10 am on a Saturday. When we first arrived, it was desolate; however, that quickly began to change.
Directly across from the famous Café du Monde stands a long line of carriage rides. Many people take advantage of these as an opportunity to learn history about the city from the guides driving the carriages. The prices from Royal Carriages range from $40-200, depending on how many are in your group. If carriage rides are not your thing and you prefer to explore on your own, I feel confident in saying pretty much everywhere in the French Quarter is safe to explore during the day. At night, you may want to avoid less populated streets as a precaution.
Behind the carriages stands St. Louis Cathedral.
We walked over to the cathedral to go inside (I had been in before but forgot to get any photos). When we arrived, we discovered that they were about to have mass. I will have to go back for more photos another day!
The church operates and the public is welcome to attend their mass sessions.
While walking around, we found a place to grab a bite. Many places in the French Quarter can be overpriced due to the fact that it is a tourist destination. Conveniently, many restaurants post several copies of their menus in their windows so you can decide if the restaurant is in your budget before having to go inside!
We decided on a restaurant called The Corner Oyster House.
The Corner Oyster House has a Facebook review of 4.1 out of 5 and Google review of 2.9 out of 5. I have to decide with Facebook on this one. My husband, who is from New Orleans by the way, had gumbo. I, on the other hand, being one who does not like seafood, opted for the french toast. I was honestly afraid this amount of powdered sugar would be too much. I am happy to say that I was wrong. It was worth every penny of the $9 that we spent on it.
I thought it would be worth the mention that if you are looking for seafood here, my husband really likes Deanie’s Seafood. He says that they have awesome oysters. I would not consider this a “cheap” place to eat, but good seafood can be expensive and apparently, this place has some quality seafood.
Afterward, we headed to the French Market. The French Market has been in the same place since 1791! It is an open-air market that spans for 6 blocks and is full of shopping. You can buy so many things there. Most of the prices are negotiable with the local dealers. Do not push your luck though, as I have seen a couple of merchants become very frustrated when people try to basically steal from them.
If you want any souvenirs to bring home, I would recommend getting them here. The prices are low and you are helping to support the locals.
Ending the Day
We stopped by the busy Café du Monde to try our luck at getting beignets. We were successful!
There are areas in New Orleans is truly for everyone, and it can be a fantastic place to explore. Even though I had an excessive amount of powdered sugar, it was overall a wonderful day in the rainy French Quarter.