5 Things to do in the New Orleans Garden District
1. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is one of the only cemeteries that is free and open to the public year round (barring Mardi-Gras). For those who would prefer a tour there is no need to book in advance. Gabrielle Richard is one of the many city approved tour guides who can be found at the gate offering free tours with a tipping option. In just thirty minutes she can educate you on a range of subjects including burial methods, religious traditions, and pop culture references.
If you enjoy your experience there and wish to see and learn more you can book a tour with one of the many companies in Lafayette Cemetery No 2. Due to hazardous conditions and vandalism it is viewable by tour only. Save Our Cemeteries is an excellent organization that uses the proceeds from tours to renovate, preserve, and protect the precious burial grounds of New Orleans.
2. Coliseum Street
The garden district is largely famous for its architecture. Take a walking tour or wander the streets on your own to see a picturesque neighborhood where many modern and past day icons such as Anne Rice and Mark Twain have previously settled down. Recently American Horror Story Season 3: Coven was filmed at the Buckner Mansion at the intersection of Coliseum and Jackson St.
3. Commander’s Palace.
Located directly next to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is an enormous blue striped restaurant that can’t be missed. “A steady parade of renowned chefs like Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, Jamie Shannon, and now Tory McPhail have made Commander’s Palace a world-class restaurant.” (https://www.commanderspalace.com/our-story). Wine and Dine in an elegant setting that has won six James Beard Foundation Awards for their Haute Creole cuisine.
4. Magazine Street
Home to many restaurants and unique stores Magazine Street is the perfect place to end your evening. Browse Peaches Records for some vintage records and humorous souvenirs crafted by local artists. The No Fleas Market is an excellent thrift shop with a vintage section. A portion of their proceeds support various animal welfare groups.
5. Catch The Soul Rebels
See the Soul Rebels perform in their hometown. When they’re not on tour they can be found at a number of venues throughout the week. Le Bon Temps Roule has an intimate floor space with a laid back bar and pool tables.
6. Saint Charles Streetcar
Take a trolley ride on one of New Orleans most famous methods of transportation. Regional Transit Authority (RTA) fares are reasonable. For $1.25 USD one way or a one day pass for $3.00 USD you can commute back to your hotel the fun way.