The French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana is a unique and fun place to explore. You can see the French inspiration everywhere you look. While there are, of course, bars all throughout the area, it is also a very family friendly place to visit. Here are some of my tips to help you prepare for your next visit to the French Quarter.
BE PREPARED FOR CHANGING WEATHER
We all know that French Quarter in New Orleans can be a hot and humid place to visit. Some of my favorite times to visit the french quarter have been March and October. During these months the weather is nice and warm, but not unbearably hot.
One other thing to take note of is the fact that it can rain at any time. I have been in New Orleans many times when there would be a sudden downpour, despite no rain in the forecast. The easiest way to prepare for this is to carry a small umbrella with you in your purse or backpack. The rain often times won’t last very long.
VISITING JACKSON SQUARE
Artists set up daily to sell their art pieces in Jackson Square. Some even work on new pieces while there, which can be really cool to see. The size, cost, and types of art available here vary widely. No matter your budget, you can likely find something to take home with you! It is always great to support local artists.
From my experience, the earlier you arrive to this area the less populated it will be. Arriving at 10am on a Saturday, I found that the streets were surprisingly empty. This of course changes pretty quickly the closer it gets to lunch time.
Directly across from the famous Café Du Monde (which you have to try) stands a long line of carriage rides. Many people take advantage of these as an opportunity to learn history about the city from experienced guides. 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.
St. Louis Cathedral is definitely the centerpiece of Jackson Square. Be sure to check ahead of time for any scheduled events if you were to want to step inside. Along with the regularly scheduled mass, there are also many people who have their weddings both inside and outside of the catheral.
WHERE TO EAT IN THE FRENCH QUARTER
While walking around the French Quarter in New Orleans, you may be overwhelmed with restaurant choices. Luckily, most places you eat will end up being pretty good! Many places in the French Quarter and New Orleans can be overpriced since it is such a huge tourist destination. Conveniently, many restaurants post their menus in their windows. This way, you can decide if the restaurant is in your budget before having to go inside!
During a recent visit, we decided to try The Corner Oyster House. This establishment 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, tried their gumbo. Since I am not big on seafood, I opted for the french toast. The amount of powdered sugar they put on top reminded me a lot of a beignets serving.
Another local favorite is Deanie’s Seafood. I have heard that their seafood is of a great quality. I would not consider this a “cheap” place to eat, but good seafood can be expensive, and you get what you pay for.
VISITING 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, and I would highly recommend stopping by. Most of the prices are negotiable with the local dealers. Along with souvenirs, you can find clothing and food within the French Market.
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 YOUR DAY IN THE FRENCH QUARTER, NEW ORLEANS
If, by later in the day you haven’t stopped by Cafe Du Monde then now is the time. This famous shop is open 24/7. The amount of powdered sugar that will be on your beignets is unreal. Be extra careful if you are wearing dark colors, as the sugar tends to go flying when you take a bite. If you haven’t tried these deep fried pastries, have you really even been to New Orleans?
Tell me your favorite thing to do in New Orleans!