The Big Easy is a very tourist-friendly town, so it’s hard to pick a single attraction that stands out from the others on a New Orleans tour. However, if you only have a single day in the city and you have to choose just one spot to visit, make it the French Quarter. The oldest neighborhood in NOLA, the French Quarter is the beating heart of the city’s famous nightlife. New Orleans is one of the few places in the United States to allow open alcohol containers on the streets, making it perfect for bar crawls or just general partying. However, there’s much more to the French Quarter than the nightly debauchery on Bourbon Street.
New Orleans is world-famous for its music scene, particularly jazz music, which first originated in bars and clubs in NOLA. Take an evening stroll down any busy street in the French Quarter and listen to the music coming from every side—from bars, music halls, and even talented street musicians. Jazz superfans should make sure to stop by Preservation Hall on Bourbon Street to hear its legendary house band. Originally built in 1817 as a Creole townhouse, Preservation Hall became a music hall in the 1950s and was one of the few places in the South where white and black audiences could come together and listen to music in an integrated space.
The French Quarter is also well-known for its unique architecture. Its location far from the breached levees means that it was relatively undamaged by Hurricane Katrina, so the streets are packed with historic buildings that survived the flooding. The oldest building in the French Quarter, the Old Ursuline Convent Museum, was constructed in 1745 and is a prime example of the French Colonial architecture that defines the neighborhood. Other old buildings include Napoleon’s House, built in 1794, and Brennan’s, an upscale French restaurant constructed in 1795.
To make the most of your next trip to New Orleans, check out our New Orleans Self-Guided Walking Tour, or sign up for Action+ to gain access to over 100 tours for a single yearly price.
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