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things to do in the french quarter

Things to Do in the French Quarter

When you visit New Orleans, it’s time to “laissez les bons temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll!) What better way to immerse yourself in the sounds, tastes, sights, and aromas of the Big Easy than to spend a day (or three) in the historic and vibrant French Quarter?

The French Quarter embodies everything about what makes life in New Orleans magical and unique. As you meander through the Quarter's historic streets, you'll find a sense of unbridled joy as you eat great food, sip delicious drinks, and listen to some of the best live music in the world – does it get any better? On top of satisfying your taste buds and your eardrums, the French Quarter is also marked by its iconic Spanish architecture and boasts a rich history with endless stories awaiting you around every corner.

Take a look at our guide to the French Quarter, explore our boutique New Orleans accommodations, and get ready for an unforgettable time in America's most unique neighborhood!

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Welcome to the “Vieux Carré”

attractions in the new orleans french quarter

Welcome to the “Vieux Carré”

The French Quarter is also known as the “Vieux Carré,” which means “old square”. The area was the centerpiece of the town when New Orleans was first founded in 1718 and remains the heart of the city today. It’s also a National Historic Landmark, in part due to the gorgeous blend of French and Spanish architecture and iconic colonial-era landmarks.

Now let’s plan your day out in the French Quarter. What’s your first stop?

Jackson Square

jackson square in the french quarter

Credit: Jeff Anding Photography

Jackson Square

Grab a go cup from a nearby bar, slow down, and take in the inimitable energy of Jackson Square.

Formerly known as the Place d’Armes, Jackson Square was established as a military parade ground in 1718, but today it’s a meticulously landscaped town square with pathways weaving through the grounds in a sun pattern – a style commonly used in the royal French courts. You’ll see St. Louis Cathedral at the top of the square, the oldest cathedral in the U.S.! It's also the perfect background for the ultimate New Orleans selfie.

As you stroll the winding paths, you’ll see artists in action, musicians performing, and magicians displaying their powers – Jackson Square is a constant source of life and energy. Commanding the square is a towering statue of Andrew Jackson, the conquering general in the war of 1812’s Battle of New Orleans and the seventh president of the U.S.

Strut Down Bourbon Street

bourbon street in the french quarter

Photography Credit: Ms. Sara Kelly

Strut Down Bourbon Street

The infamous street that hardly needs any explanation! Love it or hate it, Bourbon Street will never fail to provide stories and experiences you can get nowhere else in the world. So walk brave and tall as you strut down Bourbon Street taking it all in. Local's Note: Take care you don't take too much in.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

french market in new orleans la

Shop ‘Til You Drop in the French Quarter

The French Market

There is always something exciting happening at the French Market, an open air market spanning six blocks that dates back to the late 1700s, when it was first established as a Native American trading post. Local vendors sell wares, artwork, jewelry, souveniers, and fresh food (don't pass up NOLA pralines). And of course, you’ll always hear live music – it’s a New Orleans staple.

The French Market is also home to the world famous Cafe du Monde, whose airy and sugary beignets, cafe au lait, and chicory coffee have become synonymous with the Crescent City.

Royal Street Shopping

If you’re looking for a more refined experience, check out the Royal Street shopping district, known for its art galleries and antique shops, but bring your checkbook – it’s known as one of the world’s most expensive places to shop. But there’s no harm in looking!

Getting Around the Quarter

decatur street in french quarter new orleans

Getting Around the Quarter

French Quarter Walking Tours

While you can certainly stroll through the French Quarter on your own, adding a tour guide to the mix will help you maximize the Vieux Carré experience. Free Tours by Foot offers French Quarter tours on a pay-what-you-want basis. It’s a two-hour, one-mile tour with a knowledgeable local who makes sure you see all there is to see in historic New Orleans, from the Tennessee Williams House to Pirate’s Alley.

Horse and Carriage Tours

Don’t feel like exploring by foot? Board a mule-drawn carriage on Decatur Street or hail down an empty carriage when your feet get sore. You’ll cover more ground in one of the most historically-authentic ways to see New Orleans.

A Scary Good Time

Feeling spooky? New Orleans has plenty of ancient lore to entertain you (and hopefully not keep you up at night). Check out the Haunted History Vampire Tour or the fascinating St. Louis Cemetery Tour for a good scare.

Want to bring a little bit of the supernatural home? Swing by Marie Laveau's House Of Voodoo, which sells candles, tarot cards, amulets, and other creepy keepsakes.

Hotel Near the French Quarter

new orleans hotel near the french quarter

Hotel Near the French Quarter

Whether you’re in town for business, leisure or a little bit of both, the Cambria Downtown Warehouse District hotel is the perfect home away from home during your Crescent City adventure.

Nestled in the artsy Warehouse District, the Cambria New Orleans provides a welcome, refined retreat from the constant energy of Bourbon Street - and you'll just be a 15-minute walk from all the action. You'll be close enough to experience all the French Quarter has to offer, but stay far enough away so you'll wake up refreshed before your important morning meeting.

When you stay at the Cambria New Orleans Downtown Warehouse District, you'll enjoy modern amenities, the laid back energy of the Big Easy, and a dash of convenience, including:

  • Modern, boutique accommodations that make you feel like the first-class traveler you are.
  • Free WiFi to help you meet deadlines fast, before you head out to take in the city
  • On-site dining with Cajun/Creole-infused fare, craft beer and cocktails made to order
  • Quiet, convenient Warehouse District location, just three blocks from the French Quarter

Above all else, our local staff at our brand new New Orleans location knows the French Quarter backwards and forwards. We’re overflowing with tips, suggestions, and advice to make sure your New Orleans adventure is one for the record books!

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French Quarter Not Your Style?

new orleans hotel near frenchman st

While the French Quarter is known for being vibrant and high energy, perhaps you have a desire to see a more local style of the Big Easy. Sounds like something up your alley? Explore Frenchman Street like a local and you'll be sure to be feeling cool.

Reserve Your Frenchman St Expedition

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Cambria New Orleans Downtown Warehouse District
632 Tchoupitoulas Street,
New Orleans, LA 70130


(504) 524-7770

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